Lot 60: Manuscript - Letters of Halachic Responsa - Original Letters in the Handwriting of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Author of Tzemach Tzedek, the Maharil of Janavi?y and Other Rabbis
November 15, 2016
Jerusalem, IsraelLive Auction
Description: A volume of handwritten halachic responsa, including original letters by various writers. Among them are letters in the handwriting of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, author of Tzemach Tzedek, letters in the handwriting of his great-uncle Rebbe Yehuda Leib [Maharil] of Janavi?y [brother of the Ba'al HaTanya], and letters by other Rabbis of their times. [Lubavitch and its surroundings, c. 1820-1860]. This volume was in the possession of R. Yissachar Ber Horwitz, rabbi and posek in the city of Lubavitch who had a close relationship with the rebbe author of Tzemach Tzedek. During the time he held this position, he accumulated many letters and manuscripts which he bound into this volume. He even added index leaves at the beginning. This volume contains: · Autograph letters of responsa by the Rebbe, author of Tzemach Tzedek and his handwritten additions to some of the other leaves. · Autograph letters signed by R. Yehuda Leib [Maharil] of Janavi?y, author of She'erit Yehuda, who was the brother of the Admor HaZaken, Ba'al (author of) HaTanya. · Letters and responsa by Torah scholars and rabbis of his region, Chassidim of the Tzemach Tzedek. Some letters were sent to the Tzemach Tzedek himself and some to R. Yissachar Ber, including several halachic responsa which reached R. Yissachar Ber and were bound in this volume. · Copies of numerous responsa of the author of the Tzemach Tzedek and several responsa of the Ba'al HaTanya, in the handwriting of R. Yissachar Ber and other writers. · Letters and manuscripts written by R. Yissachar Ber on various halachic topics. · Several unidentified autographs. An authentic and historical item which provides a glimpse into the vast sphere of the activities of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, author of Tzemach Tzedek, in his capacity of one of the leading poskim of his times as well as an indication of the involvement of Rabbi Yissachar Ber Horwitz, the Rebbe's close assistant in editing his writings. Partial description of the contents: · At the beginning of the volume are two autograph halachic letters signed by the Maharil of Janavi?y to the Tzemach Tzedek [one letter is addressed to "Lubavitch the famous Rabbi Mendel S of Janavi?y"]. The letter has marginalia, apparently in the handwriting of the Tzemach Tzedek. · On page 29/1 is another autograph letter with halachic content signed by the Maharil of Janavi?y, sent to R. Yitzchak Isaac Epstein of Homyel. · Copies of more letters of the Maharil in the handwriting of R. Yissachar Ber. · Approximately seven pages handwritten by the Tzemach Tzedek, and three pages with marginalia in his own handwriting; another approximately 17 pages in a handwriting very similar to that of the Tzemach Tzedek, possibly his own handwriting. Two more places with marginalia in a handwriting similar to that of the Tzemach Tzedek which may be in his own handwriting. · Letters of responsa by the following rabbis: R. Yosef Isaac Lifshitz Rabbi of Orsha, R. Shlomo Zalman son of R. Hillel Papirin Rabbi in Wieli? (Veli?as), R. Shimon son of R. Naftali Rabbi of Liozna, R. Shlomo son of R. Yosef of Dubro?na, R. Ya'akov son of R. Moshe Lifshitz orator and Rabbi in Mscisla?, R. Yehoshua son of R. Zvi Rabbi of Chocimsk, Rabbi Yissachar Ber son of R. Aryeh Leib of Liozna, R. Avraham son of R. Avigdor Katz, and others. Some letters are about polemics and disputes on matters of kashrut and shechita in the surrounding communities. For example, three letters deal with the polemic concerning the validity of the Shochet and Bodek in Krupki [see responsum in the Tzemach Tzedek responsa, Yoreh Deah, Siman 246]: Long letter on this issue by R. Yehuda Leib of Bobr to the Tzemach Tzedek; responsum by Rebbe Yissachar Ber of Lubavitch discussing the same topic and another long responsum in a handwriting similar to that of the Tzemach Tzedek. · Many leaves handwritten by R. Yissachar Ber, most copies of responsa of the Tzemach Tzedek. · Lists of R. Baruch Ber cataloging the manuscripts of the Tzemach Tzedek ["Indexes of the Manuscripts of the Rebbe"]. The initial examination of this volume reveals that some of the responsa of the Tzemach Tzedek therein have not yet seen print or were printed with variations, such as omissions of the beginning and end of the letter, etc. R. Yissachar Ber Horwitz (see: R. Shalom Duber Levin, M'Beit HaGenazim, pp. 127-130), was a disciple of the Maharil of Janavi?y and of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, author of Tzemach Tzedek. After his marriage, he settled in Janavi?y and became a disciple of the Maharil. Even after he left Janavi?y, he continued halachic correspondence with his teacher the Maharil. Later, he served a posek in several communities. First in Bichov-Chodosh [Novyy Pikov] in 1827, and later during 1833-1842 in Lubavitch alongside the Rebbe, author of Tzemech Tzedek. Afterward, he was appointed posek in Konotop (which endowed him with the title "the Rabbi of Konotop"). In all these places, he dealt in halachic rulings and arrangement of gittin and he held a constant correspondence with the Tzemach Tzedek on these topics bequeathing future generations with prolific halachic correspondence with the Tzemach Tzedek and other eminent scholars of his times. While serving as posek in Lubavitch, he frequently discussed halachic issues with the Tzemach Tzedek, and rabbis from other towns in the area regularly consulted him concerning halachic rulings and at times requested that he present their queries to the Tzemach Tzedek and write them his halachic decision. Since he was used to conferring with the Maharil and with the Tzemach Tzedek, many manuscripts written to him or to others, both by the Maharil and by the Tzemach Tzedek remained in his possession. These he bound into several volumes together with his copies of the letters of the Tzemach Tzedek and by his own halachich novellae and notations - this item is one of those volumes. R. Menachem Mendel Schneerson, author of Tzemach Tzedek (1789-1866) was the third Chabad Rebbe and an illustrious scholar and Chassid. A close disciple of his grandfather, author of the Tanya, he became rebbe after the death of his father-in-law and uncle the "Middle Rebbe" Dov Ber in 1828. A prominent leader of Russian Jewry, he was very active in reinforcing religious adherence. He was a leading posek of his times and responded to halachic queries which reached him from all corners of the Russian Empire. His many responsa are concentrated in the eight volumes of his book Tzemach Tzedek, whose title became his cognomen. R. Yehuda Leib of Janavi?y - the Maharil (c. 1750-1826), an exceptional Torah sage, brother and close assistant of the Admor HaZaken Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi "Ba'al HaTanya", was editor of Shulchan Aruch HaRav and responsible for writing the teachings of the Ba'al HaTanya. His own teachings were printed in the She'erit Yehuda responsa. He had a close relationship with the Rebbe, author of Tzemach Tzedek and their correspondence was printed in the Tzemach Tzedek responsa.  leaves. Leaf size varies. Approximately 23 cm. Condition varies among leaves - fair-good. Stains, wear and tears. Damaged, worn binding. Enclosed in an expert's report regarding the identification of the handwriting of the author of Tzemach Tzedek.