PLEASE NOTE: All bidding for the auction currently underway
at our new website at
Auction End Date
4/25/2006 11:49:30 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Letter by the Ponevezher Rav
כתב מה'ר יוסף שלמה כהנמן
This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Postcard, 91:140 mm., light age staining, ink on card, Ashkenazic script, signed and dated.
New Years greeting by R. Joseph Solomon Kahaneman (popularly known as the "Ponevezher Rav"; 1888 1969), rabbi and yeshivah head, founder of the talmudic educational complex in Bene Berak, Israel. R. Kahaneman studied in the yeshivah of Telz and afterward, for a number of years, in the kolel of the Hafez Hayyim in Radin. In 1916 he was appointed head of the yeshivah of Grodno, where his outstanding organizing abilities soon became evident. Possessed of a dynamic and winning personality, he devoted himself not only to the development of the yeshivah, but also to the establishment of similar centers of learning throughout Lithuania, among them a preparatory yeshivah in Ponevezh. On the death of Isaac Rabinowitz, the rabbi of Ponevezh, in 1919, Kahaneman was appointed his successor. He opened a yeshivah which after the attainment of Lithuania's independence became one of the largest in the country. In addition to his preoccupation with the yeshivah, in which he lectured twice a week, and whose material needs he personally looked after, R. Kahaneman was active in many spheres of communal endeavor. He was a leader of Agudat Israel and an elected member of the Lithuanian parliament. He established a Talmud Torah attended by 400 children and a preparatory yeshivah to serve as a feeder for the main institution. Kahaneman was on a mission abroad when World War II broke out. In 1940 he settled in Erez Israel and from there directed efforts, in vain, toward the rescue of Lithuanian Jewry from the Nazis. Most of his own family perished in the Holocaust. Thereafter, he devoted himself to reestablishing in Erez Israel a network of Torah institutions. At the end of 1944 he laid the foundation of the Ponevezh Yeshivah in Bene Berak. He traveled throughout the Jewish world to enlist financial support for his ambitious venture. The result was Kiryat Ponevezh where over 1,000 students study and which includes hostels for children and adults, a big library, and a memorial to Lithuanian Jewry. He instituted the yarhei kallah, an annual summer refresher course in talmudic studies for adults. All this, he stated, he did "with 21 fingers," those of his hands and feet and the finger of G-d. In later years, he established a branch yeshivah in the development town of Ashdod. He was widely revered among all sections of the population.
(Click thumbnail to view full size image)
Kind of Judaica