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Collection of Letters and Manuscripts – Rabbis of Lithuania and Pukeliai – 19th Century

Opening: US$0
Price realised:  US$1,476
Lot number 278, Views: 141

Large collection of letters and manuscripts from the archives of the rabbis of Pukeliai, R. Chaim Nathanson and R. Yaakov Villenchik, author of Daltei Teshuva. The collection includes letters and halachic decisions from the rabbis of Pukeliai and Lithuania, manuscripts of Torah novellae, two letters of appointment to rabbinical positions addressed to R. Chaim Nathanson, and more. Lithuania, ca. late 19th century. * Letter appointing R. Chaim ben Avraham Nathanson as rabbi of Pukeliai (Telsiai district, Lithuania), with 89 signatures of community members. Pukeliai, 1879. * Letter appointing R. Chaim Nathanson as rabbi of Zidikai (Mazeikiai district, Lithuania), with 68 signatures of community members. Zidikai, 1896. * Long letter of responsa addressed to R. Yitzchak Elchanan Spektor of Kovno, and a letter of testimony regarding a young man who "jokingly" married a young woman with the intention of blackmailing her father [the letter is unsigned, but was evidently written by R. Yaakov Villenchik]. Pukeliai, 1894. * Dozens of large leaves of Torah novellae handwritten by R. Yaakov Villenchik, rabbi of Pukeliai, including chapters from his Sefer Daltei Teshuva on Yoreh Deah, drafts of letters of responsa (to R. Naftali Adler, rabbi of London), and more. * Letters of Torah novellae and responsa in the cramped but handsome handwriting of R. Chaim Nathanson. On one page he signed his name: "Chaim ben R. Avraham Nathanson, here in---". * Large collection of halachic decisions and financial statements with signatures. Several are signed by R. Chaim Nathanson and R. Yaakov Villenchik. [Pukeliai, 1870-1900]. * "Shtar Iska" (business permit) signed by R. Michel Feinstein, rabbi of Plungė, brother-in-law of R. Chaim Nathanson. Pukeliai, 1876. * Letter from R. Shlomo Gordon, rabbi of Druskininkai (author of Binyan Shlomo), to R. Chaim Nathanson, rabbi of Zidikai. Druskininkai, 1900. * Printed ketubah (marriage contract) with handwritten additions, for the marriage of R. Yisrael Michel ben R. Chaim (Nathanson), which took place in Skuodas (Kretinga district, Lithuania). The ketubah is signed by the rabbi of the city, R. "Yechiel Michel Havsha". Skuodas, 1905. * Various letters addressed to R. Chaim Nathanson by friends and relatives. Letters from his brothers R. Feivel and R. Yisrael, letters from his son "Avraham", from his brother-in-law "Yitzchak---"; letters and documents that were sent to his son R. Yechiel Michel Nathanson in Skuodas, and more. R. Chaim Nathanson (died 1904) was a Lithuanian Torah scholar, and was known as among the greatest of the "prushim" who learned in Eišiškės (Eishishok). Another scholar among the scholars in Eišiškės was the Chafetz Chaim. R. Chaim was born in Pukeliai, where his father R. Avraham served as rabbi and dayan in the beit din of R. Avraham Charif. He received rabbinical ordination (smicha) from R. Bezalel Hakohen of Vilna (see item 276) and in 1876 R. Avraham Charif attempted to obtain a rabbinical position for him (see previous item). Upon R. Avraham's passing the following year, R. Chaim was appointed rabbi of his hometown, but his career there was dogged by disagreement and divisiveness (see items 279, 327). After several years, R. Chaim left Pukeliai and transferred the rabbinate to his brother-in-law, R. Yaakov Villenchik. In 1896 R. Chaim was appointed rabbi in Zidikai. He authored the works "Siftei Chen" (Vilna, 1900), and "Divrei Chen" (Piotrkow, 1904). Over 100 leaves. Size and condition vary; good through poor. A large portion of the manuscripts of R. Yaakov Villenchik are in poor condition; wear and tears.

Informations about the auction
Auction house: Kedem Auction House Ltd.
Title: Auction 59 - Judaica - Books, Manuscripts, Rabbinical Letters, Ceremonial Art
Date of the auction: 13 Feb 2018
Address: Kedem Auction House Ltd.
King George st. 58
9242209 Jerusalem
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