May 26, 2010
Rebbetzin's Letter to be Sold

A personal letter from Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson will be auctioned off Thursday beginning at $3000.

By COLlive reporter

Lubavitch related rarities will be up for bidding Thursday at Kestenbaum & Company, an auction house based in New York City specializing in fine Judaica and Hebrew printed books and manuscripts.

The May 27 auction includes a personal letter (Lot #303) written by Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson to her life-long friend, Necha Rivkin of Jerusalem, wife of Rabbi Moshe Dovber Rivkin of Yeshivas Toras Emes and later Torah Vodaas in New York.

Written entirely in Russian, the 4 page letter which was published in the past in the Kfar Chabad magazine includes a report about her excitement for her forthcoming wedding to the Rebbe.

"I will be keeping my last name "Schneerson" since the last name of my "blagoverny" (Russian for Bashert) is also Schneer. I must say, that makes me very happy," she writes.

In the letter the Rebbetzin, daughter of the 6th Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, seems to be referring to her husband the Rebbe with a pseudonym.

"I will be moving to Berlin because Mikahel Luvovich is studying in university," the Rebbetzin wrote and signed her name 'Moussia.'

The November 4, 1928 letter is going for $2,000-$3,000.

Other Lubavitch artifacts that will be auctioned off are:

Lot #60: First edition of Kuntres Peirush Hamilos (hanikra Mahadura Bathra), commentary to the prayers by the Mitteler Rebbe, Rabbi Dovber of Lubavitch. It was printed is Warsaw in 1867 and is going for $300-$500.

Lot #61 is also from Mitteler Rebbe: first edition of Derech Chaim VeTochachs Mussar Haskel (with Sha'ar Hateshuvah and Sha'ar Hatephilah), printed in Kopyst in 1819 and is going for $600-$900.

Lot #64: First edition of Derech Mitzvosecha, also called Sefer Hamitzvos, composed by the Tzemach Tzedek, Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Lubavitch. It was edited by R' Chaim Eliezer Bichovsky, a chossid of Rabbi Shemariah Noach of Bobroisk and printed in Poltava in 1911. Going for $400-$600.

Lot #286 is a 168-page book titled "Palestine and Roumania - A Description of the Holy Land, and the Past and Present State of Roumania" composed by Hayim Zvi Sneersohn, a 4th generation descendant of the Alter Rebbe.

Auction Date: Thursday, 27 May, 2010 - at 3pm. Kestenbaum & Company, 242 West 30th Street 12 floor, New York, NY 10001. Phone 212-366-1197. Visit

Most Read Most Comments

Opinions and Comments
Lot #61
Lot #61 is not a first edition according to our Rebbes Opinion see derech chaim Kehot 1955 ( the pagination is different 179 P. versus 189 P. )
(5/26/2010 3:28:00 PM)
Mikahel Luvovich
This is the name of a character in the Chekhov play "Uncle Vanya."
(5/26/2010 4:15:16 PM)
I know that this auction is totally acceptable and many personal items of rare Juiaica are sold.
However, I felt a little twinge of both guilt and empathy for the Rebbetzin, a"h, at the invasion of her privacy. The Rebbetzin is known for her unusual modesty and wish to remain out of the limelight. When I read the translation, I felt as if I were reading something I shouldn't. I would never read someone's personal letter not meant for my eyes. In fact, it's assur. To be sure, I know there is nothing officially wrong with this. But I want to apologize to Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka for inadverdantly reading her private thoughts.
(5/27/2010 12:57:07 AM)
The Rebbetzin probably would not want this.
(And you all know this)
(5/27/2010 2:06:21 AM)
so aguch should by this and put it in the librery
(5/27/2010 4:59:18 AM)
to #2
Russian text is at very poor resolution so I cannot see if it is Lvovitch or Luvovitch. If it is the first, the coincidence matching Chekov character is minor because this would simply be middle name Lev (BTW, Checkov character is Lvovitch, not Luvovitch) and this is not the last name. There is a possibility she is referring to a person whose Jewish name Michoel ben Leib
(5/27/2010 5:49:28 AM)
let us know how much it went for
(5/27/2010 7:04:59 AM)
who the heck would sell their rebbetzin letter
(5/27/2010 10:29:28 AM)
invasion of privacy
i totally agree with #3 though i didnt read it.. bt just thought it would be consider an invasion of privacy.....
(5/27/2010 11:21:29 AM)
to number 8
the letter was sent to the wife of Rabbi Berel Rivkin a"h and his daughter which must have got it as a Yerushah sold it
(5/27/2010 3:56:02 PM)
Privacy is privacy (even posthumously)
I agee with number 3...
This is a personal letter, and it's private. It's not for anyone's eyes, but the person it was addressed to...

I hope the buyer has the sensitivity to at least keep it private....
(6/7/2010 11:28:12 AM)
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