By COLlive reporter
The first-known letter hand written by the Rebbe to Rabbi Yosef Rosen, the “Rogatchover Gaon” and rabbi of Dvinsk, was presented this week at Cheder Menachem of Los Angeles, California.
Its text is published in volume 21 of the Igros Kodesh series of the Rebbe’s letters, while the original is in the possession of Alan Stern, a major collector of Judaic artifacts with his wife Lisa Stern.
Dated 1925, the letter was found in a Shas set that belonged to the Rogatchover Gaon. A copy of it was sent to the Rebbe and was later sold in a Judaica auction. Mr. Stern agreed to have it presented in honor of Hei Teves, Chabad’s ‘holiday of books.’
It was carefully handled by Rabbi Yankee Raichik, as the boys of the cheder’s 7th and 8th grade examined it as part of a lesson about Jewish and Chabad books, taught by the teacher, Rabbi Sholom Kesselman.
A memento with a copy of the holy handwriting of the Rebbe of this special letter was distributed to the talmidim to remember the victory of the Rebbe’s Library in 1987.
Other Judaic articles from the Sterns’ collection that were shared with the Talmidim include a letter from the Chofetz Chaim to an individual requesting assistance for his Yeshiva in Radin.
At the end of the letter, the Chofetz Chaim promised the individual a bracha for a child in the zechus of this Tzedaka (Mr. Stern related that indeed this individual was zoche to a child the next year – after 15 years without children).
In addition, a copy of the “Munkatcher” Tanya, printed in 5703 (1943) in Hungary was on display.
Following the presentation, talmidim from Rabbi Kesselman’s Kita Ches presented a interactive workshop on the history of Hey Teves, to the younger talmidim of the Cheder.
On Monday, all talmidim and parents had the opportunity to purchase seforim by the Cheder’s annual Hey Teves Bookfair, adding to their personal Cheder Tzivos Hashem’s library of and fulfilling the Rebbe’s directive for everyone to have a ‘Bayis Molei Seforim.’