An epic journey across borders, The Vale of Tears chronicles close to two years in the life of Rabbi Pinchas Hirschprung as he seeks an escape route from Nazi-occupied Europe.
In this rare, near day-by-day account, Rabbi Hirschprung illuminates what life was like for an Orthodox rabbi fleeing persecution, finding inspiration and hope in Jewish scripture and psalms as he navigates the darkness of wartime to a safe harbour in Kobe, Japan.
Rabbi Pinchas Hirschprung was born in Dukla, Poland, in 1912. In the spring of 1941, he managed to escape Europe for Japan, immigrating to Montreal nine months later. A world-renowned Torah and Talmudic scholar, Rabbi Hirschprung became the chief rabbi of Montreal in 1969 and led its Jewish community until his death in 1998. Rabbi Hirschprung's Yiddish-language memoir was published in 1944 and translated into Hebrew in 1948; The Vale of Tears is its first English translation.
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