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Bidding Information
Lot #    9217
Auction End Date    2/15/2005 10:36:00 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Amudei Olam
Title (Hebrew)    עמודי עולם
Author    [Community - Only Ed.] R. Meir Joshua Krafman
City    Peterburg
Publisher    A. Zederbaum & A. Goldenblum
Publication Date    1880
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   Only edition. [6], 38 pp., 195:140 mm., wide margins, light age staining. A very good copy bound in modern cloth boards.
   Commemorative work celebrating the miraculous deliverance of Czar Alexander Nikolaievich II of Russia by R. Meir Joshua ben Jacob Krafman. There are Cyrillic and Hebrew title pages. R. Krafman states that he has written this book to show the lack of sense and corrupted morals and intelligence of those who rebel and deviate from our religion and Torah. He will point out to the reader the wonders of our Torah, that those who suffer from the illness of socialism will find in it a cure and will certainly know to honor our king, and will not associate with this group. It is R. Krafman’s hope that the reader will find enjoyment in this book as well as goodly explanations for many verses and sayings of our rabbis. There is an introduction from R. Krafman, who was the rav of דארפאט, followed by the text, which is divided into five chapters, set in a single column in five chapters. Chapters two through five are entitled Amud ha-Din, Amud ha-Emet, Amud ha-Shalom, and Amud ha-Shahar.

It would appear that Amudei Olam was prompted by an attempt to assassinate Alexander II. In 1878, Aaron Gobert, a member of the Narodniki, of whom it was said that he was worth a revolutionary circle, was executed in 1879 when his plot to assassinate the czar was discovered. Alexander II was czar of Russia from 1855–81. Developments in Russia under Alexander II and the measures he adopted were a result of the harsh legacy of the reign of his father Nicholas I, the aftermath of the Crimean War, and his attitude toward the rising revolutionary movement in Russia. Alexander's accession raised great expectations among the Jewish as well as the Russian population. The Jews hoped for a change in the oppressive policies pursued by Nicholas I. The abolition in 1856 of the special system of recruiting Jews for the army appeared as a good omen. Alexander, however, was firmly opposed to the abolition of the Pale of Settlement restricting Jewish residence. The basic Russian policy toward the Jews, which aimed to "reeducate" them and make them "useful members" of the state, underwent no change during his reign. Alexander II, however, attempted to promote their "improvement," and ultimate "fusion" with the Russian people, by extending the rights of certain groups within the Jewish population. These, by virtue of either their economic situation or education, were considered free of "Jewish fanaticism." His policy was also dictated by the demands of the Russian economy which could utilize Jewish capital and skill for its development. Alexander accordingly approved certain reforms to alleviate conditions for the Jews. In the last decade of his reign, when revolutionary tension mounted, the anti-Jewish oppressive policy again intensified. Nevertheless, Alexander was remembered by the Jews as a friendly and enlightened ruler. His assassination on March 13th, 1881, brought this relatively liberal interlude to an end and initiated a period of violent reaction.

Paragraph 2    אשר חברתי למזכרת נס מה שקרה לאדונינו הקיסר אלכסנדר ניקאלייעוויטש ... ביום ב אפריל שנת תרל"ט (אשר יצא איש בליעל... לשים קץ לחיי אדוננו)... להראות הפסד הדעת... של המורדים, בראיות... מתורתנו ... כי אף לחולי הסציליסטים נמצא בה תרופה ... מאתי... מאיר יהושע ב"ר יעקב קראפמאן רב בדארפאט.
   BE ayin 858; Greenberg, Jews in Russia I pp. 150-51; EJ; CD-EPI 0165168
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Listing Classification
19th Century:    Checked
Russia-Poland:    Checked
History:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica