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Masechet Avot with the exegesis Ruach Chayyim by Rabbi Haim of Volozhin—first edition, Vilna 1858. Copy owned by the Tzaddik of Mush, and his son Rabbi Yisrael Yerushalmsky
Book by Rabbeinu Haim of Volozhin (the Nefesh HaHaim), one of the greatest students of the Gra. With the exegesis “Ma’ayanei Yehoshua” by his great-grandson, Rabbi Yehoshua Heschel, with the endorsement of Rabbi Yisrael of Salant and Rabbi Yitzhak Avigdor of Kovna. Long introduction by his great-grandson (i.e. Rabbi Yehoshua). First edition. Two covers, 17 pages (34 total sides), 41 pages (82 total sides). Moisture stains and other various stains, old binding covered in paper, generally good condition.
Various notes of ownership. Cover has an important stamp: “Yisrael Yehonatan Yerushalmsky”, with his signature (see below). The blank first page has the note: “La HaAretz u’Melo’a, Dov Sternbuch”. And an important note: “This book belongs to Rabbanei HaNaggid Yaakov Moshe, Av Beit Din d”p” (see below). And other notes.
Rabbi Yaakov Moshe bar Yisrael Director (1819-1879) was Av Beit Din of Stolovitz and Mush. Known as the “Tzaddik of Mush.” Studied in Volozhin under Rabbi Yitzhak of Volozhin, and received kabbalah from Rabbi Yehonatan of Vohalin (Waliner). It is said that Rabbi Haim HaLevi Soloveitchik of Brisk said of him that he was the last person from whom one can learn the kabbalah of the Gra. In Lithuania, they compared his diligence to that of the Gra, since he would not go to bed on weekdays from age 30.
Rabbi Yisrael Yehonatan Yerushalmsky (1860-1917) was the son of the Tzaddik of Mush. He changed his name to Yerushalmsky since his father sent him to visit Jerusalem when he was a child. He was the son-in-law of the Ridbaz, and he was the father-in-law of Rabbi Yehezkel Abramsky. He served as rabbi of Orla and Humen.
Rabbi Dov Sternbuch of Gateshead and Bnei Brak was the son of Rabbi Asher of London, a descendent of the Gra. He was a huge talmid chacham who knew the Shas by heart. He was close with many sages, and was a student of the Gra”a Dessler. He had a special relationship with Maran Rabbi Haim Kanievsky, who forbid him from asking those at his beit midrash not to stand in his honor. He was brother of the Ra’avad of Antwerp, Rabbi Eliyahu Sternbuch, and the Ra’avad of the Charedi community, Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch. Died in 1990 when he was on his way to Minchah, aged 96.
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