Rabbi, Deceased Person
1670 – 1756
Who was Aaron Hart?
He was son of Naphtali Hertz of Hamburg, a prosperous Jewish resident of that city. After studying at a yeshiva in Poland, he married the daughter of R. Samuel ben Phoebus of Fürth, author of a commentary on Eben ha'Ezer. It was probably through the influence of his wealthy brother, Moses Hart, founder of the Great Synagogue, in Dukes Place in London, that he was appointed rabbi of the first Ashkenazic synagogue in that city. This was opened in Broad street, Miter square, in 1692.
His tenure saw a great expansion in Jewish life in Britain, and the growth of a number of small provincial communities. Such communities were often served by single hard-worked officials, who referred questions to the Rabbi of the Great Synagogue in London. Hart's advice was also sought when appointing shochetim and other officials. They looked to him to authorise marriages; both functions are still exercised by the Chief Rabbinate today.
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