Auction No. 102

Holy books, Chassidut, Manuscripts, Rabbinical & Admors' letters, Eretz Yisrael & Zionism, Americana, Judiaca & Prof. Albert Einstein

October 24, 2017
Opening $ 20,000
Estimate $ 25,000 - $ 30,000
Sold for $ 24,400
Including buyer's premium

Letter from the first Admor of the Sadigura dynasty, Rabbi Avraham Yaakov, son of the Admor Rabbi Yisrael of Ruzhin, to his brother-in-law the Admor Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Vizhnitz, author of Tzemach Tzedek.

Specifications: [1] leaf, 14x22 cm. His handwritten signature.

Content: Condolence letter from the Admor Rabbi Avraham Yaakov of Sadigura to "My beloved brother-in-law the famous rabbi and pious one, of a pedigreed lineage ... Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Vizhinitz," after the death of his son Rabbi Yaakov David, who passed away without leaving any descendants.

In the margins of the letter, the Admor of Sadigura inquires about the health of his sister, "The righteous Rebbetzin, daughter of holy ones, Miriam."

Unique Features: The letter was sent from Sadigura on November 4, 1865 with words of condolence on the death of his son, "May G-d fulfill his wish for the soul of the deceased to ascend beneath the wings of the Divine Presence." He then adds something interesting: "and his dear living son [Rabbi Baruch of Vizhnitz] may G-d safeguard and preserve him, one who keeps the commandments will know no evil, may G-d extract him [in Hebrew: yechaltzeihu] and encourage him and give him long days and years, with good and pleasantness."

The reason for these blessings is that Rabbi Baruch had to perform chalitza on his brother's widow, and there are those who say that the one who performs chalitza is in danger [refer to Pitchei Teshuva at the end of Seder Chalitza of the Maharam, and in responsa Tzemach Tzedek Even HaEzer, 319]. His uncle is giving him a blessing in order to encourage and strengthen him. This is the hint in the word yechaltzeihu - with respect to the commandment of chalitza which he performed.

Background: The Admor Rabbi Avraham Yaakov of Sadigura, second son of the Admor Rabbi Yisrael of Ruzhin, who was considered his father's primary heir and succeeded him in Sadigura (his older brother, Rabbi Shalom Yosef died in the second year after his father's death). Rabbi Yisrael of Ruzhin settled in Sadigura after fleeing from Ruzhin. He established its foundation, but Rabbi Avraham Yaakov was the one who built it up and turned it into a byword in the world of chassidut. The dynasties of Sadigura and Boyan to this very day are descended from him, and he was the rabbi of the entire Jewish people at his time, one of the leaders of the generation, and an Admor of thousands.

He was born in 1820, and was the son-in-law of the Admor Rabbi Aharon of Karlin, author of Beit Aharon. In 1852, he reached Sadigura and led his flock in a rich and kingly fashion just as his father had before him, but he ate minimally to the point of constant hunger. He died on September 9, 1883. In 1856 he was arrested as a result of libel by the Russian authorities to the Austrian authorities alleging that he belonged to a band of money forgers. He was imprisoned for 15 months. Following extensive efforts, he was released on July 5, 1858. The great chassidic leaders revered him, respected him and praised him extensively.

His brother-in-law, the addressee, Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Vizhnitz (1830- 1883), author of Tzemach Tzedek, son of the Admor Rabbi Chaim of Kosov, married the above righteous Rebbetzin Miriam, the daughter of Rabbi Yisrael of Ruzhin.

Condition: Moderate. Stains, tears and fold marks which slightly damage a number of letters, and several faded letters, but the entire letter is legible.

Letters from Admors