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Some New Facts about the Portsmouth Jewish Community

Rabbi Eugene Newman

<plain_text><page sequence="1">Some New Facts About the Portsmouth Jewish Community1 By Rabbi Eugene Newman, M.A. MY attention was drawn to the Portsmouth Circumcision Register (1762-1807) by Mr. Cecil Roth, who, in a lecture on "The Portsmouth Community and its Historical Background," said, "I have made a full abstract of this curious docu? ment and I trust that the opportunity of publishing it will not be long delayed."2 I consulted Mr. Roth and he encouraged me to publish it. I have left the text of the manuscript unaltered, as the author, Reb Leib Aleph (1723-1814), left it. However, I have translated it into English and have written an introduction in order to make its contents accessible to those who are unfamiliar with Hebrew, the language in which it was originally written. This Circumcision Register3 is the oldest historical record, apart from the Congre? gational Seal (1747) and three Ketuboth of 1754, 1758 and 1761, of the Portsmouth Jewish Community. It starts on the 8th Tammuz, 1762, whereas the oldest Minute Book dates from 1765. The first Minute Book could not be traced even in 1765.4 This is unfortunate for it must have contained most valuable historical material concerning the first Jewish settlers in Portsmouth. The Circumcision Register records one hundred and thirteen entries, all numbered with one exception, and covers a period of about forty-five years. The entries are precise, with only an occasional slip or inconsistency. The handwriting at first is firm and legible, but as the years pass it becomes irregular and almost illegible. It is in Rabbinic Hebrew, but occasionally there is a phrase or two in Judaeo-German. In his old age, Reb Leib Aleph revised the manuscript and added a few words here and there. These additions are obvious. Notable among them are his own date of birth,5 the statement regarding the poverty of one of his clients6 and the statement regarding the "destruction" of the New Synagogue.7 The form of the entry is throughout identical, date, name of child and his father, occasionally even grandfather, and rarely, the occupation of the father. From Entry 75, Reb Leib Aleph adds a traditional formula : "May the Almighty enable his (the child's) father and mother to rear him in the Law, for Nuptial Canopy and for Good Deeds." Reb Judah Leib, son of Reb Isaac, was born on 8th Shebat 583-1723, at Aub, near W?rzburg, in Germany. He qualified as a mohel8 in his native country, where he performed a circumcision for the first time in his nephew9 on the 6th Tebeth 1762. Shortly afterwards he came to Portsmouth where he had two brothers-in-law10 and, on the 8th Tammuz 1762, performed the first circumcision there, on his nephew, whose 1 Paper read before the Jewish Historical Society of England on 13 June, 1951. 2 Trans. Jew. Hist. Soc. of Eng., vol. XIII. p. 172, n. 42. 8 In the notes to this essay the letters C.R.E. denote Circumcision Register Entry, and M.B. Minute Book. 4 M.B. ii, p. 9b. 6 CR. p. 1. ? CR. E. 19. ' C.R.E. 21. 8 A person qualified to perform ritual circumcisions. ? C.R.E. 1. 10 Judah, son of Eleazar and Judah, son of Moses, his brothers-in-law, are among those who seceded from White's Row Synagogue in 1766. See M.B. ii, p. 8b. X 251</page><page sequence="2">252 SOME NEW FACTS ABOUT THE PORTSMOUTH JEWISH COMMUNITY name was Zisel Eleazar,1 son of Judah. In Portsmouth, he was generally known as Reb Leib Aleph.2 His activity as a mohel covers a period of forty-five years, excepting two years (1803-1805) when no entries are to be found. On account of advanced age or for some other reason he ceased practising, except for one more operation, on the 6th Heshvan 1807, on his grandson, Naphtali Herz, son of Michael.3 This is the last entry in his register. Reb Leib was assisted by his son, Joel, who commenced practising as a mohel on the 26th Heshvan, 1784, performing at first only Preeah* and Mezizah.* On the New Moon of Adar 1785, Joel performed circumcision for the first time by himself, but showed his lack of experience, and the child had therefore to be circumcised again four months later by Reb Leib Aleph himself.5 On his arrival in Portsmouth, Reb Leib took a leading part in the life of the Congregation and after only two years, in 1764, he was already elected as a Co-Treasurer of Charity. Very soon, however, Reb Leib Aleph's reputation as a man of integrity suffered seriously. This is borne out by the following record in large black letters under this striking heading : "As a remembrance to us and future generations of the ?50 in the hands of Reb Leib Aleph." This is the story. On the New Moon of Heshvan, 1764, the traditional day6 of presenting the Balance Sheet, it was decided that the surplus of fifty pounds be invested on interest in stocks in the names of the two Treasurers, Reb Leib and Isaac, son of Moses, of F?rth, to be earmarked as the beginning of a Building Fund. Reb Leib, however, invested the money in his own name, without even informing his Co-Treasurer or the Congregation. When, in the following year, 1765, he again refused to present the balance sheet, everyone knew that Reb Leib was intent on causing strife and quarrels.7 By now, Reb Leib must have made up his mind to embark upon a course which split the Portsmouth Jewish Community into two hostile camps for twenty-three years, resulting in the establishment of the New Synagogue, Daniel's Row, Portsmouth Common. The above fifty pounds he most probably applied to fitting up8 his new synagogue. As a mohel, however, Reb Leib Aleph's reputation remained very high. He was known for his skill far and wide, beyond the confines of Portsmouth, and the Circumcision Register shows him to have been a most efficient recorder of the circumcisions which he performed. The Portsmouth Circumcision Register is an important historical record for several reasons. It gives the dates of birth of most of the Jewish boys, born in Portsmouth over a period of forty-five years. Not all, for during about seven and a half 1 C.R.E. 2. The marriage of the child's parents, Judah son of Eleazar and Brendil, daughter of David, was performed on the 22nd Si van 1761, in Portsmouth and the Ketuba or record thereof is in the possession of the Portsmouth and Southsea Synagogue. 2 Probably because there was another Leib, namely, Leib, son of Moses Levi, of Wiesenfeld, see M.B. ii, p. 49 and C.R.E. 9, 17, 25, 27, 32; or perhaps the Aleph is an abbreviation of Aub. He is referred to as Reb. Leib Aub. M.B. ii, p. 121. See also G. Roth, "The Rise of Provinical Jewry," p. 95n. 8 C.R.E. 112. 4 Hebrew terms in connection with circumcision. * C.R.E. 64. 8 The month of Heshavan is still that for presenting the balance sheet of the Congregation. The day of election of Hon. Officers is during the month of Elul. 7 M.B. ii, p. 7b. 8 C.R.E. 16. Reb Leib uses the words "that was built [New Synagogue] in Portsmouth." It is safe to assume that he rented a house and converted it for use as a Synagogue, for he sur? rendered the lease of the house in 1793 to its owner, John Monday. M.B. ii, p. 129. See also infra p. 256.