(Rosh Yeshiva of Kletsk, Poland and Beth Medrash Govoha of Lakewood, 1891-1962).

AUCTION 55 | Thursday, June 21st, 2012 at 1:00
Fine Judaica: Printed Books, Manuscripts Autograph Letters, Graphic & Ceremonial Art

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Lot 274

(Rosh Yeshiva of Kletsk, Poland and Beth Medrash Govoha of Lakewood, 1891-1962).

Typed Letter Signed in English, to Rabbi Joseph Lipman Gurewitz of Melbourne, Australia. Three pages. folds. 4to.

(New York): September 15th 1944

Est: $1,000 - $1,500
The famed Rabbi Kotler here seeks to obtain Australian visas for students of the Kletzker Yeshiva who were stranded in Siberia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and other parts of Asiatic Russia. Based upon diplomatic agreements between Russia and Poland, those Polish citizens currently in the Soviet Union, including those exiled to Siberia, would be allowed to leave the country upon presentation of visas issued by third countries. Rabbi Kotler here requests Rabbi Gurewitz to “explain to the appropriate authorities of the liberal and humane Australian Government, the importance of these great scholars to Jewry in general and to Orthodox Jewry in particular, now that the great sites of Torah education are gone.” Appended to the letter is a two page typed list with the names of forty-three yeshiva students with their age, birth place and present address. Although Australian visas were ultimately not procured, many of these students did indeed survive the war and grew to become leading Roshei Yeshivoth, scholars and communal leaders. For example, Rabbi J. Newinanski taught at Yeshiva Rabbeinu Jacob Joseph, Leib Rodkin founded Yeshivoth in the USA and Israel, Yaakov Gruman authored eight volumes of sermons, Nachum Zeldes a prominent Torah leader, etc. See A. Pekier, From Kletzk to Siberia” (1986) in which many of the students on the present list are noted in the book.