Rare and Important Items Books, Manuscripts & Rabbinical Letters | Objects – Judaica, Israeliana & Numismatics | Jewish & Israeli History and Culture | Israeli & International Art

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The Auction was held on 15/11/16

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Auction 53 Lot Number 1

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Small Torah Scroll – Central Europe, 18th/19th Century

Small Torah scroll. [Western Poland or Germany, 18th/19th century]. Tiny handsome script with tagim (serifs). Vellish Ashkenazi script [the Vellish script originated in Spain, and was passed on to Europe by Jews expelled from Spain. It was common throughout Europe in Sephardi communities such as Amsterdam as well as in Ashkenazi communities]. The words Shnei HaSe'erim (Parshat Acharei Mot) are at the top of a column according to Sephardic custom. The manner of writing, type of vellum, the stiches and layout are characteristic to Western Poland or Germany of the 18th-19th centuries. Rolled on two Atzei Chaim, made of dark high-quality wood, with two large silver finials (shaped as pomegranates) and with four silver bands decorated with leaves and flowers. Height of vellum: 18.5 cm. Height of Atzei Chaim: 54 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains, corrections, reinforcements and replacements of several membranes. The membrane with Parshat Metzora-Acharei Mot is renewed. Without mantle.

Opening3,000$ Sold For7,380$ Including buyers premium

Auction 53 Lot Number 2

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Illustrated Vellum Esther Scroll – Europe, 18th Century

Illustrated Esther scroll, on vellum. [Holland or Italy, 18th century?].
Ink and paint on vellum.
"HaMelech" scroll (most of the columns begin with the word "HaMelech" [The King]). 5 vellum membranes, 16 columns, 23 rows per column.
Tall branches with leaves and colorful flowers rise between the columns. At the top of each column are birds (three kinds of birds in all), flowers and fruit (pomegranates or apples on every other column).
Preceding the first column is an illustration depicting a king seated on his throne, receiving a book from an angel. Beneath eight of the next columns are illustrations depicting scenes from the Book of Esther (most of the illustrations were inspired by a group of Esther scrolls decorated with copperplate engravings, made in Holland or Germany in the early 18th century): "Let them gather all the beautiful young virgins", King Ahasuerus seated on his throne, Haman leading Mordecai on his horse, a Purim festival, "The writing was in the name of King Ahasuerus and sealed with the king's ring", "On that night the king could not sleep; and he gave orders to bring the book of memorable deeds, the chronicles", "as Haman was falling on the couch where Esther was", the wedding of Esther and Ahasuerus. In the column containing the names of Haman's sons is an illustration depicting a ten-story gallows on which the ten sons are hung.
Vellum height: 24 cm. Fair-good condition. Tears to the beginning of the first membrane, some reinforced with adhesive tape. Stains. Corrections in different ink in several places.

Opening8,000$ Unsold

Auction 53 Lot Number 3

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Decorated Vellum Esther Scroll – Baghdad, 19th Century – Sassoon Family

Decorated Esther scroll, on vellum, scrolled on a silver handle. Baghdad, Iraq, mid-19th century.
Ink and paint on vellum; etched and engraved silver.
3 vellum membranes. The text of the Book of Esther is written in 21 columns, between which are decorative stripes of stylized flowers. 19-21 rows per column.
The scroll opens with three introductory columns, surrounded by frames with flowers and containing different inscriptions: The first column contains the blessings said before and after the reading of the scroll and: "Cursed be Haman, Blessed be Mordecai…". In the second column, in large ("rabbati") letters painted blue, is the inscription "Scroll of Esther the Queen and Mordecai the King". In the third column, in rabbati letters painted green and burgundy, against a vegetal background and inside a frame, is the inscription "There was a Jew in Susa the capital whose name was Mordecai", and, in the middle of the column - "Son of Jair, son of Shime'I, son of Kish". Henceforth, along the upper and lower borders, on the margins of all the membranes, the lineage of Mordecai, followed by the lineage of Haman, appears written in orange rabbati letters.
The vellum is scrolled on an engraved silver handle, with bands decorated in vegetal patterns. Above the upper band is another, smaller band engraved with the name of the owner, R.D. Sassoon.
The Feuchtwanger collection contains a similar scroll from 1848. The Stieglitz collection at the Israel Museum (Jerusalem) also contains a similar scroll, from 1854, apparently written and illustrated by Yitzhak Meir Chaim Moshe Gabai from Baghdad (the author of the 1854 scroll was identified by comparison with a manuscript of the Song of Songs that contained identical decorations, from the collection of Prof. Meir Benayahu).
Vellum height: 10.5 cm. Handle length: 20 cm. Good overall condition. Some stains. Paint smears, mostly to lineage text. Inserted in cloth-covered cardboard box with labels inscribed with the name of the famous collector David Solomon Sassoon.
Exhibited: Anglo-Jewish Historical Exhibition, Royal Albert Hall, London, 1887.
1. Catalogue of the Anglo-Jewish Historical Exhibition, Royal Albert Hall, London 1887, Compiled by Joseph Jacobs and Lucien Wolf, Illustrated by Frank Haes. London, 1888, item no. 2061 (photographed).
2. "Jewish Tradition in Art: The Feuchtwanger Collection of Judaica" by Dr. Isaiah Shachar (Israel Museum, 1971), item 417.
3. "The Stieglitz Collection: Masterpieces of Jewish Art", Chaya Benjamin (Israel Museum, 1987), item 191.
Provenance: Sassoon family collection.

Opening5,000$ Sold For67,650$ Including buyers premium

Auction 53 Lot Number 4

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Miniature Esther Scroll with an Exquisite Filigree-Silver Handle – Turkey, 19th Century

Esther scroll, scrolled on a filigree-silver handle. Turkey, 19th century.
Ink on vellum; silver, filigree, partly gilt; coral; velvet fabric; gold metal threads.
5 vellum membranes, 26 columns, 16 rows per column.
Vellum scrolled on an exquisite handle whose height is thrice that of the scroll.
The handle is made entirely of delicate filigree work, decorated with granulation and tiny silver diamond-shaped platelets and small flower decorations. Its top part is in the shape of a three-storied crown, above which is a cone topped by a coral. Partly gilt.
A string for fastening at the beginning of the first membrane. Original cover made of blue velvet fabric, embroidered with gold metal threads and fastened with three buttons.
Vellum height: 7 cm, handle height: 32 cm. Good overall condition. Break and bends to handle's bottom tip. Fabric cover: ca. 7X9 cm. Wear to velvet and some unraveling.
See: Esther Juhasz, "Sephardi Jews in the Ottoman Empire" (Hebrew), Israel Museum, 1989, item 23, p. 83; plate 41, p. 209.

