Yehudah Yudel Rosenberg

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Rabbi Yehudah Yudel Rosenberg (1859–1935) noted rabbi, author and Jewish communal leader in Poland and Canada.

Early life[edit]

Rosenberg was born in Skaraschev, Poland near Radomsko, Poland. As a young boy, he was known as “the genius of Skaraschev”.[1]

At age 17, he married Chaya Chava, the daughter of Shlomo Elimelech, of Tarlow, Poland, granddaughter of the Otrovtzer Rav, Rabbi Liebish Zucker and great-grandchild of the Ostrovtzer Rebbe.

After receiving his rabbinic designation, he became a Rabbi in Tarlow, Poland, and was known in Poland as Rav Yudel Tarlow’er. The famous Talmudist, the “Pnei Yehoshua”, also lived in Tarlow some two centuries prior.

Move to Canada[edit]

In 1913, Rosenberg moved to Canada, where he became the spiritual leader of Toronto’s Beth Jacob Congregation, which was founded in 1899 by a group of Polish-born Jews. He became known as the “Poilisher Rebbe” as opposed to other rabbis from different European origins (such as the “Galitzianer Ruv” and the “Russian Rebbe”.)[2]

During his close to six years in the city, Rosenberg founded the Eitz Chaim Talmud Torah on D’Arcy Street, in a building which once was an Italian club. Eitz Chaim Schools, which still functions today, recently celebrated its 100th anniversary.

Rosenberg moved to Montreal in 1919,[3] where he became the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Orthodox Congregations, a group of synagogues serving immigrant Ashkenazi communities and vice-chairman of the Jewish Community’s Rabbinic Council, which he served as until his death in Montreal at age seventy-five. He passed away on October 23, 1935.[4]

Rosenberg’s grandson was the celebrated Montreal author Mordecai Richler.


Rabbi Rosenberg was a prolific author. His writing ranged from an anthology of the sciences (Sefer ha-Berit)[5] - which was a source of scientific knowledge for Jews unfamiliar with European languages – to a Hebrew translation of the Zohar[6] (his most important work), which he hoped would revive interest in Kabbalah, to numerous halakhic works.

He is perhaps most famous for his 1909 stories about the Golem of Prague, which he attributed to the Maharal of Prague, published in Hebrew as Niflaʼot Maharal, and known in English since the 2007 translation by Curt Leviant as The Golem and the Wondrous Deeds of the Maharal of Prague.[7] Rosenberg himself later translated the Hebrew text into a rather different Yiddish version, also available in English translation.[8] Rosenberg's text claims to be an edition of a three-hundred-year-old manuscript found in an imperial library in Metz, and this has led some readers to imagine that it was just this. But scholarship now recognises the text as a work of fiction by Rosenberg.[9][10]


  • Zeh sefer Nifleʼot MaHaRa"L : bo yesupar ha-otot ṿeha-moftim ... me-et ... Maharal mi-Prag ... asher hifli laʻas̀ot ha-golem (Podgorze etsel Ḳraḳo : Bi-defus Shaʼul Ḥanaya' Daiṭsher, 669 [1909]) [repr. ha-Golem mi-Prag : u-maʻaśim niflaʼim aḥerim, ed. by ʻEli Yasif (Yerushalayim : Mosad Byaliḳ, 1991)]
  • Refaʼel ha-malʼakh : be-sefer zeh niḳbetsu segulot ṿe- ḳameʻot ʻal kol tsarah she-lo tavo ... refuʼot moʻilot le-harbeh maḥalot ... leḥashim le-harbeh maḥalot ... (Pyeṭrḳov : Bi-defus Shelomoh Belkhaṭoṿsḳi, 671, 1911)
  • Tifʼeret Maharal mi-Shpoli ha-niḳra "Der Shpoler zeyde" : ba-sefer ha-zeh yesupar toladeto tsidḳato ḳedushato u-moftaṿ ha-gedolim ṿeha-noraʼim asher herʼah be-yamaṿ ... maran Aryeh Leb mi-Shpoli (Pyetrḳov : Bi-defus Ḥanokh Henikh b. ha-r. Yeshay' Volf Folman, 672, 1912) [repr. [Yerushalayim?] [1968*9]; Yerushalayim : Karmel, 758, 1997]
  • Sefer Ḳeriʼah ha-ḳedoshah : hu shulḥan ʻarukh ʻal hilkhot ṿe-minhagim shel ḳeriʼat ha-Torah (Nuyorḳ : Rozenberg Prinṭing, 679 [1919]) [partially repr. ‏מזמור לתודה :‏ ‏דין ברכת הגומל מתוך ספר קריװןײה הקדושה /$cמװןײת יהודה יודל רװןײזענבערג ... ; בתוספת מרװןײי מקומות, הערות וחילוקי הלכות למנהג עדות המזרח והמװןײמרים ׳ברכת הגומל לחוזרים מפעילות צבװןײית׳, ברכת הגומל לנוסע בכבישי יש״ע, ע״י מװןײיר יהושע בן־מװןײיר. [Mizmor le-todah : din birkat ha-gomel mi-tokh sefer Ḳeriʼah ha-ḳedoshah] ([Israel : ḥ. mo. l., 2003] ; repr. Sefer ḳerʼiah ha-ḳedoshah : hu shulḥan ʻarukh ʻal hilkhot ṿe-minhagim shel ḳeriʼat ha-Torah (Yerushalayim: [M. Ben Meʼir], 764- [2003 or 2004-])
  • Sefer Yedot nedarim : ṿe-hu beʼur maspiḳ ʻal kol kelomar asher be-fe.Rashi ṿeha-Ran u-sheʼar meḳomot ha-ḳashim shebe-masekhet Nedarim (Ṿarsha : Y. Ḳnaster, 1925)
  • Sefer Nifle'ot ha-Zohar (Monṭreal bi-defus "Siṭi prinṭing Ḳo." 1927)
  • Miḳṿeh Yehudah : ... la-ʻaśot be-khol bayit mikṿeh ḳaṭan ... (Toronto : [publisher not identified], [1919])


  1. ^ "R' Judah Yudel Rosenberg". Geni. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  2. ^ Beauchemin, Valérie. "Rabbi Yudel Rosenberg - Residence". Museum of Jewish Montreal.
  3. ^ Robinson, Ira. "Kabbalist and Communal Leader: Rabbi Yudel Rosenberg and the Canadian Jewish Community". Canadian Jewish Studies / Études juives canadiennes. York University.
  4. ^ "Tarler Rebbe".
  5. ^ Slifkin, Natan; Slifkin, Nosson. The Challenge of Creation: Judaism's Encounter with Science, Cosmology, and Evolution. p. 175. ISBN 1933143150.
  6. ^ Renny. "Rabbi Yehudah Yudel Rosenberg". W&M Honors Fellows. Retrieved 11 December 2015.
  7. ^ Yudl Rosenberg, The golem and the wondrous deeds of the Maharal of Prague, ed. and trans. by Curt Leviant (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007).
  8. ^ Joachim Neugroschel, The Golem, ed. and trans. by Joachim Neugroschel (New York, NY: Norton, 2006).
  9. ^ Elizabeth R. Baer, The Golem Redux: From Prague to Post-Holocaust Fiction (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2012), pp. 28-29.
  10. ^ Rabinowitz, Dan. "More on story fabrication - The Golem". the Seforim blog. Retrieved 2 March 2006.