Page 56 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 47

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to the owner of one of the largest Jewish slaughterhouses in
New York. The letter was critical of the Jewish method of
slaughtering as producing needless suffering in an animal.
Friedman, who was born in 1822 in Stavisk, Poland, responded
and in his work revealed his thorough knowledge of the Tal­
mud, his anatomical knowledge as a shohet, as well as a high
level of ethical sensitivity. Friedman served as a popular shohet
in New York City and was known for his piety and scholarship.
The work was so favorably received that it later appeared in
translation in French, German and English. The last appeared
in two editions, in 1876 and 1904. Friedman died the same
year that the work was published, but its impact on American
society was considerable. There was a popular rumor that Gen­
eral U.S. Grant only ate meat with a kosher label.
During the period prior to 1881 only one work appeared
in the area of Jewish law or guidebooks for the proper observ­
ance of Jewish life —
Dine Nikkur
(1859) by I.B. Hamburger.
The work is a manual for the removal of the prohibitive fat
in an animal, including an illustration of the animal’s body and
instructions in Hebrew and English. We know nothing about
the author other than the fact that this work originally appeared
in Dutch in 1852.
Prior to 1881, only one work falling under this rubric was
published. In 1877 Isidor Kalisch published the Hebrew text
together with the first English translation of the philosophic
and kabbalistic classic,
Sefer Yezirah.
Kalisch was an American
Reform rabbi born and educated in Germany, who was forced
to leave Europe because of his liberal views. In the United States
he served several Reform pulpits and was both a prolific author
and popular lecturer.
II. 1882-1917
The year 1882 opened a period of three-and-a-half decades
of mass immigration of Eastern European Jews to the United
States. The Jewish population in America grew thirteen-fold