This work recounts the details of Rabbi Eliezer Silver’s colorful life, from his early years in Europe through the final years of his courageous efforts to guide and lead the Agudat Harabanim, the oldest of the several Orthodox rabbinical organizations in America. When the years of the Second World War brought American Jewry face to face with the nightmare of the destruction of six million Jews, Rabbi Silver’s abilities for leadership and incisive action came fully to the fore. As leader of Vaad Hatzala, the rescue committee established by the Agudat Harabanim, he played a crucial role in American Jewish efforts to help the unfortunate victims and pitiful survivors of the Holocaust. In the postwar years, among other activities, Rabbi Silver was a founder of the Agudath Israel of America.
This book is the first serious, scholarly attempt to describe and evaluate in depth the activities and viewpoints of one of the major figures to emerge in American Jewish Orthodoxy in the years when it came of age.