||Illustrated biography of R. Silver and his activities for Judaism during the Holocaust, edited by R. Menahem Glickman-Porrush (1879-1952) of Jerusalem.
R. Silver, Orthodox Jewish leader, was born in Abel, Kovno province, Lithuania, he early achieved recognition for his unusual scholarly abilities. He studied under R. Meir Simhah ha-Kohen and R. Joseph Rozin of Dvinsk, R. Chaim Ozer Grodzinski of Vilna, and R Chaim Soloveichik of Brest-Litovsk. Silver emigrated to the United States in 1907 and became the rabbi of united Orthodox congregations in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Springfield, Massachusetts (1925); and Cincinnati, Ohio (1931), where he remained until his death. Silver was a leading spokesman for Orthodoxy on the American scene. In 1923 he was elected president of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis, and he remained a member of its presidium until his death. He founded the U.S. branch of Agudat Israel in 1939 and served as its first president. When the refugee yeshivah pupils reached Vilna in 1939–40 following the Nazi invasion of Poland, he founded the Va'ad Hazzalah, and during the ensuing years he applied the same body to rescuing European rabbis, scholars, and students. In 1946 Silver visited Europe and Erez Israel as an official representative of the United States government to assist the war refugees. He continued to aid the many centers of rabbinic learning which were reestablished in Erez Israel in cooperation with the Israel Va'ad ha-Yeshivot. In appearance and erudition an Orthodox rabbi of the old school, Silver possessed a scintillating and non-conformist personality and a remarkable sense of humor. His dedication and selflessness were highly regarded and he was often called upon to mediate in disputes in communities throughout the United States. Silver was a constant contributor to talmudic and halakhic periodicals. He edited part of his talmudic novellae and they were published in two volumes entitled Anfei Erez (1960–62).