Opening3,000$ Sold For10,455$ Including buyers premium

Auction 53 Lot Number 5

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Letter from the Cairo Geniza – Sent by Rabbi Shlomo Cohen of Alexandria to his Father Rabbi Yehuda Cohen in Fustat

Letter from the Cairo geniza, by Rabbi Shlomo Cohen of Alexandria (Egypt), to his father Rabbi Yehuda who resided in Fustat (now a part of the 'Old Egypt' area in Cairo), Shvat 1148. Judeo-Arabic.
Manuscript on paper; long narrow format. Complete letter (with damages to text), restored with a delicate net fabric and paper filling to margins.
Complete letter with very significant content, dated in the letter itself. One of the most important letters removed from the Cairo Geniza containing a unique historical documentation of the conquest of the Almohad (al-Muwahhidun) movement in North Africa and in Southern Spain and of the ensuing destruction of the Jewish communities.
The names of the addressee and the sender appear on verso of the letter [cutoff]: "… Our teacher and Rabbi Yehuda… grandson of the Geonim… His servant who prays to G-d on his behalf, Shlomo Cohen, Shalom" [the identity of the addressee, "Our teacher and Rabbi Yehuda" is unknown, however from the content of the letter it seems that he was a notable person and perhaps an important rabbinical figure.
The letter begins with various verses followed by a long description of the writer's personal state and many details of his personal business and his joint business with his father. He writes of purchase and sale of merchandise, of debts and payments to various people, etc.
Afterward, a long section appears beginning with the words: "As to your desire to know of the news in Maghreb, that whosoever heareth of it, his ears shall tingle". He then details the events which occurred at that time of the Almohad conquest of Maghreb cities relying on trustworthy updates ["I inform you of this, not from rumors but from someone who came and informed me"]. Among other things, he tells of the conquest of the city of Tlemcen by the forces of Abd al-Mu'min, a prominent member of Almohad movement, and of the murder of some Jews who lived there and coercion of others to convert (to Islam) ["and he will murder all those therein with the exceptions of those who were traitors and converted"]. He continues to recount the conquest of the city of Sijilmasa with the assistance of the residents who extradited the city into the hands of Al-Mu'min. He writes that before the invasion of the city, about 200 Jews escaped to El- Kasbah, Morocco including their own relatives. He adds that after the conquest of Sijilmasa, Al-Mumin tried
to convince the Jews to convert to Islam for the duration of seven months, after which he murdered 150 Jews who refused to convert and the rest converted. He mentions that Rabbi Yosef ben Amram who was a Dayan in Sijilmasa was among those who converted and labels him "the leading traitor". Further he writes of "Maghreb communities who were entirely traitorous and no one from Béjaïa to Sijilmasa, retained his Jewish names. Some were killed and other changed their religion". The letter also details the various Almohad invasions and numbers of the dead [he invaded Fez and conquered it killing 100,000 people and in Marrakech he killed 120,000 people…].
This is a distinctive documentation of the destruction of Jewish North African communities in the 12th century, by a Jewish merchant of that time who wrote about the events as they were happening.
After this long section, the writer returns to personal and commercial matters. In several places, he expresses his longing for his father and his hope to meet him. He also mentions a Jewish sage who was a disciple of R. Y. Migash and who left Sijilmasa for Egypt [Rabbi Y. Migash died seven years previously in 1141].
In the beginning of the 12th century, the Almohad Caliphate (al-Muwahhidun, "the Unifiers") movement was founded in North Africa by Ibn Tumart, a Muslim Berber who launched an open revolt against the ruling Almoravids and conquered Maghreb cities. Later, the Almohads also conquered the Al-Andalus territory in the Iberian Peninsula. The Almohad was an extreme Muslim movement that forcefully converted Jewish communities in each new city they conquered. In each city they invaded, the Almohad decreed upon the people to accept Islam or forfeit their lives. This decree led to the destruction of dozens of Jewish communities in North Africa and in Southern Spain. Many were murdered sanctifying G-d's name and thousands outwardly converted to Islam. The Ra'avad describes the destruction of the communities: "After the death of R. Yosef HaLevi (R. Y. Migash), came years of shmad to the Jewish people and they exiled from their homes, some to die, some to be killed by the sword, some died of hunger and some were taken into captivity… He decreed to singularly target the Jewish people and annihilate them until their name will be extinguished…". Rabbi Avraham Ibn Ezra wrote a lamentation on the destruction of these communities mentioning the names of those communities. Among them are Sijilmasa, Marrakech, Fez, Tlemcen, Meknes, Derah, etc.
At the time this letter was written, the Rambam was about ten years old. Following the Almohad conquests, his father, Rabbi Maimon the Dayan was forced to flee his city of Cordova with his family. They wandered for ten years after which they attempted to settle in Fez but were forced to leave after five years again fleeing the Almohad. They then made their way to Eretz Israel and from there the Rambam eventually travelled to Egypt. Following these events and the fact that Jews were coerced into outwardly accepting the Islamic religion to save their lives, the Rambam wrote his famous Igeret HaShmad, in which he defends those Jews and fiercely attacks the anonymous sage who claimed that those anusim are considered by Jewish law as idol-worshipers and as heretics.
This letter was purchased by the collector R. David Sassoon. The version in Judeo-Arabic was published in the book Ohel David (no. 713) and in other places. Some of the letter [the section related to the Almohad riots] was translated into Hebrew by R. Ya'akov Moshe Toledano, author of Ner HaMa'arav [this section was published in the Mekabtzi'el anthology, 37, pp. 651-652]. R. Toledano thinks that the writer of the letter is R. Shlomo Segan HaKohanim mentioned in Igeret Teiman by the Rambam, who journeyed from Egypt to Yemen.
A handwritten notebook is enclosed with the letter, with the full transcription of the letter and its Hebrew translation with explanatory notes written by Prof. Yitzchak Yechezkel Yehuda for R. David Sassoon.
Leaf, written on both sides. Length: 50 cm. Width: 18 cm. Fair condition. Stains and tears. Restored with transparent net fabric glued onto both sides of the letter and paper filling to margins. Bound.
Provenance: Sassoon family collection. Ohel David - no. 713.

Opening20,000$ Sold For135,300$ Including buyers premium

Auction 53 Lot Number 6

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Machzor for Yom Kippur, According to the Roman Rite – Vellum Manuscript – Italy, 15th Century

Vellum manuscript, Machzor according to the Roman rite - prayers, Selichot and piyyutim for Yom Kippur and for Aseret Yemei Teshuva. [Italy, 15th century].
Thick volume. Ink on vellum. Handsome scribal writing in semi-cursive Italian script, vowelized. With unvowelized instructions in semi-cursive script. Initials in square Italian script.
The manuscript begins with the vidui (confession) for the individual Shacharit prayer and contains all the repetition of Shacharit (chazarat hashatz), the Torah reading and Haftarah, Musaf, Mincha, with its Torah reading and Haftarah, Ne'ilah and many piyyutim of Selichot for Yom Kippur and for Aseret Yemei Teshuva.
Colophon on page 80b: "Completed the seder of Rosh Hashanah and of Yom Kippur…". On the following leaves are Selichot for Aseret Yemei Teshuva, Selichot for Yom Kippur eve, Selichot for Shacharit of Yom Kippur, Selichot for Shabbat and Yom Kippur, Selichot for Minchah of Yom Kippur and Selichot for Ne'ilah. On the bottom of page [112a] is a concluding colophon: "The Selichot of Yom Kippur are completed, praise to He who brings down and raises", followed by a few other piyyutim.
The piyyutim are arranged according to the Roman rite. This manuscript slightly varies from the common arrangements in manuscripts and in print and from the description of Shadal in his composition "Mavo L'Machzor K'Minhag Bnei Rome" (Livorno, 1857).
For the list of piyyutim and their place in the machzor, please see the Hebrew description.
[116] vellum leaves. 26 cm. Most leaves are in good condition, several are in fair condition, stains and wear. Faded ink on several leaves. New leather binding.

