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Disgrifiad

This collection of newspaper cuttings from the Grunis family archives demonstrates the interests of Rabbi Asher Grunis. They show some of the letters he wrote to The Jewish Graphic, The Jewish Chronicle and the South Wales Echo between 1925 and his death in 1937. They show an interest in science and medicine as well as the preservation of Jewish orthodoxy, Sabbath observance, and Jewish marriage/divorce law. They also include a couple of tributes to recently deceased individuals.

These examples are on the following subjects and are from The Jewish Chronicle unless otherwise stated:
• Tribute to Leo Joseph JP (November 1924);
• Cremation (The Jewish Guardian, 16 November 1925);
• Medical Science in Talmud (19 February 1926);
• The Talmud on Physicians (The Jewish Graphic , 7 January 1927);
• Orthodoxy and Modern Jews (8 April 1927);
• Prayer Book Revision (15 April 1927);
• Science of Judaism (13 February 1928);
• Sabbath Observance (17 August 1928);
• Divorce (23 November 1928);
• Vaccination and the Talmud (5 December 1930);
• Sabbath Football in Palestine: "A Gang of Outcasts" (3 July 1931);
• Relativity Before Einstein (South Wales Echo, 29 September 1933);
• Masonic Service – procedure degrading (January 1935);
• Agunah – the “chained wife” whose husband refuses a divorce (16 July 1937);
• Sabbath Observance (undated);
• Tribute to Mr J Abrahamson (undated).

Rabbi Asher Grunis was born in Pietrokov in Poland in 1877. A child prodigy, at the age of nineteen he was appointed Rabbi of Wilczyn in Poland. He married Hannah Baila in 1896 and they had seven sons and one daughter. In 1921 he was appointed the first communal Rav of Cardiff, overseeing the correct application of Jewish religious dietary laws. Five of the sons and one daughter came with their parents to Cardiff and one son, Hirsch, was a minister to the Bangor and Bettws-y-Coed communities before the war. Rabbi Grunis successfully campaigned to permit Jewish children to leave school early in winter on the Sabbath, and prevent Jewish students being forced to take examinations on Saturdays and Jewish Holy days. He also unsuccessfully tried to have kosher food available to Cardiff prisoners throughout the year. He died in July 1937 and he and his wife are buried in Highfields Jewish cemetery. His major work, a commentary titled P’ri Asher (Fruits of Asher), was published posthumously. [Sources: Page 43 of Bimah issue 18 (Pesach 5759 - 1999) and Introduction to the Fruits of Asher by Rabbi Asher Grunis and his son Iyeleg Grunis]

From the Grunis family archives, which are to be deposited in the National Library (Edward J. Safra Campus) at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

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