Saturday, December 13, 2008

Barukh Dayan Ha-Emes

The funeral for Rabbi Dr. Gersion Appel will take place on Sunday, December 14, at 1:30 P.M. at Schwartz Brothers Chapel, 114-03 Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills. Shiva will be observed at the address posted in the comments section through Friday, December 19.

Rabbi Appel was the author of A Philosophy of Mitzvot, recently republished by Yashar. He received ordination from Yeshiva University's RIETS, specifically from R. Bernard Revel and R. Moshe Soloveichik. I think he was the last to be ordained by them before they passed away in 1940 and 1941. He even wrote the eulogy in the Yeshiva College newspaper The Commentator for R. Revel. He later moved to Worcester, Massachusetts to become the rabbi of a synagogue. He decided he wanted to study more Jewish philosophy and, on the recommendation of R. Shmuel Belkin, began meeting with Dr. Harry Wolfson on a weekly basis. Eventually, Dr. Wolfson suggested that he enroll in Harvard to get credit for his studies. R. Appel did and went on to obtain a doctorate, with his thesis on the Sefer Ha-Chinukh serving as the basis for his book A Philosophy of Mitzvot. He later taught at Stern and eventually became the head of, I believe, its philosophy or Jewish philosophy department (or something like that -- if anyone knows, please inform me so I can change this).

May Hashem comfort the family with all those who mourn for Zion and Jerusalem.

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