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Lot 80: Letter by Rabbi Meir Simcha HaCohen, the Or Same'ach - To his Son-in-law Rabbi Avraham Luftvir

Auction 53 - Rare and Important Items

by Kedem Public Auction House Ltd

15 November 2016

Jerusalem, Israel

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Description: Letter of recommendation handwritten and signed by Rabbi Meir Simcha HaCohen, author of Or Same'ach. [1913]. Sent to his son-in-law Rabbi Avraham Luftvir, with a request and recommendation for Rabbi Eliyahu Mordechai Wolkovsky "author of Ma'arechet HaTalmud V'Haposkim. He is a wise and well-mannered person and worthy of assistance. For his journey he needs to meet with Polish sages and leaders. Therefore, my dear, I request that you assist him with counsel and introductions". At the end of the letter is a sentence which slightly reveals the wounded heart of Rabbi Meir Simcha due to the childlessness of his only daughter: "G-d should soon give us joy - your father-in-law with love, Meir Simchahacohen" [the letter Heh of his signature is shared by both the name Simcha which ends with a Heh and HaCohen which begins with the letter Heh]. R. Meir Simcha HaCohen of Dvinsk (1843-1926), an exceptional Lithuanian Torah scholar and outstanding tsaddik, was a prominent leader of Eastern European Jewry before the Holocaust. He served 40 years as Rabbi of Dvinsk (Denenburg, Latvia), alongside R. Yosef Ruzhin, the Rogochover (who served as rabbi of the Chassidic sector of the city). While serving as Rabbi of Dvinsk, he began printing his monumental work Or Sameach on the Rambam. Three volumes were published in his lifetime and the last volume was printed in Riga by R. Menachem Mendel Zack, Rabbi of Riga, who also edited and published R. Meir Simcha's work Meshech Chochma on the Torah. Already in his days, Or Sameach was accepted in the study halls and yeshivot as one of the most important basic books of Torah scholarship and since then it was printed in many editions. (In his commentary on Parshat Bechukotei, Rabbi Meir Simcha foresees with his ru'ach hakodesh the imminent destruction of European Jewry resulting from the Jews following the Berlin haskalah and their assimilation into the non-Jewish population). The Or Same'ach's only daughter wed the illustrious Torah scholar R. Avraham Luftvir (c. 1870-1918), one of the most outstanding Torah prodigies of Warsaw. Rabbi Meir Simcha cherished his son-in-law with his entire being and often cites his novellae in his writings. R. Avraham died at a young age (less than 50 years old) without children [he too was an only child to one of the wealthiest Warsaw residents, and his wife was the only daughter of the Or Same'ach]. After his death, his profound Torah correspondence with his close associate R. Menachem Zemba was printed in the book Zera Avraham (Bi?goraj -Warsaw, 1920). 21 cm. 10 handwritten lines. Good condition, minor tears to paper folds.

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