Opening20,000$ Sold For29,520$ Including buyers premium

Auction 53 Lot Number 7

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Manuscript – Sefer HaKitzin by the Ramban – Spain, 14/15th Century

Manuscript, "Sefer HaKitzin - By R. Moshe bar Nachman". [Spain? 14/15th century].
Ancient cursive Sephardi script [this script was already used at the end of the 13th century; possibly this manuscript was written at that time].
Complete manuscript, containing the entire composition, more commonly known as Sefer HaGe'ulah by the Ramban.
Ownership inscriptions in Italian writing: "Ezra of Pano son of the late Yitzchak" [died in c. 1608. Torah scholar of Mantua and Venice, uncle and teacher of the Rama of Pano, possessed a large library of manuscripts, including important copies of the Ari's kabbalistic teachings]; "Shimshon Cohen Modon" [1679-1727, Italian sage, Rabbi in Mantua, author of "Kol Musar"]; "Heirs of R. Shmuel of Pano".
Corrections, annotations and several long glosses, in Italian Hebrew script [by two writers].
In Sefer HaKitzin, or Sefer HaKetz, better known as Sefer HaGe'ulah, the Ramban writes about matters related to the Redemption and calculations of its coming. According to the Ramban's opinion in this composition, the prohibition of calculating the "end" is annulled in the generation which verges on the Redemption. He writes that the reason sages cursed those who calculate the "end of the days", is that they knew the length of its coming "and do not want it to be revealed lest this (belatedness) weaken their anticipation", but in our days it is not forbidden to calculate the Redemption. True to his belief, the Ramban attempted to determine the Redemption using several sources from the book of Daniel and he reached the conclusion that in the year of 1358, the Messiah son of Efraim will reveal himself and in 1402, the Messiah son of David will appear.
[42] pages. Fair condition. Stains and wear, worming, dampstains and tears, some restored. Several leaves have tears or damages affecting text.

Opening4,000$ Sold For9,840$ Including buyers premium

Auction 53 Lot Number 8

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Manuscript – Anthology of Medical Books, in the Handwriting of Rabbi Mordechai Finzi – Legnago, Italy, 1466

Manuscript, anthology of medical composition, written by Rabbi Mordechai Finzi. Legnago (Italy), 1466.
Complete manuscript. Wide-spaced charming handwriting, in ancient Italian Hebrew script. Composed of four medical compositions, all in Hebrew:
· "Practica", by Maestro Pietro da Tossignano - Long composition about illnesses and medications. Written at the end of the composition: "The ninth article by Pietro da Tossignano …copied by R. Yosef disciple of the physicians".
· "Sefer HaSamim", by Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon - the Rambam, about drugs and cures for poisoned wounds and snake bites. Hebrew translation by R. Moses ibn Tibbon.
· "Ma'amar BeRefualt HaThorim" [Treatise on Hemorrhoids], by Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon - the Rambam. Hebrew translation by an unknown translator [possibly by R. Moses ibn Tibbon].
· "Leonfrankina Haktana", medical guidance for various issues [injuries and illnesses].
At the end of the Rambam's treatise on hemorrhoids is a colophon by the scribe, R. Mordechai Finzi: "I have completed to write this, I Mordechai Finzi, from a very flawed book, here in Legnago on the 28th of the month of January 1466".
Original vellum binding, inscriptions and signatures of "ISH GER" - Avraham Yosef Shlomo Gratziano [Italian Torah scholar who lived in the 17th century. A well-known collector of books and manuscripts].
The copier, R. Mordechai Finzi was a 15th century Italian scholar. Very proficient in the wisdom of the Jewish calendar (constellations and New Moons), he wrote compositions on this subject. The calendars that he wrote were Hebrew incunabula printed before 1480 in the printing press of Avraham Konat. Manuscripts of the compositions that he wrote, translated and copied, exist in a number of libraries around the world.
Apparently, besides the article on hemorrhoids [printed
recently by Zisman Mountner: The Rambam, Medical Writings, Part 4, Musad HaRav Kook, Jerusalem 1965], the rest of the compositions were never printed.
[98] leaves. High-quality paper. 22 cm. Good condition. Stains, worming in several places. Damages and tears to vellum binding.

Opening5,000$ Sold For6,150$ Including buyers premium

Auction 53 Lot Number 9

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Quires of the First Printed Edition of the Talmud – Soncino, 1489

Quires (signatures) from Tractates Bava Kama and Bava Metziah, printed in Soncino, in 1489 by Gershom Soncino and David Pitzigton. The first printed edition of the Talmud.

Opening10,000$ Sold For67,650$ Including buyers premium

Auction 53 Lot Number 10

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Babylonian Talmud – Tractate Eruvin – Venice, 1528 – Printed by Daniel Bomberg – Variant

Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Eruvin, "with Rashi and Tosfot commentaries and Piskei Tosfot and Perush HaMishnayot and Rabbeinu Asher". Venice, 1528. Second edition printed by Daniel Bomberg.
This well-known edition became a common basis for all subsequent editions of the Talmud. It introduced the “tzurat hadaf” (the layout of the page), and the pagination still in use today. The first printing of this edition took place during 1520-1523, its editing based on extensive research of manuscripts. Afterward, due to great demand, Bomberg reprinted another edition in ca. 1528-1529. This edition contained variations according to the manuscripts or the editors' considerations. R. Refael Natan Neta Rabinowitz in his article on the printing of the Talmud (p. 46) especially notes Tractate Eruvin "which is very different from the version of 1521". He brings several examples of the variations and additions to the Talmud version and the division of the Rosh commentary to the passages and "many glosses of the Rosh which were not printed in the 1521 edition". Interestingly, part of the variations which Rabinowitz notes do indeed appear here and some of them [such as referrals to Tosfot inside the Talmud version by circular signs above the word] do not appear in this copy. Apparently, this is another variant of this printing.
Inscriptions and signatures: "Shalom Lacham", "Yeshaya Sithon", "Avraham son of R. Ye'uda HaLevi", "Ezra Chaim [--] Douek HaCohen, and more.
131 leaves. 39 cm. Fair-good condition. Stains, worming, wear and tears to margins. Handsome new binding.

