Letter from Rabbi Eliezer Silver Encouraging Participating in 1947 Meeting to Merge Agudath Israel of American and Zeire Agudath Israel into One Organization, United Agudath Israel
The text as translated from Yiddish into English is as follows:
By the grace of G-d, Eve of the holy Shabbat [i.e. Friday] of the Torah portion of Behar-Bechukosai, 5707 (1947)
To my friends and colleagues, Torah geniuses and Rebbes and to all of my brothers and friends, noble, G-d fearing persons, may your peace ever increase.
I call in peace. With G-d’s help we [will] have united all divergent members of Agudath Israel at this time, we [will] have united all of our like-minded brethren who are full of good deeds, and also my friends the public advocates. And now, out of love and [a mind to accomplish] great things I call for unity and I hereby invite you, sir [ ]; Sir, please make your appearance and participate in the upcoming Kneseth Israel (convention of Israel), a convention of peace and unity, a convention of much work and good deeds in Agudath Israel. Let not his honor’s presence be lacking among us. We will gather on Monday and Tuesday, the 28th and 29th of Sivan, G-d willing, in the Hotel Capitol in New York: 8th Ave. & 51st St., New York. The opening session to take place on the first evening, Monday, 28th of Sivan at 6 o’clock, and the elections the following evening Tuesday, Eve of the first (sic) day of Rosh Chodesh Tamuz, at 7 o’clock. At that time elections will be held for the leadership, administration, active and central boards.
Now, at a time when so many great matters come before us day by day, matters of utmost importance [lit. matters that stand at the height of the world] for the world of Judaism, it is incumbent upon all of you not to stand at a distance but to come and participate, advise and be advised, young and old, scholars and laymen alike. Every valiant soldier is urged to join our army and participate. Colleagues all! Make the far trip here, take [my words] to heart, let us be of one piece, let us plan together, let each man say to his fellow man – ‘be strong!’
Out of a desire to promote peace in the spirit of love and friendship, and as a faithful member of Agudath Israel, I will conduct myself as befitting a soldier from among your ranks, and, along with you, I will heed the instructions of the scholars of Torah and knowledge. We will all act in accordance with their directives. We will join you, representatives of Torah Judaism, in heeding the instructions of the new leadership and administration with heart and soul. Come and take [an active] part in the debates and suggestions at the [upcoming] Knesseth Israel. Prepare yourselves for the activity and work that is yet to come, with G-d’s help.
Written and signed with love, Eliezer Silver, Head of Agudath Israel, Rabbi of the Association of Congregations, Cincinnati