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LOT: 178

. Chiddushei Torah never seen, handwritten by the Admor Rabbi Eliezer Hager of Vizhnitz, the Damesek Eliezer

On Parshat Vayikra, with a commentary on the idea from Chazal that “God could not find a (better) tool to bless Israel than Shalom”, handwritten by the Admor Rabbi Eliezer Hager of Vitzhnitz, the Damesek Eliezer. At the top of the page are gematria calculations with which he would pepper his teachings like his predecessors. Written the year before he passed away, Nissan 1946. As far as can be determined, these divrei torah have never been printed. Size: 17x32cm. Tears in the margins, no damage to text; stains, generally good condition. Admor Rabbi Eliezer Hager (the Damesek Eliezer) of Vizhnitz (1891-1946) was the son of the Ahavat Yisrael of Vizhnitz. On his mother’s side he was grandson of the Imrei Noam of Dzikov. He was an amazing talmid chacham, and Admor and Rosh Yeshiva of Vizhnitz. He was certified to teach by the Maharsham of Berzian and Rabbi Shmuel Engel of Radomishla. During World War One he lived in Vienna and was in contact with many Jewish sages who resided there because of the war, such as Rabbi Avraham Menachem Steinberg (the Machazeh Avraham), who certified him for the rabbinate. In 1922 he was crowned rabbi of Vizhnitz during his father’s lifetime, and a year later he established the Vizhnitz yeshiva in the town. After his father’s death in 1936 he began to serve as Admor. In 1940 he escaped Vizhnitz, which had been captured by the Russians, and settled in Timisoara. He loved the Jewish people so much that he sacrificed greatly to save Jews with food packages and rescue operations for Jews exiled to the Transnistria swamps, operations led by his brother the Mekor Baruch of Seret-Vizhnitz. He sold all of his possessions with this idea in mind, and luckily also managed to escape himself and move to Israel on the 26th of Nissan, 1944, where he established the Vizhnitz yeshiva in Tel Aviv. A few months later he appointed his nephew to run it (Rabbi Moshe Yehoshua Hager, later the Admor Yeshuot Moshe of Vizhnitz). A short time after his Aliyah he began to suffer a manic illness and he resided in the Babad hotel in Jerusalem until his death on the 2nd of Elul 1946. He is buried on the Mt. of Olives beside the ohels of Admorei Rachmastrivka. He did not leave any descendants to continue his legacy, and after his death his followers divided among his brothers, who soon after moved to Israel. Although he tried hard to print all of his chiddushim, many of them were forever lost during the war. After his death some of his divrei torah were published in the work Damesek Eliezer (1949), and his dvarim on Psalms (1958). An additional volume was published in 1994 edited by Natan Eliyahu Rot. Streets in Bnei Brak and Rehovot are named after him.
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