Auction 63 - Rare and Important Items

Chassidic Essays Handwritten by the Damesek Eliezer, Rebbe of Vizhnitz – Essays on Vayikra, Written in his Last Year and Unpublished – Tel Aviv, Summer 1946

Opening: $1,000
Estimate: $2,000 - $4,000
Sold for: $7,500
Including buyer's premium
Collection of leaves and notes (approx. 27 leaves), handwritten by Rebbe Eliezer Hager, the Damesek Eliezer of Vizhnitz. Tel Aviv, 1946.
Essays on the weekly Torah portion, ideas on topics of worship of G-d, according to Chassidic teachings. These leaves were written by the Rebbe in the summer of 1946, in the last months of his life (prior his passing on Elul 2, 1946). The novellae pertain to the Parashiot Tazria-Bechukotai of Vayikra. These essays were not published in his book Damesek Eliezer, and to the best of our knowledge are hitherto unpublished. His thoughts are peppered with acronyms and numerical values, as was the custom of Rebbes of Vizhnitz, and include mentions of the book Tzemach Tzadik by his ancestor, the first Rebbe of the Vizhnitz dynasty.
The head of one leaf bears the inscription: "Kedoshim, 1946", and another leaf states: "Bechukotai, Tel Aviv". One essay is inscribed upon a leaf torn out from a calendar of the year 1943-1944. Some leaves are from the stationery of the Vizhnitz yeshiva, which the Rebbe headed, and a large part of the essays were recorded on notes (Kvitlach) given to him by Chassidim, containing numerous names to be mentioned in prayer.
Rebbe Eliezer Hager, the Damesek Eliezer of Vizhnitz (1891-1946) was the son of the Ahavat Yisrael of Vizhnitz, and son-in-law of Rebbe Yitzchak Meir Heschel of Kopishnitz. He was rabbinically ordained by the Maharsham and by R. Shmuel Engel. In 1922, he was appointed rabbi of Vizhnitz (Vyzhnytsia), where he established the Beit Yisrael and Damesek Eliezer yeshiva. After the demise of his father in 1936, he was appointed rebbe of the city of Vizhnitz, while his brother, the Imrei Chaim, was appointed rebbe of their father's Beit Midrash in Grosswardein. He was very involved in public matters and in rescuing Jews during the Holocaust. In Nisan 1944, he immigrated to Eretz Israel, and settled in Tel Aviv, where he served as dean of the Torat Beit Yisrael yeshiva of the Vizhnitz Chassidism. He passed away at the age of 55 without leaving behind any descendants.
His brothers, the Imrei Chaim and the Mekor Baruch, describe (in the foreword to his book Damesek Eliezer) his greatness in Torah which lit up the Universe, the thousands of disciples he edified and invested all his energy in, restoring Torah to its former glory after the ravages of WWI, and his extensive activities to assist his brethren and rescue as many as he could from the clutches of the Nazis.
The Damesek Eliezer wrote prolifically over the course of his lifetime, recording his novellae in Halacha, Aggada and Chassidism, yet most of his writings were lost in the Holocaust. From his remaining manuscripts, three volumes of Damesek Eliezer on Torah and Tehillim were printed, as well as his surviving Halachic novellae.
Approx. 27 leaves and notes of varying sizes. Some are written on both sides. Overall good condition.
Some of the essays are written on the official stationery of the "Torat Beit Yisrael Yeshiva – Named After the Rebbe of Vizhnitz, Jerusalem, Founded in Vizhnitz in 1902". The Torat Beit Yisrael - Vizhnitz yeshiva was established in Jerusalem in 1943 by Vizhnitz Chasssidim. When the Damesek Eliezer immigrated to Eretz Israel in the summer of 1944, settling in Tel Aviv, the Vizhnitz Chassidim handed over the leadership of the yeshiva to the Rebbe, at which time the yeshiva relocated to Tel Aviv. These stationery leaves remain from the first period (of a half a year) when the Vizhnitz yeshiva was still in Jerusalem.
Chassidic Luminaries – Manuscripts, Letters and Signatures
Chassidic Luminaries – Manuscripts, Letters and Signatures