Auction 63 - Rare and Important Items

Interesting Letter from Rabbi Elchanan Wasserman – Audience of the Chafetz Chaim with the President of Poland / Prospective Match / Blessings "May G-d Fulfill All his Wishes for the Good"

Opening: $1,500
Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
Sold for: $6,250
Including buyer's premium
Lengthy and interesting letter handwritten by R. Elchanan Bunem Wasserman and with his full signature. Baranovich (Baranovichy), [1930].
Addressed to his friend the wealthy R. David Potash of Tel-Aviv. The letter begins with R. Elchanan's account of the Chafetz Chaim's historic audience with the President of Poland (in 1930, while lobbying to rescind the decree of compulsory secular studies in Jewish boys' schools): "I returned today from Warsaw, and the Chafetz Chaim was also there and was received for an audience with the government ministers. The ministers received him with exceptional friendliness and promised to fulfill his requests to the extent it would be possible".
R. Elchanan then asks R. David to inquire about a prospective match for the daughter of R. Tzvi Gutman, Mashgiach of the Baranovich yeshiva - the young student Shmuel Felman "who is a lecturer on the Talmud in one of the Tel-Aviv yeshivot, and son of the deceased rabbi of Zagar-Yashan (Žagarė)… and I request of you to inform us of the character of the boy in question, since I have not seen him for ten years…". R. Elchanan extols the virtues of the young lady in question and relates to the prerequisites the boy's mother set for the couple's financial situation: "These days, it is very difficult to obtain a young lady who follows the straight path, therefore the sum of money cannot be a decisive factor, her wishes should rather be disregarded… in order to finalize the matter in the best way, please G-d". (R. Shmuel Felman, a dean of the Or Zore'ach yeshiva in Tel Aviv-Yafo, indeed later married the daughter of R. Tzvi Hirsh Gutman of Baranovich. Their son was R. Ben Tzion Felman, a leading rabbi in Bnei Brak).
R. Elchanan signs the letter with expressions of friendship and blessings: "Who appreciates and honors him for his outstanding worth, attached to him with loyal love, and blesses him that G-d should fulfill all his heart's wishes for the good, may he merit to see the Redemption of the Jewish people through the true Redeemer…, seeking his wellbeing always – Elchanan Bunem Wasserman".
R. Elchanan Wasserman (1875-1941) was a disciple of R. Shimon Shkop in the Telshe yeshiva and prominent disciple of the Chafetz Chaim. He served as lecturer and dean in the Brisk (Brest) yeshiva and other places. During WWI, at the behest of the Chafetz Chaim, he established a yeshiva in Smilavichy (Minsk province, today Belarus), and R. David Potash, then one of the wealthiest people in Russia, was a leading supporter of the yeshiva. After the war, R. Elchanan founded Yeshivat Ohel Torah in Baranovich.
A renowned Torah scholar and a foremost yeshiva dean in Lithuania, he represented the Chafetz Chaim and R. Chaim Ozer Grodzinski in the Moetzet Gedolei HaTorah of Agudat Yisrael. He composed many essays on Jewish ideology which were later published in his book Ikveta DeMeshicha, in which he expressed the Torah stance of his teacher the Chafetz Chaim on Zionist nationalism and the spiritual state of the Jewish people. During the Holocaust, he was deported to the Kovno (Kaunas) ghetto, where he was arrested and murdered in Seventh Fort, while studying the laws of Kiddush HaShem. His teachings and lectures were published in the following books: Kovetz Shiurim, Kovetz He'arot, Kovetz Inyanim, Kovetz Igrot HaGaon R. Elchanan Wasserman and others. His approach in learning and his books serve until this day as the basis of intensive yeshiva study in the Torah world.
[1] leaf, official stationery, 27.5 cm. 17 handwritten lines. Good-fair condition. Wear to the folds. Light stains.
Lithuanian, Polish and Galician Rabbis – Manuscripts, Letters and Signatures
Lithuanian, Polish and Galician Rabbis – Manuscripts, Letters and Signatures