With the Jewish Brigade - by Rabbi Bernard Moses Casper, published by Edward Goldston in London 1947 - first edition. The important book of Rabbi Moses Casper who was one of the first soldiers in the Jewish Brigade immediately upon its establishment and served until the end of the war - dedicated copy by the author.
An important publication about the Jewish Brigade by Rabbi Moses Casper - who served in the Brigade from its establishment throughout its years of existence. Rabbi Casper was stationed with the first battalion which was established in the Egyptian desert. The book is actually a journal composed of notebooks he wrote during his service in the Brigade, which he published in an organized manner after the war. In his book he documents the great excitement that swept the Jewish community with Churchill's announcement of the establishment of Hebrew battalions that would fight alongside the British in the war against the Nazis in September 1944 - "no more false names, no more disguise... no more flag that could not be waved...". He documents in detail the processes that shaped the unit ("war correspondents and photographers who visited us were all amazed by the morale and enthusiasm everywhere"), the move to Italy to the headquarters of the Allied forces, the peak motivation of the Hebrew soldiers: "Their only fear was that the Allies' victory over the Nazis might come too soon, before they were ready to deliver their blow against the hated enemy...".
He also describes in detail the daily religious and cultural life in the unit, Kabalat Shabbat, prayers, the soldiers' initial demand that their day of rest would be Shabbat, reading Megilat Esther and Purim celebrations, holding a Passover seder, and other festivals, searching for Torah scrolls plundered by the Nazis, and more. He also documents the operational activity in which he participated to clear the front of Nazi presence, the soldiers' dedicated work in assisting the survivors, locating refugees, and assisting their immigration to Eretz Israel, and the horrific way in which they found the survivors in the camps, provides important statistical data on the number of Jewish fighters in each country, and more. The book is accompanied by important photographic plates documenting Rabbi Casper and the Brigade soldiers during the war.
At the beginning of the book is a photo of the author and a memorial plate with the names of Jewish soldiers in the Brigade who fell in the war. At the end, the author provides important letters and various documents dealing with the Jewish Brigade when it was established, declarations and transcripts from Zionist Agency meetings that dealt with the Brigade, Weizmann's letter to the British Prime Minister on the importance of establishing a Hebrew unit as early as August 1939, and more.
Bernard Moses Casper (1916-1988) was a British-South African rabbi. Born and raised in London and educated in his youth in London and Cambridge. He served as both a rabbi and educator in Manchester and London. Served as Chief Rabbi in the British Army for most of World War II, and served with distinction as senior rabbi of the Jewish Infantry Brigade. In 1956 he was appointed the first Dean for Student Affairs at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and was called to Johannesburg in 1963 as Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregation of Johannesburg. In 1964 he became Chief Rabbi of the Federation of Synagogues of South Africa.
128 p. 19 cm. Perfect copy, hard cover with original dust jacket. Very good condition.