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Bidding Information
Lot #    10803
Auction End Date    7/12/2005 10:02:00 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
          
Title Information
Title (English)    Letter by R. Elhanan Bunim Wasserman
Title (Hebrew)    כתב מה'ר אלחנן בונם ווסרמן, ר'י אוהל תורה ברנוביץ
Author    [Ms.]
City    Baranowicze
Publication Date    1936
          
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
          
Description Information
Physical
Description
   [1] p., 138:215 mm., ink on stationary, creased on folds, neat Ashkenazic hand, 10 lines of text, signed and dated.
          
Detailed
Description
   Letter to R. David Potash in Riga thanking him for an etrog, wising him and the family all the best for the new year, and bemoaning the low spiritual condition of the Jewish nation in general and poor financial conditions of Yeshivot in particular.

R. Elhanan Bunim Wasserman (1875–1941), Lithuanian talmudic scholar, yeshivah head, and communal leader. R. Elhanan received his education at the yeshivot of Volozhin and Telz, which were headed at the time by R. Eliezer Gordon and R. Simeon Shkop, respectively. In 1899 he married the daughter of Meir Atlas, rabbi of Salant, and spent some years studying in his father-in-law's home. In 1903 he was appointed head of the yeshivah of Amtshilov, where he proved an outstanding teacher, greatly influencing his students. He joined the kolel of the Hafez Hayyim in Radun in 1907 and remained there until 1910, when he was appointed rabbi of Brest-Litovsk. During World War I he returned to Radun and when the war reached that town the yeshivah moved to Smilovichi, where R. Elhanan was appointed its head. After the war he moved to Poland and established a yeshivah at Baranowicze, which became one of the most famous in Eastern Europe. He was one of the main pillars of the Agudat Israel movement together with R. Hayyim Ozer Grodzinski and the Hafez Hayyim, and was regarded as the latter's spiritual successor. R. Elhanan emerged as one of the outstanding leaders of Orthodox Jewry. In addition to his academic activities, he played a major role in communal affairs, contributing extensively to the Jewish press, and figuring prominently at Agudat Israel conferences.

He wrote Ikvata di-Meshiha, 1942, and published the responsa of Solomon b. Abraham Adret (the Rashba) with annotations (19362). His talmudic novellae appeared in the rabbinic journal Sha'arei Ziyyon (1929–34) and in other publications. At the outbreak of World War II he fled to Vilna and in June 1941, while on a visit to Kovno, was arrested by the Nazis together with 12 other rabbis and sent to his death. On their last journey R. Elhanan encouraged his fellow victims to walk proudly and with head erect. "The fire which will consume our bodies will be the fire through which the people of Israel will arise to a new life, " he assured them.

          
Reference
Description
   EJ; Ha-Makhon le-Heker Be'ayot ha-Yahadut ha-Haredit (ed.), Elleh Ezkerah, 1 (1956), 82–91; Y. D. Kamson (ed.), Yahadut Lita, 1 (1960), 223, 233.
        
Associated Images
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Listing Classification
Period
20th Century:    Checked
  
Location
Russia-Poland:    Checked
  
Subject
History:    Checked
  
Characteristic
Language:    Hebrew
  
Manuscript Type
Letters:    Checked
  
Kind of Judaica