Source for information on Brafman, Jacob: Encyclopaedia Judaica dictionary. Brafman attacked the Jewish communal organization (kahal) in Russian. Iakov Brafman was born to a poor Jewish family, grew up almost uneducated and rebellious, and clashed with the kahal (the Jewish self-governing community). It is divided into four parts: (1) The transactions of the ḳahal of Minsk (“ḳahal,” derived from the Hebrew = “community,” assumed in Russian the significance of .

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Some time after, by order of the holy synod April 29,I was called to St.

Petersburg in brafmannn with the report, and was subsequently May 13, appointed professor of Hebrew at the Minsk seminary. I was also charged with finding a means for overcoming the obstacles to conversion to Christianity set up by the Jews Thoroughly familiar with the Jewish question as I had professed Judaism till the age of thirty-fourI knew where to draw the materials necessary for the work, and the archbishop of Minsk furnished me with the means.

My task was facilitated by the co-operation of several uacob Jews4.

I thus obtained valuable material which served not only for the brafmanh in hand, but also to throw light on the Jewish question in general, as well as their social and religious organization in Russia. This material included over a thousand acts of the Jewish Kahal civil administrationand of the beth-dins Talmudic law courtsshowing the power and extent of their secret government.

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The Kahal goes so far as to decree what individuals may be invited to, and what dishes served at, a Jewish family feast. On the important question, whether the law of the land is binding on the Jews, the comments in the Talmud are evasive, but the documents here listed under Nos. Similarly, on the question of the real estate and appurtenances belonging to non-Jews, the Talmud is brafmamn but the jacog acts cited in our fifth article prove conclusively that the Kahal may sell to Jews the right Hasaka and Meropie to the real estate and appurtenances of any gentile.

The documents also prove that the Kahal and the beth-din are not bound to judge according to Jewish law, but may hand down personal decisions as they please-Thus, by secret acts, the Jews circumvent their Christian jacib and acquire a controlling share of the capital and real estate of the country. I submitted these documents together with my recommendations to Gov.


The authenticity of all the documents is thoroughly established; the documents published herewith cover kacob period from to To facilitate their study, they have been arranged in seventeen categories, each preceded by a short explanation on the laws and customs referred to, and indicating their real aim and influence on the Jews and on the gentiles.


As the subject of Brafmann’s other work, The Jewish Beafmann, has been treated rather fully in chapter II, it is hardly necessary to give an analysis of the book here. French translation by Mgr. Jouin, Les Sources de VimpM- alisme juif: Le Qahal Paris, About the middle of the last century, Jacob Brafmajn, a Jewish rabbi in Russia, became a convert to Christianity and spent the rest of his life endeavouring to throw light on the Jewish questions in general, and on the situation in Russia in particular, both in the interest of gentiles and of the Jews themselves.

Brafmann’s story, given in his own words in the preface to the Book of the Kahal, is reprinted here: Our translation, somewhat abbreviated.

See Vilna Brfmann ,