</page><page sequence="3">SOME NEW FACTS ABOUT THE PORTSMOUTH JEWISH COMMUNITY 253 years the Old Synagogue in White's Row was accustomed to bring a mohel from London. It throws light on the general conditions, congregational and social, of the Portsmouth Jewish community in its early years. It graphically describes the causes of the split in the local community in 1766. It throws some light on Jews living in the counties of Hampshire, Sussex, Dorset and part of Essex. In his entries Reb Leib often mentions the place of origin of the child's father and his occupation or calling. From these entries it can be seen that most of the early Jewish settlers came from Germany. He mentions Erlangen, Ansbach, F?rth, Wiesenfeld, K?nigsberg, Lautersbach, Somerich, Wetzlar, Marburg, and Senfeid, among other towns. A few of the settlers came from Poland and elsewhere outside Germany. As to the occupations of the members Reb Leib records silversmith, goldsmith, jeweller, watchmaker, jobman, etc., and two physicians, Dr. Simha Lara1 and Dr. Jacob of Wetzlar2 and the names of three officials of the Congregation?Isaac Standel,3 teacher; Joseph,4 Reader of the New Synagogue and Mordecai,5 Beadle of White's Row Synagogue. It is of interest to mention the functions and duties of these officials. The Reader and Shochet (ritual slaughterer of cattle for food) and the Second Reader had to conduct the Services, attend to the slaughtering, lecture on sabbaths before the Afternoon Service, and deliver Talmudical discourses on the two principal sabbaths of the year : Shabbat Hagadol and Shabbat Tshuva. The First Beadle as a rule acted as secretary of the Congregation, sometimes also as shochet. He had to dress the scrolls of the Law, change the Ark and Reading desk covers for sabbaths and festivals, announce the sale of Mitzvot or Synagogue Honours, and, on week-days, take the collecting-box for charity among the members of the Congregation. The Second Beadle's duties were to call congregants for the selichot or early morning prayers during the month preceding the Jewish New Year, to arrange the procession in the synagogue during the Feast of Tabernacles, to grind flour for Passover, to prepare the synagogue for service, and to porge or remove the veins from the meat at the butcher-shop so that it could be eaten by observant Jews. The teacher had to instruct the children of the Congregation (boys from three years : girls from four years) two hours in the morning and two in the afternoon. There was also a special teacher for girls. If he was unable to attend, his wife had to take his place. The teacher had also to sit near the boys in synagogue to see that decorum was maintained.6 One case of breach of decorum must have caused a stir in the congregation for it had to be settled in court. A letter which I found in the records of Portsmouth Cathedral,7 dated the 1st November 1757, runs as follows. (Borough of Portsmouth) Alexander Harry Clerk of the Jews' Synagogue in the Parish of Portsea within the Liberties of the said Borough make the oath that on Sunday last the thirtieth of October last past Simon Manuel a Jew did in the Portsmouth Synagogue and whilst the Jews were assembled for religious worship behave himself very indecently and because this defendant reproved this Plaintiff Simon for such his Behaviour he took hold of this Defendant by his collar and assaulted 1 C.R.E. 93. Dr. Lara was a well-known physician in Portsmouth. He attended the wife of Don Carlos, Pretender to the Spanish throne. (Henry Slight, "The Town of Gosport." 1838. p. 8). 8 C.R.E. 18. 3 C.R.E. 7. * C.R.E. 30. 5 C.R.E. 58. 6 M.B. ii, pp. 57, 58, 63-5, 128. 7 The Provost of Portsmouth (The Very Rev. E. W. Porter-GofT, M.A.) kindly gave me access to the records of the Cathedral.</page><page sequence="4">254 SOME NEW FACTS ABOUT THE PORTSMOUTH JEWISH COMMUNITY him by pulling and heeling him about and striking him several blows in the Presence of the Congregation and whilst they were so at Worship. Sworn (on the Pentateuch) at the Portsmouth Borough this 1st Day of November 1757 before us Alexander Harry. Thos. White, Mayor The terms of engagement of the above mentioned officials was only for one year, from Heshvan to Heshvan, but most of them stayed for a longer period. They had, however, to be re-elected annually.1 Some of the officials were bachelors. Above all, Reb Leib Aleph's Circumcision Register throws light on one particular event in the history of the local community, the cause of the great split in 1766, which was for a long time something of a mystery.2 The guiding spirit behind this great split was Reb Leib, who states that eight people sent the Rabbinical Letter of Engagement to the Rabbi of the Duke's Place Synagogue. "And I with fifteen people sent the Rabbinical Letter of Engagement to the Rabbi of the Hamburg Synagogue . . . And our Rabbi he was, and will be until the day of his death."3 The consecration of the New Synagogue took place on Sabbath Nahamu, and the first circumcision Reb Leib performed in it was on the Sabbath during the Feast of Tabernacles in 1766. The name of the child was Moses, son of Meir. Reb. Leib calls it "my Synagogue."4 Prior to this entry he merely records that "I circumcised ... in the Holy Congregation of Portsmouth." No doubt circumcisions were performed in White's Row Synagogue which, after the establishment of the New Synagogue, was invariably referred to, as long as the split lasted, as the "'Old Synagogue." From this date until 1789, when the New Synagogue was closed, he records circumcisions as having taken place in Daniel's Row Synagogue, and from 1774 also in the Old Syna? gogue ; or else by the name of the town outside Portsmouth. While the new Synagogue in White's Row was being built, he records a circumcision to have taken place in a carpenter's shop, because the father of the child would not allow his son to be circumcised in the New Synagogue in Daniel's Row.5 He also records a circumcision to have taken place in the Hebrah6 and once in the father's house.7 Bitter feeling between the two synagogues continued for a long time. Special laws were promulgated as a result of this split. Members of the Old Synagogue were not allowed to help make up Minyan (a quorum) at the New Synagogue without having first obtained permission from the Treasurers of Charity; otherwise they had to pay a fine.8 Should anyone declare even in a temper in the presence of the Congregation :?"Erase my name from the books j " or if he declares, "I can become a free (full) Member of the New Synagogue, the contribution is not as high as here, and, moreover I shall have a new Synagogue" 1 M.B. ii, p. 10. 2 See Trans. Jew. Hist. Soc. of England, Vol. xiii, pp. 170 seq. Duschinsky, "The Rabbinate of the Great Synagogue" (1920), p. 74; C. Roth, "History of the Great Synagogue" (1950), pp. 125 seq. 8 C.R.E. 16. Roth, Trans., xiii p. 170 Note 36 reads : "until there is a teacher." On closer examination of the text it will be found that "until the day of his death" is correct. * C R E 21 6 C.R.E. 46. 6 C.R.E. 93. 7 C.R.E. 81. 8 M.B. ii, p. 8, Law 22.</page><page sequence="5">SOME NEW FACTS ABOUT THE PORTSMOUTH JEWISH COMMUNITY 255 If he made this declaration for the first time he had to pay a fine of a crown to charity; if for the second time eighteen denars1 to charity and was barred for a month from taking part in all holy matters in the Synagogue; if for the third time, he had to pay a fine of ?4 10s. Od. If the fine was not paid within six weeks, or if the offender did not come to an arrangement with the Congregation, then it should be recorded in the Congregational Minute Book (Pinkas), that neither must he, nor his children nor his grandchildren ever join the Congregation. This will also be recorded in the Pinkas of the Great Synagogue in London.2 Reb Leib must have suffered financially as a result of the split, because, after it the "Old Synagogue" in White's Row excommunicated him and prohibited its members from engaging him as a mohel. Whenever necessary the members of the Old Synagogue brought one from London. Reb Leib relates that on one occasion a Mohel was ordered from London, who did not arrive in time. The father of the child begged Reb Leib to circumcise his son. He agreed to do so, but in the Daniel's Row Synagogue. Abraham Balak,3 the President of the Old congregation, thereupon threatened the father, who was dependent on him for his living, with severe penalties. A compromise was arranged and the circumcision took place in a private house, "since the father of the babe is a poor man, people should not say that I took revenge on a poor man, which he was at that time."4 After a year of bitter struggle, the two parties seem to have realized the folly of their quarrel, and efforts were made to arrive at an agreement. On the second of the Intermediate Days of Tabernacles in 1767, two months after the intervention of Abraham Balak, Reb Leib circumcised Moses, son of Israel Cohen, son of Lima Cohen, who was the