"Ethical Wills: A Modern Jewish Treasury""

Well, we had heard some time ago from Shmuel Elchonan, our third cousin in Israel, that the Rabbi Spektor's "ethical will" had been published in the 1980s in a book titled "Ethical Wills: A Modern Jewish Treasury." I finally got around to tracking down the book and ordering a copy.

Here's a quick plug for Alibris.com, a online book source that aggregates the used book collections in independent bookstores around the U.S. (maybe the world). When I went looking for this title on Amazon, they had it listed but no new or used copies were available. Then I tried Alibris, and found at least six copies available at a range of prices. My copy cost $14.15 plus shipping and was actually sent from Sea Shell Books, a bookseller in Clearwater FL. It is in very good condition with a handwritten inscription by the previous owner.

Anyway back to the contents of the book. It is a collection of Jewish ethical wills, categorized into four groups for Traditional Wills (mostly written by rabbis), Wills from the Holocaust, Wills from the Land of Israel, and Wills of Modern and Contemporary American Jews.

The book was edited and annotated by Jack Riemer with translations by Nathaniel Stampfer. The frontispiece is shown below. Rather than try to summarize the Rabbi Spektor will, I will post images of the full translation in the next post, and then after that tell about the other surprise that awaited in the book.