A Hymn of Thanksgiving, London 1866 (48370)

שיר לתודה - Only Edition - Community - Montefiore

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Listing Details

Lot Number: 48370
Title (English): A Hymn of Thanksgiving
Title (Hebrew): שיר לתודה
Note: Only Edition - Community - Montefiore
Author: Anonymous
City: London
Publisher: J. Wertheimer and Co
Publication Date: 1866
Estimated Price: $500.00 USD - $1,000.00 USD
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Description

Physical Description

Only edition. 7, [1] pp., octavo, 200:130 mm., light age staining, creased on fold, spine taped. A very good copy bound in modern cloth over boards.

 

Detail Description

For Private Circulation... composed ... safe return of Sir Moses ... mission of charity to Jerusalem ... Sivan 5626 - May 1866.

Sir Moses Montefiore (1784–1885) was indisputably the most famous Anglo-Jew of the 19th century. Montefiore was born in Leghorn while his parents were on a visit from London, where he was brought up, being taught elementary Hebrew by his maternal uncle Moses Mocatta. First apprenticed to a firm of wholesale grocers and tea merchants, he left to become one of the 12 "Jew brokers" in the City of London. Contrary to accepted opinion, he was apparently somewhat lax in religious observance in earlier life; but from 1827, after his first visit to Erez Israel, until the end of his life, he was a strictly observant Jew. Montefiore maintained his own synagogue on his estate at Ramsgate from 1833 and in later years traveled with his own shohet. His determined opposition checked the growth of the Reform movement in England. He paid seven visits to Erez Israel, the last in 1874. In 1838 his scheme for acquiring land to enable Jews in Erez Israel to become self-supporting through agriculture was frustrated when Mehemet Ali, viceroy of Egypt, who had shown sympathy for the idea, was forced by the great powers to give up his conquests from the Turks. He later attempted to bring industry to the country, introducing a printing press and a textile factory, and inspired the founding of several agricultural colonies. The Yemin Moshe quarter outside the Old City of Jerusalem was due to his endeavors and named after him. In 1855, by the will of Judah Touro, the U.S. philanthropist, he was appointed to administer a bequest of $50,000 for Jews of the Holy Land.

Montefiore was sheriff of London in 1837–38 and was knighted by Queen Victoria on her first visit to the City. He received a baronetcy in 1846 in recognition of his humanitarian efforts on behalf of his fellow Jews. Although president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews from 1835 to 1874 (with only one brief interruption), he did not, after the early years, play a prominent part in the emancipation struggle but devoted himself to helping oppressed Jewries overseas. He has been described as the last of the shtadlanim who by their personal standing with their governments were able to further the cause of Jews elsewhere. He was active as such from the time of the Damascus Affair in 1840. In 1846, he visited Russia to persuade the authorities to alleviate persecution of the Jewish population, and went to Morocco in 1863 and Rumania in 1867 for the same purpose. His intervention in the Mortara Case in 1855, however, proved a failure. Some of his achievements appear in retrospect as transitory. Although in 1872, after representing the Board of Deputies at the bicentenary celebrations of Peter the Great, he reported that a new age had dawned for the Jews of Russia, persecution was renewed in 1881. His 100th birthday was celebrated as a public holiday by Jewish communities the world over.

Sir Moses is best described by Dr. Loewe in the final paragraph of the Sir and Lady's diaries. He sums up the importance and achievments of this historical Jewish couple's efforts for their brethen over the span of the 19th century: "The impartial reader of these Memoirs, in closing the book, and recalling to his mind the varied scenes portraying the life and work of Sir Moses and Lady Montefiore, and the moral to be derived therefrom, will acknowledge that the practice of justice, truth, and virtue towards his fellow-beings, and staunch loyalty to the Sovereign, will ensure an ample reward. At the same time, he cannot fail to contemplate with intense admiration the life's work of the hero of a hundred years, who fought so sturdily in youth the battle of life, and who afterwards devoted himself with such unwearying ardour to the task of combating hatred, persecution, and fanaticism, of severing the bonds of physical and moral slavery, and of aiding in the establishment of religious toleration all over the world. His unparalleled devotion to the sacred cause of humanity in general, and the unclouded halo of a spotless integrity which encircles his name, will ever afford a splendid example for emulation no less than the dauntless courage with which he set to work for the rescue of the suffering and the oppressed, whilst the bright guiding stars which lighted all his actions were the fear of G-d on high and deeds of charity and loving kindness on earth."

 

Hebrew Description:

שיר לתודה : ... חובר לבני ישראל יושבי לאנדון ... בשוב בשלום השר משה מונטיפיורי מירושלים ... בחדש סיון ש' א'ש'י'ר'ה' לה' כי גמל ע'ל'י' [תרכ"ו / נאם ... מ. ח. פ. ס"ט = משה ח. פיג'וטו].

 

References:

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