StorageSiteUCL Special Collections
Reference Number MS MOCATTA/54
Title'Alim li-terufah
DateLate 19th century
DescriptionManuscript of 'Alim li-terufah a work in English and Hebrew on circumcision. Translator's copy, with bookplate, annotated and with additional holograph notes and letters, mainly in Hebrew, inserted.
Extent16 leaves
AdminHistoryBorn Glasgow, first son of Philip Asher, son of Rabbi Zev Wolf of Lublin, and his wife, Hannah, a native of the Netherlands, 1837; educated at St Enoch's parish school and Glasgow high school; obtained his medical degree from the University of Glasgow at the age of 19, becoming the first Jew in Scotland to enter the medical profession; worked as a parochial medical officer in Bishopbriggs, augmenting his income with private medical work; honorary Medical Officer to the Glasgow Hebrew Philanthropic Society, 1858-1862; Honorary Secretary, Glasgow Hebrew congregation, 1860-1862; moved to London, 1862, and joined Jacob Canstatt in practice, providing medical care for the Jewish poor of London under the auspices of the newly formed London Jewish Board of Guardians; married Lucy, daughter of Samuel Garcia, a prominent member of the Sephardi Jewish community in London, 1864; two sons and one daughter; appointed Secretary to the Great Synagogue in London, 1866; involved in the creation of the United Synagogue, 1870, and became its first secretary, 1871-1889; credited with the early success of the United Synagogue's programme for visiting hospitals, prisons, and asylums, and acted as a representative of the community to the Home Office and hospital authorities; involved in the founding of the Jewish convalescent home at Norwood and was its honorary medical officer; had intimate relations with the Rothschilds, in his capacity of medical attendant, unofficial almoner and personal friend; co-operating with leading philanthropists he travelled to Russia, the United States, and Palestine, giving advice on ameliorating the lot of Jewish immigrants; combined strict religious observance with a considerable freedom of thought and an abhorrence of those customs which he condemned as superstitious; took a special interest in berit milah and was a leading member of the Hevrat ha-Keneset Berit (Circumcision Society); died London, 1889. Publications include: 'The Jewish Rite of Circumcision' (1873), and contributions to the Jewish press, often under the pseudonym, 'Aliquis'.
CustodialHistoryPart of the Jewish Museum collection. Formerly held with other Jewish collections in the Mocatta Library of University College London.
AcquisitionTransferred from the Mocatta Library (subsequently the Jewish Studies Library) of University College London.
AccessConditionsThe papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to Archives and Manuscripts material, after the completion of a Reader's Undertaking.
Related MaterialUniversity College London Special Collections holds other material related to Jewish circumcision (Ref: MS MOCATTA 33, 72; GASTER/1/A)
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