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Bidding Information
Lot #    19880
Auction End Date    2/19/2008 10:18:30 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
          
Title Information
Title (English)    Letter by R. Zvi Pesah Frank
Title (Hebrew)    כתב מה'ר צבי פסח פראנק
Author    [Ms. - Community - Women - Agunah]
City    Jerusalem
Publication Date    1929
          
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
          
Description Information
Physical
Description
   [1] p., 144:218 mm., light age staining, ink on stationary, dated, signed by the rabbi.
          
Detailed
Description
   Letter by R. Zvi Pesah Frank to R. Zalman Soloveitchik seeking travel funds for a spouse so that he may issue a divorce to his wife and prevent her from becoming an agunah, a dreadful status for a Jewish woman. R. Zvi Pesah Frank (1873–1960), chief rabbi of Jerusalem and halakhic authority, was born in Kovno, Lithuania. His father, R. Judah Leib, was one of the leaders of the "Haderah" society in Kovno which founded the village of Haderah in Erez Israel. He studied under R. Eliezer Gordon at Telz and under R. Isaac Rabinowitz at Slobodka. He attended the musar discourses of R. Israel Lipkin of Salant. In 1893 he proceeded to Jerusalem where he continued his studies at the yeshivot of Ez Hayyim and Torat Hayyim. He acquired an outstanding reputation, combining a profound knowledge of the Talmud with sound common sense. Despite his youth, he was encouraged by R. Samuel Salant, the rabbi of Jerusalem, who consulted with him in his halakhic decisions. In 1895 he married Gitah-Malkah, granddaughter of R. Hayyim Jacob Spira, head of the Jerusalem bet din. Subsequently he taught at a number of Jerusalem yeshivot. In 1902 he moved to Jaffa in order to be able to devote himself entirely to study. R. A. I. Kook had already taken up his appointment there, and later he and R. Frank associated in the efforts to establish the rabbinate of Israel.

In 1907 R. Frank was appointed by R. Salant and the scholars of Jerusalem as a member of the Bet Din Gadol in the Hurvah synagogue. Although he was its youngest member, the burden of the bet din, and the religious affairs of the city fell mainly upon his shoulders. He conducted single-handedly the spiritual administration of the city in the difficult days of World War I. The Turks tried to send him into exile in Egypt, but he hid in an attic from where he directed the rabbinical affairs of the city until the entry of the British (December 1917). The rabbinate was in a perilous state and Frank made strenuous efforts to raise its status, both materially and spiritually. He understood the importance of founding a central rabbinical organization, and immediately after the British occupation, took steps to found "The Council of Rabbis of Jerusalem." This organization, however, was shortlived. Later, however, he established the "Rabbinate Office," which became the nucleus of the chief rabbinate of Israel, and on his suggestion R. A. I. Kook was invited to become chief rabbi of Palestine in 1921. In the violent controversy which resulted, fomented by the extreme religious section which saw no halakhic precedent for such an appointment, R. Frank brought proof to bear. In 1936 he was elected chief rabbi of Jerusalem. In consequence of his preeminence as a halakhist, the appointment was accepted by all parties, including those who opposed him on political grounds.

          
Reference
Description
   EJ
        
Associated Images
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Listing Classification
Period
20th Century:    Checked
  
Location
Israel:    Checked
  
Subject
Other:    Women
  
Characteristic
Language:    Hebrew
  
Manuscript Type
Letters:    Checked
  
Kind of Judaica