Special Chabad auction in honor of the yahrzeit of Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneersohn on the 3rd of Tamuz and in honor of the Chag HaGeulah on the 12th-13th of Tamuz of Rebbe Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn - the Rayatz of Lubavitch
This auction features letters and rare items of Chabad Rebbes and of their wives, the rebbetzins.
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Letter of Congratulations from Rebbe Rayatz of Lubavitch – 1949 – To R. Azriel Zelig Slonim, Upon His Appointment ...
Sold for: $1,000
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Letter of Congratulations from Rebbe Rayatz of Lubavitch – 1949 – To R. Azriel Zelig Slonim, Upon His Appointment as Director of Kollel Chabad – "May It Be at an Opportune Time and May G-d Help Him Fulfill My Shlichus to its Fullest"
Letter signed by Rebbe Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn – the Rayatz of Lubavitch. Brooklyn, NY, 7th Elul 1949. Typewritten on the official stationery of Rebbe Rayatz, with his signature "Yosef Yitzchak and several words in his handwriting.
The letter was sent to his relative R. Azriel Zelig Slonim, upon his appointment as director of Kollel Chabad in the Holy Land (charity organization founded by the Baal HaTanya, with the objective of providing for the material and spiritual needs of Chabad Chassidim in Eretz Israel).
In Iyar 1949, R. Shemaryahu Gurary (the Rashag) visited Eretz Israel and suggested to R. Azriel Zelig Slonim, in the name of his father-in-law the Rayatz, to serve as director of Kollel Chabad. Indeed, in his letter from 23rd Sivan (see previous item), the Rayatz appointed the members of the Kollel administration and nominated R. Azriel Zelig to serve as its director. The latter accepted the position, and wrote to the Rayatz on 16th Av: "I am prepared to devote myself entirely to work for the benefit of the Kollel in material and spiritual matters" (Eved Melech, pp. 210-211). To which the Rayatz responds in the present letter: "In response to his letter from 16th Av, informing that he is beginning his work as director of Kollel Chabad in the Holy Land", blessing him: "May it be at an opportune time and may G-d help him fulfill my shlichus fully and bless him and grant him success in everything he and his family need".
At the end of the letter, the Rayatz added in his own handwriting: "All good in material and spiritual matters"; signing with the Yud in Ashuri script at the beginning of his second name – his distinctive signature during the final year of his life.
R. Azriel Zelig Slonim (1897-1971), a leading Chabad activist, member of Agudas Chassidei Chabad and director of Kollel Chabad. He was the founder of Irgun N'shei UBnos Chabad and the Beit Chanah institution, and helped establish Shikun Chabad in Jerusalem.
R. Azriel Zelig Slonim was born in Hebron to R. Ze'ev Dov, grandson of Rebbetzin Menuchah Rachel Slonim, daughter of the Mitteler Rebbe of Lubavitch. He was orphaned at a young age of his father, and at the age of 15, in 1913, he travelled to study in the Tomchei Temimim yeshiva in Lubavitch. R. Azriel Zelig was a household member of Rebbe Rashab, and ate at his table on Shabbat and festivals. In 1918, following the civil war, he went to study in the Kherson branch of Tomchei Temimim, in Ukraine. In Kherson, he drew close to the renowned Chassid Reb Itche der Masmid and with his encouragement, began going round the Jewish colonies in the Kherson district, giving classes on Chassidut. Amongst others, he was active in the Nahar Tov colony (Nagartav, Bereznegovatoye County), R. Itche's town. He would travel from time to time for the festivals to the Rashab in Rostov, and after the latter's passing, he continued travelling to his son and successor, the Rayatz. After Pesach 1922, he returned to Eretz Israel and settled in Jerusalem. He was appointed mashpia in the Tzemach Tzedek synagogue in the Old City, and married Mrs. Chaya Feigel (daughter of his sister Sheinah Mushka and her husband R. Moshe Shlomo Kahana Shapira, descendant of the Megaleh Amukot). In 1924, with the encouragement and instructions of the Rayatz, he began serving as emissary and travelled throughout the world. During this mission, he raised funds, disseminated Judaism and Chassidut, and worked in outreach. He reached the most far-flung communities, and worked on establishing Mikvaot, appointing rabbis and shochetim and setting up classes on Torah and Chassidut. In 1924, he took part in founding Agudas Chassidei Chabad in America and Canada. At the end of one of his missions, the Rayatz commented: "Zelig is capable of making things happen". Upon concluding his mission in Australia in 1940, R. Azriel Zelig returned to Jerusalem and devoted himself to Chabad communities in Eretz Israel. He was the trustee of Chabad property in Eretz Israel, and maintained continuous correspondence with Rebbetzin Shterna Sarah wife of the Rashab and Rebbetzin Nechama Dina wife of the Rayatz. He passed away on Chol HaMoed Sukkot and was buried on Har HaMenuchot in Jerusalem. Many of his descendants serve as Chabad Shlichim and rabbis in communities throughout the world.
The letter was printed in Igrot Kodesh of the Rayatz (vol. X, letter 3552), based on the picture of this letter appearing in the book Migdal Oz (p. 39).
 leaf, official stationery. 21.5 cm. Thin paper. Good condition. Filing holes. Folding marks and creases. Small marginal open tears (not affecting text).