|The First Art Newspaper on the Net
||Established in 1996
|| Tuesday, June 28, 2016
|Ohio rabbi's books tied to Holocaust survivors |
In this photo taken Wednesday, April 4, 2012 released by The Lori Schottenstein Chabad Center shows from left, son, Mendy, Rabbi Areyah Kaltmann, and sons, Yitzi and Shea, taken at The Lori Schottenstein Chabad Center in Columbus, Ohio. Rabbi Areyah Kaltmann bought tractates, or passages that make up religious and civil law known as the Talmud, from an auction house. They are part of a limited number of books the U.S. Army authorized for publication. AP Photo/HO, Lorn Spolter.
By: Barbara Rodriguez, Associated Press
COLUMBUS (AP).- As Holocaust survivors languished in displacement camps around Europe at the close of World War II, the U.S. Army gave them some of their first tangible connections to their faith since before the war: passages from the Talmud.
Now two pieces of that limited printing have ended up in the hands of an Ohio rabbi, who used one in a pre-Passover service on Friday even as historians ponder their rarity.
The two tractates, or passages that help make up a collection of religious and civil law known as the Talmud, are dated 1946 and offer guidance on marriage and vows.
They were created to help displaced Holocaust survivors whose belongings, including religious materials, were destroyed during the war. Some experts say it's unclear how many copies were printed or how many exist today, but they all agree they're a collector's item that offers a glimpse into a unique printing agreement that U.S. armed forces had following the war.
Rabbi Areyah Kaltmann, who runs the Lori Schottenstein Chabad Center in Columbus, snagged the two tractates from a New York City auction house for $600 on March 21. The Australian native said he owns several other tractates published in later years.
"I like these things because they're meaningful," the 45-year-old said.
The Talmud is a compilation of Jewish oral law and stories about 1,500 years old. Historians and archivists say it's also one of the few religious materials the U.S. Army ever authorized for publication.
Abby Meyer, who works at New York-based Kestenbaum and Company, which specializes in selling Judaic items and sold the books to Kaltmann, said the auction house has sold only a handful of single tractates in its more than 20 years in business.
Lenore Bell, library director at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., said the books are probably the first two tractates of the Talmud to be produced in Germany with the authorization of the U.S. Army after the war.
"What's significant is the publication itself and how important it was to provide these texts to help rebuild the religious lives of survivors," she said. "And the U.S. Army contributed to that process."
The tractates, called Kiddushin and Nedarim, are the only two published in 1946 because they were the most complete copies available at the time. They were published by the Va'ad Hatzalah an emergency Orthodox rescue group that helped displaced rabbis and the Rabbinical Council, a group made up of U.S. chaplains who were Jewish. The council was authorized to work for the U.S. Army in Germany.
Distribution was limited because of scarce materials and resources to print. But Bell said they were important printings because they got into the hands of survivors earlier than others.
Bell said a more famous and complete set of tractates was published between 1948 and 1950 with the help of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, which provided health care and other forms of aid to displaced Holocaust survivors. The JDC, along with the Rabbinical Council, which represented the U.S. Army, published a 19-set volume of tractates to make a full Talmud.
Menachem Rosensaft, vice president of the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants, said the full set of books were more symbolic by the time they were published between 1948 and 1950 because the U.S. had relaxed its immigration laws and many displaced Jews had found permanent homes in the U.S., Israel and elsewhere.
He called those books, also known as the Survivors' Talmud, a psychological milestone for the survivors.
"It meant you had a continuation of a centuries-old tradition," said Rosensaft, who was born in Germany's Bergen-Belsen displaced persons camp in 1948. "It gave the survivors a tangible sense that their heritage had not been destroyed."
Back in Columbus, Kaltmann read the end of one of his tractates during a traditional ceremony before the beginning of the Jewish Passover holiday, which begins at sundown. Passover celebrates the biblical story of the Jews' liberation from slavery and exodus from Egypt. It begins with a traditional meal called a seder.
The ceremony Katmann held usually calls for only one person to recite the end of one tractate, but he and his three sons completed the end of a tractate each in honor of Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, who was recently killed with his two sons and a girl in Toulouse, France.
"It was so meaningful," Katmann said of the ceremony. "Here we had four volumes of Talmud, which were used at a very difficult time in Jewish history. Now, after more than 60 years, theses volumes are being used to inspire new generations."
AP investigative researcher Randy Herschaft in New York contributed to this report.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.
April 7, 2012
Bonhams auction in New York City on April 15 offering Titanic-related artifacts
The Hood Museum of Art explores José Clemente Orozco's impact on Jackson Pollock's early work
Van Gogh's Portrait of Peasant to go on public view in NYC for the first time in forty years
Secret of Vermeer's blue uncovered: 'Woman in Blue Reading a Letter' fully restored by the Rijksmuseum
African, Oceanic, and Pre-Columbian art to be offered at Sotheby's in New York on 11 May 2012
Timothy O'Sullivan Photography exhibition opens at Nelson-Atkins Museum
Columbia Museum of Art announces major gift of nearly 600 works from Dorothy and Herbert Vogel
Increased attendance and extraordinary sales reported at the AIPAD Show New York
Sweden's Nationalmuseum acquires a number of silver pieces made by Gustaf Mollenborg
Solo exhibition of new paintings, sculptures and installation by Valerie Hegarty opens at Marlborough Chelsea
Around the world, architects and city planners answer to rising seas: floating homes
Finest Fr. 1179 $20 1905 gold certificate could top $120,000 in Heritage Auctions' event
BMW Guggenheim Lab to open in Berlin's Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood in June
MIT dedicates monumental sculpture by internationally renowned artist Cai Guo-Qiang
New project of Anna Tsouloufi-Lagiou deals with concepts and issues related to contemporary biopolitics
Wreck of Titanic to be protected by UNESCO
John Max Rosenfield named 13th recipient of the Charles Lang Freer Medal
Spectacular Kashmir sapphire ring, the rarest sapphire of all, could bring $250,000+ at Heritage Auctions
Ohio rabbi's books tied to Holocaust survivors
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- Newly discovered Van Gogh sketchbook to be published
2.- Portraits of the Duchess of Cambridge from British Vogue centenary issue acquired by National Portrait Gallery
3.- Foam presents spectacular exhibition of work by Helmut Newton
4.- After 30 years "hidden in plain sight," still life painting is identified as a Gauguin; artwork is highlight of sale
5.- Smithsonian releases Learning Lab for everyone to use museum resources
6.- Angst and deep pockets show state of art market in 47th edition of Art Basel
7.- Christo exhibition falls victim to own success
8.- Sotheby's London Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale totals $151.9 million
9.- The National Gallery explores great paintings from a unique perspective
10.- Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum explores Caravaggio and the painters of the north
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.