Auction No. 114

Golden coins, Seforim, Chabad, Eretz Yisrael and Zionism, Letters from Rabbis and Rebbes, Holocaust and refugees.

Wednesday, 5 June 2019 at 5pm Without Audience
Opening $400
Estimate $600 - $700
Sold for $488
Including buyer's premium

Handwritten and signed letter from Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv to his in-law, the gaon Rabbi Yaakov Yisrael Kanievsky, "The Steipler." There are about 20 lines with Torah novellae on the back of the letter, also handwritten by Rabbi Elyashiv. Jerusalem, Wednesday of the week the Torah portion Shoftim is read, [Elul] 1974. 

In his letter, Rabbi Elyashiv refers to "The Steipler" with exalted descriptions not generally accepted in the Lithanian "yeshivah" community, "עטרת תפארת ישראל, כ[בוד] קדושת" and prays for blessings: "May the new year and its blessings begin, heavenly blessings, and may he be written for good life in the book, a good, sweet, blessed year" and much more.

On the other side of the page, there is a long autograph about practical halachah: meat that was ground up, made into patties and fried in a pan. After cooling, cold milk spilled on it. Rabbi Elyashiv demonstrates his expertise and command of all areas of Torah and brings, one by one, all the opinions dealing with this in Talmudic and adjudicative literature, until reaching the halachic conclusion.

Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv [1910-2012] was the grandson of the G-dly kabbalist, author of LeShem Shevo V'Achlamah. From his youth, he was already privileged to write a section of the holy work LeShem Shevo V'Achlamah Part III, straight from the mouth of his grandfather, who refers to him there "אשרי יולדתו" ["happy is the one who bore him"]. He was one of the greatest adjudicators for over 70 years. He was known for his extraordinary diligence and his deep and thorough knowledge of all parts of Torah, to the point that he could determine the halachah on any topic with clarity. He eventually became the greatest halachic adjudicator, the "Posek HaDor." For the last 20 years of his life he led the Torah-observant world in Israel and abroad, and thousands trooped to his door for consultation and blessing.

The gaon Rabbi Yaakov Yisrael Kanievsky - "The Steipler" [1899-1985], was among the leaders of the Chareidi community and author of the series Kehilot Yaakov on the Talmud. He was brother-in-law of the "Chazon Ish" and father of the gaon Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, shlit"a. Rabbi Elyashiv's eldest daughter married Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, and this is how the Steipler became his in-law.

[1] leaf paper 23 cm, written on both sides. Fine condition. Minimal aging stains. Tiny tears in the margins without damage to text.

Letters from rabbis