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Bidding Information
Lot #    14398
Auction End Date    4/25/2006 1:49:00 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Hekhsher
Title (Hebrew)    äëùø
Author    [Only Ed. - Community - Unrecorded]
City    Warsaw
Publisher    Gurevitch
Publication Date    1894
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   Certificate, 282:217 mm., light age staining. Unrecorded.
   A certificate certifying the kashrut of Hessig (vinegar?) English Essence that is produced by the Tchiste Factory, which is close to Warsaw and belongs toY. Ratner, is kosher for Passover without a doubt…a reliable person watches over to see that all is done properly… and with this I give my certification that all Jews are able to rely on …signed Shmuel Zanvil Klepfish.

This is followed by a statement attesting to the reliability of the words of Shmuel Zanvil Klepfish, and the kashrut of Hessig Essence for use on Passover... Signed by R. Yitzhak Elchanan.

R. Samuel Zanvil Klepfish (1820–1902), Polish rabbi. Born in Nemirov, R. Klepfish studied under R. Moses Judah Leib, av bet din of Kutno, who in his old age immigrated to Erez Israel. R. Klepfish, who belonged to the family of R. Motele the Hasid, one of the first dayyanim of Warsaw, was already as a youth appointed to decide halakhic questions in Warsaw. With R. Jacob Gesundheit's resignation from the position of rabbi of Warsaw, the post was abolished and R. Klepfish was appointed (1875) to succeed him, but given the title of av bet din only. Regarded as one of the outstanding halakhic authorities of his time, he received queries from all over the world. In 1888 R. Klepfish investigated the problem of the sabbatical year in connection with the new agricultural settlements in Erez Israel. A consultation of Polish rabbis took place in his house and, with his colleagues R. Samuel Mohilever and R. Joshua Kutner, he issued the permission to work during the sabbatical year 1889, upon which the present-day permission is based. Well known as a communal worker and interested in all Jewish problems, both in Poland and abroad, he was in contact with communal leaders in Kovno, St. Petersburg, and London. Despite the fact that he was a Mitnagged of the school of R. Hayyim b. Isaac of Volozhin, R. Klepfish was highly respected and esteemed by the Hasidim of Warsaw who submitted to him all matters of halakhah, and he was equally accepted by the maskilim, who were influential in Warsaw. His son, R. Motele, and sons-in-law R. Samuel David Kahana and R. Hayyim Leib Yadkovski, were appointed rabbis of Warsaw during his lifetime and sat together with him at the consultations of rabbis of the community. His third son-in-law, R. Alba Hayyim Miklishansky, served as preacher in the large Nozik synagogue of Warsaw. Another son-in-law, R. Hayyim Fein, was rabbi of Radzyn.

R. Isaac Elhanan Spektor (1817–1896), Lithuanian rabbi. R. Spektor was born in the province of Grodno, Russia, and one of his teachers was R. Benjamin Diskin. After serving as rabbi in various towns, R. Spektor went to Kovno, where he officiated until his death. In Kovno he attained eminence as a rabbinic authority and established a yeshivah (kolel avrekhim) for the training of outstanding rabbis. He was unsuccessful in his struggle to obtain official recognition for rabbis who were not government appointees. On the other hand he struggled successfully against a law requiring an official examination in Russian from Jewish teachers and also secured the withdrawal of a government decree prohibiting Jewish instruction in the heder. At R. Spektor's instigation R. Samson Raphael Hirsch wrote his book on the relationship of the Talmud to Judaism, which was submitted to the Russian government. He supported Isaac Dembo of Petersburg in his successful campaign against the ban on shehitah in Russia. He frequently organized aid for stricken communities in Russia, Lithuania, and other countries. Individuals and communities in distress, from all areas of Jewish settlement, turned to him. He sought government permission for the provision of kasher food to Jewish soldiers, and maintained a soup kitchen in Kovno until his death. He was the only rabbi invited to the conference of Jewish leaders held in St. Petersburg (Leningrad) in 1881–82 to discuss the deteriorating position of the Jews. He later dispatched a manifesto to David Asher, secretary of the chief rabbi of London, which resulted in protest meetings being held in England, France, Italy, and the U.S. These meetings, whose resolutions were submitted to the Russian government, attracted much publicity and led to the establishment of welfare funds. In later years he made similar pleas and participated in subsequent conferences of Jewish leaders, maintaining confidential contact with influential Jewish circles.

With the increasing Jewish emigration from Russia, he supported the efforts of the Hovevei Zion movement, thereby adding greatly to the movement's prestige. The preparatory meetings for the appointment of representatives to the Kattowitz conference were held in his home, two delegates being appointed, though he refused to accept nomination as honorary trustee at the Hovevei Zion conference held in Druskininkai in 1887. After the movement was given official recognition, he publicly proclaimed the religious duty of settling in Erez Israel, signing an appeal for the collection of funds for this purpose in synagogues on the eve of the Day of Atonement. On the question of agricultural labor in Erez Israel in a shemittah ("sabbatical") year, he favored its permission by the nominal sale of land to a non-Jew, a measure which is employed to the present day. His ban on Corfu etrogim enabled the Palestinian variety to enter the market. He also concerned himself with the amelioration of the spiritual and religious needs of Jewish settlers in Argentina and the U.S. Spektor won universal admiration for his broad-mindedness and peace-loving disposition. In 1889 he was elected an honorary member of the Society for the Promotion of Culture among the Jews of Russia. He was frequently requested to serve as arbitrator. In a dispute over shehitah, referred to him from London in 1891, he supported the chief rabbi against the ultra-Orthodox element.

His works are: Be'er Yizhak (1858; 19482); Nahal Yizhak (2 pts., 1872–84); Ein Yizhak (2 pts., 1889–95); Ez Peri (1881; 1903); Devar ha-Shemittah (1889). His letters have been printed in various collections. His works contain commentaries and novellae to the Shulhan Arukh, particularly responsa to questions submitted to him from the various Jewish communities in which he was regarded as the leading authority of his generation. Spektor exercised leniency, particularly in relieving the burden of many agunot. His 158 responsa on this subject reveal only three cases where he could not find a basis for permitting the woman to remarry. Many Torah institutions, including the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary in New York, were named after him.

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Listing Classification
19th Century:    Checked
Russia-Poland:    Checked
History:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew, Russian
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica
Posters:    Checked