Auction No. 113

Famous personalities, Art, Seforim, Letters from Rabbis and Rebbes

Apr 8, 2019

Auction No. 113

Opening $ 15,000
Estimate $ 25,000 - $ 30,000

Letter handwritten and signed by Rabbi Akiva Eiger Av Beit Din of Posen (Poznań).

Letter handwritten and signed by one of the greatest Later Authorities, Rabbi Akiva Eiger Av Beit Din of Posen, to his son's son-in-law and disciple Rabbi Naftali Hirsch Bleichrode, Av Beit Din of Kranik.

Rabbi Akiva Eiger (1760-1838) was an exceptional, amazing figure among our rabbis, the Later Authorities, and this is what the gaon Rabbi Chaim Berlin writes about his father, the Netzi"v of Volozhin: "And I faithfully testify that the gaon Rabbi Akiva Eiger was lofty and holy in my father's eyes. Whenever he was mentioned, he would quiver from the sanctity of his Torah and righteousness. His book of responsa never left [my father's] table and one word of Rabbi Akiva Eiger's would decide for him several leaves of in-depth holy study." The gaon Rabbi Zalman Sorotzkin would also say of his father-in-law the gaon Rabbi Eliezer Gordon of Telz: "And the words of the greatest Later Authorities guided him in his study of the Torah, but everywhere he would criticize them and disagree with them except for the gaon Rabbi Akiva Eiger - he was considered by him almost an Early Authority."

And there are the words of his grandson the 'Ktav Sofer' in his eulogy: "The greatness of his modesty and piety cannot be imagined ... he would abstain from the pleasures of this world and yet would still be involved with others and would concern himself with increasing Torah and placing protective barriers and preventing disaster ... and he was old yet sat in the yeshivah and had many disciples who were outstanding rabbis of their generation, righteous sages and accomplished people ... he did not close his door to be secluded, he only disseminated Torah and sanctified G-d ..." (Derashot Ktav Sofer, 1988 edition, leaves 96-105).

The letter deals with monetary matters, how and in what manner to invest, "although one way or the other ... cash them, as the money is a teacher's assistant's who gave it to me for safekeeping and he demands the money daily and it is not fair for me to delay him ..."

Rabbi Naftali Hirsch Bleichrode was a close disciple of Rabbi Akiva Eiger's and married his granddaughter, Rebbetzin Sheincha, daughter of Rabbi Avraham Eiger of Ravitch. He corresponded with him on halachic matters and several responsa in the Shu"t Rabbi Akiva Eiger are addressed to him. His grandfather-in-law and rabbi, Rabbi Akiva Eiger, loved him as a son and therefore used to call him "my son-in-law" although he was actually his grandfather-in-law, as he wrote at the beginning of this letter 'To my friend and son-in-law the sharp and exalted rabbi our teacher Rabbi Hirsch ...' and at the end of the letter: 'His friend and father-in-law who seeks his Torah well-being, the small one, Akiva' [Ateret Paz by Rabbi Mordechai Weitz p. 85 and the book Meoran shel Yisrael section II p. 277 - photocopies enclosed].

[1] leaf. Ink on paper. 17x8 cm. Isolated holes have been restored with paper. Paper reinforcement on the upper margins.

Letter by the gaon Rabbi Avraham Eiger of Ravitch, son of the gaon Rabbi Akiva Eiger, to his daughter and son-in-law.

Letter handwritten by Rabbi Avraham Eiger of Ravitch, the eldest son of Rabbi Akiva Eiger, to his son-in-law Rabbi Naftali Hirsch Bleichrode Av Beit Din of Kranik, and to his daughter Mrs. Sheincha. The letter to his son-in-law is in Hebrew. In its margins, Rabbi Avraham added a private letter in Yiddish to his daughter.

The second half of the letter is a letter by Rabbi Ya'akov Litvier Av Beit Din of Vongravitch - another son-in-law of Rabbi Avraham's, to his brother-in-law the aforementioned Rabbi Hirsch. The beginning and end of the letter contain greetings, yet most of it is Torah thoughts on tractate Gittin "Which I found difficult ..."

The gaon Rabbi Avraham Eiger [1779-1854], eldest son of Rabbi Akiva Eiger, was a sharp and knowledgeable Torah scholar who received much Torah from his father yet refused to enjoy its crown, although certain sources refer to him as Rosh Av Beit Din of Ravitch or Av Beit Din of Rogasen. He regularly corresponded on halachic matters with his father, who respected and admired him. Although he was weak and often sick, he devoted himself entirely to publishing his father's writings, copying and editing and preparing them for print. He even added some of his glosses [which begin with the Hebrew words: so said Avraham the author's son]. At the end of his life, he moved to Rogasen, where he passed away. Yet according to his request, he was buried in the city of Poznan, alongside his father Rabbi Akiva Eiger. [Meoran shel Yisrael section II pp. 272-274].

His son-in-law, the gaon Rabbi Ya'akov Litvier was a disciple of the gaon Rabbi Akiva Eiger who corresponded with him on halachic matters, [see for example: Shu"t Rabbi Akiva Eiger, first edition siman 22, 41, second edition siman 110, 115], served as an adjudicator in Ravitch and as Av Beit Din of Vongravitch and at the end of his life, in the community of Inowroclaw. He passed away on the third of Tishrei 1865 [about him, see ibid. p. 276, KeGovah HaArazim, p. 233].

[1] leaf. Ink on paper. 18x16 cm. Tears with loss to text. The letter was artistically restored. On its other side, a letter in Yiddish - unidentified.

Letter by Rabbi Avraham Moshe Kalischer, Av Beit Din of Fila, to his brother-in-law Rabbi Avraham Eiger and a response from him. Rabbi Avraham Moshe Kalischer married Rebbetzin Mrs. Sarel, Rabbi Akiva Eiger's daughter, and passed away in his youth in 1811. Later, she remarried, to the 'Chatam Sofer.'

[1] leaf. Ink on paper. 17x18 cm. Tears with slight loss to text. The letter was artistically restored.

Three additional letters were found in the binding:

Letter to Rabbi Akiva Eiger by Pinchas Meizshel.

Letter in ancient German.

Commercial bill in ancient German with a wax seal.

Rabbi Akiva Eiger and Disciples