Auction 83 - Part I - Rare and Important Items

Leaf Handwritten by Rabbi Yisrael Salanter, Founder of the Musar Movement – Talmudic Novellae

Opening: $10,000
Estimate: $15,000 - $20,000
Sold for: $17,500
Including buyer's premium
Leaf handwritten by R. Yisrael Lipkin of Salant (founder of the Musar movement) – novellae on the topic of women's exemption from the mitzvah of Sukkah.
The handwriting in the present manuscript is identical to the known handwriting of R. Yisrael Salanter. These novellae were published in Chut HaMeshulash (Jerusalem 1904, leaf 4 onwards), with a note stating that they were printed based on R. Yisrael Salanter's autograph (the present manuscript).
Chut HaMeshulash was published by R. Chaim Yehoshua Kosovsky based on manuscripts he obtained from the collection of R. Yitzchak Lipkin son of R. Yisrael Salanter. In his foreword, R. Kosovsky writes that he received a number of manuscripts handwritten by R. Yisrael Salanter, by his father R. Ze'ev Wolf author of Hagahot Ben Aryeh, and by his son R. Yitzchak. The writings were not ready for printing, especially the writings of R. Yisrael Salanter, which were written in a very concise form. He therefore decided to publish the novellae in two versions: the original text as recorded by R. Yisrael, under the heading "copying of the original manuscript", alongside an expanded version, with the addition of transition sentences and commentary. The present manuscript was printed in Chut HaMeshulash under the heading "copying of the original manuscript". In a footnote (p. 4a), the publisher states: "By the late rabbi from his autograph".
R. Yisrael Lipkin of Salant (1810-1883) – founder of the Musar movement, son of R. Ze'ev Wolf Ben Aryeh (Lipkin). A leading Torah scholar of his times and disciple of the disciples of R. Chaim of Volozhin. In his youth, he studied together with his colleague R. Shmuel Salant in the town of Salant, where he drew close to his teacher R. Yosef Zundel of Salant, who instructed him in on the methods of acquiring ethics and fear of G-d. He initially disseminated Torah in Vilna and its yeshivot, and was renowned for his tremendous genius. He later moved to Kovno, where he established a Beit HaMusar, transmitting his teachings and distinctive approach to worship of God to an elite group of disciples. The Musar movement he initiated spread and molded the entire yeshiva world until this day. His prominent disciples include R. Simcha Zissel of Kelm (who established his yeshiva under the guidance of his teacher), R. Yitzchak Blazer and R. Naftali Amsterdam. The Alter of Slabodka and the Alter of Novardok were also his close disciples. R. Yisrael established the Perushim Kollel in Kovno, which was led by his disciples R. Avraham Shenker and R. Tzvi Hirsch Levitan. He stood at the helm of many enterprises for strengthening study of Torah and Musar in various countries. In the 1860s, he decided to concentrate his efforts on countries influenced by Haskalah, to boost Torah observance and study of Torah and Musar. He lived for several years in Königsberg (present day: Kaliningrad) and Memel (present day: Klaipėda), Eastern Prussia, and travelled around delivering lectures in German, drawing people closer to Torah observance. In order to raise the prestige of Torah, he established a forum for publishing Torah novellae and Musar teachings, in form of the Tevunah anthology, published in 1861. R. Yisrael later moved to France and lived in Paris for a few years, maintaining contact with his family members and prominent disciples in Lithuania and Russia through letters (this leaf may have been part of his correspondence with his son R. Yitzchak Lipkin; see publisher's foreword to Chut HaMeshulash). Near the end of his life, he returned to Prussia, and he is buried in Königsberg.
[1] leaf (2 written pages). 21 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains and wear. Tears, slightly affecting text, repaired. Folding marks.
Manuscripts – Kabbalah, Halachah and Aggadah