(Chief Rabbi of New York).

AUCTION 75 | Thursday, March 08th, 2018 at 1:00 PM
Auction of Fine Judaica: Printed Books, Manuscripts, Autograph Letters, Antiquities, Ceremonial Objects & Graphic Art

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Lot 271

(Chief Rabbi of New York).

Letter Signed by R. Jacob Joseph in Hebrew with his title ‘Rav Hakollel New York;’ the body written by his secretary R. Dov Ber Silberman, Maggid of Cong. Tifereth Israel, to R. <<Yitzchak Elchanan Spektor>> Chief Rabbi of Kovno. Concerning funds collected from pushkes of the recently closed Yeshiva of Volozhin to be transferred to the Yeshiva of Kovno and sent to R. Isaac Elchanan. Two pages.

New York: 13 Marcheshvan 1894

Est: $3,000 - $4,000
<<An important letter between major figures within the Rabbinic world>> discussing an heretofore unknown aspect relating to New York`s religious community structures and its relationships with the broader Torah world. The Yeshiva of Volozhin was forcibly closed by the Czar of Russia in 1892. The Rabbis of New York agreed that funds that had been collected for the Yeshiva’s benefit, would now be sent to R. Isaac Elchanan for transfer to the Yeshiva under his jurisdiction in Kovno. Meanwhile, in the interests of communal order, the Gabbaim of the R. Meir Baal Haness Charity ruled that in addition to pushkes directed for their establishment, only one other yeshiva may publicly collect charitable funds. Discussed in this letter was the point that since there was a possibility the Yeshiva of Volozhin might reopen in the future, it should not lose the right to publicly place pushkes as in previous years. Thus an emissary that had placed pushkes to benefit the Yeshiva of Kovno was ordered to place a notice on them stating “Al Pi Chezkath Yeshivah Volozhin” - i.e. Volozhin would not lose its pre-existing status in New York for charitable collection. Rav Ya’akov Yoseph suffered from debilitating illness in his final years (d. 1902) and almost all his later correspondence was in the hand of secretarial assistants, often prominent rabbis in their own right.