Auctioneers of Rare Books, Collectibles and Fine Art

Auction 72: March 16th, 2017

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Lot: 136 HUTNER, YITZCHAK. Torath HaNazir [novellae on Maimonides's laws of the Nazarite.] FIRST EDITION. Presentation copy WARMLY INSCRIBED AND SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR to R. Eliezer Goldschmidt, Kovno-Slabodka, 1932. pp. 137. Browned. Loose in original boards, worn, spine taped. Folio.

S. Joselevitz, Kovno: 1932. Est: $1,000 - $1,500

-R. Yitzchok Hutner (1906-80), Rosh Yeshiva of Brooklyn's Yeshivath Rabbi Chaim Berlin from 1936 until his death, studied in his youth at the Slabodka Yeshiva in Lithuania, headed by Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel, where he was known as the "Warsaw Illui." He was sent to join an extension of Slabodka in Hebron and during the course of his stay in Eretz Israel became closely associated with R. Abraham Isaac Kook, the first Chief Rabbi of Palestine. In later years, when R. Kook's name became associated with the Mizrachi movement, R. Hutner, a member of the non-Zionist Agudath Israel of America's Mo'etzes Gedolei HaTorah, sought to revise his prior association with R. Kook. The present work, Torath HaNazir is an example of this. When R. Hutner first published it in Kovno, he included approbations from both R. Chaim Ozer Grodzenski and R. Kook. However when it was republished in the early 1970's, the approbation from R. Kook was excluded. Allegedly, a key financial backer of Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin sought to obtain any copy of the present first edition containing R. Kook's approbation, in order to suppress public awareness of Rabbi Hutner's former ties to Chief Rabbi Kook.

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