Geder Avos

A Man of Spirit

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Rabbi Moshe Yosef Rubin, of blessed memory (5655-5740/1895-1980), the Rov of Campulung and a prominent communal leader in Bukovina between the two World Wars, served as President of the Rabbinical Council of Romania. During the Holocaust he founded the Rescue Committee for the Exiles from Transnistria, and after World War II, he founded the World Center of European Rabbis. He also pioneered the Geder Avos organization to rescue Jewish burial sites from obliteration in post-war Europe. In his final years, he headed the Beis Din of Vaad HaRabbonim in Boro Park, Brooklyn.

Pardes Yosef highlights critical moments in our People’s history. It evidences the thinking and the writing of a Jew who experienced on his flesh the full intensity of the destruction, yet at the same time was constantly inspired by the prophesied vision of the wondrous rebirth that was yet to come.

This book is enriched by selected thoughts and writings – on the Torah and the festivals and on various philosophical subjects – as well as sermons and halachic discourses. The text glistens throughout with pearls of wisdom salvaged from the Old World.

While bringing to life the unique personality of Rabbi Rubin, this work bridges two worlds – the world of the souls that were swept aloft during the historical tornado and the resurrected world of the Jewry of today. Another bridge spans Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch’s speculative thinking and the fiery Chassidic faith of his holy forebears. Likewise, his yearning love for Eretz Yisrael flourished side by side with his practical activity for the revival of the United States’ spiritual desolation and his rehabilitation of the destroyed remnants of vanished communities in Europe. So, too, he was involved simultaneously in his rabbinic work and his communal activities. Likewise, his pragmatism lived in harmony with his unsullied awe of Heaven.

Rabbi Rubin was a man of spirit – a visionary and an activist, fired by the heritage of our People’s glorious past.