||A strongly worded appeal for European Jewry by R. Zevi Pesah Frank, Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem. The broadside, which is undated, has the heading is from the Bet din ha-Gadol to all the Ashkenaz congregations in Jerusalem. It has the verse “My bowels, my bowels! I am pained at my very heart; my heart moans in me; I cannot hold my peace, because you have heard, O my soul, the sound of the shofar, the alarm of war” (Jeremiah 4:19) and then calls out people of the Lord, be very strong and call to the Lord with fervor. The broadside refers to the dreadful news that reaches us daily about the conditions of our brothers the children of Israel and makes every heart tremble. The vast majority of the Jewish people are given over “an enemy who oppresses you” (Deuteronomy 10:9). It refers to the holy obligation to arouse supplication, entreaty, and appeal before the One dwells on high to show grace to His people and land and to quickly bring them from darkness to light.
R. Zevi Pesah Frank was born in Kovno, Lithuania, the son of R. Judah Leib Frank. He studied in Lithuanian yeshivas, learning under Rabbi Eliezer Gordon, among others. In 1891, he emigrated to Palestine with his brother Tanhum and sister Zippora. His parents arrived in 1893. R. Zevi Pesach continued his studies in yeshivas in Jerusalem. His father was one of the founders of Hadera. In 1907, R. Frank was appointed dayan in the Beth Din of the Edah Ha-Hareidis headed by Rabbi Shmuel Salant, the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem. Frank served on this Beth Din for nearly 60 years, eventually becoming Av Beit Din (head of the rabbinical court) and Rav of Jerusalem. Frank was active in establishing the office of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and was instrumental in appointing Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook as the first Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi. Rabbi Jacob Meir, the first Sephardic Chief Rabbi, had been in Palestine prior to the formal development of the office. Frank was recognized for his efforts by The Pacific Club in 1917 for advancing American relationships in the region. However, although Frank was a member of the Israeli Chief Rabbinate Council from its inception in 1921, he did not attend meetings of that body for six years prior to his death. One of his last acts was to send a letter to the meeting of rabbis in Tel Aviv, supporting the boycott of elections to the Chief Rabbinate.