Lot 84: Letter by Rabbi Elchanan Wasserman to the Chazon Ish - World War I Period

Kedem Public Auction House Ltd

November 15, 2016
Jerusalem, Israel

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Description: Interesting autograph letter with the full signature of R. "Elchanan Bunam son of R. Naftali Beinush Wasserman". Smilavichy (Minsk district, today Belarus), [Adar Aleph 1919]. Sent to "The famous rabbi and gaon, author of the Chazon Ish" in the city of Stowbtsy (Minsk district, today Belarus), regarding financial assistance to the Smilavichy Yeshiva which was established at that time by Rabbi Elchanan Wasserman and by Rabbi Eliyahu Dushnitzer by the incentive of the Chafetz Chaim, as a branch of the Radin Yeshiva which was banished to that same area. For five years, this yeshiva remained under the management of Rabbi Elchanan with great difficulty and without any regular income of funds. This was due to the increase of persecution and harassment initiated by the Yevsektsiya [the Jewish section of the Communist party which aimed to destroy Torah education and religious adherence]. Obeying the directive of the Chafetz Chaim, the yeshiva student body and teachers fled to Poland in the month of Sivan 1921. At that time, the Chazon Ish was residing in the city of Stolbtsy and the little money he was able to obtain, he sent to support the yeshiva. This early connection between Rabbi Elchanan and the Chazon Ish is not known from any other source. These two illustrious Torah figures corresponded at the end of the 1930s concerning matters of leadership of the communities in Eretz Israel in their dealings with the Zionist circles and the Histadrut. However this letter attests to correspondence which took place twenty years earlier which reflects upon the beginning of the public fame of the Chazon Ish after his first book Chazon Ish was published anonymously in 1911. This book left a great impression on its readers and was the beginning of the rise of the name of this great luminary in yeshiva circles. Postcard, 14X9 cm. 13 handwritten lines. Good condition. Creases and folding marks.
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