Opening9,000$ Unsold

Auction 53 Lot Number 11

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Psalms – Leipzig, 1533 – First Hebrew Book Printed in Leipzig

[Psalterium Hebraicum] / Tehillim (Psalms). [Leipzig 1533].
Vowelized, with roots of words in the margins. At the end of the book is a colophon, stating that the book was published by Anton Margaritha.
At the end of some other copies are four additional leaves - Hebrew translation of several verses from the Gospel of Matthew. The copy offered here was bound originally without these leaves, possibly due to the fact that it was intended for sale to Jews.
[116] leaves, 14.5 cm. Good condition. Stains, many inscriptions. Contemporary binding with leather spine, damaged.
The first Hebrew book printed in Leipzig. Not in NLI and to the best of our knowledge, has not been auctioned in the past. In the Bibliography of the Hebrew Book it is listed according to a copy in the library of the Schocken Institute. That copy is listed as having [80] leaves whereas the copy offered here has [116] leaves.

Opening5,000$ Sold For7,995$ Including buyers premium

Auction 53 Lot Number 12

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Vayikra, Bamidbar and Devarim – With Translation into Three Languages – First Printing in Judeo-Persian – Constantinople, 1546 – Soncino Printing – Two Volumes

Chumash with Rashi commentary and with translation into three languages: Aramaic (Onkelos), Judeo-Arabic and Judeo-Persian. [Constantinople, 1546. Printed by Eliezer son of Gershom Soncino].
Two volumes. One volume of Vayikra, one volume of Bamidbar-Devarim. This is a complete copy of Vayikra, and Bamidbar and Devarim lack about 20 leaves apiece.
The Judeo-Arabic translation is the Tafsir of R. Se'adya Gaon, and the Judeo-Persian translation was done by R. Ya'akov son of R. Yosef Tawas. The translations were arranged around the text of the Scriptures [flanking it and above], and the Rashi commentary was printed below.
R. Moses Hamon the physician brought this edition to print. He was a rabbi and sage and a prominent leader of the Constantinople community in his times. R. Moses was among the Jews expelled from Spain (born in Spain, he was one year old at the expulsion) and his family settled in Turkey. His father, R. Yosef, was the physician of the Turkish Sultan and after his father's death, R. Moses succeeded him as the personal physician of Sultan Salim I, and afterward as the physician of Suleiman I (Suleiman the Magnificent). He accomplished much on behalf of the Jews and was also active in convincing the Sultan to protect the Jews from blood libels by regulating that each such libel must be presented before the King and not in a regular court (see the book Divrei Yosef by Rabbi Yosef HaSambri). He established a Beit Midrash in Constantinople headed by R. Joseph Taitazak. In 1534, Sultan Suleiman I conquered Tabriz the Persian capital. One year later, the Sultan's army also conquered Baghdad. On his travels to Persia, the Sultan was accompanied by his personal physician, Rabbi Moses Hamon (in the book Shevet Yehuda by Rabbi Shlomo Ibn Virga, the author's son cites a story which happened to the Persian Jews in the name of the "High and lofty officer R' Moshe Hamon"). In Baghdad, R. Moses Hamon found a manuscript with a Judeo-Persian translation of the Torah by a Persian sage R. Ya'akov son of R. Yosef Tawas and took it with him to Constantinople, and brought it to print in this edition. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that the Persian language is printed in Hebrew letters (Judeo-Persian), and the first time that a Persian translation of the Torah has been printed.
Two volumes. Approximately 28 cm. Vol. 1: Vayikra: [60] leaves. Fair condition. The inner margins of the leaves are restored by gluing paper throughout the book, sometimes affecting text. Five leaves have large open tears significantly affecting the text. Approximately, 20 leaves have small tears restored with paper filling, some with handwritten replacements of lacking text. Stains and dampstains. Vol. 2: Bamidbar: [68] leaves. Lacking 18 leaves. [11] leaves were replaced in Yemenite handwriting. Fair condition. Stains. Small tears to the margins of many leaves. Restored tears affecting text in about 10 leaves. Devarim: [53] leaves. Lacking 20 leaves. Fair condition. Stains, dampstains. Wear. About 10 leaves with glued tears and apparent, sometimes significant lack of text. Other leaves have small restorations.
Provenance: Sassoon family collection.

Opening2,000$ Sold For2,706$ Including buyers premium

Auction 53 Lot Number 13

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Zevach Pesach – Cremona, 1557

Zevach Pesach, Passover Haggadah with the commentary of Rabbi Yitzchak Abarbanel. Cremona, [1557]. Printed by Vincenzo Conti.
On the title page is an inscription written on Erev Pesach: "Eliezer son or R. Yonah… I have written this on Sunday, the 13th of Nissan 1709". On the last leaf is another inscription: "I have studied this book on Monday Rosh Chodesh Kislev 1631".
64 leaves. Approximately 19 cm. Good condition. Stains, fungus traces [leaves were cleaned]. Several restored tears. Stamp. Handsome new leather binding.
Ya'ari 17; Otzar HaHaggadot 19.

Opening2,500$ Sold For3,690$ Including buyers premium

Auction 53 Lot Number 14

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Haggadah – Zevach Pesach – Riva di Trento, 1561

Passover Haggadah, "With the commentary of Don Isaac Abravanel" - Zevach Pesach. Riva di Trento, 1561.
The publisher, R. Jacob Marcaria added his own commentary at the beginning of the Haggadah.
[34] leaves. 29 cm. Good condition. Stains, food and wine stains. Restored margins of title page, without affecting text. Restored tears to margins of other leaves. Restored light worming to title page. Old damaged leather binding.
Ya'ari 19; Otzar HaHaggadot 22.

Opening4,000$ Sold For5,412$ Including buyers premium

Auction 53 Lot Number 15

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Passover Haggadah – Ma’ale Beit Chorin – With Map of Eretz Israel – Amsterdam, 1781

Passover Haggadah - Ma'aleh Beit Chorin, "According to Ashkenazi and Sephardi tradition", with commentaries of the Alshich, Gevurot Hashem by the Maharal and Ollelot Efraim by Rabbi Shalom Efraim of Luntschitz [author of Kli Yakar]. Amsterdam, [1781]. Proops Press. First edition of the Haggadah with this title.
Half-title page with a copperplate illustration. Copperplate illustrations according to the 1795 Amsterdam edition. At the end of the Haggadah is a large [folded] plate with a map of Eretz Israel.
Ownership inscription on title page.
[2], 52 leaves + folded plate (map). Approximately 25 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains, food stains. Detached signatures. Tear of about 10 cm on margins of folded map, without lack. Contemporary leather binding with gilt decorations. Wear, worming and damages to binding; most of the spine is missing.
Ya'ari 199; Otzar HaHaggadot 300.

Opening2,000$ Sold For2,460$ Including buyers premium

Auction 53 Lot Number 16

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Passover Haggadah with Illustrations – Bombay, India, 1846 – First Bene Israel Haggadah

Haggadah, with Marathi translation and illustrations. Bombay (India), [1846]. Lithograph of manuscript. Text and translation on facing pages.
Original illustrations. Illustrated title page, with figures of Moshe and Aharon [inspired by the title page of the 1712 Amsterdam Haggadah]. Illustrations of the simanim of the Seder and the Seder ritual dish [inspired by the Livorno Haggadah illustrations].
The first Haggadah printed according to the custom of the Bene Israel Jews in India.
[5], 35 [should be 36] leaves. 24 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains. Dampstains. New binding.
Ya'ari Haggadot 656; Otzar HaHaggadot 895. Ya'ari, The Hebrew Printing in the East, Bombay, no. 92.
Provenance: Sassoon family collection.

