1859 · New York
Raphall was a prominent defender of Judaism in England before immigrating to America in 1849. He fought for the political rights of Jews and forcefully rebutted the ugly slanders frequently visited upon them. He became rabbi of the B'nai Jeshurun Synagogue in New York, and a spiritual colleague of Isaac Leeser. He opposed the nascent Jewish Reform movement.
Raphall states in the introduction to the present work: 'Experience has taught me that discussions on dogmas so abstract. and altogether unpractical as the resurrection, are not likely to interest the public. At the same time I was struck by the fact, that those Jews, whose reading is limited to English, possess no work, elementary or otherwise, in which the important and practical doctrines of repentance and of a future state as held by the house of Israel, are placed within their reach. As I had to write on the subject of the resurrection, I determined to say something likewise respecting these other equally important and more practical doctrines; and this led me to publish the present little essay..."
Raphall's unfortunate pamphlet, published in 1861, would bring him notoriety and severe criticism from his fellow Jews, because he denied that the Bible considered American slavery a sin. "When the wide publicity and editorial comments on his address threatened to give an impression that American Jews as a class were pro-slavery, rabbis and Jewish laymen alike emphatically controverted his views. His loyalty to the Union remained beyond question, however, and one of his sons served as a commissioned officer in the Union army" [DAB].
FIRST SEPARATE EDITION. Singerman 1598 [4 locations]. OCLC 233680213 [1- Nat. Lib. of Israel] as of December 2021. (Inventory #: 38038)