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Bidding Information
Lot #    16385
Auction End Date    12/5/2006 10:47:30 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Shenot Hayyim
Title (Hebrew)    שנות חיים
Author    [Only Ed. - Unrecorded] R. Hayyim Milkovski
City    Shanghai
Publication Date    1944
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   Only edition. [2], 48 pp., quarto, 255:175 mm., usual age staining. A very good copy bound in modern half cloth boards. Unrecorded in CD-EPI.
   Treaise on the laws of oaths and testimonies by R. Hayyim ben Moses Milkovski, a student in the Mir Yeshivah in Shanghai during World War II. There is an introduction from the author, who writes of his joy at being able to print this work and that he entitled it Shenot Hayyim based on tractate Yoma (71a) referring to the kindness of the Lord at a time flight, in years of life.

During the war the renowned Mir yeshivah found refuge in Shanghai. In addition to resuming yeshivah activities they, and other refugees printed Hebrew books. Apart from J. J. Sulaiman's Kunteres Seder ha-Dorot (1921), the main period of Hebrew printing in Shanghai was during this period in World War II and immediately after (1940–46), when remnants of Lithuanian yeshivot (Mir, Slobodka), as well as Lubavich Hasidim found refuge in Shanghai and printed - mostly photostatically - rabbinic, ethical, and hasidic works in limited editions for their own use. Slightly more than 80 items were printed during this period. ,p> The Mirrer yeshiva was founded in 1815, in Mir, Belarus, and remained in operation there until 1914. With the outbreak of World War I, the yeshiva moved to Poltava, Ukraine, under the leadership of Rabbi Eliezer Yehudah Finkel, son of the legendary Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel (the Alter of Slobodka), and son-in-law of Rabbi Elya Boruch Kamai, his renowned predecessor. In 1921, the yeshiva moved back to its original facilities in Mir, where it remained until Nazi Germany invaded Poland in 1939 (see Invasion of Poland) marking the beginning of the Holocaust. Even from its earliest days, the Mir yeshiva was well known as a center of deep Talmud scholarship combined with the study of mussar ("Jewish ethics"). Although many of the foreign-born students left when the Soviet army invaded from the east, the yeshiva continued to operate, albeit on a reduced scale, until the approaching Nazi armies caused the leaders of the yeshiva to move the entire yeshiva community to Keidan, Lithuania.

As the Nazi armies continued to push to the east, the yeshiva as a whole eventually fled across Siberia by train to the Far East, and finally reopened in Kobe, Japan in 1941. Several smaller yeshivos managed to escape alongside the Mir, and, despite the difficulties involved, the overseers of the Mirrer yeshiva undertook full responsibility for their support, distributing funds and securing quarters and food for all the students. A short time later, the yeshiva relocated again, to (Japanese-controlled) Shanghai, China, where they remained until the end of World War II. The heroism of the Japanese consul-general in Lithuania, Chiune Sugihara, who issued several thousand travel visas to Jews, permitting them to flee to the east, has been the subject of several books.

Following the end of the war, the majority of the Jewish refugees from Shanghai ghetto left for Palestine and the United States. Among them were the survivors from the Mir yeshiva, who re-established the yeshiva, this time with two campuses, one in Jerusalem, Israel and the other as the Mirrer Yeshiva Central Institute in Brooklyn, New York City. From 1947 until 1978, the renowned Rabbi Chaim Shmuelevitz served as Rosh Yeshiva of the Jerusalem campus. Today, the Mirrer Yeshiva in Jerusalem is led by Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel, a distant relative of Rabbi Eliezer Yehudah Finkel and Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel (the Alter of Slabodka), and is distinguished as the largest yeshiva in the world, with an enrollment of over 5,000 students.

   EJ; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mir_yeshiva
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Listing Classification
20th Century:    Checked
Other:    China
Novellae:    Checked
Other:    Holocaust
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica