Over many years Rabbi Dunner has collected innumerable oddities and rarities spanning every era of Jewish history and literary activity. In his series “Treasures from the Rabbi’s Library”, Rabbi Dunner reveals some of the forgotten pieces hidden away in storage for many years, revealing the stories behind them, and the reasons for his interest in them.
One of the most contentious issues of early nineteenth-century Jewish Europe was the emergence of a “reform” movement, a group of modernizers in the Jewish world who wanted to make changes to synagogue services to accommodate Jews drifting away from Judaism. In 1818 a crisis erupted over a new “temple” — reform synagogue — in Hamburg, resulting in a flurry of polemic publications.
Rabbi Dunner goes through his collection of books and pamphlets relating to this contentious issue, and reveals the backstories to their authors and the background to this evolving revolution in the Jewish world during these critical years of the early 1800s.