On our recent trip to Milwaukee for the 90th Official Houdini Séance, we discovered the remarkable document reproduced above. It is a certified official copy of the rabbinical ordination credential for Rabbi Mayer Samuel Weiss, Houdini's father. It was issued in 1852, when Weiss was about 21 years old.
This document was filed with the Milwaukee County Registry of Deeds on November 16, 1882, and is now in the archives of the Milwaukee County Historical Society.
This is a true bombshell as many biographers have cast doubt in whether Mayer Samuel was a genuine Rabbi or just a lawyer who adopted the role of Rabbi in America. This document at last puts that notion to rest.
Great work, David!