By COLlive reporter
A rare letter sent by the sixth Chabad Rebbe, the Rayatz, to Israeli’s Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Herzog is being auctioned off by the Tiferes auction house in Jerusalem.
Rabbi Herzog served as the first Chief Rabbi of Ireland from 1921 to 1936 and then from 1936 until his death in 1959, he was Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of the British Mandate of Palestine and of Israel after its independence in 1948.
The printed letter sent from New York and dated 9 Teves 5609 (1949) was written in honor of Rabbi Herzog’s 60th birthday and includes handwritten notes by the Rebbe Rayatz.
The letter praises Rabbi Herzog as “my friend, the Gaon known and famous throughout the world for his glory and splendor with the highest standards of merit…”
In an interview with JEM, longtime educator Rabbi Asher Heber told the following story:
“During the years that they were in Paris—my father told me this—the Rebbe tried to hide his identity. He begged my father not to tell anyone that he was the Rebbe Rayatz’s son-in-law.
“And on one occasion, Rav Yoel Leib Herzog—the father of Rabbi Yitzchak Halevi Herzog, who later became the Ashkenazic chief rabbi of Israel—came to visit Paris. He met with my father, and my father invited the Rebbe along to the meeting. They started discussing Torah subjects together. And Rav Herzog asked my father, “Who is this young man who knows so much?” My father said, “Oh, that’s somebody who just arrived from Poland.”
“They continued talking, and when the meeting ended, Rabbi Herzog again asked my father who this was. And my father said, “Now is not the time to talk about it.”