One reason why a pair of jeans up for sale is being called “holy” is not merely that they are slightly tattered.
The pants, however, originally belonged to late Israeli haredi Orthodox leader Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, who his followers revered as the most crucial figure in the Jewish leadership of his period.
Everyone can now purchase Kanievsky’s trousers if they have the money. Kanievsky passed away last year at the age of 94. The opening offer is $3,200.
March 1 marks the bidding start at the Prime Judaica auction house in the mainly haredi New Jersey city of Lakewood. “Holy pants from the Prince of Torah, our leader Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky,” is how the item is described in Hebrew.
On the auction house page is a letter that Gedalyahu Konigsberg, who claims to be the grandson of Chaim Kanievsky and a former assistant, has written and signed.
The letter, which Konigsberg signs, states that “I, the undersigned, confirm that these black pants… of the Shai Shaul company, with a rip on the bottom, were worn by my senior, the revered Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, of blessed righteous memory, for a lengthy period.” I earned the right to witness him wearing it in person.
Shai Shaul pants can be purchased through an internet retailer’s website for about $13.50 to $16.25.
Kanievsky wrote letters and court decisions, which have been auctioned for hundreds to thousands of dollars since his death.