son-in-law of Wolf Levi, a prominent member of the Old Congregation, "that he may make peace between us. For the sake of peace I circumcised the babe in White's Row Synagogue." It seemed that an agreement was imminent, but the efforts proved futile and the quarrel persisted.5 No doubt many more attempts were made to the same end, and at length in 1771 an agreement was reached.6 Seven and a half years, however, elapsed before Reb Leib was permitted to perform circumcision in the Old Synagogue in White's Row,?not until the 12th Tammuz, 1774.7 From this date onwards Reb Leib records circumcisions taking place in the Old Synagogue in White's Row and New Synagogue in Daniel's Row until 1789, when for the last time he enters the name of the place where the circumcision took place. The date is Tuesday, 2nd of Tammuz, 1789, and the place is in the New Synagogue, Daniel's Row.8 From now onwards he introduces an innovation after the usual entry, namely, "May the Almighty enable his father and mother to rear him in the Law, for Nuptial Canopy and Good Deeds." This traditional formula is added only after some entries. After that date he records, as before the split, circumcisions taking place merely in Portsmouth, except once in 17949 he performed the ceremony in the house of the parents. Thus it may be deduced that circumcisions, as before the split, generally took place in White's Row Synagogue. It can be definitely stated that after 1789, the New Synagogue, Daniel's Row, (Portsmouth Common), ceased to function as a synagogue. In the balance sheet 1 Probably ?2.5. 2 ibid. Law 23. 3 "Balak" must be a nickname, for there is no other personal name like it. Presumably he was Abraham, son of Woolf Cohen, who was one of the leading members at that time. M.B. ii, 8b. 4 C.R.E. 19. 5 C.R.E. 21. 6 M.B. ii, pp. 44-49. 7 C.R.E. 28. 8 C.R.E. 75. 9 C.R.E. 81.</page><page sequence="6">256 SOME NEW FACTS ABOUT THE PORTSMOUTH JEWISH COMMUNITY presented on the 5th Heshvan 1789, the expenditure of ?175 17s. Od. includes the sum of ?15, which was paid to Reb Leib Aleph as compensation for a "Tree of Life" and other debts that were handed down from the New Synagogue.1 The "Tree of Life," a phrase usually applied to the "Wooden Handles" of a scroll of the Law, was in this instance a beautiful urn-shaped pair of silver finials,2 engraved in Hebrew, which was purchased in 1785 by the whole of the New Congregation for the New Synagogue in Daniel's Row.3 This pair of silver finials is still in the possession of the congregation. On the Eve of the New Year 1789, members of the New Synagogue, among them Reb Leib Aleph and his son, Joel, acquired full membership rights4 in the Old Synagogue in White's Row. They also appended their names?Reb Leib Aleph's name is second, but not Joel's?to the Laws of the Old Synagogue, undertaking to observe them.5 The lease of the New Synagogue was surrendered by Reb Leib Aleph on New Moon, Tammuz, 1793, to John Monday, a non-Jew, to whom he paid the sum of ?28 2s. Od. This sum was refunded by White's Row Synagogue to Reb Leib Aleph by exempting him and his wife, his son and daughter-in-law, from paying seat rental for a period of eight years, beginning from New Moon of Tammuz, 1793, estimated at one and a half guineas per seat-holder per annum, "for which he will be entitled to all privileges of the Congre? gation as any other leading member. He, on the other hand, agrees that he has no claim whatsoever on the Congregation.6 The agreement is signed by the two Wardens, the Congregational Scribe and Reb Leib Aleph who signs his name in full. "I Judah Leib son of Reb Isaac-, who is called by everyone, Leib Aleph." Thus ended a bitter dispute that had lasted for twenty-three years, the cause of which was entirely external, as related above and as recorded in the Minute Book of White's Row Synagogue : "That the main reason [for the quarrels] is because of the two great mountains [two Rabbis] in the Holy Congregation of London as to who has the legal right to be the Rabbi and Head of the Talmudical College in our Holy Congregation."7 The defeat of Reb Leib and his followers, to establish a second synagogue in Ports? mouth, was of great significance to the local Jewish Community where, until this day, in spite of another serious attempt at a later date, at the end of the nineteenth century, only one synagogue exists. But this event is also of great importance to the Chief Rabbinate of this country, for it was in a sense responsible for its creation. In the words of Mr. Cecil Roth, If to-day the Jews of the British Empire have a spiritual leader who represents them as a body when the occasion demands, who takes his place by the side of the great dignitaries of the various Christian Churches on all public occasions, and whose voice is listened to with 1 M.B. ii3 p. 121. 2 Roth, opus cit. p. 175. Note 52. 3 The Hebrew inscription reads : d&gt;j?nn??; o?n f? ?'ai?in &gt;ap tfs tznn 5np&gt;n 5d? ama?m d^manan ?1?Rj? maw?? Ki tSiwn nttnn arra? (Translation :?1 finial. King Solomon made himself a chariot in the year 1785 according to the short system. 2nd finial. These 2 pomegranates a tree of life to them that grasp which were donated and offered from the whole of the New Congregation to the New Synagogue in Daniel's Row, Portsmouth Common). 4 M.B. ii, pp. 201-2. 5 ibid. p. 14. 6 ibid. p. 129. 7 ibid. p. 9b.</page><page sequence="7">SOME NEW FACTS ABOUT THE PORTSMOUTH JEWISH COMMUNITY 257 respect because he is Chief Rabbi, the result of the Great Secession at Portsmouth is in large measure responsible for the fact.1 In 1766, the secessionists might have been more numerous in membership than the older and more influential Old Synagogue in White's Row. By 1771 the two parties must have been about equally strong in numbers and finance, for in those matters in which they co-operated they shared equally. During the period of the secession each synagogue had its own officials. The names of the officials of that in White's Row are given in the Minute Book that opens in 1765, and almost its first entry relates the beginning of the split. It gives a list of names of those who remained loyal to White's Row and of those who seceded. Reb Leib Aleph's name is fifth. This is followed by a letter of Rabbi David Tevele Schiff, written in rabbinic Hebrew in his own clear handwriting, and a proclamation in Judeo German by the leaders of the Great Synagogue in London, admonishing the secessionists to repent.2 Apart from Reb Leib's Circumcision Register and the pair of silver finials, no record is available of the Synagogue in Daniel's Row. In the Circumcision Register the name of one official is mentioned, Joseph, the Reader.3 The name of another is appended to the settlement of 1771. He is Yehiel, son of Reb Isaac,4 Reader and Shochet. In spite of two rival places of worship (one synagogue was not permitted to accept a member from the other) and two butcher shops (a member was permitted to buy meat killed only by the shohet of his synagogue, although both butcher shops sold meat from both shohetim), the two congregations co-operated in many matters. There was, for instance, a joint cemetery. Two treasurers of the cemetery, one from the old and the other from the New Synagogue, were appointed. Each Treasurer had his own key to the cemetery, so that they should be independent of each other. If the two Treasurers disagreed the matter was submitted for decision to the Wardens of both Synagogues, and the meetings were held alternately in the two buildings. The cost of repairs of the wall surrounding the cemetery, the repair and erection of Chapel and Taharah board were shared equally by both congregations. They also shared in the provision of watchers of the dead, doctor and medicine for the poor. The Mikveh (Ritual Bath), though owned by the Old Synagogue, was accessible to the members of the New, on payment of a fee. The Passover flour was ground jointly by both synagogues, but each baked its own unleavened bread and a member was in duty bound to buy his share from his own synagogue. If a person died without heirs, or a stranger, who did not leave a will, or if one left a legacy to the Portsmouth Congregation, the estate or bequest was shared equally by both Congregations. That was the position in 1771.5 Ten years later, however, the relationship between the two Synagogues had deteriorated, since the Old Synagogue complained to the New for not honouring the agreement of 1771, and in particular for refusing to share in the cost of repair of the cemetery wall. Probably membership of the New Synagogue had fallen and the congregation could not meet its financial Habilities. There were two factors that led to this state of affairs. The cause of the establishment of the New synagogue was the appointment as Rabbi of the Hambro' Synagogue of Rabbi Israel Meshullam Emden. 