Page 199 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 50

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K A R P /T H E KARP CO LLEC T ION OF AMERICAN JUDA ICA
191
Solomon Etiel Levy is a relative, and both Jacob Hart and Jacob
Franks later became his sons-in-law. November 10, 1711, is a
Saturday. Have we here the record of a Sefardi-Ashkenazi syn­
agogue confrontation which took a violent turn — the first re­
corded shul fight in America? Yes, a confrontation taking place
in November did come to court in February of the same year.
In English-speaking countries the first day of the year was
March 25, till 1740. The student has before him the challenge
of determining the cause of the confrontation and its ultimate
resolution.
2. In 1857, the Kingdom of Wurttemberg granted a
Reise
Pass,
a passport to travel through France to America, to Sophia
Gutman. The document records her travel across western Eu­
rope. In 1859, she was married to Louis Fetchenbach by the
Rev. Dr. Ferdinand Sarner of Congregation Berith Kaudesh,
Rochester, New York, and received a
ketubah
in German trans­
lation, signed by the rabbi and officers of the congregation.
Five years later, the husband went south to seek his fortune,
as a letter from the mayor of Rochester to the mayor of Nash­
ville, Tennessee, attests. The documents record the immigrant
experience: migration, marriage, making a living. Left to the
student is to ascertain why Miss Gutman left home and family;
why a
ketubah
in German; and what happened to the family
in post-bellum America.
3. Joseph Rubin, an “old Shochet and Mohel, of the Ortho­
dox Religion,” being denied the five dollars per month pension
promised him by Temple Emanuel, Dallas, Texas, dispatched
a 36-page letter in fine rabbinic Hebrew to the “President and
Parliament of the United States of America” on January 9, 1888,
pleading his case. From it we learn of his arrival in New York,
his being examined by Rabbi Morris Raphall and the Rev. Mor-
decai Levy for his scholarly competence and manual dexterity;
his eighteen months in San Francisco, and his views of Dallas
Jewry. To bolster his claim of professional status and expertise,
he encloses a certificate granted him by Rabbi Isaac Elchanan
Spektor, and letters of recommendations of New York rabbis.
The letter and documents reached the chief translator for the
State Department and the government’s resident Hebrew au­
thority, Henry Thomas. Through his grandson’s generosity it
entered the Karp collection. It remains for the student-scholar
to identify Joseph Rubin, to learn of his life in the great centers