Rabbi Murdered in the Ukraine

It's out. Professor Michael Stanislawski's A Murder in Lemberg. This new book is best-seller material. Hat tip to Mimi.

True Crime, Religion-Style

by David Klinghoffer, Religion BookLine -- Publishers Weekly, 1/10/2007

For such a slim book, Michael Stanislawski's A Murder in Lemberg: Politics, Religion, and Violence in Modern Jewish History (Feb.) has a lot of surprises in it. A true crime story published by Princeton University Press? That's surprising in itself.

The text itself covers only 130 pages, in which Stanislavski, who teaches Jewish history at Columbia, tells the true story of a liberal Reform rabbi murdered in 1848 in Lemberg, today's Lvov, in the Ukraine. The apparent murderer was a disgruntled Orthodox Jew. Most Jewish readers will assume that the Reform movement, which rejects much of traditional Jewish teaching on theology and practical behavior alike, grew heartily in urbane, genteel Germany but—in Eastern Europe?

Actually, yes, there too. The murder victim at the heart of the story, Rabbi Abraham Kohn, ran a thriving liberal temple in Lemberg.

Stanislawski told RBL how, while drawing on obscure archival material, he was eager to try a new kind of writing, more accessible and popular than his previous books: "Even my wife said, 'This doesn't sound like you. It's understandable!' I think my other books were understandable too, but they were more technical." ....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You know that Lemberg was the capital of Austrian Galicia and far more central European than eastern.