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Glimpses of Jewish Frankfurt

Glimpses of Jewish Frankfurt

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Frankfurt is just a town in Germany, isn't it? Before you've read this book, you could be forgiven for thinking that it's just a financial center in Europe. But this book will tell you that from a Jewish point of view, Frankfurt was almost the center of the European Jewish world for many centuries, right up to the 20th!
From the earliest days of the Jewish community, this book shows you Torah giants lined up as if there were no other place for them to be - including the Horovitz dynasty, the Chatam Sofer, and so many others that I couldn't list them all here.
But it's not just about people - it's the story of incredible Torah amidst a hostile German environment, where pogroms could and did arise at the drop of a hat - all the Jews were forced to flee more than once, and many adversities arose against them.

The most curious is the story of the apostate who tried to lie to a sympathetic Bishop, who exposed his lies, and vindicated the local Jews against false accusations. And there are the rows between the Jews themselves, sometimes over trivial things which got out of hand, and sometimes over major issues.
And then there is the rearguard action against the "enlightenment", and the decline into secularism and assimilation with the rise of the reform movement. There is the legendary Rabbi Hirsch, and the list goes on.
Of course, the story ends in tragedy with the Holocaust, and final destruction of the community, but along the way, you gain a great insight into why Jews lived in such hostile environments, despite religious persecution.
Despite a few rough edges, the publishers have done a good job, and I found the book fascinating - even though it appears to be directed more at younger readers.
Reviewed by Michael Jacobs.

Author: Rabbi Y. Alfasi | Publisher: C.I.S. | Language: English | Volumes: 1 | Binding: Soft | Pages: 108 | Dimensions: 9 inch. X 6 inch. |

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