Opening1,500$ Sold For2,952$ Including buyers premium

Auction 53 Lot Number 17

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Arvit and Sefirat HaOmer Prayers According to Kabbalah – Brno, 1763 – Unknown Miniature Edition

"Sefirat HaOmer According to Kabbalah and Ma'ariv in its Time". Brno (Brünn, Czechoslovakia), 1763. Printed by the widow Francesca Neumann.
Miniature edition, complete copy in good condition, with contemporary leather binding.
At the beginning of the book is the Ma'ariv prayer, unvowelized, followed by the Sefirat HaOmer, including prayers recited before counting the Omer, followed by a separate page for each day of the Omer with Kabbalistic kavanot.
This edition is unknown and is not listed in the Bibliography of the Hebrew Book and in the Vinograd-Rosenfeld records. To the best of our knowledge, this is a Unicum - a single copy, which does not exist in any library in the world.
[47] leaves. 8 cm. Good condition. Stains. First leaf has cellotape repairs. Contemporary leather binding with minor damages.

Opening500$ Sold For2,952$ Including buyers premium

Auction 53 Lot Number 18

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The Form of Prayers According to the Custom of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews – Siddur Siftei Tsaddikim – Philadelphia, 1837 – Complete Handsome Set with Original Bindings – First Complete Machzor Printed in America

Siddur Siftei Tsaddikim (Hebrew) / The Form of Prayers according to the custom of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews, edited and published by Isaac Leeser. Complete set in six volumes. Philadelphia, [1837-1838]. Printed by Haswell, Barrington, and Haswell. The first complete machzor printed in America.
Hebrew and English on facing pages, parallel pagination.
Isaac Leeser (1806-1868), one of the first leaders of American Jewry, head of the Jewish community of Philadelphia, cantor, philosopher and author of many sermons and essays. He was very active in founding Jewish institutions and in bequeathing Jewish religion and history. Among other activities, he translated Jewish books into English. One of his more renowned translations is this machzor, which is the first complete machzor printed in America, including festival prayers. Publishing this machzor was a complex project. Leeser based his translation on a prayer book printed in London but he added and improved upon the original and also revised the Hebrew text. Afterward, he ordered new Hebrew types from Europe but did not find printers who were familiar with Hebrew and had to teach two Christian printers the Holy Tongue to prepare them for the printing. In spite of all the difficulties involved, the machzorim were published in a total of 13 months.
Leeser marketed his prayer book both to audiences in America and the British Empire and therefore included prayers on behalf of a monarch and a republican government.
Six volumes. Vol. 1: "Part one - Prayers for the whole year" [siddur]. VII, 216, 216 pages. Bound at the end of the volume are two leaves of title pages of Part 6 [for fast days] (which appear again at the beginning of this part). Vol. 2: "Part 2 - prayers for Rosh Hashana". 120, 121 page, 121 page. Vol. 3: "Part 3 - Prayers for Yom Kippur". [4], 245, 246, [1], 3 pages. Vol. 4: "Part 4 - Prayers for the Festival of Succot". 175, 176, [1] pages. Vol. 5: "Part 5 - Prayers for Pesach and for Shavuot". 182, 182 pages. Vol. 6 - Prayers for Fast Days". [4], 184, 186, [4], 12 pages.
21.5 cm. Good-very good condition. Stains, slight wear to several leaves. Contemporary leather bindings [light-colored], with rubbing and minor damage.
Goldman 36; Singerman 630.

Opening20,000$ Sold For31,980$ Including buyers premium

Auction 53 Lot Number 19

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LaYesharim Tehilla, by the Ramchal – Amsterdam, 1743 – First Edition Printed by the Author in Only 50 Copies – A Handsome Wide-margined Copy – Handwritten Correction

LaYesharim Tehilla, a morality play by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto, the Ramchal. [Amsterdam], [1743]. Printed by the orphans of Shlomo Katz Proops.
Additional leaf preceding title page [with title in red ink], followed by the title page [partially in red ink]. Written on the title page: "Poem for the wedding day of the wise R. Ya'akov de Chaves with the modest praiseworthy bride Ms. Rachel de Vega Enriques".
LaYesharim Tehilla is one of three plays written by the Ramchal (the other two are Ma'ase Shimshon and Migdal Oz) and is considered one of his most important works. The heroine of the play is Tehilla (Praise), daughter of Hamon (Multitude), who is designated to wed Yosher (Rectitude), son of Emet (Truth), but due to the conquest of the city by the army of "Mevucha" (Confusion), erroneously the designated groom Yosher was exchanged with Rahav (Pride). With a masterly use of language, the work addresses issues of ethics and philosophy. In his introduction to the play, the Ramchal writes: "There is nothing like a parable to reveal truth and to teach… to bring the hidden into the light, to open unseeing eyes...".
The Ramchal printed only 50 copies of this work in celebration of the marriage of his friend R. Ya'akov de Chaves, to give to the bride and groom and to their relatives. In his introduction to the second edition (Berlin, 1780), the publisher R. Shlomo Dubna writes: "… This book was printed by the author himself in Amsterdam, in 1743 and he only printed 50 copies that were all brought to the libraries of Sephardi wealthy individuals in Amsterdam. Therefore, he who seeks the book cannot find it unless he pays a large sum, therefore I have reprinted it". Due to the popularity of the composition, it has been printed many times.
This edition of LaYesharim Tehilla has a particularly high bibliophilic value. Printed on high-quality paper with very wide margins, it is one of the greatest achievements of 18th century Hebrew printing in Amsterdam.
On page [29b], words which were omitted are added by hand in square vowelized script. This correction does not appear in other copies which we inspected but they were printed in the following editions [with a slight variation]. Possibly, the correction is in the handwriting of the author himself.
[42] leaves. 23X30 cm. Especially wide margins. Good condition. Some leaves have stains. Two small holes on leaves [19] and [20]. Several tiny tears to margins. New binding, with parts of the original binding.

Opening15,000$ Sold For18,450$ Including buyers premium

Auction 53 Lot Number 20

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Three Books Printed in Basel, 1599-1600 – With Dedication Handwritten and Signed by the Publisher and Author Rabbi Eliyahu “Ba’al Shem” of Worms

