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Even if Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver had not led The Temple for 46 years, or led the fight for public and government support for the establishment of the State of Israel, or been a civic activist, his writings would place him as Cleveland's most published and best known Jewish author. If time permits reading only one book by Abba Hillel Silver, my suggestion is "Where Judaism Differs".

Arnold Berger

A History of Messianic Speculation in Israel:
From the First Through the Seventeenth Centuries (1927)

The nucleus of this book is Silver's doctorate thesis at Hebrew Union College. It begins before the birth of Jesus and continues through the Shabbatai Zevi movement in the 17th century.

The cover shown is that of the 1978 republished edition.

The Democratic Impulse and Jewish History (1928)

Two short essays on Israel's mission, a total of only 43 pages, published in 1928.


Where Judaism Differs (1956)
An Inquiry Into the Distinctiveness of Judaism

This book's origin may have been in a series of six Sunday morning lectures Rabbi Silver gave starting in February 1952 titled Where Judaism Differs. His publishers at Macmillan insisted that the title be in the past tense: Where Judaism Differed. A later edition, with a foreword by his son Rabbi Daniel Jeremy Silver and a preface by Emil Fackenheim, a German-born Jewish philosopher and Reform rabbi, was titled Where Judaism Differs. The books are otherwise identical.

Reviewers have noted that the book is careful not to assert superiority or uniqueness.

MOSES and the Original Torah: the real character of Moses and the essential message of the Torah (1961)

Young Abe Silver was in a pageant produced by the Herzl Zion Club he helped found. He played Moses. Moses was also the subject of this, his last book.

Searches found no mention of this book in Cleveland's Jewish weeklies, and no review in the Plain Dealer.  Fortunately the online archive JSTOR has an eight page review published in the Fall of 1963 by another rabbi-scholar, David S. Shapiro, of Milwaukee's Orthodox Anshe Sfard, in Tradition: A Journal of Orthodox Jewish Thought. We show the first page below.

Read the entire review online (JSTOR registration required)
Religion in a Changing World 
Richard R. Smith, Inc.  204 pages. (1931)

A collection of ten essays by Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver:

  • The Role of Religion in a Changing World
  • Science and Religion
  • The Church and Social Justice
  • The Widening Horizons of Social Service
  • The Church and World Peace
  • The One and the Many
  • Liberalism at the Crossroads
  • What is Happening to the American Home
  • Education and the Good Life
  • How Shall We Measure Life?

The World Crisis and Jewish Survival
- A Group of Essays
Richard R Smith NY  (1941)
  • The World Crisis and Jewish Survival
  • The Rediscovery of Judaism
  • Israel
  • In the Midst of Many Peoples
  • The Prophet and His People

Vision and Victory (1949)
A Collection of Addresses by Dr. Abba Hillel Silver 1942 - 1948
Published by the Zionist Organization of America

This 232 page book is a celebration of the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. Here are the credits

  • Speeches are by Abba Hillel Silver.
  • Foreword by Dr. Emanuel Neumann
  • Historical notes by Harold P. Manson
  • Assistance by Sulamith Schwartz
The book's collaborators ...

were connected by their Zionism and friendship with Abba Hillel Silver (1893 - 1963).

  • Dr. Emanuel Neumann (18931980) grew up with Abba Hillel Silver in New York's Lower East Side. Their adult lives were devoted to the Zionist cause, Silver as a rabbi, Neumann as an attorney and organizational leader. His last service to his friend was to speak at his funeral. (See our page.) (Read my recollections.)
  • Harold P Manson (1918-1984), who wrote the historical notes that are an important part of Vision and Victory,  was director of information for the American Zionist Emergency Council from 1944 to 1948. He married Emanuel Neumann's daughter Natanya in 1957.
  • Sulamith Schwartz (1908-2002), who assisted, was a granddaughter of Rev. Tzvi Hirsch Masliansky (1856-1943), our nation's greatest Yiddish preacher and an early Zionist leader. Our Masliansky pages describe how he was Silver's boyhood mentor and oratorical inspiration.


Volume I      Therefore Choose Life
Selected Sermons, Addresses and Writings of Abba Hillel Silver, edited by Herbert Weiner (1967)
  • Memoir by Rabbi Solomon Freehof
  • The Vision
  • The Way
  • The People
  • The Rabbi
Volume 2    A Word In Its Season
Selected Sermons, Addresses and Writings of Abba Hillel Silver, edited by Herbert Weiner (1972)
  • The Cycle of Faith
  • The Cycle of Life
  • The Cycle of History
  • The Cycle of Memory

Organized and published in the nine years following his death in November 1963, these two volumes are the largest collection of Rabbi Silver's sermons, speeches and writings.

The Temple - Tifereth Israel in Beachwood Ohio has a collection of his sermons.

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