Auction 63 - Rare and Important Items

Olelot Efraim – Zhovkva, 1763 – Signature of the Chiddushei HaRim

Opening: $20,000
Estimate: $25,000 - $35,000
Olelot Efraim, homilies for festivals and ethics, by R. Efraim of Luntschitz (Łęczyca). Zhovkva, 1763. The word "Amsterdam" is emphasized on the title page.
Ownership inscription at the top of the title page: "G-d granted me, Yitzchak Meir" – Signature of R. Yitzchak Meir Alter, the first Rebbe of Ger, author of Chiddushei HaRim (1799-1866, Encyclopedia L'Chassidut II, pp. 413-423). A foremost scholar in Torah and Chassidism in his times and a leader of Polish Jewry. He was born following the blessing of the Maggid of Kozhnitz (who foretold that he would "illuminate the world with Torah"), and was nurtured and raised in his home, becoming his close disciple. At the age of 13, he moved to his father-in-law's house in Warsaw, where he learnt under R. Aryeh Leib Zuenz and gained fame throughout Poland as "the prodigy from Warsaw". After the passing of the Maggid of Kozhnitz, he became one of the primary disciples of R. Simcha Bunim of Pshische. With the latter's passing, a number of Chassidim wished to appoint him successor, but R. Yitzchak Meir gave deference to R. Menachem Mendel of Kotzk, influencing most of the Chassidim to follow the Rebbe of Kotzk. He became the most outstanding personage in the Kotzker court, eventually becoming the Rebbe's brother-in-law. In 1859, R. Yitzchak Meir was appointed the Kotzker Rebbe's successor and moved to nearby Gur (Góra Kalwaria), establishing the Ger Chassidic court and serving in its rabbinate. During his seven-year tenure, his court blossomed and thousands became his followers. Besides his exceptional piety, he was venerated as an outstanding Torah scholar and wrote many responsa on Halacha and Aggada named Chiddushei HaRim (acronym of R. Yitzchak Meir), a title he became known by. His books were highly lauded and expose his sharpness and exceptional Torah proficiency. He has maintained friendship ties with all the leading Torah scholars of his times, including those who opposed Chassidism. Among them were R. Yisrael of Ruzhin, R. Yitzchak of Warka, R. Akiva Eiger, R. Yaakov of Lissa (Leszno) the Netivot, Rabbi Eizel Charif, R. Shlomo Kluger and others. He led Polish Jewry and firmly stood his ground on many public issues. He publicly supported the Polish revolution in 1830, and after it failed, was forced to flee to Lviv (which was at the time under Austrian rule). He was also known for his valiant struggle against the "Dress Decree" in 1846-1851. Following his orders to resist the decree, he was imprisoned but wide public protest forced the government to release him and cancel the decree. After his death, R. Chanoch Henach HaKohen of Aleksander succeeded him for a short while, and with his passing four years later, a grandson of the Chiddushei Harim, R. Yehuda Aryeh Leib Alter, author of Sfat Emet was appointed the second rebbe of the Ger dynasty.
[23], 3-40, [34] leaves. Mispagination. 34 cm. Fair condition. Wear and worming to the text and margins, professionally restored with paper. New, ornamented and elegant leather binding, placed in a matching leather-covered slipcase.
Chassidic Luminaries – Manuscripts, Letters and Signatures
Chassidic Luminaries – Manuscripts, Letters and Signatures