Letter by R. Samuel Engel, Radomysl Wielki 19th Century (47195)

כתב מה"ר שמואל ענגעל, רב ואב"ד דק"ק ראדאמישל

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Listing Details

Lot Number: 47195
Title (English): Letter by R. Samuel Engel of Radamisla
Title (Hebrew): כתב מה"ר שמואל ענגעל, רב ואב"ד דק"ק ראדאמישל
Note: Manuscript. - Hasidic
City: Radomysl Wielki
Publication Date: 19th century
Estimated Price: $500.00 USD - $1,000.00 USD
Content/listingImages/20190208/a535894e-9dd7-4e36-817b-3792bb23dbd3_fullsize.jpg Content/listingImages/20190208/fbccdad8-fa0b-4892-a0a6-b82dbae024ba_fullsize.jpg


Physical Description

[1] f. 288:25mm., ink on stationaryage and damp staining affecting text, split on folds, signed and dated (faded).


Detail Description

Letter by R. Samuel b. Zev Wolf Engel (1853-1935), gaon and rabbi of Radomysl Wielki. He was born in Tarnow, his father a Hasidic Rabbi died when he was an infant. His mother, Esther, determinedly brought her sons up, thoroughly trained in the ways of G-d and the Torah. Their mentor was the Admor of Sanz, R. Hayyim Halberstam. Already at a very young age, R. Engel was considered a great "iluy" (a very bright and talented student, in the study of the Torah. He was looked upon as a wonder child when his holy ways have been noted. Everybody expected him to become a great authority later on. At age fourteen he was already thoroughly versed in most of the Commentary of the Talmud. He became known as the "Iluy from Tarnow". His most special teacher and mentor was, no other then the Admor of Sanz, R. Hayyim Halberstam, who expected R. Samuel to become one of the greatest lights of his generation. As such he closely followed and consistently encouraged his studies while injecting him with the ways of his Hasidic enthusiasm.

Indeed the image of the Gaon was always present to R. Engel. He closely followed him, faithful to his spiritual goals. Even when later on he was considered a genius, his spiritual ties with the Rabbis of Sanz were never severed. When in the presence of such greats as R. Yechezkel of Szvnawy and R. Barukh of Gorlice, he considered himself to be a plain Hasid and therefore scrupulously kept on with his ritualistic visits with them.

Many famous period rabbis and spiritual leaders sung his praise, most noted among them were R. Joseph Saul Nathanson, author of Ha-shoal U-Moshiv and chairman of the religious court in Lvow, the famous Admor R. Issachar Dov Rokeach of Belz who said – "To the Rabbi from Radomysl people should pay visit with utmost devotion". The youngest Gaon R' Haim-Elazar Shapira Chief of the Rabbinical Court of Munkatz called him the Song of the Torah, the greatest of Teachers, the illuminator of Torah, ”the Glamour of Chosen People".

When sixteen years old, he married the daughter of a prominent citizen in Bilgoraj located in the Lublin District. He then was appointed Rabbi of Bilgoraj with the support of the well-known Gaon R. Shneor Zalman, author of “Torah of Kindness,” and chairman of Bet Din (religious court) in Lublin. R. Shneor said then to the Rabbi: "Let the people hear when I speak to you and they will believe in you forever". His rabbinate in Bilgoraj lasted for seven years until he was expelled as an alien and had to leave the town. He was then appointed chief judge of Bet Din in Dukla, then in Radomysl and the district. There he broadened his fruitful work, until he became the fountain of wisdom for all to follow. Radomysl became famous in Jewish history due to his prolonged stay there. His whole being centered around one objective to bring out the greatness of the Torah and its true meaning in order to enlighten the young. He would plunge through the Halakha to its utmost depth, considering matters thoroughly till all doubts were swept away. He immersed himself completely in the problems of deserted women. He therefore attempted to bring salvation to thousands of widowed women whose husbands were lost in battle during World War I. Eminent Rabbis from other countries came to seek his counsel and bask in his glow. His counseling was received unanimously.

He did not take part in any political life. Once representatives of a certain party confronted him and asked his support claiming that both Judea and Israel will be saved by their activity. The “asker and the answerer” answered: "Let it be known to you that the power of survival of our people lies in the Torah. The only thing we should do is encourage the study of it throughout the Diaspora, because it is the heart of the nation and the source of its existence." R. Engel passed away on the 19th of the month of Adar Alef, 1935. He was 82 years old when he died.