1 Roth, Trans. XIII. p. 176. 2 M.B. ii, pp. 9 and 9b. 3 C.R.E. 30. 4 M.B. ii, p. 49. 5 M.B. ii, pp. 44-49.</page><page sequence="8">258 SOME NEW FACTS ABOUT THE PORTSMOUTH JEWISH COMMUNITY In 1780, however, after a stay of fifteen years, he had had to leave London,1 so that the raison d'etre of the New Synagogue was by now lacking. The other factor was that many of its members must have desired to join the congregation in White's Row. The magnificent new building that was rising and would soon be completed was the great attraction. Early adhesion would probably result in the securing of prominent seats in the building. The White's Row Congregation gave these waverers every encouragement by proclaiming that any member of the two synagogues was free to join whichever synagogue he desired so that seats in the newly built2 synagogue could, prior to its consecration, be allotted to everyone according to his honour and his worth.3 This proclamation was read on sabbath, the 3rd of Iyar, 1781, before taking out the Scroll of Law for reading. The Consecration of the Synagogue itself took place shortly afterwards. The foundation stones had been laid by Benjamin Levi and Abraham Woolfe on the 33rd Omer 1780, and by Rabbi David Tevele Schiff, of the Great Synagogue, London, and the Haham Moses Cohen d'Azevedo, of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews in London, on the 10th Sivan, 1780.4 This was truly a great and happy day in the White's Row Synagogue, perhaps even more so because of the presence of Rabbi David Tevele Schiff, one of the parties concerned in the split. White's Row Synagogue had remained loyal to him all along and now he came to honour them by his presence on such a unique occasion. Reb Leib and his fellow secessionists must have looked at all this with envious eyes. But the White's Row Congregation did not yet forget the past and whenever possible its leaders humiliated Reb Leib Aleph. Reb Leib Aleph records that on Thursday, 19th Kislev, 1781, he performed the first circumcision in the newly built synagogue in White's Row. On that occasion a new Circumcision Chair was also dedicated. For Reb Leib, however, the occasion was marred by the fact that the leaders of the Synagogue humiliated him by not allowing him to be called up to the Reading of the Law.5 In the meantime, the New Synagogue in Daniel's Row continued to deteriorate. Reb Leib and a few of his staunch supporters held out until 1789, when it ceased to function as a synagogue. After 1789 Reb Leib took an active, but not a leading, part in the White's Row Synagogue. He figures as one of the ten leading members, but he never held office. His son, Joel, however, took a leading part in the management of the Synagogue. He acted as a Co-Treasurer of the Cemetery for a number of years until 1802.6 Joel's name is mentioned in the Minute Book for the last time, as Hatan Torah, on the 25th Tishri 1804.7 Joel's tragic end is described by his own father in these touching words On Sabbath, 6th Heshvan, 1807, I circumcised my grandson, Naphtali Herz, son of Michael, in Portsmouth. May the Almighty enable his father and mother to rear him in the Law, for Nuptial Canopy and for Good Deeds. He had to be circumcised a second 1 Roth, "History of the Great Synagogue," 1950. p. 130. 2 The previous building was a house belonging to John Howell converted into a synagogue. On the 3rd October, 1774, the following receipt is recorded in M.B. ii, p. 420. "Received of Mr. Benjamin Levi and Abraham Woolfe the sum of ?12 (Twelve Pounds) for two years rent for the Synagogue in White's Row in full to 29th day of September last past. Mr. John HoweU." 3 M.B. ii, p. 221. 4 The Foundation stones commemorating this event can be seen affixed to the wall of the Synagogue at the back entrance (left) to the Ladies' Gallery, ? C.R.E. 48. 6 M.B. ii, pp. 144, 146, 149. 7 ibid. p. 152.</page><page sequence="9">SOME NEW FACTS ABOUT THE PORTSMOUTH JEWISH COMMUNITY 259 time by a Mohel who came from London since I forgot to make the Preeah on the day of circumcision because of the deep grief over my son, Joel, who committed suicide for the sake of an evil woman more bitter than death.1 Joel's married life had been short, for in 1789, he is designated as the Bridegroom,2 Joel, son of Judah. Reb Leib's words that his son Joel "committed suicide for the sake of an evil woman more bitter than death" have to be understood metaphorically, and not literally. I have found in the records of the Portsmouth and Southsea Synagogue a copy of a letter which throws some light on the suicide of Joel. The letter was written by the Congregational Scribe and Secretary, Alexander Barnard of Sallweiler,3 to the Chief Rabbi, Solomon Hirschell, inploring him to intervene on behalf of the man, Joel, son of Reb Leib Aleph, who had been imprisoned in London some months ago on a charge of forgery. The letter, dated 8th Adar, 1808, mentions that some five months previously a letter on this matter had been written to the Chief Rabbi. That would be about the time when Reb Leib Aleph performed circumcision on his grandson, Naphteli Herz, on 6th Heshvan. No doubt Reb Leib realising the gravity of the charge levelled against his son, must have been deeply distressed and, therefore, made the error in the circumcision. The Chief Rabbi neither acknowledged the letter nor took any other action. The reason for this second letter of petition was because the trial of Joel4 was to open about Purim, and in the letter is expressed the hope that a miracle might again happen, as in the days of old, and Joel will be set free. But if not, God forbid, then the Chief Rabbi should use his good offices to interest Abraham Goldsmid, the Warden of the Great Synagogue, in the matter, with the object of releasing Joel, 1 C.R.E. 112. 2 M.B. ii, p. 202. 3 Alexander Sender ben Barukh Sallweiler (1741-1818), known as Alexander Barnard or Barnett, or Barnad, was an official of the Congregation for twenty-nine years. He was a ready scribe and an efficient secretary. Apart from the Minutes which are clear, concise and a pleasure to read, and fine Hebrew inscriptions on headstones in Fawcett Road Cemetery, and the Ports? mouth and Southsea Synagogue possesses a Commemoration Book (1794) and many special Prayers for Sabbath written by him on parchment in his fine handwriting, and copies of letters which he wrote on behalf of the Congregation to the Chief Rabbi, Solomon Hirschell. Apart from the letter from which I quote, the other copies of letters by Alexander Barnard concern problems of marriage. There are also here many letters from the Chief Rabbi to the Congregation relating to licences for Marriage. This is a translation of Alexander Barnard's headstone inscription : "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints Here is interred. An enlightened man, who read, learned and repeated A precious spirit who respected not the proud For 29 years he occupied himself in faithfulness with the service of holiness He was faithful to God and man Is this not the scholarly, accomplished (our teacher R. ?) Alexander Sender son of Barukh Zeilweiler (The memory of the righteous is a blessing), a scribe and confidant of the whole assembly of the Congregation Yeshurun here, may Zion and Jerusalem be built, 77 years old He was at his death on the Day of Atonement and was buried with great honour on the morrow on Sunday according to the short system Pen of a ready scribe*" * This gematria does not agree with the correct one 5579 (1819). The phrase may have been used to sum up his efficiency as a scribe. 