Kisselov, Aaron Moses. Mishberei Yam [“Waves of the Sea”: Responsa]

AUCTION 33 | Tuesday, June 20th, 2006 at 1:00
Fine Judaica: Including Hebrew Printed Books, Manuscripts, & Autograph Letters

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Lot 46

Kisselov, Aaron Moses. Mishberei Yam [“Waves of the Sea”: Responsa]

FIRST EDITION. Title in typographic border. Broad margins ff. 126, (2). Top margin of title lightly waterstained, slight puncture to final four leaves. Recent boards. Folio

Harbin: M.L. Levitin 1926

Est: $1,000 - $1,500
One of Very Few Hebrew Works Printed in Harbin. Due to its proximity to the Russian border, Harbin in Northern Manchuria, was home to an affluent White Russian-Jewish emigre community. Moses Aaron Kisselov, rabbi of the Jewish community of Harbin, had originally served as Rabbi of Borisov (today Belarus). Kisselov was a first-rate halachist, as witnessed by his extensive correspondence with the great Lithuanian authorities of the day: R. Isaac Jacob Rabinowitz of Peterburg, R. Meir Simcha Kagan of Dvinsk, and R. Abraham Dov Baer Kahana-Shapiro of Kovno. Many of the responsa in this collection deal with pressing issues peculiar to the difficulties of Jewish life in the remote areas of the Far East. For example, we read at the beginning of Chapter 33 (“Halachoth requiring a solution based on the present local situation”): “in this region of the Far East, and in the lands of China and Japan, there are few Jews in various cities, and due to their minute number, they have not a learned rabbi qualified to arrange ‘gitin’ (bills of divorce), neither have they a ‘sofer’ (scribe) and there are among them such that have left behind women in Russia, and desire to divorce them. In some cases, the distance to the nearest ‘talmid chacham’ knowledgeable of ‘gitin’ is thousands of miles. If we do not allow these men to appoint a scibe and witnesses in another locale, their wives will be left ‘agunoth’ (forbidden to remarry)” (p.236).