Sunday 27 November 2016


ALTER YONAS (1755-1855)
            He descended from a rabbinical family in the former Austria-Hungary.  In 1790 he was received as the rabbi of Yenikui, North Africa.  Over the years 1820-1826, he visited France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Turkey, and subsequently published a short religious work in Judeo-German and Hebrew entitled Mefiboshet ben yehonatan milo davar, teshuva al igeret el-asaf m’a. ḥorin, oder zendshrayben aynes afrikanishen rabi (Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, full of words of Torah, a reply to a “Epistle to Asaf” from A. Ḥorin, or a letter to an African rabbi) (Prague, 1826), 29 pp. in Judeo-German and 61 pp. in Hebrew, with a poem and a “foreword to the European colleague-rabbis.”  In this booklet he describes Jewish life in the countries that he visited, gives a sharp response to A. Ḥorin’s “Igeret el-asaf” (Epistle to Asaf) and dealt in detail the issue of Reform Judaism which was destroying, according to him, the Jewish people.
Khayim Leyb Fuks

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