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Home | Auction No. 100 | Letters with Torah thoughts and fundamentals of Torah in Hebrew, from Rabbi Samson Refael Hirsch
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Tuesday, June 20, 2017 - 19:00

90 . Letters with Torah thoughts and fundamentals of Torah in Hebrew, from Rabbi Samson Refael Hirsch

Lengthy letter written by Rabbi Samson Refael Hirsch, sent as a response to Rabbi Moshe Leib Cohen of Nikolsburg. The letter focuses on Torah thoughts and ends with a clause regarding the fundamentals of the Torah, as a response to his opponents. Frankfurt, [1878].

Specifications: [3] pages, 22x14 cm. The letter was sent to Rabbi Moshe Leib Cohen, Av Beit Din of Nikolsburg and prominent disciple of Rabbi Yehuda Assad. Rav Hirsch begins the letter with effusive honorifics. The entire letter is in Hebrew, in Rav Hirsch's handwriting, and is signed at the conclusion: הק' שמשון בן לא"א כמה"ו רפאל הירש פ"פ זצ"ל".

Unique features: Lengthy letter full of Torah ideas. In the last section, Rav Hirsch discusses the words of the gemara (Megilla 3), "Torah megilla megilla nitna oh Torah chatuma nitna," and the Ramban's discussion of this phrase in his introduction to his commentary on the Torah. In his letter, Rav Hirsch thanks Rabbi Moshe Leib of Nikolsburg and notes that what he wrote fortifies his position and he did not stray from the path of truth. He adds that he is very pained by those who oppose his opinion in this matter (!). Igrei Dibei Hilulei (2004) includes a short letter that Rav Hirsch sent to Rabbi Moshe Leib Cohen. However, this is a lengthy, three-paged letter. Rav Hirsch's Hebrew letters are especially rare.

Background: Rabbi Samson Refael Hirsch (1808-1888) fashioned the "Torah im Derech Eretz" stream of Orthodoxy in Germany. He was a prime opponent of the Reform movement that was spreading at the time to many Jewish communities throughout Germany. When Rav Hirsch was appointed Rabbi of Frankfurt am Main in 1851, he started working to improve and fortify the spiritual condition of Jewish youth. He focused on founding a Jewish school where the students could acquire a Torah and secular education. Rav Hirsch used his many writings (written in German to increase their readership) to pave a path to the hearts of Jewish youth and enable them to overcome the spiritual challenges of the time. He noted in his introduction to his essay: "To fill all spirits and souls with the thoughts of David."

Condition: Very fine. Minimal aging stains, fold marks.  

Estimation

$8,000 - $10,000
Auction has finished
$2,000
$10,800
Including buyers premium

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