4 His name in the Portsmouth Rate Books is entered as Joel Isaacs sometimes at 79, at other times at 164 High Street, Portsmouth, His name does not appear after 1807.</page><page sequence="10">260 SOME NEW FACTS ABOUT THE PORTSMOUTH JEWISH COMMUNITY And that he should not have to pour out his blood . . . especially a man like Joel, who never had a bad name, either in religious or worldly matters, neither among Jews nor non Jews, and he has sons and daughters. Therefore, children of Israel, do what-ever you can and this will be a remembrance before God. So, whatever the reason for Joel's end, whether at the hands of the law or suicide, the tragic fate that overtook Joel must have completely broken the health and spirit of Reb Leib, so as to disable him from pursuing his vocation. Reb Leib Aleph died on Thursday, 5th Shebat, 1814, and is buried in Fawcett Road Cemetery, Southsea, near his wife, Bunla, daughter of Reb Eleazar, who died only three days after him, on Sabbath 8th Shebat. Over their graves a double headstone is erected, the inscription of which I deciphered with great difficulty.1 Their names are also recorded together in the Commemoration Book (page 13) of the Congregation.2 The following is the Will of Levy Isaac of Portsmouth in the County of Southampton.3 (P.C.C. Effingham 250). Stock-in-trade, household goods and other personal estate and effects, to "my son-in-law Michael Emanuel of Portsmouth aforsaid, pawnbroker, and "my good friend" Philip Nathan of the same place, merchant, upon trust to pay the interest profits and proceeds to "my dear wife" Boonley. If above insufficient for wife's maintenance, money to be advanced out of principal. On death of my wife, residue to be invested and interest divided between the testator's children, who were as follows :? Daughter Sarah (unmarried) son Joel Isaac daughter Nandel, wife of Judah Moses daughter Hannah, wife of Michael Emanuel. Sarah's share was to be one-third, unless she married, when the shares were to be equal, and ?200 was to be paid to her on her wedding day. Will dated 16th Dec. 1807. Witnesses Thos. Shearing and C. Winkworth, attorney-at-law, Portsmouth. Proved London 2nd May, 1817 by Philip Nathan and Michael Emanuel, the executors. 1 nap?8 o?n ma? man iv?a prt2p *"ia mirr "na wki ??r (?Brmra) w?**"! na RSaia incnn (?VTa5i) wa?na vn nap nawa *n ava naa?i wip? nrpaa ijrpn &amp;ap *n Ka *d yv* win nnas?a nms (Translation :?Where thou diest I will die and there will I be buried. Here are interred. A man and his wife R. Judah son of R. Isaac and his wife Bunla daughter of R. Eliezer (in their days ?) They were among those who observed the Sabbath according to its law (and taught ?) Their children to hallow and honour it, on Thursday, 5th Shebat 1814, and his wife on Sabbath, Weekly portion Bo, 8th Shebat 1814 her soul departed suddenly May their souls be bound up in the bond of life.) 2 In this book the days of their death are reversed, which is obviously incorrect. The headstone states distinctly that he died on the 5th Shebat and she on the 8th. 8 Reb Leib Aleph is entered in the Rate Books as Levi Isaacs of 16 Broadstreet, Portsmouth.</page><page sequence="11">SOME NEW FACTS ABOUT THE PORTSMOUTH JEWISH COMMUNITY 261 Yet, Reb Leib Aleph lives on in spirit in Portsmouth and in Anglo-Jewry, through his daughter, Hannah, who married Michael Emanuel. It is a coincidence that Michael son of Samuel, known later as Michael Emanuel, whom Reb Leib Aleph circumcised on the 17th Ab 17671 (when the Mohel engaged failed to arrive from London), should become his son-in-law through marrying his daughter, Hannah.2 Thus through his daughter, Hannah, Reb Leib Aleph became one of the ancestors of the branch of the Emanuel family which produced Mayors and Wardens of Southampton and Portsmouth. Michael Emanuel (1767-1838) was a leading figure in the Portsmouth Community for over three decades.3 He had several sons of whom Samuel Michael Emanuel (1802-1894) was Sheriff of Southampton in 1865 and Mayor in 1866 and 1867, and Jacob Isaac Emanuel (1804-1846) was the founder of the Southampton Hebrew Congregation.4 Michael Emanuel's son, Henry Michael Emanuel (1807-1880) was several times Warden of Portsmouth Congregation and was also an Alderman of Portsmouth. His son, Abraham Leon Emanuel (1848-1909), was the second Jewish Mayor of Portsmouth.5 He was twice Mayor of the City, in 1894 and 1901. His public bequests amounted to ?10,550. His name is perpetuated in Portsmouth by "The Alderman and Mrs. Leon Emanuel Wedding Gift Fund," and the "Poor Jews' Trust."?Both Funds are distributed annually and are administered by the Lord Mayor, Council and Senior Jewish Minister of Portsmouth?and by an annual prize for school children. Through Leon Emanuel's generosity the Synagogue in Queen Street, built in 1780-1, was enlarged in 1909.6 He left no children and is buried together with his wife at Kingston Cemetery (Jewish Section), Portsmouth. Reb Leib's son-in-law, Michael Emanuel, inherited Reb Leib Aleph's Scroll of the Law by paying to the Portsmouth Synagogue the sum of ?5 5s. 0d.,7 and it thus became his personal property. Michael Emanuel bequeathed the Scroll of the Law to his 1 C.R.E. 19. 2 C.R.E. 100 and M.B. ii, p. 92. 3 This is a translation of the inscription on Michael Emanuel's Headstone : "The work of a man and his counsels of all the days of his life testify and declare before him after death Here is interred A man. Warden and leader, Michael son of Samuel Zanwill, of blessed memory Who is called by all Mike Menewil* Passed away and buried on Sunday, 3rd Sivan According to the short system, The hoary head is the crown of glory and the crown of old men are his children's children Seventy years old when he was gathered in. His wife, children, grandchildren and all his family mourned for him Who is the man who lieth here Ask thy father and he will shew thee and thy elders and they will say to thee May his soul be bound up in the bond of life." At the foot of the grave there is the inscription "Warden and leader, Michael son of Samuel Zanwil, of blessed memory. 598." * In the English inscription on the back of the tombstone the name is spelled Emanuel. 4 He is buried in Fawcett Road Cemetery, Southsea. 5 The first Jewish Mayor was Alderman Emanuel Emanuel, J.P., in 1867. The two Emanuel families are not related. Both families and other leading Jewish families of the town were in a large measure responsible for the Portsmouth Town Council's five petitions to the House of Commons for the removal of Civil Disabilities. See "Corporation Records 1835-1927," by W. G. Gates, pp. 15, 29, 36, 46, 80, 182, 205, 236. 6 This is commemorated by a tablet affixed to the back (left) entrance of the Portsmouth and Southsea Synagogue and reads : "The Synagogue built 5540-1780 was enlarged by the generosity of Alderman A. L. Emanuel, J.P., and his wife, Sarah, 18th July 5669-1909 and rededicated by the Very Rev. Dr. H. Adler, Chief Rabbi." 