Page 85 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 48

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KAGANOFF/ RABBINIC LITERATURE IN THE U.S.
77
o f the Alliance Colony in New Jersey. In fact, Bayuk was cred ­
ited with having given the name to the newly established colony
in 1882. Bayuk remained on the farm from 1882 to his death
in 1932 and also served as a Justice o f the Peace for over forty
years. He was considered an outstanding scholar in both tal­
mudic and kabbalistic literature as well as in biblical studies.
RESPONSA
During the two decades prio r to the outbreak o f World War
II, at least thirty-two volumes o f responsa literature were pub ­
lished in the United States. A study has been made o f responsa
that perta ined specifically to questions raised by American Jews
and some o f the results are quite interesting. Apparently the
family life o f the newly arrived imm igrant was not as stable
as popularly believed, even among the religious o r most O r­
thodox. Obviously those who would presen t a problem to a rab ­
binic authority would be religious Jews. The highest number
o f questions raised by American Jews pertained to issues o f the
mental stability o f a spouse which would requ ire the action o f
a rabbinic court to gran t a divorce. Some o f the responsa in­
volved questions which were peculiar to the American environ­
ment.
One o f the most prolific and authoritative decisors in the
United States in the pre-World War II period was Rabbi Abra­
ham Aaron Yudelovitch. Yudelovitch was born in 1850 near
Minsk in Russia. A fter serving as a rabbi in Russia for a short
time, he left for England in 1898 where he served as a rabbi
in Manchester. In 1904 he arrived in America and served briefly
as a rabbi in Boston and afterwards as a Rosh Yeshiva at the
Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Yeshiva in New York City. After being
a rabbi in Bayonne, NJ, he re tu rn ed to New York City and
served as the rabbi o f the Congregation Anshe Lubtz on
Eldridge Street where he remained until his death in 1930.
Yudelovitch published the first o f his seven books o f responsa
in Europe u n d e r the title
Bet Av
and his repu ta tion was soon
established th roughou t the rabbinic world as a p rom inen t rab ­
binic authority. Five additional books o f responsa (four und e r
this title) appeared in America; the first in 1918, two more in
1919, one more in 1920 and the last in 1927. T h e last was en ­
titled
Av be-Hokhmah.