A few months ago, I was visiting the office of my wife's first cousin Menachem Goldstein in his capacity as my dentist. Menachem is named for their grandfather Mendel Baum, as is my wife's eldest brother and another of the first cousins.
Menachem had just returned from a visit to his father in London (his mother died eleven years ago) and while he was there, he went through his father's library. While doing so, he found two books that had belonged to the grandfather, Mendel Baum, with handwritten notes inside the front and back covers. (One of them had only a back cover.) Both books were pretty much falling apart and Menachem brought them to me to see if I could learn anything new about the family.
The notes are in handwritten Hebrew, some in pen but some in badly-faded pencil. Some of it, I could make out pretty well. Other parts were not only difficult to read, but appeared to be riddles written in flowery language. I took them to Rav Dovid Shapiro, a document expert, to get them properly transcribed.
Almost all the genealogy notes were in the front of the first book (Kings and Chronicles, with commentaries, published in Vilna in 1874) and I want to present that here. I have not attempted to interpret the riddles but I will make those available when I have a chance. The remaining genealogy items will also have to wait.
The material I describe below is available online now.
I am presenting this now, a few days before the Shavuot holiday, for a reason which will become clear below.
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|This is the frontspiece for the book |
in which all the above appears.