Volume containing three books printed in Basel by the renowned Kabbalist Rabbi Eliyahu "Ba'al Shem" Luantz: Sha'arei Dura, Amudei Shlomo and Rinat Dodim. On the title page of Rinat Dodim is a long interesting inscription handwritten and signed by the author, Rabbi Eliyahu "Ba'al Shem" of Worms.
· Sefer HaShe'arim, Sha'arei Dura with the commentary of the Maharshal Rabbi Shlomo Luria. Basel, [1599]. Printed by Konrad Waldkirch. At the beginning of the book is an introduction by the publisher and proofreader, Rabbi "Eliyahu son of R. Moshe Luantz of Frankfurt am Main". He writes that this edition is a Mahadura-Batra of the Maharshal's work, with novellae on the laws of Nidah appended by the publisher, R. Eliyahu Ba'al Shem who writes in his introduction that he added a few of his own novellae.
· Amudei Shlomo, Maharshal commentary on the Sefer Mitzvot Gadol [S'mag]. Basel [1599-1600]. Printed by Konrad Waldkirch. Separate title pages for Part 1 (Mitzvot Lo Ta'aseh) and Part 2 (Mitzvot Aseh). Introduction of the publisher Rabbi "Eliyahu son of R. Moshe Luantz of Frankfurt am Main".
· Rinat Dodim. Shir Hashirim with the commentary of R. Eliyahu Luantz. Basel, [1600]. Printed by Konrad Waldkirch. On the title page is a (slightly cutoff) dedication handwritten and signed by the author, "Eliyahu son… Moshe", to his relative R. Yechiel Luria requesting that he read his book and that he should not be angered by errors.
R. Eliyahu Luantz, Rabbi of Worms (1464-1531) was a prominent rabbi and posek in his times. Close disciple of the Maharal of Prague and friend of the Tosfot Yom Tov. Born in Frankfurt to R. Moshe (son of R. Yoselman, the renowned leader and lobbyist on behalf of German Jewry, descendant of the Luria family, the family name evolving to Lu'ash or Lu'ansh/Lu'antz=Luria Ashkenazi. In his writings, R. Eliyahu Luantz mentions his relatives, the Maharshal and the Arizal). During 1599-1600, he weathered a period of exile in the city of Basel at which time he published several books. Afterward, he moved to Worms, in which he held the positions of head of Yeshiva and an orator. Later, he served as Rabbi of Hanau, Fulda, Friedberg and Mainz, and after that returned to the position of Rabbi and Av Beit Din of Worms and was reappointed head the yeshiva. He became known around the world as Rabbi Eliyahu "Ba'al Shem" due to his study of Kabbalah and his practice of writing amulets using his knowledge of practical kabbalah [some wrote that he is the same "Rabbi Eliyahu Ba'al Shem" referred to by his grandson the Chacham Zvi in his responsa (Siman 93) as the creator of the Golem from dust according to Sefer HaYetzira, but presumably, the name of R. Eliyahu Luantz was confused with the name of R. Eliyahu Ba'al Shem of Chelm, the true creator of the Golem]. One of his more well-known disciples is Rabbi Yoel, the Ba'al Shem of Zamość, an illustrious hidden tsaddik and kabbalist (one of the students of his students was R. Yisrael Ba'al Shem Tov of Medzhibozh, father of the Chassidic movement).
R. Yechiel Luria, to whom R. Eliyahu dedicated the book, may possibly be R. Yechiel Luria son of the Maharshal [Rabbi of Brisk and head of the Lublin Yeshiva]. This may be the reason R. Eliyahu apologizes and requests that the errors in printing the writings of the Maharshal should not anger the recipient of his book. [The mistakes were the fault of non-Jewish printers, as written in several places in these books by R. Eliyahu]. In the book L'Korot HaYehudim B'Lublin (p. 47), a tombstone from 1594 is attributed to R. Luria and in the book Dor Dor V'Dorshav (p. 62), Rabbi Y. Lowenstein writes that R. Yechiel the son of the Maharshal died in 1596. This dedication is from the year 1600 [at the earliest] and his name is mentioned with an honorific used when naming a live person. Perhaps, R. Yechiel Luria whose death is recorded in both books is not R. Yechiel Luria son of the Maharshal [this name was common in the Luria family]. Alternatively, the recipient of the book, R. Yechiel Luria, may be another man from the Maharshal's family who carries this name [such as a grandson or nephew]. This R. Yechiel Luria was connected to the printing of the books of the Maharshal [in his work Michlal Yofi on Kohelet, Chapter 12, R. Eliyahu Luantz cites an interesting tradition "which I heard from my saintly relative R. Yechiel Luria of Safed, who once came here from Worms"].
One volume which contains the three books: 97, [1] leaves; [1], 2-115 leaves; [1 blank leaf]; [1], 49 leaves; [1], 29 leaves (lacking last page of Rinat Dodim, originally: [1], 30 leaves). 18.5 cm. Good-fair condition. Wear and stains, detached leaves. Open tears to the corners of several leaves. Ancient, worn and torn binding.
Ancient signatures and ownership inscriptions: "Mordechai son of Shmuel of Zillisheim "; "--- of Furth". Penciled ownership inscriptions on the front free endpaper that the book belongs to Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Weinberger, Rabbi of Kleinwardein.

Opening5,000$ Sold For24,600$ Including buyers premium

Auction 53 Lot Number 21

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Arba’a Turim – Cremona, 1558 – Copy of Rabbi David son of Rabbi Eliyahu Ba’al Shem of Worms, and of Rabbi Nathan Adler of Frankfurt – With Glosses Handwritten by Rabbi Eliyahu Ba’al Shem

Arba'a Turim, by Rabbi Jacob ben Asher. Four parts: Orach Chaim, Yoreh De'ah, Even HaEzer and Choshen Mishpat. Cremona, 1558. Printed by Vincenzo Conti.
On the title page is an early handwritten ownership inscription of R. David son of R. Eliyahu Luantz of Worms: "G-d was gracious to me and gave me also this, David son of... R. Eliyahu Luantz of Worms". On the flyleaf is an ownership inscription that the book "Belongs to …R. Nathan son of R. Shimon Adler Katz" [R. Nathan Adler of Frankfurt]. On the sheets are about ten short glosses in early Ashkenazi script [16th/17th century], of rulings and customs, clearly written by a posek. Apparently these glosses are handwritten by R. Eliyahu Luantz, the "Ba'al Shem", Rabbi of Worms as evident from comparison to his handwriting; see previous item).
The kabbalist Rabbi Eliyahu Luantz (1664-1731), disciple of the Maharal of Prague was Rabbi and head of the yeshiva in Worms. Earlier, he had served in the rabbinate of Hanau, Fulda, Friedberg and Mainz. He became renowned as R. Eliyahu Ba'al Shem for his study of kabbalah and his writing of amulets according to practical kabbalah. One of his celebrated disciples was R. Yoel Ba'al Shem of Zamość, a leading kabbalist and hidden tsaddik, who was the teacher of the teacher of Rabbi Yisrael Ba'al Shem Tov of Medzhibozh, father of the Chassidic movement.
R. Nathan HaCohen Adler (1741-1800) was born in Frankfurt am Main to R. Ya'akov Shimon Adler. He was an outstanding Torah scholar and had vast knowledge of kabbalah. He headed the yeshiva he established in his home in Frankfurt and was the close teacher of R. Moshe Sofer, author of the Chatam Sofer who mentions his teacher frequently in his halachic and Kabbalistic books referring to him as "My close teacher, the famed pious Torah genius the great 'eagle'" ["eagle" is a poetic phrase alluding to the meaning of the name Adler], "My teacher, the pious Cohen", etc. Rabbi Adler was pursued by his fellow Frankfurt populace causing him great suffering. They even prohibited him to establish a minyan in his Beit Midrash which was conducted according to his special Kabbalistic customs. For a while, he served as Rabbi of Boskovice but afterwards he returned to his home and his Beit Midrash in Frankfurt.
[1 blank], 117 leaves; [1 blank]; 91 leaves; [1 blank], 54 leaves [a signature of 5 blank leaves was bound originally between leaves 55-59]; 139 leaves [leaves 133-139 are lacking and replaced with facsimiles]. Total of 12 missing leaves, 5 at the end of Even HaEzer and 7 at the end of Choshen Mishpat. 30 cm. Good-fair condition. Some leaves with open tears, restored with paper and facsimile. Stains, restored wear damages. New elaborate leather binding.

