Weekly Freebies: Ha-Peles

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The influential rabbinic journal Ha-Peles, a counter-force against the Haskalah that was raging through the yeshiva world, was published by R. Eliyahu Akiva Rabinovich in the years 1901-1906. All five issues are available at HebrewBooks.org: I, II, III, IV, V.

Dr. Rivkah Teitz Blau, R. Rabinovich’s great-niece, describes his undertaking in her biography of her father, Learn Torah, Love Torah, Live Torah: Harav Mordechai Pinchas Teitz, the Quintessential Rabbi (pp. 5-6):

R. Eliyahu Akiva was more outgoing: wherever he saw a problem, he analyzed it, then acted openly and forcefully. If rabbis were being held in prison, he supplied them with kosher food and even built an oven in his basement before Passover for matzoh sh’murah… If the Haskalah, or Enlightenment, was taking young Jews away from Torah, he had to publish essays to counter that defection. Since editors, many of them anti-religious, did not accept his essays for the existing Hebrew journals, he established his own monthly, Hapeles, which he published from 1901 to 1906, and Hamodia, which he printed on a weekly basis from 1911 to 1917. He traveled to Warsaw to buy a printing press because he wanted the journals to be models of intellectual and technical excellence.

About Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the Editor of TorahMusings.com, a leading website on Orthodox Jewish scholarly subjects, and the Book Editor of the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Action magazine. He writes a popular column on issues of Jewish law and thought featured in newspapers and magazines, including The Jewish Link, The Jewish Echo and The Vues. In the past, he has served as the President of the small Jewish publisher Yashar Books and as the Managing Editor of OU Press. Rabbi Student currently is serving his third term on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America and also serves as the Director of the Halacha Commission of the Rabbinical Alliance of America. He serves on the Editorial Board of Jewish Action magazineand the Board of OU Press. He has published four English books, the most recent titled Search Engine volume 2: Finding Meaning in Jewish Texts -- Jewish Leadership, and served as the American editor for Morasha Kehillat Yaakov: Essays in Honour of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.

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