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Bidding Information
Lot #    14922
Auction End Date    7/18/2006 10:00:00 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
          
Title Information
Title (English)    Important historical letter by R. Jacob of Lissa
Title (Hebrew)    כתב היסטורי מהחות דעת זצ'ל
Author    [Ms. - Community]
City    Stanislaw
Publication Date    1822
          
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
          
Description Information
Physical
Description
   [1] p., 225:375 mm., light age staining, cresed on folds, 27 lines of text in a neat Ashkenazic script, signed and dated.
          
Detailed
Description
   The Havvat Da'at writes the leaders of the community of Lissa "...in all my life, I have not quarrelled even with a fly, now in my old age, I refuse to spend time in a place of quarrels..." It appears that a member of the community in concert with others, had informed the government that R. Jacob's visa was not in proper order (being a citizen of Poland he was required to have a German visa) as the community did not arrange the necessary taxes and papers. This resulted in the Havvat Da'at being summoned for trial in Stanislaw, where R. Jacob was fined. He continues by telling the community he longer wishes to be a part of them, will never take them to a Din Torah or otherwise pursue them - all he wants is restitution of the monies he had to pay for the trip to Stanislaw and the fines imposed on him. A letter with insight on the thinking and behavior of this great rabbi and gentle human.

R. Jacob b. Jacob Moses Lorbeerbaum of Lissa (c. 1760–1832), Polish rabbi and halakhist. His father, the rabbi of Zborow, died before Lorbeerbaum was born and his relative, R. Joseph Te'omim, brought him up. After his marriage he settled in Stanislaw and engaged in business, but devoted most of his time to study. He frequently attended the lectures of R. Meshullam Igra. When after a few years his business failed, he accepted the rabbinate of Monasterzyska where he founded a yeshiva. He was later appointed rabbi of Kalisz where he wrote most of his books and with exceptional humility published anonymously his work on parts of Shulhan Arukh, Yore Deah: Havvat Da'at, a name by which he himself became known in scholarly circles when his authorship came to light. This work was accepted in the rabbinic world as a compendium of practical halakhah, and won him the reputation of an outstanding posek. In 1809 he was invited to become rabbi of Lissa, long a center of Torah in Poland. R. Lorbeerbaum enlarged the yeshiva, to which hundreds of students streamed, among them many who later became great scholars and pioneers of the Hibbat Zion movement such as R. Elijah Guttmacher, R. Zevi Hirsch Kalischer, and R. Shraga Feivel Danziger. Many of R. Jacob's contemporaries turned to him with their problems. During his time the war between the reformers and the rabbis flared up, and R. Lorbeerbaum, together with R. Akiva Eger and R. Moses Sofer, unleashed a vehement attack against the maskilim and the reformers. In Lissa, however, as in other towns of Great Poland that came under Prussian rule after the partition of Poland, the influence of the Berlin reformers grew continually stronger. The schism between R. Lorbeerbaum and a large section of the community eventually became so great that in 1822 he decided to leave Lissa and return to Kalisz. There he devoted his time to study, rejecting all offers of rabbinic posts from large and ancient communities such as Lublin. In 1830 he quarreled with a powerful member of the community who denounced him to the government, compelling him to leave Kalisz. On the way to Budapest, where he had been invited to become av bet din, he passed through the regional town of Stryj and was persuaded to remain there.

The following of his works have been published: Havvat Da'at (Lemberg, 1799); Ma'aseh Nissim (Zolkiew, 1801), on the Passover Haggadah; Mekor Hayyim (ibid., 1807), novellae and expositions of the laws of Passover in the Shulhan Arukh together with the glosses of R. David b. Samuel ha-Levi and R. Abraham Abele Gombiner on the Orah Hayyim and novellae to tractate Keritot; Netivot ha-Mishpat (ibid., 1809–16), on Hoshen Mishpat; Torat Gittin (Frankfort on the Oder, 1813), the laws of divorce and novellae on tractate Gittin; Beit Ya'akov (Hrubieszow, 1823), expositions on Even ha-Ezer; Kehillat Ya'akov (1831), on Even ha-Ezer and some sections of Orah Hayyim; Derekh ha-Hayyim, an anthology of liturgical laws for the whole year, first published with the prayer book (1828) and then separately (1860 or 1870); Nahalat Ya'akov (1849), expositions of the Pentateuch; Emet le-Ya'akov (1865), expositions of talmudic aggadot; Imrei Yosher, commentaries on the five megillot, each published at a different place and time; his ethical will (1875) and Millei de-Aggadeta (1904), sermons and response.

          
Paragraph 2    בכל מקום שהייתי לא הי' אף הרעשת זבוב ועתה לעת זקנתי אהי' במקום הריב... ידוע שלא תבעתי מעולם שום אדם לדין וגם אתכם לא אתבע לדין... סומך על יושר ...ויהי' נא שלום בחילך שלוה בארמונתיך...
          
Reference
Description
   EJ
        
Associated Images
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Listing Classification
Period
19th Century:    Checked
  
Location
Germany:    Checked
  
Subject
History:    Checked
Polemics:    Checked
  
Characteristic
Language:    Hebrew
  
Manuscript Type
Letters:    Checked
  
Kind of Judaica