Opening5,000$ Sold For19,680$ Including buyers premium

Auction 53 Lot Number 22

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Tavnit Hechal – Amsterdam, 1650 – Signature of Rabbi Shalom Mizrachi Sharabi – The Rashash

Tavnit Hechal, on the building of the Beit HaMikdash and its utensils, by Rabbi Ya'akov Judah Aryeh Leon Templo. Amsterdam, [1650]. Printed by Yehuda ben Mordechai and Shmuel ben Moshe HaLevi.
Printed at the beginning of the book are poems by R. Shaul Mortira, R. Yitzchak Abuhav, R. Shmuel son of Avraham HaRofeh, R. Aharon Tzarfati and the author.On the title page is a signature in Sephardic script: "Shalom Mizrachi Sharabi". On leaf 4 [should be 3] and on leaf 5 are more signatures of only his first name: "Shalom". These are signatures of the celebrated kabbalist - the Rashash.
Rabbi Shalom Mizrachi Sharabi, the Rashash (1720-1777) was born in Sharab, Yemen and lived in Sana’a. From his youth, he was proficient in Torah and kabbalistic knowledge and was a modest hidden tsaddik. He prevailed in a great trial he encountered and vowed to move to Jerusalem. He left Yemen and sailed to Bombay, India and from there to Baghdad where he resided for a number of years. Afterward, he traveled to Damascus and thereafter moved to Jerusalem. Upon reaching Jerusalem, he worked as a servant in the house of R. Gedaliah Chayun, head of the Kabbalist Beit El Yeshiva, concealing his true stature. He would serve the yeshiva sages and quietly listen to their study. When they encountered questions for which they did not find answers, R. Sharabi would secretly write the response and place it in the Beit HaMidrash. After R. Gedaliah Chayun discovered this, he realized the wisdom and magnitude of R. Sharabi's knowledge and gave him the hand of his daughter Chana. In 1752, after the death of R. Gedaliah, he was appointed his successor as head of the Beit El Yeshiva of kabbalists and Chassidim. After this appointment, he established a holy group of kabbalists, called the Ahavat Shalom society. The kabbalists joined one another with "engagement bills", in which they accepted upon themselves manners of conduct, regulations and mutual responsibility. The Chida, R. Yom Tov Algazi, R. Gershon of Kuty [brother-in-law of the Ba'al Shem Tov] were among the disciples who joined this select holy group. His disciple the Chida writes: "One holy person in our times, an amazing kabbalist, knows practically the entire Etz Chaim by heart... and with his great knowledge and wisdom, he arranged the kavanot of the Arizal in their proper form. He wrote a large work named Rechovot HaNahar to explain and clarify the Hakdamot. He had all the Arizal's kavanot… as written by the Arizal in Sha'ar Ru'ach HaKodesh" (Shem HaGedolim, Ma'arechet Gedolim, Ot Shin). Among his works is a siddur with kavanot, known as the Siddur HaRashash which contains kabbalistic secrets and kavanot of prayer according to the Arizal. From the time it was written, it has become the primary source for kabbalistic kavanot of prayer.
38 leaves. 19 cm. Good condition. Stains. Worming. Two tears to title page, one restored [slightly affecting the title page frame]. New binding.
Provenance: Sassoon family collection.

Opening3,000$ Sold For7,995$ Including buyers premium

Auction 53 Lot Number 23

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Chiddushei HaRitva – Prague, 1735 – Copy of Rabbi Yehonatan Eybeschutz

Ritva novellae on Tractate Chulin. Prague, [1735]. Printed by the grandsons of Moshe Katz. First edition of the Chiddushei HaRitva on Tractate Chulin.
On the front flyleaf are many ownership inscriptions, including a German inscription: "This book belongs to Mr. Jonas Nathan Eybeschutz, chief preacher and chief rabbi of the Jewish communities in Prague as well as in Metz in Lothringen at that time in Prague Anno 1741 the 10th of June 1741".
Next to this inscription is another inscription in Hebrew by a different writer: "I was very… when I saw that this book belonged to…Rabbi Yonatan Eybeschutz author of Urim V'Tumim, Kreiti U'Pleiti, Tiferet Yehonatan, Bnei Ahuva, Ye'arot D'vash, Ahavat Yonatan and other books which have not yet been printed".
On the verso of the flyleaf is a note of receiving the book from R. [Natan] Neta son of R. Yehonatan Eybeschutz signed by "Yitzchak Itzik Netir". [R. Yitzchak Itzik son of R. Hertz Netir of Butzweiler - a Dayan in Metz in 1765, see enclosed material]. On the title page is an undeciphered signature: "I have purchased this from Rabbi G.[?]…Zalman…".
Rabbi Yehonatan Eybeschutz (1690-1764) was a renowned Torah scholar, posek, kabbalist and head of yeshiva in his days. Orphaned from his father, R. Natan Neta who was Rabbi of the city of Eybeschutz, the young child Yehonatan, already known as an outstanding genius, was sent to Prostějov to the home of R. Meir Eisenstadt, author of Panim Me'irot, who raised him as son and disciple [R. Yehonatan wrote about him "The Torah scholar renowned for his Torah knowledge and for his fear of Heaven, my teacher in my youth…", Ya'arot D'vash Part 1 Drush 4]. At 14, he wed the daughter of R. Moshe Yitzchak Shapira Rabbi of Mladá Boleslav (Bumsla), resided there for two years teaching in his father-in-law's yeshiva and thereafter moved to Hamburg studying Torah with the rabbi of the city R. Yechezkel Katzenellenbogen, author of Knesset Yechezkel. In 1714, at the age of 19 [!], he was summoned by the Prague community, (at that time the central Jewish community in Bohemia) to serve as orator. His sermons greatly impressed his audience and shortly after, he was appointed head of the Prague yeshiva and taught his disciples with his special method of Torah in-depth study (pilpul). At that time, he also joined the Prague Beit Din and the Jews of Prague considered him second only to R. David Oppenheim who was the Chief Rabbi of the city. Due to his exceptional wisdom, the city officials and governors were fond of him and with his pleasant manners he succeeded in influencing them to ease the harsh attitude and decrees placed upon the Jews. He cleverly and ingeniously debated with gentile scholars on tenets of the Jewish religion and Talmudic wisdom [In the introduction to his book Kreiti U'Pleiti, he mentions "which I have written and debated with Christian scholars and officials to eliminate Christian insults"]. He used his connections to help him print the Talmud, since at that time it was still prohibited to print the Talmud. After receiving approval, he printed Tractate Berachot with several omissions of Aggadah (printed under the name Hilchot Berachot). He had contact with leading medical experts and in his books he cites things which he proved to his friends, leading physicians in Halle and in Prague on the topics of terefot and nidah.
In 1741, he was chosen as Rabbi of the city of Metz, France, succeeding R. Ya'akov Yehoshua Falk, author of Pnei Yehoshua (who moved to Frankfurt am Main to serve as Rabbi and Av Beit Din). That same year, Prague was seized by France during the War of the Austrian Succession. In the introduction to Kreiti V'Pleiti he writes about those times: "G-d caused me to arise and leave Prague to the large city of scholars…Metz, with compassion he took me out before G-d's anger erupted with the bad things which took place in the Prague community…". During the war, the Austrians accused Rabbi Yehonatan of collaborating with the French and they confiscated all his property which he left in the city of Prague [possibly, the German inscription on this book was written at the time his property was confiscated in Prague].
He served in the Metz rabbinate for about nine years until 1750 and relocated to serve in the rabbinate of Altona, Hamburg and Wandsbek succeeding R. Yechezkel Katzenellenbogen, author of Knesset Yechezkel. (This was the leading position of the Ashkenazi communities). At that time, R. Ya'akov Emden lived in Altona and he suspected R. Yehonatan to have Sabbatean beliefs, which developed into a fierce and bitter strife.
R. Yehonatan who was one of the cleverest and astute Torah scholars in his days headed a yeshiva gedolah most of his life, first in Prague and later in Metz and Altona. Thousands of disciples studied in his yeshiva and many rabbis in his generation were his disciples or were taught by his disciples.
Numerous books with his teachings were published. Besides the book Kreiti U'Pleiti on Yoreh De'ah printed in his lifetime in Altona in 1763, more of his works were printed after his death by his descendants and his disciples: Tiferet Yisrael on the laws of nidah (Karlsruhe, 1766); 613 mitzvot in rhyme (Prague, 1765); Urim V'Tumim on the Shulchan Aruch Choshen Mishpat (Karlsruhe, 1775); Ye'arot D'vash homilies (Karlsruhe, 1779) and many more works on the Rambam and the Shulchan Aruch, Talmudic novellae, commentaries and homilies on the Torah and on the Passover Haggadah, etc.
27 leaves. 33 cm. Printed on bluish paper. Fair condition. Stains. Worming. Worn and damaged binding.

