Over many years Rabbi Dunner has collected innumerable oddities and rarities spanning every era of Jewish history and literary activity. In his series “Treasures from the Rabbi’s Library”, Rabbi Dunner reveals some of the forgotten pieces hidden away in storage for many years, revealing the stories behind them, and the reasons for his interest in them.
In this episode, Rabbi Dunner showcases the first-ever book published by Rav Yonason Eybeschutz — Luchot Edut in 1755 — his defensive tract combating his detractors during his epic battle to prove that he was not a Sabbatean heretic. Rabbi Dunner focuses on the unenthusiastic letter of support from Rabbi Eliyahu, the Gaon of Vilna.
Moving on to a remarkable 1960s book by a former chasid of Belz who remained in awe of the Rebbe of Belz, Rabbi Dunner concludes the episode with a fascinating vignette involving a Polish rabbi in Eretz Yisrael and his 5-year quest during the 1960s to prove that the Tel Aviv rabbinate had presided over a highly unsatisfactory Get (Jewish religious divorce).
While trying to discover the roots of this abortive polemic, Rabbi Dunner uncovers a shocking controversy over the distribution of charity funds by the Gerrer Rebbe in 1930.