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Lot 86: Interesting Letter by Rabbi Yitzchak Hutner - Jerusalem, 1933

Auction 53 - Rare and Important Items

by Kedem Public Auction House Ltd

15 November 2016

Jerusalem, Israel

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Description: Long interesting autograph letter signed by R. Yitzchak (Isaac) Hutner. Jerusalem, Iyar 1933. The letter was written to his teacher and friend from his Slobodka days, R. Baruch Yosef Feivelson [head of the Radin (Radun) Yeshiva and son-in-law of R. Naftali Trop]. R. Hutner describes in detail his inner world, his activities and plans: "Beloved elder brother! Truly, what time does, a person's mind cannot do. Recent events and facts flooded me with such force… I became engaged, married, made aliya… As you can see from the letterhead ["Isaac Hutner, Even Ezra Street, Rehavia, Jerusalem"] I am now residing in Rehavia Jerusalem. Rehavia is the 'intelligentsia neighborhood' and all ridicule me that I became an 'intelligent". However, what can I do, as you surely remember from my childhood days, I have become accustomed to this derision… My first step upon coming here is to immerse myself again in Torah study…For this purpose, I have chosen three very talented young men and we study together Tractate Mikva'ot, in depth, just like old times, and the voice of Torah can be vociferously heard in Rehavia. I have already been informed that R. Menachem Ussishkin [head of the Jewish Agency] (who is my neighbor), asked who is the man, in the style of the old Yishuv, that moved to Rehavia…" [This arrangement for studying Tractate Mikva'ot is mentioned in the book of R. Hirsh, pp. 127-129. The group of four was composed of R. Yitzchak and three young men: R. Simcha Zissel Broide, Simcha Pines and Hirsch Palei, men who eventually became Torah and Musar teachers in the Hebron Yeshiva and other yeshivas. Their study session was thorough in-depth study without pause from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm. Once, one of the young men yawned in the middle of the session and R. Yitzchak slapped him saying that Mikva'ot and yawns do not go hand in hand…]. Further in the letter, R. Yitzchak details his plans for the near future for in-depth halachic study. He explains his leaning towards this type of learning and the benefit of studying Tur with the Beit Yosef commentary. "In my opinion, this is the first bridge between the treatise and the halacha". He summarizes his plans in his characteristic manner: "I cannot write you the results of this trial, even to express my assessment as to whether this will bring me success, because I am not among those who are quick to judge. When we correspond, and the time will come, I will write you in detail of the progress…". Rabbi Yitzchak Hutner (1906-1980) studied in the Slabodka Yeshiva in Lithuania and in Hebron. In 1932, he published the book Torat HaNazir which surprised the Torah world with its original scholarly depth produced by such a young man. Two weeks after his marriage, he made aliya and resided one year in the Rehavia neighborhood of Jerusalem. In 1934, he moved to the US and stood at the helm of Metivta Chaim Berlin in NY for many years and at the same time served as one of the heads of US Mo'etzet Gedolei HaTorah. He was renowned for his thought-provoking halachic discourses and for his articles on Jewish philosophy on Hilchot De'ot B'Chovot HaLevavot, later published in the Pachad Yitzchak series. Official stationery, 28 cm. Written on both sides and in the margins. Good-fair condition, creases and wear. A long interesting letter that does not appear in the book Pachad Yitzchak Igrot U'Ktavim, and to the best of our knowledge has not been printed elsewhere.

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