||Ad text for his work Dibrot Moshe Part II (Balshon Press, Brooklyn, 1953), for publication in the rabbinical journal Hamaor. Included with this lot is the copy sent to the editor, R. Meir Amsel, for editorial review and issue #39 (Kislev 5614 [November 1953]) of the Hamaor where the ad appeared. R. Moses Feinstein (1895–1986), rabbi and leader of American Orthodoxy. R. Feinstein was born in Uzda, near Minsk, Belorussia, where his father, from whom he received his early education, was rabbi. In 1921 he became rabbi of Luban, near Minsk, where he served until he immigrated to the United States in 1937. There R. Feinstein was appointed rosh yeshivah of New York's Mesivta Tiferet Jerusalem.
After World War II, R. Feinstein became one of the leading figures in Orthodox Jewry in America. While he did address broader, communal issues throughout his lifetime, his major impact was in the realm of Halakhah. His reputation grew rapidly to the point that his rulings were accepted as authoritative by many Orthodox Jews throughout the world. R. Feinstein's responsa, Iggerot Moshe, the first four volumes follow the Shulhan Arukh: Orah Hayyim (1959), Yoreh De'ah (1959), Even ha-Ezer (1961), and Hoshen Mishpat (1963), while subsequent volumes (1973, 2 vols. in 1981, 1996), contain responsa from different sections of the Shulhan Arukh. He also published his talmudic novellae entitled Dibrot Moshe to Bava Kamma in two volumes (1946, 1953), to Bava Mezia (1966), to Shabbat in two volumes (1971, 1976), to Kiddushin and Yevamot (1979), to Gittin (1982), to Hulin and Nedarim (1983), and to Ketubbot and Pesahim (1984). Darash Moshe, his sermons on the weekly Torah reading and the holidays, were published posthumously in 1988.
R. Feinstein's world view encompassed the world of Torah. "My entire world view," he wrote (Iggerot Moshe 2:11), "stems only from knowledge of Torah without any mixture of outside ideas, whose judgment is truth whether it is strict or lenient. Arguments derived from foreign outlooks or false opinions of the heart are nothing." Nevertheless, R. Feinstein was keenly aware of the world around him, constantly applying the principles of Torah law to new situations and circumstances. Indeed, when he dealt with medical problems, he always consulted with leading physicians, often asking for a second opinion. He demanded to understand the medical issues in depth.
R. Feinstein's responsa deal with a very broad range of issues and topics. He devoted a great deal of time to grappling with problems in Jewish education. He had little tolerance for the teaching of secular studies; however, he permitted it because of government regulations (ibid. 3:83). He demanded that science textbooks agree with the idea that G-d created the world (ibid. 3:73). He was unyielding in his opposition to coed classes, but he did allow women to teach boys, acknowledging the reality of the educational world in America. He required fathers to pay for the tuition for their daughters' education.
R. Feinstein was elected to positions of importance in the Orthodox Jewish world. He was president of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis and chairman of the American branch of the Mo'ezet Gedolei ha-Torah of Agudat Israel. He was also active in guiding and obtaining support for Orthodox Israeli educational institutions, particularly the Hinnukh Azma'i school system of Agudat Israel. Despite his public, communal involvement and his role as the leading posek of the second half of the 20th century, R. Feinstein was renowned for his simple lifestyle, his piety, and his humility.
R. Feinstein passed away during the night before the Fast of Esther, March 23, 1986. Over 150,000 people attended the funeral services in New York. Eulogies were given by rabbis from the entire spectrum of Orthodoxy. He was buried three days later in Jerusalem.