Rabbi Moshe Sherer not only changed history, he made history. In the 1940s, a secular Jewish spokesman referred to Orthodox Judaism as “a sickly weed.” After a half-century of Rabbi Sherer’s wise, visionary, charismatic, and indefatigable advocacy and leadership, the Torah community was luxuriant, respected, and influential — and the gedolei Torah were its authoritative voice.
Much that we take for granted today was shepherded by him through Congress and legislatures, through executive chambers and the courts, such as aid to yeshivos, the rights of Torah institutions, and employment security for Sabbath observers.
Rabbi Sherer was at home in many worlds. He was the loyal servant and confidant of great Torah sages; and a friend and adviser of people in the highest echelons of power – but he was attentive to the needs of the humblest “Reb Yisrael.” He was a visionary, yet he had insight into the art of the possible. He had an uncanny ability to recognize and mold young people with potential. His life was Agudath Israel, but he was available to all. He was center stage, yet remained an intensely private, loving family man. He was an eloquent orator and writer, and this book is replete with selections from his vast repertoire of Torah thoughts and anecdotes.
Rabbi Yonoson Rosenblum‘s magnificent biography draws on Rabbi Sherer’s vast inventory of aides-mémoire and correspondence. He takes us inside the public and private Rabbi Sherer. We meet those who inspired him and shaped him: his mother and rebbeim; his mentor in Klal work, R’ Elimelech Gavriel Tress; Rabbi Aharon Kotler and two generations of gedolei hador. We get an inside look at governors, mayors, and legislators — even Presidents — at the legal battles to protect Torah life and the secret activity to rescue Jews in danger.
This book is an important historical document – and the warm and inspiring portrait of an extraordinary human being.
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