Tuesday, 5 June 2018


NAFTOLE-HERTS EHRMAN (d. February 3, 1918)
            He was born in the town of Michelstadt, Hessen, Germany.  His father was a ritual slaughterer and a great scholar.  Naftole studied in Altona, with the sage Jacob Ettlinger [1798-1871], and later in Mainz and then in Berlin.  He was an Orthodox rabbi and also held a doctoral degree.  He held rabbinical posts in Karlsruhe, Trier, and Baden.  He compromised on nothing, made numerous enemies for himself, and ultimately abandoned the rabbinate.  He spent his last years in Lübeck.  Ehrman penned his fictional work initially in German, and they were then translated by others into Yiddish.  His writings appeared in separate publications (in notebook form): Shriften (Writings) 1 (Stories), part 1 “Dos groyse gevins” (The great winnings), 39 pp., part 2 “Der dorfisher shtadlen” (The village intercessor), until p. 93, part 3 “Der bal-shem fun mikhelshtadt” (The miracle worker from Michelstadt), until p. 198 (Warsaw: Yeshurun, 1924/1925), Yiddish by Y. Shpiro—the covers of parts 1 and 2 also announce that “a second volume has been published, part 1 with two stories: “Shomer yisroel shloft nisht” (The guardian of Israel does not sleep) and “Dem katsevs tokhter” (The butcher’s daughter).  In addition (also in notebook form) there is his “Torah-based scholarly assessment of the essence, compilation, and plan of the Shulan arukh, as well as a religious-philosophical justification of a series of points in the Shulan arukh, which are tied to daily Jewish obligations”—entitled Der shulkhn orekh (The Shulan arukh) (Warsaw: Khinekh farlag, 1926/1927), 54 pp.  Included in it is an essay about the author and the author’s own “introduction.”  Ehrman’s work also appeared in Hebrew translation.  In a separate publication: Baal-hashem mimikhelshtadt, sipur histori (The miracle worker of Michelstadt, a historical tale), trans, aim Vaisman (Tel Aviv: Nesta, 1956/1957), 96 pp.

Source: “Harav hagoen hatsadek d״r naftole-herts ehrman z״l” (The rabbi and sage Dr. Naftole-Herts Ehrman, may his memory be for a blessing), in Erhrman, Der shulkhn orekh (The Shulan arukh) (Warsaw: Khinekh farlag, 1926/1927), pp. 1-4.
Yankev Birnboym

No comments:

Post a Comment