Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Chassidic son of Rabbi Dr. Bernard Revel



Some time ago my uncle showed me a small קונטרס (booklet) he came across in a shemot pile. The booklet entitled שמחה ע"פ דרך החסידות 'Joy according to the Chassidic Method' was written by none other than the son of Rabbi Dr. Bernard Revel (pictured top) the renowned President of Yeshiva College from 1915 to 1940 . The author's name is listed as Eliezer Tzvi Revel author of

(pictured bottom) אוצר הסוטה והמסורת בדברי הרמב"ם

and the booklet was first published in 1953 (תשי"ג) and reprinted in Tel Aviv in תשמ"ג) 1983).

It is worth reproducing here part of the introduction to the booklet, to get a bit of a clearer understanding of the younger Rabbi Revel.


יש הרבה והרבה המשתוקקים למצוא ספר אחד שיסביר באופן מקיף את עיקרי החסידות של הבעש"ט ותלמידיו. הגם שיש כמה ספרים על תולדות החסידות אבל לדאבונינו אין ספר אחד המסביר כל עיקרי החסידות. פרק זה הוא חלק מן החומר שאספתי עד עתה מיותר מג' מאות ספרים קונטרסים ומאמרים של הצדיקים היותר מפורסמים והסיפורים עליהם. ואי"ה כשירחיב הקב"ה את גבולי אקווה בעז"ה להוציא ספרי 'עיקרי החסידות' .פרק זה סדרתי במהירות ומצמצום הזמן והוצאת הדפוס סמנתי רק שמות בעלי המאמרים...

Apparently, this work was only a precursor to a much larger and exhaustive study on the Chassidic movement. However in basic internet searches, I have not come across any work by that name (עיקרי החסידות) by this particular individual. if anyone has any more information about this intriguing figure, i'd appreciate it[2].

Notes:

1.) It is interesting how he refers to his father with almost Chassidic reverence. In אוצר הסוטה he calls him רכשבה"ג literally 'Rabbi of all the exiles' (see photo of titlepage above).


2).
I do know (and I am indebted to S. from onthemainline for this tidbit) that according to Aaron Rakeffet's
PhD thesis/ book on the elder Rav Revel-which I have not yet had a chance to read- he (R' Bernard) married into a Chassidic Chabad family, the Travises of Oklahoma who incidentally were wealthy oilmen(!). Perhaps this may explain the younger Revel's (he lists his name as 'Hershel' and his birth year 1915) enrapture with Chassidut?
See Rakeffet, Aron. Bernard Revel; builder of American Jewish orthodoxy. Feldheim (1981)

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11 Comments:

At Tuesday, December 04, 2007 12:47:00 AM, Blogger Lion of Zion said...

did he write the book from "academic" interest or because he really hassidic tendencies?

did not know the travises were habadniks. interesting. especially since they were big money people at yu (this is how revel got his job), which was "litivish"

you should really ask menachem butler if he knows about revel's son.

 
At Wednesday, December 05, 2007 3:35:00 AM, Blogger Ha-historion said...

I don't have the booklet in front of me but from what i gathered , it seemed to me that he allot more than just a detached researcher.

 
At Monday, October 19, 2009 4:19:00 AM, Blogger Natan said...

In Rothkoff/Rakefet's PhD pg. 44 it says: "The Travis family members identified with the Lubawitcher Chassidim (sic) and they continued their pious traditions in the United States". However, what I gathered from personal information (my grandfather was best friend and business partner with Sam Travis in Tulsa Oklahoma)they were not avid Habadnikim - they actually brought to the synagogue that they established in Tulsa, a R. Morris Teller, a Rabbi ordained at JTS (at that time JTS was close to Orthodoxy).

 
At Thursday, March 01, 2012 5:12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know this is a very old post, but i just wanted to put in that Dr Revel was actually related to me. Im a Travis family member. An interesting tidbit on Dr Revel, I have seen the siddur he davened from. He used a siddur tefillas mikol shana. It is al pi nusach ari, and has kabalistic and chassidic insights all around the side. The books margins are full of his writings on the maamarim and kabbala found throughout the siddur.

 
At Saturday, January 12, 2013 9:05:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Herschel Revel was first and foremost a talmid chacham following closely in his father's footsteps. He died young and did not finish his opus on chassidut. It is difficult to know whetehr his interest was more than academic. The Travis brothers had an uncle, who had studied in Lubavichi in the Ukraine. Those brothers that remained religious in the US continued to daven "nosach HaAri". The Travis brothers were realistic about what could be expected as far as yiddishkeit in Tulsa Oklahoma. One brother took his children to Europe to be educated at the Samson Raphael Hirsch school in Frankfurt am Main, in 1926. One branch of the chabad Bistritzky family is descendant of the Travis family.

 
At Sunday, January 13, 2013 7:18:00 AM, Blogger Joels W. Davidi said...

Anon, Thank you so much for that comment. Please consider choosing a username next time you leave a comment, since a overwhelming of spam (and I was about to delete yours, thinking it was just more of the same). Again, thank you for this fascinating information!

 
At Tuesday, February 19, 2013 1:46:00 PM, Anonymous Moshe Moshel said...

Fascinating blog here, I just came across it today after coming across this Kuntress on Chasidus in the BMG library.

 
At Tuesday, February 19, 2013 6:19:00 PM, Blogger Joels W. Davidi said...

Thanks for commenting Moshe. I am a bit taken aback that his kuntress is in the BMG library. I am aware that BMG has a pretty well-stocked library, but I didn't expect them to have this.

 
At Tuesday, October 08, 2013 7:11:00 PM, Blogger Closet Shopper said...

My grandmother, Rachel Revel Turner, was Bernard's sister. They were very close and when they my grandmother and her husband emigrated to the US from Paris they came to Oklahoma to be with them. My mother was Uncle Bernie and Aunt Sarah's eldest niece. I have some wonderful writings from Uncle Bernie and Aunt Sarah Travis. If anyone has questions or if Travis family members want to establish a connection feel free to contact me.

 
At Tuesday, October 08, 2013 7:12:00 PM, Anonymous Miabethe@aol.com said...

My grandmother, Rachel Revel Turner, was Bernard's sister. They were very close and when they my grandmother and her husband emigrated to the US from Paris they came to Oklahoma to be with them. My mother was Uncle Bernie and Aunt Sarah's eldest niece. I have some wonderful writings from Uncle Bernie and Aunt Sarah Travis. If anyone has questions or if Travis family members want to establish a connection feel free to contact me.

 
At Wednesday, June 18, 2014 8:51:00 PM, Blogger Joels W. said...

Updated with photos of the Kuntres in question.

 

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