7 M.B, ii, pp. 237 and 267,</page><page sequence="12">262 SOME NEW FACTS ABOUT THE PORTSMOUTH JEWISH COMMUNITY eldest son, Samuel Michael Emanuel, of Southampton, who was circumcised by Reb Leib Aleph on 29th of Nisan 1802.1 Samuel Emanuel applied to the Portsmouth Synagogue for his father's Scroll of the Law on the 29th January, 1850, and only on the 22nd November, 1857,2 was it reported at a General Meeting of the Vestry that it had been handed over to him. Michael Emanuel's wife, Hannah, spent the last years of her life with her eldest son in Southampton, but she is buried near her husband, Michael Emanuel, in the Fawcett Road Cemetery, Southsea. On her tombstone her Hebrew name is given in full, namely, Hannah, daughter of Reb Leib Aleph.3 The Circumcision Register throws also some light on Jewish families living in Hampshire, Sussex, Dorset and even to a certain extent Essex. For Reb Leib went to these places to perform circumcision and from his records we can approximately estimate the number of Jews living in those towns at that time. Hampshire. Reb Leib records that he went twice, in 1763 and 1766,4 to perform circumcision in Winchester. In 1763, he took with him a minyan, but not in 1766. It is clear that on the former occasion at any rate, the Jewish population was very small. The father on both occasions was Joseph son of Judah, one of the seceders of 1766. In 17835 Reb Leib performed a circumcision in Southampton, but does not pass any comment on prevailing conditions. In 1778 he performed a circumcision at Cowes, Isle of Wight, on Isaac son of Judah Lima Cohen.6 Lima Cohen was a very prominent member of the Portsmouth Synagogue. Reb Leib circumcised two children at Gosport in 17837 and 1786.7 It is possible that Gosport had a Synagogue of its own. In 1804 and 18138 it is recorded that the Warden of Gosport Synagogue paid on behalf of Gosport contributions towards the reconstruction of the Portsmouth Synagogue. But later they no longer had a synagogue of their own and depended on Portsmouth for all their requirements. Sussex. Reb Leib records two circumcisions in Arundel in 17869 and 1788.9 In 1786 he took with him a Scroll of the Law, most likely because the circumcision took place on a sabbath. There was no need to take a Minyan with him for he records that fourteen Jewish people, presumably families, lived there, some hailing from Ports? mouth and some from Brighton. In 1788, circumcision took place on a Friday. He makes no comment. On both occasions he circumcised sons of Menahem Ezriel. Reb Leib performed only one circumcision in Brighton in 1786.10 1 C.R.E. 100. a M.B. iii. 8 This is a translation of the inscription on Hannah Emanuers Headstone : "And Hannah prayed and said my heart rejoiceth in the Lord mine horn is exalted in the Lord There is none holy as the Lord for there is none beside thee neither is there any rock like our God Here is interred Hannah, daughter of Haber R. Judah who is called R. Leib Aleph wife of Mike Menewil Who passed away on Thursday and buried on the Eve of Sabbath, 4th Iyar In the year Behold thou hast altogether blessed according to the short system 83 years old when she was gathered unto her people And she commanded her children saying bury me in the part of the field which I bought at the side of my (lord) husband in order to fulfil where thou diest I will die and there will I be buried In their lives and their death they were not divided May her soul be bound up in the bond of life." At the foot of the grave "Hannah daughter of Judah who is called R. Leib Aleph 612." 4 C.R.E. 6 and 15. * C.R.E. 56. ? C.R.E. 38. T C.R.E. 52 and E. 67. 8 M.B. ii, 151 and 185. 9 C.R.E.69 and 74. and E. 74. 10 C.R.E. 70.</page><page sequence="13">SOME NEW FACTS ABOUT THE PORTSMOUTH JEWISH COMMUNITY 263 Dorset. Reb Leib records two circumcisions at Poole in 17881 and 1790/ the former taking place on the first day of Pentecost and the latter on a Friday. There were then living at Poole a number of Jewish families, several of which belonged to the Portsmouth Synagogue.2 Somerset. Reb Leib records that in 1771 Benjamin Levi of Bath brought his child, who was already over six weeks old, to Portsmouth to be circumcised.3 Essex. Reb Leib records two circumcisions from Rochford in 1802 and 1803.4 On both occasions the children were brought to Portsmouth. The fact that the children were brought to Portsmouth and not to London is a proof of Reb Leib's reputation as an expert mohel. APPENDIX Translation of the Circumcision Register (5522-5567 : 1762-1807) I, Judah Leib son of Reb Isaac, of the holy Congregation of Aub, near Wurzburg, in Bavaria, who is called by everyone in Portsmouth Reb Leib Aleph, was born on 8th Shebat 583 [1723], in the Holy Congregation of Aub. 1. I began to perform the rite of circumcision on my brother-in-law's son, Israel son of Mordecai Moses, of Erlang, in Bavaria, and the name of his son is Mordecai son of Israel, on the Eve of Sabbath, 6th Tebeth 522 [1762]. 2. On 8th Tammuz 522 [1762], in Portsmouth, I circumcised the son of my brother-in-law, Judah son of Eleazar, of Somerich, and his name is Zisel Eleazar son of Judah. 3. 4th Ab which is Sabbath Hazon 522, I circumcised Meir son of Eleazar, of Ansbach, in the Holy Congregation of Portsmouth. 4. 2nd Day of Tabernacles 523, I circumcised Zisel, son of my brother-in-law, Judah son of Moses, of Wiesenfeld, in the Holy Congregation of Portsmouth. 5. 8th Kislev 523, I circumcised Barukh son of Eleazar of F?rth, in the Holy Congregation of Portsmouth. 6. 18th Tebeth 523, I circumcised Judah Yadla son of Joseph Merlin, in Winchester, and I took there a Minyan from the Holy Congregation of Portsmouth. 7. On Sunday, 4th day of the Intermediate days of Passover, 524,1 circumcised Joseph (Yuzev), son of Isaac Standel, a teacher in Portsmouth. 8. On Sabbath, 25th Nisan 524,1 circumcised Elhanan son of Judah Leib Levi of K?nigsberg, in Portsmouth. 9. On Sabbath, 22nd Heshvan, 525, I circumcised Jacob son of Judah Leib of Wiesenfeld, in Portsmouth. 10. On the Eve of the New Moon of Adar525, I circumcised Aaron son of Solomon, in Portsmouth. 11. 19th Ab 525, I circumcised David son of Judah Leib, of K?nigsberg, in Portsmouth. 12. On the Eve of Sabbath Teshuvah, 5th Tishri 526, 1 circumcised Joshua son of Moses Levi, in Portsmouth. 13. 20th Iyar 526,1 circumcised Selig Isaac son of Jacob Cohen of Lautersbach, in Portsmouth. 14. 20th Tammuz 526, I circumcised David son of my brother-in-law, Judah of Somerich, in Portsmouth. 15. 23rd Ab 526, I circumcised Jacob Kopel son of Joseph, in Winchester. 1 C.R.E. 73 and 76. 2 M.B. ii3 p. 51. 3 C.R.E. 24. 4 ibid E. 103 and E. 109.</page><page sequence="14">264 SOME NEW FACTS ABOUT THE PORTSMOUTH JEWISH COMMUNITY 16. On Sabbath, in the Intermediate Days of the Feast of Tabernacles, 527, I circumcised, Moses son of Meir, and he is the first whom I circumcised in the New Synagogue in Daniel's Row which was built in Portsmouth1 for the grandson of the Haham Zbi, and his name is Israel Meshullam son of Rabbi Jacob Emden, who is the Rabbi of the Hambro' Synagogue and of the New Synagogue, London. And he will also be the Rabbi of Portsmouth, because he had 16 votes and the Rabbi of Duke's Place had only 8 votes to be the Rabbi here. The above-mentioned 8 people sent the Rabbinical Letter of Engagement to the Rabbi of the Duke's Place to be the Rabbi here. And I with 15 people sent the Rabbinical Letter of Engagement to the Rabbi of the Hambro' Synagogue. Therefore we built another Synagogue in Daniel's Row. And our Rabbi he was, and will be until the day of his death. 17. 28th First Adar, I circumcised Joel son of Judah Levi, called Leib Wiesenfeld, in Portsmouth. 18. On the Eve of Sabbath, 25th Nisan 527, I circumcised Abraham son of Doctor Jacob, of Wetzlar, in Portsmouth. 19. 17th Ab 527, I circumcised Michael son of Samuel, called Sanwel son of Menahem of Senfeid, in Oderwald. The Synagogue excommunicated me because of the part I played in the matter of the Rabbi, mentioned number 16, namely, that I should not be allowed to perform the rite of circumcision in the White's Row Synagogue. They founded a Society for the purpose and whenever necessary they brought down a Mohel from London. Once it happened that they ordered a Mohel from London, but he did not turn up on the eighth day. The father of the child came to ask me to cir? cumcise his son. I said that I will do it provided he brought the child to my Synagogue in Daniel's Row. Abraham Balak with all his Congregation said : "God forbid." But that I must circumcise the child in their Synagogue "White's Row !" The father of the child came with a most pressing request, crying bitterly, saying, that he is a poor man and if he allowed his son to be circumcised in the New Synagogue, Wolf Levi threatened him that he would stop giving him merchandise. In the afternoon, however, I circumcised the child in the house of Moses Levi, so that, God forbid, circumcision should not be annulled among the children of Israel. Moreover, since the father of the child is a poor man people should not say that I took revenge on a poor man (which he then was). 