Large Collection of Torah Letters from Rabbi Mordechai Gifter Dean of the Telshe Yeshiva in the United States

Opening: $1,000
Estimate: $2,500 - $5,000
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Including buyer's premium

18 letters handwritten and signed by R. Mordechai Gifter, dean of the Telshe yeshiva. Cleveland and Chicago (United States), 1959-1976.
Lengthy letters of Torah thoughts sent to R. Chaim Dov Chavel, editor of the HaDarom Torah anthology. The letters include: brief essays to be published in HaDarom, corrections and comments on the books of the Ramban edited by R. Chavel, corrections and comments on various essays published in HaDarom, and more. Some of the letters also include good year wishes and greetings for various festivals.
In one letter, dated Elul 1960, sent from Chicago, he writes about the opening of the Chicago branch of the Telshe yeshiva. It is interesting to note the humility of R. Mordechai, reflected in this letter: "I have great anguish from the fact he wrote in his first letter the title 'Sar HaTorah', and please, please my friend, don't treat me in this way, writing titles which don't suit me. The conventional titles are also not accurate, but since that is the way of the world, they have no meaning anymore, but one mustn't yield to more than that".
R. Mordechai Gifter (1916-2001), a prominent yeshiva dean and Torah leader in the United States. Born in the United States, he travelled to Lithuania to study in its yeshivot. Already in his youth, he drew close to the Torah leaders of his times, absorbing from them Torah and proper conduct. He exchanged halachic correspondence with leading rabbis in the United States and Lithuania. He returned to the United States just before the Holocaust, after his engagement to the daughter of R. Zalman Bloch, dean of the Telshe yeshiva in Lithuania, and the wedding was held in the U.S. in 1940. After the Holocaust, he reestablished the Telshe yeshiva in the U.S. (together with his uncles R. Eliyahu Meir Bloch and R. Chaim Mordechai Katz, who had come on their own to the U.S. to try and save their families and the yeshiva students who were left behind in Telshe). R. Mordechai served as lecturer in the Telshe yeshiva in Cleveland and Chicago from 1943, and later as dean of the yeshiva in Cleveland. He imparted to his students exacting standards of profound Torah study and correct Torah conduct (he did not allow to write any titles of praise on his tombstone except for "taught Torah and edified students of high caliber in Torah and fear of G-d"). In 1976, he immigrated to Eretz Israel and settled in the campus founded for the yeshiva in the Jerusalem hills (presently: Telz Stone; Kiryat Ye'arim). In 1979, after the passing of R. Baruch Sorotzkin the yeshiva dean in the U.S., he returned to the U.S. to lead the yeshiva in Cleveland. His authority was recognized throughout the Jewish world as one of the leaders of his time, and he served as head of the Moetzet Gedolei HaTorah in the United States.


18 letters (21 leaves; approx. 36 written pages), mostly on official stationery. Size and condition vary. Most in good condition.


Eight additional leaves enclosed: letter (in English) from R. Yisrael Poleyeff, a rabbi in Flatbush, with a photocopy of a letter from his father R. Moshe Aharon Poleyeff, and a typewritten copy of an essay for publication: "Letter exchange… between R. Moshe Aharon Poleyeff and his disciple R. Mordechai Gifter".
Some of the contents of these letters were published by R. Chavel in the HaDarom anthologies and in his books.

Category
Letters