Lot : 98

Rabbi Elchanan Wasserman’s Famous Letter
Baranowitz, 1937

Start price: $5,000
Est. Price: $7,000 - $10,000
Rabbi Elchanan Wasserman’s Famous Letter
Baranowitz, 1937
This famous letter was penned by Rabbi Elchanan Wasserman Hy”d to Rabbi Isser Zalman Meltzer in Jerusalem.
Background to the letter.
In 1937, Rabbi Elchanan Wasserman published an essay calling to cease any connection or relationship with the Jewish National Council whom he termed “a sect that despises Hashem.” He likewise placed a ban on taking funding from non religious organizations.
Rabbi Isser Zalman Meltzer penned a reply to Rabbi Elchanan’s essay, explaining that the purpose of consorting with these bodies was to minimize damage and rescue that which was still able to be salvaged. He further wrote that since Rabbi Elchanan Wasserman dwelled far from Eretz Yisrael, he was ill-equipped to rule on this issue.

The present letter is Rabbi Elchanan’s response to Rabbi Isser Zalman Meltzer. A copy of this letter was sent to the Chazon Ish (see Kovetz Igros U’Maamarim Vol. 1 p. 146).

Rabbi Elchanan Wasserman Hy”d (1875-1941), was the Rosh Yeshivah of Yeshivas Ohel Torah in Baranowitz. As one the greatest Roshei Yeshivah and Torah luminaries of pre-Holocaust Lithuania, he served as the right hand of the Chofetz Chaim in guarding the foundations of Judaism and was active in Agudas Yisrael. Rabbi Elchanan was an outspoken opponent of Zionism and secular bodies in Eretz Yisrael, and his thought-provoking addresses and written legacy, Kovetz He’aros and Kovetz Shiurim, are foundational pillars of the Yeshivah world.
Baranowitz, 1937. Autographed. Typewritten with handwritten salutation and closing by Rabbi Elchanan’s holy hand. Bottom third of letter is torn with missing text on both sides of page. (Text can be completed based on the copy sent to the Chazon Ish that was printed in Kovetz Igros U’Maamarim Vol. 1 p. 146).
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