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Bidding Information
Lot #    26129
Auction End Date    3/23/2010 10:02:30 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Letter by R. Solomon Halberstam, Admor of Bobov
Title (Hebrew)    כתב מהדמו'ר מבאבוב
Author    [Ms. - Hasidic]
City    Brooklyn, New York
Publication Date    1977
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   [1] p., 267:187 mm., light age staining, creased on folds, ink on stationary, signed by the Rebbe.
   Letter by R. Solomon b. Ben Zion Halberstam (1908–2000), Admor of Bobov. R. Solomon was born and raised in Bobov by his father the previous Admor. He became Admor after the extermination of his Father by the Nazis. He managed to escape the Nazis by fleeing to Italy. Immediately after the war, R. Solomon made his way to New York City. He settled first in Manhattan, then moved to Crown Heights in Brooklyn, and finally to Boro Park in Brooklyn, where he remained. Boro Park continued to be the world center of the Bobover hasidim and the home of the rebbe. At the end of World War II, only 300 Bobover hasidim remained. R. Solomon managed to obtain visas for them as well as for hundreds of orphans who were in the Italian transfer camps to join him in America. These orphans were among the very first students enrolled in the Bobover schools in America. One of the first educational institutions started by R. Solomon was a trade school in Manhattan. The purpose was to teach ḥasidic refugees marketable skills so they could earn a living. These schools were the beginning of a network of Bobov schools and yeshivot that currently stretches from Brooklyn to Toronto, to London, to Antwerp, and to Israel. They are the hallmark of a remarkable rebuilding of Bobov hasidism from a few hundred to well over 20,000 hasidim around the world. Some estimate that there were as many as 100,000 Bobov hasidim at the turn of the century. There were approximately 7,000 men and women in Bobover schools in America. In Israel, there was a Bobov community just outside Bat Yam, as well as large yeshivot in Jerusalem and Bene-Berak.

Throughout his tenure as rebbe, R. Solomon steered clear of the disputes that have marred the relationships between other hasidic groups. He was also very actively involved in the lives of his hasidim, attending innumerable bar mitzvahs, weddings, and circumcisions. At the time of his death in 2000, Bobov was one of the three largest hasidic groups (with Lubavitch and Satmar). R. Solomon was succeeded by his son R. Naftali (1931–2005), who, during his last years, was constantly ill. He did not leave a son to succeed him; thus a dispute broke out on the day of his funeral as to who would be the next rebbe, his younger half-brother, R. Benzion, or his son-in-law, R. Mordechai Unger. Benzion gained the upper hand; the issue is currently before a Bet Din.

R. Solomon Halberstam, the first American Bobover rebbe, published a two-volume compilation of his father's comments on the Pentateuch and the holidays, titled Sefer Kedushat Zion (1994). His own comments on the high holy days were published posthumously, entitled Si'ah Shelomo (2002). Over the years, Bobov published numerous small monographs (kuntresim) on a wide variety of topics, including all of the holidays and various books of the Bible.

   Rabbi Amsel, Zikhronot Hamaor II, Toledot Admorei Bobov
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Listing Classification
20th Century:    Checked
America-South America:    Checked
Hasidic:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Letters:    Checked
Kind of Judaica