||Dedication copy with full page inscription by the Author to the Admor of Gur - never delivered!
The R. Meir Amsel copy with stamp on title, in all liklihood acquired directly from the author during the Holocaust in Budapest. R. Meir b. Abraham Amsel, (1907-2007) was born in Neudorf (Pecsujfalu). At the young age of 6 his mother would wake him at 4:00 AM, tie a lantern to his chest and sent him off to the local klaus to study Torah. His passion for learning, developed as a child, was life long. The family moved to Kosice, in the teens, where R. Amsel acquainted R. Shmuel Engel, the Radismishler Rav, and became his devoted student. Under his guidance he developed his skills in interpreting Jewish law and rendering halakhic decisions. In Kosice R. Amsel also became a devoted disciple of R. Abraham Shalom Halberstam, Admor of Strokov and son of the Divrei Yechezkel. He married the daughter of R. Moses Bugler of Presov-Krestir, a rabbinical family with close ties to many of the regional Hasidic Rebbes. Through the family R. Amsel met the Admor of Krestir, Rabbi Yeshaya, and many other notables.
During the Holocaust years R. Amsel as leader of the Agudat Israel movement in Czhekoslovakia, secured immigration for thousands of Jews to Erez Israel. His philosophy, dedication, and concern for Erez Israel, developed by the Kattowitz Agudah Movement, was lifelong. WWII destroyed much of his family, including wife and child. Hiding and operating in disguise as a gentile, he moved to Budapest, where he was involved with smuggling food and sustenance to widows and orphans in the Jewish ghetto.
In 1948 he immigrated to the United States and immediately began publishing the Hamaor, a bi-monthly rabbinical journal, that won the approval of the greatest rabbis. Among the contributors and supporters were the Satmar Rebbe, the Lubavitch Rebbe, the Bobover Rebbe, the Munkatcher Rebbe, the Tzhelemer Rebbe, Rabbi Jonathan Steif, Rabbi Aaron Koytlar, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, Rabbi Pinhas Hirschprung, and many others.
During the fifties and sixties, Hamaor was at the forefront of practically all major battles to strengthen Orthodox Judaism in the United States. Although his strong views were many times opposed – his integrity gained the journal worldwide respect and recognition.
In 1965 he opened a synagogue and mikvah in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn, with the financial assistance of the Satmar and Lubavitch Rebbes. In the same year he published volume one of his magnus opum, Responsa Hamaor, an 800 page collection of important responsa by hundreds of rabbis. Volume two, Zikhronot Hamaor, an 800 page collection of biographies of Holocaust victims and survivors, appeared in 1975, followed by the English version, Encyclopedia Hamaor, several years later.
R. Amsel passed-on on Saturday afternoon, the 23rd of Tevet 5767 (January 14, 2007) in Brooklyn, NY. At his funeral, attended by thousands of mourners, he was eulogized by the President of the Agudat Harabonim of America, Rabbi Zevi Meir Ginzburg, Rabbi Chaim Moshe Koenig, the Yoka Rav, Rabbi Ehrenreich, the Matisdorfer Rav, Rabbi Spira, the Bluzhever Rebbe, and his son Hagaon Rav Yaakov Amsel, editor of the Hamaor. Among the mourners were many notable rabbis and community leaders including the Bobover Rebbe, Munkatch Rebbe, Tshelem Rebbe, R. Horowitz of Spinka and many others. R. Amsel was laid to rest in the Arugath Habosem section of the Wellwood Cemetary in Long Island.
||מיוסד על גאולתינו ועל פדות נפשינו מגלות האחרון הזה אחר שנעשה כל מה שהבורא... מבקש מאתנו ומצוונו לעשות בענין קרבת הגאולה... ממני... ישכר שלמה טייכטהאל, מלפנים אב"ד ותופס ישיבה נכבדה וכעת פה... בודאפעסט...
כהסכמות לשיטתו, בדבר הצורך בפעולה מעשית לישוב הארץ, הדפיס המחבר, בראש הספר: 1. הסכמותיהם של ר' ישראל יהושע טרונק, ר' אליהו גוטמאכר ור' חיים דוד חזן לספרו של ר' צבי הירש קאלישר, דרישת ציון, טהארן תרכ"ו. 2. מכתבו של ר' אליהו גוטמאכר ותשובתו של ר' חיים אלעזר וואקס אליו, שניהם מתוך ספרו של ר' חיים אלעזר, נפש חיה, פיעטרקוב תרל"ז, אורח חיים סימן א. 3. תשובה של ר' ישראל יהושע טרונק, מתוך ספרו שו"ת ישועות מלכו, פיעטרקוב תרפ"ז, יורה דעה סימן סו. הסכמה: ר' שלמה דוב העללער, סיגעט, א וישלח תש"ד.