Auction 44 - Judaica: Books, Manuscripts, Rabbinical Letters

March 11, 2015

HaDerech, Budapest, 1944 - First Edition With The Belzer Rebbe's Farewell Words Upon his Escape from the Holocaust to Eretz Israel

Opening: $1,200
Sold for: $1,500
Including buyer's premium
HaDerech, Booklet 1, "'Derech Tzaddikim' – farewell sermon of … Rabbi Mordechai Rokeach, Rabbi of the Bilgoraj community..'Derech Kedoshim' – holy words spoken by… Rabbi Aharon Rokeach Rabbi of Belz… delivered in the capital city of Budapest prior to his departure for Eretz Israel". Edited by Rabbi Menachem Aharon Levovitz, rabbi of Tshop. Budapest, 13th of Shvat 1944. First edition.
After miraculously escaping the Bochnia ghetto, the Belzer rebbe and his brother, Rabbi of Bilgoraj arrived in Budapest, where they stayed from Iyar 1943 until Tevet 1944. This booklet which was published on the 13th of Shvat (Feb 7, 1944) contains the sermon of the Rabbi of Bilgoraj taking leave of Hungarian Jewry, in which he relates the atrocities of the Holocaust in Poland and Galicia, and the urgent need to assist refugees of these countries. He apologizes for their departure to Eretz Israel, and confidently states that the disaster will not reach Hungary and that they are not leaving for Eretz Israel for this reason, but rather for his intense passion for the holiness of the Holy Land and his brother's love of the Holy Land. “… I am obligated to inform you, dear friends, Hungarian Torah scholars… that anybody who is in the proximity of my older brother… certainly knows that he is not running away… he only desires to move to the Holy Land… and the righteous rabbi foresees that residents of this city will live in peace and serenity…” (Page 19). Further in the booklet, the rebbe says that his journey to Palestine is temporary and he intends to return, and his brother the Bilgoraj Rebbe explains that according to the tradition of their holy forefathers, settling in Eretz Israel is not advantageous before the coming of Messiah (page 26). After ten days, on February 17, 1944, an additional edition of this pamphlet was published with many revisions omitting some reference concerning the move to Eretz Israel. One month later, a third edition was printed in Budapest with the caption “Second publication, Adar 1944”, which is censored as well. This is the first and rare edition which includes the rebbe’s entire speech.
[2], 28 pages. 19 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains. Tears on the cardboard cover. Detached leaves and cover.
Holocaust and She'erit Ha-Pleita