Littman Library of Jewish Civilization

Rebel Rabbi

The Life and Controversies of Joseph Shapotshnick
Pini Dunner

This book is an account of one of pre-war Europe's most controversial rabbis. Originally from Kishinev and Odessa, Rabbi Joseph Shapotshnick settled in the East End of London in 1913 where he set himself up as ‘Chief Rabbi’ and began conducting activities that brought him into conflict not just with the real Chief Rabbi and his Beth Din, but with some of the leading Ultra Orthodox rabbis of his day. A champion of lost causes and a brilliant Talmudic scholar, Shapotshnick’s tempestuous contribution to Jewish life has been all but forgotten. This book brings him, the milieu in which he operated, and pre-war Orthodox Jewish life vividly and evocatively back to life.