Rabbi Eliezer Silver Testimonial Booklet Issued for the Reception on 2.15.1942 to Honor his Sixtieth Birthday and 10 Years in Cincinnati
WITH humility born out of great esteem and respect and with hesitation begotten by sincere doubts as to our own merit and ability to carry through the task before us, we present here a brief sketch of our Moro D'asro—Rabbi Eliezer Silver, whose sixtieth birthday anniver-sary and completion of ten years service in Cincinnati is being celebrated today. Rabbi Eliezer Silver was born at Abel, Lithu-ania, on February 14, 1882. His father was Rabbi Bunim Zemach, who for many years was Rabbi in Dushatt, Lithuania. On his father's side Rabbi Silver traces his immediate forebears to Reb Bunim Slutzker, Reb Shimale Kadaner, later known as Shimale Birzer, Reb Moshe Raf-kes (the B'air Hagole), and Reb Moshe Kramer. Rabbi Silver's mother was of the famous Kat-zenelenbogen family, who trace back their direct ancestry to Yechezkal Katzenelenbogen, author of Keneseth Yechezkal and Maharam Padwe, and further back to Rashi. She was a great grandchild of Lieb Kratinger, who was a Dayon with the Wilnor Gaon.
Until fifteen years of age, Rabbi Silver re-mained under the tutelage of his father, then came to Dwinsk (Danenburg), where he studied under Reb Meier Simcha and the Ratzover for a year. From there he went to Brisk, where he remained for another year with Reb Chaim Bris-ker. After that he joined the kibbutz of Reb Chaim Ozer in Wilno, where he remained close to six years. Rabbi Silver married in Wilno be-fore coming to America in 1907. His first posi-tion as Rabbi was in Harrisburg, Pa., where he served until February, 1925. From Harris-burg, he went to Springfield, Mass., where he served as Rabbi until his coming here in the later part of 1931. While serving as a rabbi in Springfield, he was instrumental in putting through a special Kashruth Law in Massachusetts. Later, while he was president of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States and Canada, that organi-zation was responsible for the passage of simi-lar Kashruth laws in 14 other States. This law prohibits the use of Kosher signs in Meat Shops and Restaurants unless the meat or food is Kos-her in accordance with the requirements of the Shulchan Oruch. In the Orthodox Jewish world, Rabbi Eliezer Silver is recognized as the outstanding living authority on Talmudic law. His advice in Tal-mudic problems is sought for by rabbis from all over the country and from abroad. Rabbi Chaim Ozer Grodiensky had referred to him as a real Gaon.
Rabbi Silver has taken a leading role in the work of organizing the Vaad Hahatzolah when the present war broke out in 1939, and as mem-ber of the presidium he has remained active in the Hahatzolah work to this day. Rabbi Silver continues to serve as member of the Presidium of the Agudas Harabonim, as president of the Agudas Israel, the Beth Jacob Schools and the
Poole Agudas Israel as well as vice president of the Central Relief and of Ezras Torah. In order to accomplish his manifold tasks and duties, Rabbi Silver works at high speed con-tinuously with never-a-thought about his own comfort or well-being. He is absolutely indefa-tigable and his energies are phenomenal. Rabbi Eliezer Silver is most outstanding for his great and vast knowledge of Talmudic Lore, for his boundless and unselfish devotion to Torah and to strict traditional Judaism and for his un-limited energy. Because of all this, Rabbi Silver is today the greatest and most militant and ag-gressive leader in Orthodox Jewry. We are proud to record here some of Rabbi Silver's achievements in Cincinnati during the past ten years: 1. The Jewish Hospital in this city was with-out a kosher kitchen for many decades; it was Rabbi Silver who finally forced the installation of a kosher kitchen. 2. For many years the Jewish community had to put up with an unsanitary old mikvah in the slum section of the city; it was Rabbi Silver who secured sufficient money and a permit to erect a modern sanitary Mikvah in Avondale. This, despite the strong opposition by some leaders in the Reform Jewish camp. 3. The local Yeshiva Eitz Chaim functioned in dingy rented rooms for years, until Rabbi Sil-ver raised sufficient funds to purchase a large house to take care of the Yeshivah needs in a comfortable manner. 4. The small Spanish Jewish group in our midst was religiously homeless, without their own house of worship. For years the Sephardic group kept appealing to the leaders of the Jew-ish Community for assistance in the erection of a Synagog, but their appeals were in vain. Within a year after the arrival of Rabbi Silver, the Spanish group had built a beautiful little synagog of their own with direct assistance of Rabbi Silver. 5. The greatest achievement of Rabbi Silver, however, is the setting in order of the Kash-ruth situation and the organization of the Vaad Ho-ir through which the revenue for the super-vision of Kashruth was created. A considerable portion of this revenue has been used towards the support of many other orthodox institutions in the city. We wish for our Moro D'asro many, many more years of energetic service to the cause of the Torah, even unto the traditional age of Moshe Rabainu.
Cincinnati, Ohio February 15, 1942 THE RABBI ELIEZER SILVER ANNIVERSARY COMMITTEE Samuel M. Schmidt, Chairman