Menachem Mendel ben Baruch Bendet of Shklov. Igereth Shlichuth [emissary letter]

AUCTION 65 | Thursday, June 25th, 2015 at 1:00
Fine Judaica: Printed Books, Manuscripts, Ceremonial Objects and Graphic Art

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Lot 31

Menachem Mendel ben Baruch Bendet of Shklov. Igereth Shlichuth [emissary letter]

Letter Signed in Hebrew, written in a dense semi-cursive Sephardic hand on paper. One page, with integral blank. Frayed, taped repair, lower outer corner with loss of text. Unbound. Sm. folio.

Jerusalem: 1823

Est: $5,000 - $7,000
<<AN EMISSARY LETTER SIGNED BY THE SAINTLY R. MENACHEM MENDEL OF SHKLOV>> . Also signed by R. Yitzchak ben Aaron and R. Shlomo Zalman ben Mendel Shapiro. The letter was written for Shlomo Pach who was sent to Constantinople to obtain a license to rebuild the “Churvah” synagogue in the Old City of Jerusalem. When the Perushim, students of the Gaon of Vilna, left Safed for Jerusalem, they sought to rebuild the ruined synagogue that had been established by R. Yehudah HaChasid more than a century earlier. In order to rebuild - and obtain the surrounding property - a firman was needed from the Ottoman authorities who were in control of the Holy Land. Furthermore, monies were required to fund the project. Rebuilding one of Jerusalem’s ruins was seen as having symbolic kabbalistic significance. The “repairing” of an earlier destruction would represent the first step to the rebuilding of the entire city, possibly a prerequisite for the arrival of the Messiah. R. Menachem Mendel of Shklov (d. 1827) was the senior disciple of the Vilna Gaon. He emigrated to Eretz Israel in 1808 where he led the community of the Gaon’s followers. R. Shlomo Zalman Shapiro was a student of R. Chaim of Volozhin (see Toldoth Chachmei Yerushalayim, Vol. 3, p. 177).