Auction 69 Part 1 Rare and Important Items
Dec 3, 2019 (your local time)
 8 Ramban St, Jerusalem.

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LOT 120:

Manuscript, Ledger of the Beit Din for Releasing Agunot and Agunim in the Wake of the Holocaust – Bergen Belsen ...

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Manuscript, Ledger of the Beit Din for Releasing Agunot and Agunim in the Wake of the Holocaust – Bergen Belsen Camp, 1947-1948 – Early Testimonies of the Genocide
Manuscript, ledger of the Beit Din in the Bergen Belsen camp in Germany, comprising some 85 Beit Din acts, permits for agunot and agunim, Holocaust survivors, to remarry. Bergen Belsen, 1947-1948. Hebrew and Yiddish.
This ledger is an early documentation of the extermination of European Jewry during the Holocaust. In order to release agunot and agunim, the rabbis were required to thoroughly research the methods of extermination used by the Nazis, and they carefully examined the chances of survival from the various incidents. These rabbis were the first to collect testimonies from Holocaust survivors, very soon after the war ended, while the memories were still fresh and raw (see: E. Farbstein, BeSeter Raam, pp. 311-334).
The marriage permits in the ledger are numbered in ascending order: 476-559. The name of the subject of the permit is inscribed at the top of the page, followed by a transcription of the testimony, signed by the rabbis who received it, and concluding with the permit to remarry, with the signatures of the rabbis issuing it. The signees include: R. Yoel Heilpern, R. Yisrael Aryeh Zelmanovitz, R. Yissachar Berish Rubin and R. Yitzchak Glickman.
These testimonies mention all the types of circumstances and atrocities of the Holocaust: the roundups and selections, ghetto liquidations and death marches, gas chambers and crematoriums, death by starvation and shooting, and more. One of the testimonies describes a fictitious marriage arranged in the ghetto, in an attempt to avoid being deported to the camps. Another one attests that there was not a single survivor from the barrack of sick inmates in Auschwitz. One of the testimonies describes how the husband informed a fellow inmate of his name and origin, moments before he was killed, stating that he has a wife and two children. Another testimony reports of a man who died during a death march, yet they were unable to bury him, since they were compelled to keep on marching, and other atrocious incidents which were the bitter fate of the Jews in the extermination camps. The testimonies document Jews from various cities and areas in Poland and Lithuania: Warsaw, Kraków, Łódź, Lublin, Lviv, Białystok, Piotrków, Chrzanów, Elkish (Olkusz), Vilna and more; who were sent to Auschwitz, Treblinka, Buchenwald, Majdanek, Bergen Belsen, Stutthoff, Ravensbrück and other camps. The testimonies also include mentions of the ghettos of Warsaw, Łódź, Białystok and others.
Signature and stamp of R. Yisrael Aryeh Zelmanovitz on the cover, as well as the stamp of the Bergen Belsen Beit Din.
These rabbis worked in collaboration with R. Shlomo David Kahana of Warsaw, who resided in Jerusalem, and was one of the central figures working to release agunot and agunim following the Holocaust. Rav Kahana is mentioned repeatedly in this ledger as the one they consulted in regard to issuing marriage permits.
R. Yoel Heilpern of Jasło, son of Rebbe Matityah Chaim of Dobshitz and son-in-law of R. Elimelech Rubin of Jasło. His three children perished in the Holocaust, and he miraculously survived. Following the Holocaust, he served as rabbi in the Bergen Belsen camp, working industriously to find solutions for the agunot. In 1948, he immigrated to the United States, where he served as rabbi in Brownsville, Brooklyn. He authored Osef Takanot Agunot.
R. Yisrael Aryeh Zelmanovitz, elder Sanz Chassid, one of the first disciples of Rebbe Yekutiel Halberstam of Sanz-Klausenburg. Following the Holocaust, he served as rabbi in the Bergen Belsen camp, and later immigrated to Eretz Israel where he served as rabbi of various cities – first in Yavne, then in Kiryat Sanz, Netanya, in Akko, and finally, in Bnei Brak. He authored the Chayei Nefesh series.
R. Yissachar Berish Rubin, descendant of Rebbe Yeshaya Steiner ("R. Yeshayale of Kerestir") and son-in-law of R. Chaim Meisels of Sarwasch. Following the Holocaust, he immigrated to the United States, where he served as rebbe of Kerestir.
R. Yitzchak Glickman, disciple of leading Polish Torah scholars – R. Meir Shapiro of Lublin and R. Meir Arik. After the Holocaust, he served as rabbi in the Bergen Belsen camp, and following his immigration to Eretz Israel, as rabbi of Holon. His book Resisei Torah (Holon 1992) includes responsa by Rav Kahana on the topic of agunot, from his tenure as member of the Beit Din for agunot in Bergen Belsen. In his book Shoa UTekuma, he published lectures and studies on the Holocaust, and in his book Birkat Emunah, he discusses at length the commandment of Kiddush HaShem and how to relate to the Holocaust and current events.
Additional inscriptions at the beginning and end of the ledger.
Written in a German technical ledger, put here to secondary use.
[68] leaves, over 100 written pages. 29.5 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains and wear. Several tears. Worn and stained cardboard cover.

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