BRESLAU, ARYEH LEIB. Penei Aryeh [responsa]

AUCTION 28 | Tuesday, April 05th, 2005 at 1:00
Fine Judaica: The Library of the late Professor Abraham J. Karp.

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Lot 15

BRESLAU, ARYEH LEIB. Penei Aryeh [responsa]

FIRST EDITION. Printer’s device on title and last page. Scholarly marginalium on f.71r ff. (3), 106. ff. 36-7 loose. Title and several leaves burnt at top with no loss of text. Calf, rebacked. Folio Vinograd, Amsterdam 2181

Amsterdam: The Widow & Orphans Proops 1790

Est: $300 - $500
Aryeh Leib Breslau (or Breslauer) was the Chief Rabbi of Rotterdam, Holland. (See Gans, Memorbook, p. 230 for a handsome portrait.) He was consulted in a halachic matter by one Gimpel Wolfenbitel of Amsterdam concerning a donation made by “R. Haym of Philadelphia” (responsum 41 on f.46r.). “R. Haym” turns out to be none other than Haym Salomon (1740-1785), famous in the annals of Early American History for his generosity toward the fathers of the Republic, James Madison, et al. It seems Rabbi Breslau recommended to Salomon that he contribute to the upkeep of an anonymous individual in Amsterdam. Salomon hearkened to Rabbi Breslau's plea, and sent a sum to Wolfenbitel on behalf of the poor man. However, in the interim, the poor man turned rich, and Wolfenbitel questioned R. Breslau whether halachically, he should return the funds to Haym Salomon. - How different from the attitude of the U.S. Congress, which consistently repudiated the claims of Salomon's heirs that restitution be made for the enormous sums Haym Salomon advanced the fledgling government during the Revolution! See JE, Vol. X, pp. 653-55