‘Understanding Reb Elchonon’ is an unprecedented translation and elucidation in English of a selection of the prodigious Talmudic discourses of Rabbi Elchonon Wasserman (1874-1941), who was one of the great pre-war European Rabbis. The book provides the reader with a conduit into the mind of a true Torah giant and covers topics such as whether the mitzvot will apply in the Hereafter, whether we have to listen to the rabbis and the Divine origin of halachic measurements.
Rabbi Mordechai Ginsbury, Senior Rabbi at Hendon, addressed the attendees, saying how delighted he was that the book launch was being hosted by the Hendon community. He expressed how fitting it was that the launch coincided with the run up to Purim given that the holiday is also associated with the renewed commitment to Torah study and observance. Rabbi Ginsbury thanked Rabbi Hughes and his wife, Chana, for all their activities which they have been engaged in since joining the shul to further promote Torah learning, Jewish pride and active engagement in community life. He added that Rabbi Hughes’ publication of a scholarly work was especially impressive since it was completed while he has been engaged in community life.
Rabbi Hughes spoke of his appreciation of all who have aided him in his spiritual and professional development and how providential it was that the book was unwittingly printed in Vilna, Lithuania, a city that was the Jerusalem of pre-war Europe and the country in which Rabbi Elchonon Wasserman was born and tragically murdered by Nazi collaborators.
Hendon chairman, Marc Meyer, said:
“I found it quite exhilarating to see the strong attendance for Rabbi Hughes’ book launch. The Associate Rabbi of Raleigh Close publishing his second book on understanding a contemporary Torah giant is a symbol of the renewal of commitment to Torah study in our community.”
Vice chairman, Daniel Rose, commented:
“We are very proud of our Associate Rabbi, Rav Jonny Hughes. To author a book of such depth and profundity is quite some feat, especially in his first year in the rabbinate.”