20. 22nd Elul 527, I circumcised Tevele David son of Mordecai a silver smith, of Lublin, in the New Synagogue, in Portsmouth. 21. On Sunday, 2nd day of the Intermediate Days of Tabernacles 528, I circumcised Moses son of Israel Cohen, son of Lima Cohen, son-in-law of Wolf Levi, that he may make peace between us. For the sake of peace I circumcised the child in White's Row Synagogue. Peace will reign between us until a new Synagogue will be built in White's Row. Then it was proclaimed in White's Row Synagogue that all is null and void and that they will destroy my Synagogue. They have taken all they could from my Synagogue in Portsmouth. Quarrels broke out afresh (and destroyed the New Synagogue). 22. On Sabbath, 3rd Tammuz, 528, I circumcised Yehiel Michael son of Naphtali Herz, in Portsmouth Common, in the New Synagogue, in Daniel's Row. 23. On Sabbath, 14th Tammuz, 570, I circumcised Solomon Zalman son of Jacob Cohen, in the New Synagogue, in Daniel's Row, Portsmouth Common. 24. New Moon of Ab, on the Eve of Sabbath, 531,1 circumcised Elijah son of Benjamin Levi, of Bath near Bristol, who came here with the child who was six weeks and four days old when he was circumcised. 25. On the New Moon of Iyar 532, I circumcised Herz son of Judah Levi of Wiesenfeld, in the New Synagogue, Daniel's Row, in Portsmouth Common. 26. Sabbath, 4th Adar, 533, 1 circumcised Zisel Eleazar son of Simeon, in the New Synagogue, Daniel's Row, Portsmouth Common. 1 The Consecration of the Synagogue was on Sabbath Nahamu 526 (1766).</page><page sequence="15">SOME NEW FACTS ABOUT THE PORTSMOUTH JEWISH COMMUNITY 265 27. Thursday, 12th Sivan 533, 1 circumcised Alexander son of Judah Levi, called Leib Wiesen? feld, in the New Synagogue, Daniel's Row, in Portsmouth Common. 28. Tuesday, 12th Tammuz 534, I circumcised Moses son of Akiba in the Old Sygagogue, in Portsmouth. 29. Sabbath, 20th Elul 534, I circumcised Moses son of Jacob Cohen, in the New Synagogue in Portsmouth Common. 30. On Eve of Sabbath, 12th Shebat, 535, I circumcised Abigdor son of Reb Joseph, Reader of the New Synagogue, Daniel's Row, Portsmouth. 31. On the New Moon of Sivan 535, I circumcised Zisel Eleazar son of Israel Isserle, in the New Synagogue, in Portsmouth. 32. On Eve of Sabbath, 20th Elul 535, I circumcised Yekuthiel son of Judah Levi, called Leib Wiesenfeld, in the New Synagogue, in Portsmouth. 33. Wednesday, 24th Shebat, 536, I circumcised Judah son of Gabriel, in the Old Synagogue, in Portsmouth. 34. Wednesday, 5th First Adar 537, I circumcised Mordecai son of Simeon son of Eleazar, in the New Synagogue, in Portsmouth. 35. On Eve of Sabbath, 13th Tammuz 537, I circumcised Solomon son of Jacob Levi, in the Old Synagogue, White's Row, Portsmouth. 36. Monday, 12th Shebat 538, I circumcised Judah Leib son of Isaac Zekhariah, in the Old Synagogue, in Portsmouth. 37. Tuesday, 8th Iyar 538, I circumcised Issakhar Bear son of Benjamin Levi, in the New Synagogue, Portsmouth. 38. On Eve of Sabbath, 5th Elul 538, 1 circumcised Isaac son of Judah Lima Cohen, in Cowes, Isle of Wight. 39. Monday, 7th Tishre 539, 1 circumcised Barukh son of Israel Isserle, in the New Synagogue, Daniel's Row, Portsmouth. 40. 8th day of Solemn Assembly, Tuesday, 22nd Tishri 539, I circumcised my grandson, Abraham son of Judah Yadla (?) of The Hard in the New Synagogue, Portsmouth. 41. Monday, 22nd Tishre 539, I circumcised Jonah son of Jacob Levi, in the Old Synagogue, Portsmouth. 42. On Eve of Sabbath, 26th Shebat, 539, I circumcised Judah Leib son of Zvi in the New Synagogue, in Portsmouth. 43. Monday, 27th Adar 539, I circumcised Simhah son of Yehiel, in the Old Synagogue, Portsmouth. 44. Tuesday, 23rd Tammuz 540, I circumcised Selig Pinhas son of Asher Lemla, in the New Synagogue, Portsmouth. 45. Monday, 1st of the Intermediate Days of the Feast of Tabernacles, 17th Tishri 541, I cir? cumcised Simeon son of Benjamin Levi, in the New Synagogue, in Portsmouth. 46. On Sabbath, 20th Heshvan, 581, I circumcised Alexander son of Solomon in a carpenter shop in White's Row at the time when the New Synagogue was built in White's Row, Portsmouth, because he did not want his son to be circumcised in the New Synagogue in Daniel's Row. 47. On Sabbath, 7th Tammuz 541,1 circumcised Aryeh Judah son of Zvi in the New Synagogue, Daniel's Row, Portsmouth. 48. Thursday, 19th Kislev 542, I circumcised Shalom son of Alexander who is called Sender, Jeweller, in the New Synagogue in White's Row and they have also dedicated a new Circumcisional Chair. But the Wardens and Leaders of the mentioned synagogue put up ordinary people (or young men) to buy Aliyoth [to be called up to reading of the Law] and spitefully would not let me have an Aliyah [to be called up to the Law], in Portsmouth. 49. On the Eve of the New Year which is 29th Elul, 543, I circumcised Judah son of Samuel Sanwel in the Synagogue in White's Row, Portsmouth. 50. Sunday, 12th Heshvan 543, 1 circumcised Simeon son of Zvi of Marburg in the Synagogue in White's Row, Portsmouth.</page><page sequence="16">266 SOME NEW FACTS ABOUT THE PORTSMOUTH JEWISH COMMUNITY 51. Sabbath, 9th Tebeth 543, I circumcised Uri Shragai Feis son of Benjamin Levi in the New Synagogue, Daniel's Row, Portsmouth. 52. Sabbath, 16th Tebeth 543, I circumcised Selig Reuben son of Jonathan Cohen in Gosport. 53. Sunday, 9th or 19th Shebat, 543, I circumcised Jacob son of Samuel Levi who left our Synagogue in Daniel's Row and joined the Synagogue in White's Row; in spite of it I circumcised his child in Portsmouth. 54. Wednesday, 12th Shebat, 543, I circumcised Benjamin Wolf son of Isaac Elkin in the Synagogue White's Row, Portsmouth. 55. Thursday, 13th Shebat, 543,1 circumcised Aaron son of Barukh in the Synagogue, White's Row, Portsmouth. 56. Tuesday, 28th Shebat, 543, I circumcised Naphtali son of Mordecai, in Southampton. 57. Tuesday, 28th Second Adar 743,1 circumcised Benjamin Simeon son of Alexander (Sender) Jeweller in the Synagogue in White's Row. 58. Eve of Sabbath 19th Elul 543, I circumcised Uri Feis son of Reb Mordecai, Beadle of Synagogue White's Row, Portsmouth. 59. Sunday, 14th Heshvan 544,1 circumcised Jonah son of Asher Lemla, in the New Synagogue, Daniel's Row, Portsmouth. 60. Sabbath, 4th Kislev 544,1 circumcised Gimpel son of Yehiel Emden in the New Synagogue, Daniel's Row, Portsmouth. 61. Friday, 4th Nisan 544, 1 circumcised Mordecai son of Zvi in the New Synagogue, Daniel's Row, Portsmouth. 62. Eve of Sabbath, Eve of New Moon, 29th Sivan 544, I circumcised Judah son of Abraham in the Synagogue, White's Row, Portsmouth. 63. Eve of Sabbath, 28th Heshvan 545, 1 circumcised Moses son of Benjamin Levi in the New Synagogue in Daniel's Row and my son made the Preeah and Meziza. 64. Wednesday, Eve of New Moon of Tammuz, 545, I circumcised for the second time the boy Jacob son of Moses, being four months old, namely from the Eve of New Moon of Adar to Eve of New Moon of Tammuz. I cut off a big Orlah and made the Preeah as if he had not been circumcised before, this is called a double-foreskin. And my son circumcised and made Preeah for the first time. 65. On the Eve of New Moon of Kislev 546, 1 circumcised the boy Meir son of Joseph son of David son of Meir and my son made the Preeah and Meziza in the Synagogue in White's Row, Portsmouth. 66. Sabbath, Weekly Portion of the Law, Vayyesheb, 24th Kislev 546, I circumcised David son of Asher who is called Lemla in the New Synagogue, Daniel's Row, and my son made the Preeah and Maziza. 67. Friday, 2nd of Second Adar 546, I circumcised Moses son of Pinhas, in Gosport, and my son Joel made the Preeah and Maziza. 68. Tuesday, 13th Nisan 546, I circumcised Pinhas Selig son of Judah in Portsmouth, in the New Synagogue, Daniel's Row and my son made the Preeah and Maziza. 69. Sabbath, 5th Tammuz, 546, I circumcised Abraham son of Menahem Ezriel in Arundel, Sussex. I took with me a Scroll of Law. There are fourteen people [or Jewish families] who originally come from here [Portsmouth] and Brightemstown. 