Thursday, May 15, 2014

A Self-Censored copy of Lev Haivri לב העברי by Akiva Yosef Shlesinger, Ungvar 1864

I recently acquired a copy of the first edition of Lev Haivri by Akiva Yosef Shlesinger, a commentary on the will of the Chatam Sofer. A previous owner of the book apparently found several passages of the book not to his liking and these passages were neatly burned out.
several lines burned out in this copy of לב העברי

The offending lines describe a story in the name of the Chatam Sofer, where he stated that if a Jew decides that he will no longer be religious, it is preferable if he converts to Christianity.

The censored text, from a later edition


  1. I can see the logic. In the Xtian testament (beginning of the book of Matthew), J.C. was quoted as saying "do not think I am here to abrogate the laws but uphold them. Should anyone even change the small point of the Yud that person will be cursed in the kingdom of heaven." This is a far cry from conservative and reform rabbis saying "this needs to be changed, that is archaic, etc.' The truth hurts.

  2. In other words the chasam sofer had a point. The early xtians were more religious and Gd fearing than conservative and reform. Not only that but their issue was with rabbinic law. Conservative and reform had issues with Torah law and how it must either be reformed to keep up with the times, or to conserve it in a glass case and give it a decent burial. I can also see how a lot of people would have issue with that statement.

    1. Keep in mind that the vast majority of Jews in this period who converted to Christianity who not doing it out of conviction, rather of convenience and could not care less what J. C. would say.
      I think though the Chasam Sofer said that they would be better off converting out so that they will be less of an influence on the general Jewish Population, not because he believed in any great qualities of the church.