63 132 FEINSTEIN, MOSHE (“Reb Moishe.” Pre-eminent American Halachic decisor and President of the Agudath HaRabbanim, 1895-1985). Autograph Manuscript Signed. Eight pages, written on personal letterhead in Hebrew. LENGTHY AND HIGHLY IMPORTANT RESPONSA CONCERNING POST-HOLOCAUST AGUNOTH The author’s full retained personal copy. A historic responsa that affected thousands of female Holocaust survivors whose husbands failed to reappear following the devastation of war and targeted extermination. 4to. [See Teshuvos Igros Moshe, EH 1:43.] New York, 2nd Tammuz (20th June), 1947. $10,000 - $15,000 ❧ A MONUMENTAL RABBINIC DECISION THAT PERMITTED SURVIVORS TO RESTART THEIR PERSONAL AND FAMILY LIVES. The manuscript begins: “Concerning those who were in Auschwitz and similar places where the Nazis (may their name be erased) gassed and burnt Jews in fiery ovens. As is well known, very few were rescued - not even one in ten thousand. Therefore the matter arises whether [surviving] wives are permitted to remarry…” Reb Moishe presents a sophisticated and novel Halachic approach - “I pray my mentors will agree with my innovation” - that would prevent women who survived the death-camps from falling under the devastating legal category of being an ‘Agunah,’ that is, chained to a “dead” marriage - their husbands having disappeared into the unknown labyrinths of ‘Planet Auschwitz.’ (The Halachic details, falling under the Talmudic rubric of ‘mayim she’ein lahem sof,’ is available upon request). After the crushing destruction of six million Jewish lives, Reb Moishe comprehended the existential need to raise a new generation of Jews. This could not happen - literally - if thousands of potentially “chained” women were not permitted to remarry and bear a new generation of Jewish children following the single most destructive event in all of Jewish history. It was only due to Reb Moishe’s unparalleled and unchallenged prominence as a Halachicist that this defining rabbinic decision was accepted throughout the religiously observant Jewish world. No form of financing, counseling or political lobbying could do for the thousands of survivor women languishing in the DP camps, compared to what Reb Moishe did, promulgated in this clear and compassionate decision. Affectionately known as ‘Reb Moishe,’ Rabbi Moshe Feinstein was the decades-long Rosh Yeshiva of ‘Tifereth Jerusalem’ in New York’s Lower East Side and universally acknowledged as the halachic decisor par-excellence. His unparalleled expertise in rabbinic Judaism combined with his pragmatic approach to modern conditions made him the most sought-after advisor and adjudicator of the post-Holocaust generation. A MOMENTOUS DOCUMENT FOR THOUSANDS OF JEWISH WOMEN WHO WOULD BECOME, AS NEWLY-WEDS, THE DEFINING FEATURE OF POST- HOLOCAUST REVIVAL: NEW MOTHERS, BRINGING TO LIFE A NEW GENERATION OF JEWISH FAMILIES.