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Bidding Information
Lot #    19143
Auction End Date    11/13/2007 10:09:30 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Letter by R. Abraham Aaron Price, Chief Rabbi
Title (Hebrew)    כתב מה'ר אברהם אהרן פרייס, אב'ד טורונטו
Author    [Ms.]
City    Toronto
Publication Date    1950
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   [1] p., 254:178 mm., light age staining, ink on stationary, neat Ashkenazic script, signed and dated.
   R. Abraham Aaron b. Joseph Price (1900–1994), rabbi and author. Born in Stopnica (Stopnitz), Poland, Price studied with Abraham Borenstein and Rabbi Silman of Chmielnick, from whom he received semikhah. In 1923 R. Price moved to Berlin, where he became a banker, but with Hitler's rise to power he moved to Paris. R. Price found his way to Toronto in the late 1930s and became both spiritual leader of Congregation Chevra Shas and Rosh Yeshiva at Yeshivat Torat Chayim. During World War II Price was one of only a few who managed to break down the resolve of Canada's restrictionist and bigoted director of Immigration, F.C. Blair. R. Price secured the release of a number of young German- and Austrian-born Jewish men who were then being interned in Canada as enemy aliens. R. Price brought them to his yeshiva.

R. Price maintained an extensive library and had command of a wide range of Jewish texts, both halakhic and non-halakhic. A gifted teacher, he also commanded the respect of the students, and taught Talmud daily to his most advanced students. They marveled at his pilpulim, and when the fiercely independent R. Price crossed swords with various figures, including rabbis in Toronto, as in the matter of Toronto's eruv, his students rallied to his side. R. Price eventually ordained many of Canada's leading rabbis, both Orthodox rabbis such as the halakhic authority R. Gedaliah Felder, future Chief Rabbi of Toronto. Some of R. Prices' students, embracing hasidic fervor, found their way to the then larger hasidic community in Montreal.

R. Price was the author of a number of published works. In his two-volume Mishnat Avraham (1943/4; 1949/50) he used the method of pilpul to explore various halakhic problems. He also published a two-volume collection of sermons (1945/6; 1974). Not one to mince words, he ended the first of the two volumes on Jewish preaching by charging that North American rabbis were increasingly becoming entertainers, summoning up laughter or tears, but at the cost of less and less Torah content. Price also published a three-volume edition of Sefer Hasidim using a manuscript that had not been used in the previous edition. He also included a commentary. During the war, he briefly published a journal dedicated to issues of Torah which included a number of articles written by students of his yeshiva.

   Canadian Jewish News (April 7, 1994), 4; E. Schild, The Very Narrow Bridge (2001); EJ
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Listing Classification
20th Century:    Checked
America-South America:    Checked
History:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Letters:    Checked
Kind of Judaica