Lot : 101

Letter by the Admor Rabbi Aharon Menachem Mendel of

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Letter by the Admor Rabbi Aharon Menachem Mendel of

“Together, we shall all endeavor for the sake of Hashem and our holy Torah”
Strongly-worded letter by the Admor Rabbi Aharon Menachem Mendel Guterman of Radzymin condemning the Alliance Israelite Universelle for its attack of traditional Judaism and efforts to mitigate Jewish faith.
“And they have come as far as our holy city of Jerusalem, to destroy and uproot Judaism and traditional education of our children in an alarming fashion. This is dreadful and cannot be abided.”
A long letter covering two-and-a-half sides in beautiful calligraphy. The last line was handwritten by the Admor himself and features his autograph:
“Seeking his welfare and the peace of his Torah with a yearning heart and soul; awaiting the salvations of Yisrael, Aharon Menachem Mendel.”


In his letter, the Admor commends the covert efforts being made to oppose the Alliance and proposes the establishment of a permanent committee in Constantinople to represent the needs of Orthodox Jewry to the Ottoman authorities. He adds that as Nasi of Kollel Polin, he will personally appeal to authorities in Jerusalem to unite the local Kollels to endeavor “for the merits of thousands of Jews, to open their eyes and not be drawn after the terrible movement, to seal all breaches and continually strengthen and reinforce the pillars of religion with increased force and might.”
Admor Rabbi Aharon Menachem Mendel Guterman of Radzymin (1860-1934) was one of the great Chassidic Admorim in Poland. He was a disciple of both his grandfather the Admor Rabbi Yaakov Aryeh of Radzymin and the Avnei Nezer, and was acclaimed as a tzaddik and genius who excelled in Torah and pilpul. In 1903, he was crowned Admor of Radzymin, and in this capacity, dedicated his life to providing for both the public and private individuals in need. Rabbi Aharon Menachem Mendel was named Nasi of Kupath Rabbi Meir Baal Haness and endeavored greatly to support the burgeoning Yishuv in Eretz Yisrael. In 1929, he paid a historic visit to Eretz Yisrael, in the course of which he initiated setting up the mechitzah at the Kosel. Rabbi Aharon Menachem Mendel was never blessed with children, yet his written legacy includes Kuntress Chinuch Habanim, Alim L’terufah, and Tzemach Menachem.
Radzymin, Thursday Parshas Chayei [Sarah] [25 Cheshvan, 5669], 1909). Folded leaf, written on two-and-a-half sides. Page Size: 20×13 cm. Condition: Good, save for a single water stain in the center of the page.
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Valuable Collection of Letters
The Battle by Gedolei Yisrael
to Preserve traditional Judaism in Eretz Yisrael.
An Historical account



When the winds of the Enlightenment began blowing throughout Europe, one of the first objectives of the liberal movements to advance their agenda was to dismantle the institution of the traditional Rabbinate, by replacing the Rabbinate with “enlightened” Rabbis who would support their progressive ways and institutions.
During the era these letters were written, Eretz Yisrael was under the control of the Ottoman Empire whose axis was in Constantinople.
Ottoman authorities traditionally bequeathed the Chief Rabbi of Constantinople, known as Chacham Bashi, a wide scope of authorities and privileges that powerfully influenced and impacted Jewish communities throughout the vast Empire. In particular, the Chacham Bashi was able to facilitate the needs of the Jewish community in Eretz Yisrael and represent them to the authorities. Also included in the Chacham Bashi’s powers was the appointment of new Rabbis in the Holy Land.
In 1909, progressive Jews exerted their influence in the Ottoman court to depose the Chacham Bashi, Rabbi Moshe Halevi, and campaigned strongly to appoint Chaim Nahum in his stead. Nahum, a graduate of the Alliance school and of Parisian Universities,
Gedolei Yisrael of the era regarded his appointment as a severe blow to tradition, as well as a grave threat to the spiritual future of Eretz Yisrael. They put up a fierce battle to oppose the new Chacham Bashi and to preserve the religious character of the Holy Land and of Jerusalem in particular.
Rabbi Yitzchak Eisik Halevi (1848-1914), author of Doros Rishonim, spearheaded this spiritual battle, and the letters in this collection are all addressed to him.
The present collection constitutes an eye-opening historical documentary of the times, with letters spanning Gedolei Yisrael from Chassidic, Sephardic and Lithuanian (Misnagdim) sects, among them Rabbi Chaim Halevi Soloveitchik, the Avnei Nezer, Imrei Emes, Rabbi Chaim Ozer Grodzinski, and others. Each letter reveals the individual Rabbi’s unique perspective and pure Torah outlook on the concept of Rabbanus along with his personal battle to preserve spiritual sanctity during this turning-point in Jewish history.
For further information regarding the battle waged by Gedolei Yisrael, see Rabbi David Kamenetzky’s work Rabban shel Yisrael (Jerusalem, 2021 Ch. 14).