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Lot 89

Halachic Responsum Handwritten by Rebbe Yaakov Aryeh Gutterman – Radzymin, 1856 – Segula for Protection

Double leaf (3 written pages), consisting of a copying of a responsum letter from R. Yisrael Yehoshua Trunk of Kutno, the Yeshuot Malko, and a complete page (21 lines) handwritten by Rebbe Yaakov Aryeh Gutterman, containing his response to R. Yisrael Yehoshua's letter. [Radzymin, 1856].
Both letters deal with laws of divorce documents. The letters are unsigned. The first letter, from the Gaon of Kutno, is addressed to R. Yaakov Aryeh, dated 9 Adar I, 1856: "To my dear friend, great rabbi, the prominent R. Yaakov Aryeh", and begins with a response to a previous letter by R. Yaakov Aryeh (this responsum was printed in full in his book Yavin Daat, Pietrokov, Selected Responsa section 1). The third page: the responsum of the holy Gaon of Radzymin, in his own (distinctive) handwriting, beginning with: "and what His Torah Eminence wrote…".
Our assumption is that these are copyings that the Gaon of Radzymin saved for his personal use. On the first page, a copyist recorded the main points of the letter by R. Yisrael Yehoshua, and on the second page, the Rebbe of Radzymin himself copied his response to the letter, without the introductory sentence and signature.
Rebbe Yaakov Aryeh Gutterman of Radzymin (1792-1874, Encyclopedia of Chassidut II, pp. 254-256), was one of the elder rebbes and progenitors of Chassidism in Poland, renowned as an exceptional miracle-worker. In his youth, he became a disciple of the Chozeh of Lublin, who seated him amongst his leading disciples, attesting that he possessed a very lofty soul. He was a beloved disciple of the Maggid of Kozhnitz, but particularly frequented the Peshischa court of the Yid HaKadosh and of R. Bunim of Peshischa, and was considered one of their foremost disciples together with the Seraf of Kotsk, R. Yitzchak of Warka and the Chidushei HaRim. After the passing of R. Yitzchak of Warka, he was appointed rebbe to thousands of Chassidim and became reputed as a holy man and wonder-worker. Under his leadership, Radzymin became one of the Chassidic centers in Poland, and thousands flocked to him to receive his blessings and salvations, and all Rebbes of Peshischa were known to send him Chassidim who required a salvation.
His handwriting is a recognized Segula for protection. The Imrei Emet, Rebbe of Gur, reputedly accorded his son, the Lev Simcha (a son-in-law of the Radzymin dynasty), a manuscript of the Rebbe of Radzymin as a Segula for protection. In his hasty flight from Poland in 1940, the Lev Simcha lost the manuscript and was greatly distressed over it. However, when he later obtained a different manuscript of the Rebbe of Radzymin, he was overjoyed. At that occasion, the Lev Simcha stated that it was extremely rare for his father the Imrei Emet to term an item a Segula and a protection, demonstrating the importance of such a manuscript in his eyes.
[1] double leaf. 20.5 cm. 3 written pages. Including 21 autograph lines of the Rebbe. Good-fair condition. Stains and wear.
Provenance: Collection of Rebbe Yechiel Meir Morgenstern of Kotsk-Łomazy (1894-1974), son of Rebbe Tzvi Hirsh of Łomazy (who lived for a while in Praga, near Warsaw). The fourth page contains stamps of R. "Yechiel Meir son of the holy rabbi Rebbe of Praga" and a handwritten inscription: "Letter number 62".