||Letter concerning a divorce, novellae, and other topics by R. Alter Saul b. Israel Elimeleh Pfeffer (1874-1936), rabbi, scholar, and prolific author. He was born on the 29th of Nissan in Wieliczka, a small town near Cracow, his grandfather was public lecturer in the city. A descendent of great lineage, among his forbearers was R. Herschele of Cracow, author of the Megala Amukus, and the Shelah Hakadosh. He studied in the Academies of R. Shraga Feivesh Wolf of Sanz and R. Aryeh Leib Horowitz of Stry, Poland. Upon graduating, R. Pfeffer was appointed Rav in the town of Velikiy Bichkov, Sereth, Bukovina. He immigrated to the United States in 1912 and was soon recognized as a leading rabbinical scholar. Upon his arrival he was immediately appointed Rav of the Beth Medrash HaGadol Anshe Ungaran (Hungry) on 242 East Seventh Street on the Lower East Side, a position he held until his passing. In addition, he was the vice president of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States and Canada (Agudath HaRabonim) and Chairman of the New York Board of Rabbis. R. Pfeffer was also very involved in the HIAS organization and as vice president of Ezras Torah he helped raise large sums of money for the American Palestine Society. He was the fonder of Kollel Marmoros, a benevolent fund supporting the Jews of the Marmoros region of Transylvania. A strong proponent of the Agudath Israel movement, in 1929 R. Pfeffer in attendance at the second Knessiah Gedolah in Vienna was elected its secretary.
R. Pfeffer's erudite scholarship is evident in the works he authored. Avnei Zikaron (3 volumes, 1923-39) contains numerous responsa to the greatest rabbis of the generation in many complicated area of Halacha. He was an authority on the laws of Jewish marriage and divorce; many of the responsa in Avnei Zikaron cover the subject. Indeed, his divorce case rulings have become standard reference for today’s rabbinate.
R. Pfeffer died on the 19th of Nissan at the age of 62 and was interred at the Union Field cemetery in Queens, NY. Posthumously, the Ravs son-in-law printed the third volume of Avnei Zikaron.