[Diary of a Jewish Chaplain in the Canadian Armed Forces]

(Halifax): (1944-1945). Hardcover. 4to. Commercial ruled journal. Textured black leather boards, heavily scuffed, with tears and some loss to spine ends. Backstrip attached but fragile. All edges marbled. Handwriting in pen and some pencil to approximately one half of the pages; 67 closely written pages in total. Approx. 10,000 words +/-. Very good. Item #24192

Neat and meticulous handwritten daily journal, written by a Halifax rabbi serving as chaplain for the Canadian armed forces: for one recorded service, "42 soldiers present. 1 airman. Did not have chance to notify Air Force nor Navy re: Services." Beginning in September 1944 and ending in May 1945, the author records his public activities and services at the Robie St. Synagogue and elsewhere (e.g.: served as cantor but unsatisfied with his own singing; only cake & coffee at the Purim social -- "Hamentaschen didn't arrive"); his advice and counsel to individual soldiers ("Spoke to Major Lyons re Victor Morgan / promised to get him transferred so he can study Hebrew"); and the occasional purely personal note ("Deanna Durbin is still tops.")

The journal's author names many officers and peers, though not himself: "lunch with Greenspan" likely refers to Rabbi Abraham Greenspan of Halifax; the "Capt. (Dr.) Cass" who read the Torah "fairly well. He also blew the Shofar" is certainly Rabbi Samuel Cass. Visiting English evangelist Bryan Green gave a speech "under the auspices of Br. Ministery of Information. No revelation";

The rabbi records speeches and discussions -- sometimes heated -- on "Assimiliation," Jewish denominations, Jewish education, "How to Get Home for the High Holidays," as well as his trips to military camps and hospitals in Windsor and Debert, advocacy for men A.W.O.L. or otherwise awaiting discipline or sentencing; distribution of books and pamphlets; and continual efforts to maintain and improve attendance at services. But not, conspicuously, the shadow under which these events took place and which certainly must have been on his mind.

Price: $350.00

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