Friday, June 24, 2011

Rabbi David Aaaron de Sola (1796-1860)

David Aaron de Sola (1796 - 1860) was a rabbi and author, born in Amsterdam. When but eleven years of age he entered as a student the bet-hamidrash of his native city, and after a course of nine years received his rabbinical diploma. In 1818 he was elected one of the ministers of the Bevis Marks Congregation, London. De Sola's addresses before the Society for the Cultivation of Hebrew Literature led the mahamad (board of directors of the congregation) to appoint him to deliver discourses in the vernacular, and on March 26, 1831, he preached the first sermon in English ever heard within the walls of Bevis Marks Synagogue. His discourses were subsequently published by the mahamad. In 1829 he issued his first work, The Blessings, and in 1836 he published his Translation of the Forms of Prayer According to the Custom of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews, in six volumes, of which a second edition was issued in 1852. This translation formed the basis for several subsequent ones.
In 1837 de Sola published The Proper Names in Scripture. In 1839, he translated eighteen treatises of the Mishna to English. In 1840 de Sola, conjointly with Raphall, began the publication of an English translation of the Scriptures together with a commentary. Only the first volume, Genesis, was published, in 1844.
Besides his works in English, de Sola wrote in Hebrew, German, and Dutch. He contributed frequently between 1836 and 1845 to the Allgemeine Zeitung des Judenthums and to Der Orient, and published in German A Biography of Epharim Luzzato and a Biography of Distinguished Israelites in England. His chief work in Dutch was his Biography of Rabbi Isaac Shemuel Reggio published in 1855 and afterward translated into English.

You can get some books (reprints) of Rabbi David Aaron de Sola online. Check HERE.