Acquisition of a Fürth Torah edition from the personal papers of Ben-Chorin

A five-volume Torah edition, which was printed in Fürth between 1801 and 1803 and formerly owned by the famous Jewish Munich citizen Schalom Ben-Chorin (1913 – 1999), could now be purchased by the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek to expand its collection of rare Hebrew Bavarica.

Torah edition from the personal papers of Schalom Ben-Chorin (1913 – 1999) | © BSB

Torah edition from the personal papers of Schalom Ben-Chorin (1913 – 1999) | © BSB

The religious scholar and publicist Schalom Ben-Chorin was born as Fritz Rosenthal in Munich and had to leave Germany in 1935. A commemorative plate on his birth house near the Isartor cites his words: "Into my heart there flow the rivers Isar and Jordan".  In Jerusalem, he founded the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism, advocated reconciliation between Jews and Christians, but also between Israelis and Palestinians throughout his life, and became an honorary member of the Liberal Jewish Community of Munich Beth Shalom. He bequeathed the five volumes of the Torah to his son Tovia Ben-Chorin (1936 – 2022), who, as a liberal Rabbi, was active in Israel, the USA, in Zurich and Berlin among other places. He sold parts of his library shortly before he died in Switzerland on 22 March 2022.

Known as "Derekh selulah" (Hebrew for "The paved way"), the edition contains the original text of the Five Books of Moses with an Aramaic and a German translation in Hebrew script, as well as rabbinic comments. In the back, there is an ownership stamp with the name Fritz Rosenthal, the note 1927 and his address at the time: Oettingenstrasse 23 – right in the vicinity of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek.

Further information about the collection of Hebrew works