Opening1,000$ Sold For7,380$ Including buyers premium

Auction 53 Lot Number 24

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Halachot Ketanot – Venice 1704 – Dedication in the Handwriting of the Publisher and Author Rabbi Moshe Hagiz – Signatures of Rabbi Elazar Fleckeles

Halachot Ketanot, brief responsa on various topics, Parts 1-2. Includes Kuntress Gittin, by Rabbi Ya’akov Hagiz. Printed by his son Rabbi Moshe Hagiz. Venice, [1704]. First edition, contains printed glosses and additions by Rabbi Moshe Hagiz, signed "Hameniach" [acronym of Hatzair Moshe Ben Ya'akov Hagiz]. Printed between Part 1 and Part 2 are halachic responsa named Leket HaKemach [HaKemach - acronym of the name of the writer "Hakatan Moshe Hagiz"].
Three signatures in the handwriting of the celebrated Rabbi "Elazar Fleckeles" Ra'avad of Prague. On the flyleaf is a dedication in the handwriting of the publisher and author, R. Moshe Hagiz. On the title page is the signature of R. "Shimshon Heidnum of Frankfurt am Main" [apparently the father or relative of the Raveh, R. Wolf son of R. Shimshon Heidenheim of Frankfurt am Main]. On the back flyleaf are ownership inscriptions in pencil from 1834 that the book belongs to R. Leib Ostreich Ravad of O.Y. [Oben Yashan?], in the handwriting of his son "Chaim Ostreich".
R. Elazar Fleckeles (1754-1826), a prominent Torah scholar and leading disciple of the Nodah b'Yehuda, served as Rabbi of Goitein (Kojetín) during 1779-1783 and in 1783 was appointed Dayan and Ra'avad of Prague. Renowned for his 3-volume book Teshuva MeAhava and for other works.
The distinguished Torah scholar Moshe Hagiz (born in 1672, died c. 1750-1760), an outstanding Torah prodigy proficient in Halacha and Kabbalah was a leading Sephardi sage in Jerusalem and later in Ashkenazi countries. Born in Jerusalem in 1672, son of Rabbi Ya’akov Hagiz author of Halachot Ketanot. Orphaned in his childhood, he was raised in the home of his illustrious grandfather, Rabbi Moshe Galanti "HaRav HaMagen" who was the head of the Jerusalem rabbis. The Maharam Hagiz was a disciple of the leading Sephardi sages of Jerusalem and of his celebrated brother-in-law Rabbi Moshe Ibn Chaviv [son-in-law of Rabbi Ya’akov Hagiz]. In 1694, after the death of his grandfather the Maharam Galanti, he left Eretz Israel as an emissary to Egypt and to the Diaspora. His wanderings lasted for 40 years and took him to European countries. During this period he resided in Livorno, Venice, Amsterdam, London, Berlin, Emden and Hamburg. In the course of those years, he became used to writing in Ashkenazi script [primarily due to his occupation with printing his books in Amsterdam and in Ashkenazi countries, and to his correspondence with leading European rabbis]. His Ashkenazi script in this dedication is especially interesting since the origin of the writer is clearly discernable and it contains many motifs stemming from the Sephardi writing to which the writer was accustomed in his youth.
The Maharam Hagiz was involved in rabbinical issues in Ashkenazi countries and many important rabbis valued his opinion in Halachic and public matters. He is known for his unswerving opposition to Sabbatean follower Nechemya Hayun from Amsterdam in conjunction with the Chacham Zvi and the Ya’avetz which later compelled him to move to Germany, where he remained for over 20 years.
He authored many books on Halacha, Mussar and Kabbalah (also polemic material opposing Sabbatean thought and the writings of Nechemya Hayun). His Torah teachings also appear in the many books he printed containing the teachings of his father, his grandfathers and teachers, to which he added his own additions, glosses and introductions, signing "Amar HaMeniach". This is such a book, the Halachot Ketanot responsa by his father, the Mahari Hagiz, printed in Venice in 1704 [see article by M. Benayahu: Books written by R. Moshe Hagiz and books he published, Elei Sefer, Vol. 2, 1976, pp. 154-160].
In 1738, he returned to Eretz Israel and resided in Sidon and in Safed. Various contradictory opinions account for the year of his death and the location of his gravesite. The Chida in Shem HaGedolim writes that he arrived in Sidon in 1738 and died in Safed in 1760, nearing the age of 90. (See: Shem HaGedolim, Ma’arechet Gedolim, Ot 40, 123). According to a different version, he died around 1750. According to the opinion of Luntz (Yerushalayim, Year 1, 1882, pp. 119-120), he left Safed for Beirut to recover from an illness, died there and was buried in Sidon.
[4], 71, [9] leaves. 25.5 cm. Good condition. Stains and minor wear. