Joseph Israel Deutsch
Joseph Israel (Yosef Yisroel) Deutsch (1843-1927)
Chief Rabbi Joseph Israel Deutsch z'tl was born in Pozsony (Presburg, today Bratislava, Slovakia) 1843- died at Balassagyarmat, 30. January 1927. (27 Shevat 5687, by the hebrew calendar). Son of Chief Rabbi Aaron (Aharon) David Deutsch, brother of Moses Deutsch z'tl, Chief Rabbi of Salgótarján. His twin sons, David (Chaim Aaron David) Deutsch z'tl later chief rabbi of Balassagyarmat and Menachem Zvi (Manó) Deutsch z'tl, Chief Rabbi of Vámosmikola.
He was a student of his father, then, in the yeshiva of Pozsony (Bratislava) he became the pupil of the Ktav Sofer (Chief Rabbi Abraham Shmuel Binyamin Schreiber, son of the Chatam Sofer). In 1872 he became as av bet din (Chief Rabbi) in Szendrő, and, in 1878, succeeded his father as av bet din in Balassagyarmat. He served as chief rabbi, spiritual leader of the Jewish Community of Balassagyarmat for about fifty years.
His responsa, by the title of "Ben Gorni" was published by his sons, David and Manó Deutsch (Torna - today Turna nad Bodvou, Slovakia, 1931). The title is from the biblical verse “O my trampled one, and child of my threshing floor (Ben Gorni); that which I have heard from the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, have I declared to you” (Isaiah 21:10). Its also refers to the title of his father's work "Goren David" (threshing floor of David). There is an introduction from David and Manó Deutsch, the author’s sons and both serving as av bet din. The text is in two columns in rabbinic type. In addition to the discourses on the Torah there are discourses on other subjects, such as zayin Adar (7th Adar, the anniversary of the birth and the death of Moses), Purim, and the Haggadah. At the end of the volume are siyums on several tractates and a eulogy on R. Joseph Emanuel Deutsch, av bet din Raudnitz.
After his death, his son David (Chaim Aaron David) Deutsch followed him as Chief rabbi (av beit din) of Balassagyarmat.