70. Thursday, 19th Kislev 547, I circumcised Yitzhak Isaac son of Seligin in Brighthemstown, Sussex. 71. Thursday, 11th Adar 547, I circumcised Joshua Falk son of Jacob Levi, in the Synagogue in White's Row, one child, and my son circumcised the other,1 because they were twins. 72. Tuesday, 18th Tammuz, 547, I circumcised Hayyim son of Asher who is called Lemla, in the New Synagogue, Daniel's Row, in Portsmouth Common. 73. First Day of Pentecost, 548, I circumcised Libman Eleazar son of Reb Samuel, in Poole. 1 The name is not given.</page><page sequence="17">SOME NEW FACTS ABOUT THE PORTSMOUTH JEWISH COMMUNITY 267 74. Friday, 5th Tammuz, 548,1 circumcised Selig Pinhas son of Menahem Ezriel son of Abraham, in Arundel, Sussex. 1 Tuesday, 20th Tishri 549, 1 circumcised Zvi Hirsh son of Yehiel son of Simha and my son made the Preeah and Meziza in the Synagogue, in White's Row, in Portsmouth. 75. Thursday, 2nd day of the New Moon of Tammuz 549,1 circumcised Uri Phoebus son of Asher who is called Lemla son of Pinhas Isaac in the New Synagogue, Daniel's Row. And may the Almighty enable his father and mother to rear him in the Law, for Nuptial Canopy and for Good Deeds. 76. Friday, 10th Elul 550, I circumcised Moses Moshe son of Solomon Levi in Poole. I went with Zalman Levi to Poole on Thursday, 9th Elul 1790. 77. Thursday, 16th Tebeth 551, I circumcised the son of Asher son of Zvi and his name is Zvi. May the Almighty enable his father and mother to rear him in the Law for Nuptial Canopy and good deeds. 78. Tuesday, 7th Shebat, 552, I circumcised Pinhas Selig son of Asher, son of Zvi, of Exeter. 79. Sunday, 15th Tebeth 553, I circumcised son of Asher Lemla son of Pinhas Isaac who is called Elhanan Henla. May the Almighty enable his father and mother to rear him in the Law for Nuptial Canopy and Good Deeds. 80. Thursday, on the New Moon of Nisan 553, I circumcised Jacob Kopel son of Judah son of Joseph in Portsmouth. May the Almighty enable his father and mother to rear him in the Law, for Nuptial Canopy, and for Good Deeds. Amen. 81. Sabbath, 5th Ab 554, I circumcised the son of Libman, who is called Issakhar Bear son of Eleazar in his house. May the Almighty enable his father and mother to rear him in the Law, for nuptial canopy, and for good deeds. Amen. 82. Friday, 12th Iyar, 555, I circumcised Judah son of Asher son-in-law of Joseph Jobman. May the Almighty enable his father and mother to rear him in the Law, for Nuptial Canopy and for Good Deeds. Amen. 83. Friday, 19th Iyar 555, I circumcised David son of Asher son of Zvi, Exeter. May the Almighty enable his father and mother to rear him in the Law, for Nuptial Canopy, and for good deeds. Amen. 84. Eve of Sabbath, 22nd Tebeth 557?in Portsmouth. I circumcised Jacob son of Moses and my son made the Preeah and Maziza. May his father and mother rear him in the Law, Nuptial Canopy and Good Deeds. Amen. 85. Wednesday, 25 Tammuz, 557, I circumcised David son of Menahem Ezriel who is called Manes. May his father and mother rear him in the Law, Nuptial Canopy and Good Deeds. 86. Sabbath, 8th Cheshvan 558, I circumcised the son of Simha, Watchmaker, and his name is Jacob son of Simha. 87. Wednesday, 1st of New Moon Sivan 558, 1 circumcised Joseph son of Asher son of Gabriel. May the Almighty enable his father and mother to rear him in the Law, Nuptial Canopy and Good Deeds. 88. Thursday, 21st Kislev, 559. I circumcised the son of Abraham Plymouth and his name is Jacob son of Abraham. May the Almighty enable his father and mother to rear him in the Law, Nuptial Canopy and Good Deeds. Amen. 89. Eve of Sabbath, 13th Tebeth 559. I circumcised Raphael son of Pinhas Selig and my son made the Preeah and Mazizah. May the Almighty enable his father and mother to rear him in the Law, Nuptial Canopy and Good Deeds. 90. Sabbath, 8th First Adar 559. I circumcised Judah son of Moses Jacob. 91. Sabbath, 9th Second Adar 559. I circumcised Alexander son of Abraham Bordges, and his name is Sender son of Abraham. 92. Wednesday, 17th Tebeth 560. I circumcised Barukh son of Asher son of Gabriel. May the Almighty enable his father and mother to rear him in the Law, Nuptial Canopy and Good Deeds. 1 Number omitted from the Register. Y</page><page sequence="18">268 SOME NEW FACTS ABOUT THE PORTSMOUTH JEWISH COMMUNITY 93. Wednesday, 17th Adar 560. I circumcised Jacob son of Simhah Levi who is called Doctor Lara in the Hebrah. 94. Wednesday, 28th Shebat 561. I circumcised Lion Judah son of Aaron Israel. 95. Wednesday, 5th Adar 561. I circumcised with my son the son of Solomon and his name is Josla Joseph son of Solomon, the grandson of Judah son of Joseph. I circumcised the father and two sons and his grandson, son of his daughter, 561-1801, and his name is Yiddle son of Joseph Merlin whom I circumcised in Winchester and his son Selig and his son Jacob and two sons of his daughter in Portsmouth. 96. Thursday, 10th Iyar 561. I circumcised with my son the son of Simhah Cohen who is a brother-in-law of my son-in-law Yechiel son of Samuel Sanwel, in Portsmouth, and his name is Yekuthiel son of Simhah Cohen. May the Almighty enable his father and mother to rear him in the Law, for Nuptial Canopy and Good Deeds. 97. Portsmouth. Sabbath, 29th Ab 561. I circumcised with my son Solomon Zalman son of Uri Shragai Feis of Rochfort, in Essex. May his father and mother rear him in the Law, for Nuptial Canopy and Good Deeds. 98. Thursday, 25th Elul 561. I circumcised Joseph son of Asher Lion, in Portsmouth. May his father and mother rear him in the Law, for Nuptial Canopy and Good Deeds. Amen. 99. Monday, 25th Second Adar, 562. I circumcised Asher Lemla son of Solomon son of Reb Uri son-in-law of Judah son of Joseph in Portsmouth. I circumcised Judah son of Joseph in Winchester on the 18th Tebeth 523-1763 and took with me a Minyan from here. 100. Sabbath, Weekly Portion of the Law, Aharei Moth, which is 29th of Nisan 562. I circum? cised with my son, the son of my son-in-law, Michael, son of Samuel Zanwel, and his wife is my daughter, in Portsmouth, and his name is Zanwel. 101. Monday, 12th Tammuz 562. I circumcised Moses son of Abraham, of Brighthemstown, in Portsmouth. 102. Wednesday, 28th Tammuz 562. I circumcised Simeon son of Jacob son of Gabriel in Portsmouth, 103. Wednesday, 6th Ab, 562. I circumcised Solomon Zalman son of David of Rochfort, in Essex, in Portsmouth. 104. Thursday, Intermediate Days of Tabernacles, 563. I circumcised Asher Lemla son of Aaron Feis, on 18th Tishre, in Portsmouth. 105. Tuesday, 24th Tebeth 563.1 circumcised with my son, Simeon son of Eliezer Zisl in Portsmouth. 106. Sabbath, Second Day of Pentecost, 563. I circumcised my grandson Isaac son of Michael who is called Itzik son of Michael. May the Almighty enable his father and mother to rear him in the Lav/, for Nuptial Canopy and Good Deeds. Amen. 107. Friday, Weekly Portion of the Law Eikeb, 6th Ab 563. I circumcised with my son, Moses son of Asher son of Gabriel, in Portsmouth. 108. Thursday, 7th Elul 563. I circumcised with my son, Samuel son of Solomon son-in-law of Judah son of Joseph, in Portsmouth. I circumcised Judah son of Joseph in Winchester and his son-in-law and three sons in Portsmouth. 109. Sunday, Second Day of New Year, 564. I circumcised with my son, Benjamin Wolf son of Uri Shragai Feis son of Solomon of Rochfort, in Portsmouth. 110. Eve of Feast of Tabernacles, 564. I circumcised with my son, Benjamin Wolf son of Eleazar Franklin of London, in Portsmouth. 111. Tuesday, 19th Tammuz 565. I circumcised the son of Pinhas Selig Trobe and his name is Simeon. May the Almighty enable his father and mother to rear him in the Law, Nuptial Canopy and Good Deeds. 112. Sabbath, 6th Heshvan 568-[1807]. I circumcised my grandson Naphtali Hertz son of Michael, in Portsmouth. May the Almighty enable his father and mother to rear him in the Law, Nuptial Canopy and Good Deeds. He had to be circumcised a second time by a Mohel from London since I forgot to make Preeah on the day of Circumcision, because of the deep grief over my son Joel who committed suicide for the sake of an evil woman more bitter than death.</page></plain_text>