Conference Proceeding: A Newly-Discovered Document of Nineteenth-Century Orthodox Jewry: The Notebook of a Mohel in Baltimore and Beyond

During the course of cataloging work at Towson University, Chaim discovered a volume of Sod ha-Shem, a manual for a mohel (ritual circumciser) printed in Amsterdam in 1744. Appended to the leaves is a complete log of the mohel Noteh Grümbach's travels beginning in 1818 in Hesse and Bavaria and environs and continuing with his relocation to Baltimore in 1853. The historical record presented by the writing in this volume is wide-ranging and significant. This presentation will detail events in Grümbach’s life and situate his work in the broader context of 19th century American history. Chaim will demonstrate Grümbach's extensive itineraries into states as far as Ohio and South Carolina via a map outlining dates and places of travel, and will discuss the effects of increased urbanization and the growth of railroads on his travels.