From Vilna to Montreal
Autographed Letter by the Venerable Brothers
Rabbi Avraham Tzvi Hersh Grodzinski and
Rabbi Chaim Ozer Grodzinski.
Letter by the righteous brothers Rabbi Avraham Tzvi Hersh Grodzinski, Rosh Yeshivah of Ramailes and Rabbi Chaim Ozer Grodzinski, Av Beis Din and Nasi of the yeshivah to the Vaad Harabbanim of Montreal. This letter conveys their appreciation for the Vaad’s generous help and support of the yeshivah “at a time when its very existence is in danger of closure, and its fate and the fate of all its students is very bitter.”
The Ramailes Yeshivah was one of the first yeshivos established in Vilna. It was founded in 1815 in the courtyard of a philanthropist by the name of R’ Maille, hence the yeshivah’s moniker “Ramailes Yeshivah.” The yeshivah building was located on the Judengasse near the Gra’s beis medrash, and the sound of Torah persisted there for over a century until it was razed during the Holocaust.
Throughout 125 years of Torah, the yeshivah was spearheaded by some of Vilna’s most renowned sages as Rabbi Abel’e Posvillier, Rabbi Yisrael Salanter and Rabbi Mordechai Meltzer of Oshmina, and produced hundreds of talmidim who developed into the Torah luminaries and spiritual leaders of their respective eras.
In 1890, Rabbi Avraham Tzvi Hersh Grodzinski (d.1938), elder brother of Rabbi Chaim Ozer Grodzinki, was appointed Rosh Yeshivah of the Ramailes Yeshivah, while his brother Rabbi Chaim Ozer accepted the position of Nasi. The yeshivah subsequently operated under Rabbi Chaim Ozer’s auspices and with the support that he garnered for the yeshivah.
The present letter was written by a scribe and features the signature of Rabbi Avraham Tzvi Hersh Grodzinksi. In the margins of the letter, Rabbi Chaim Ozer added a personal autographed message in which he expressed his personal gratitude for the Vaad’s generous donations to the yeshivah, “studiers of the Gr”a z”l” and the granddaughter of Rabbi Yisrael Salanter in Horodna.
Vilna, 1934. Impressive original stationary of the Ramailes Yeshivah with a photograph of the yeshivah building’s façade. Condition: Good.
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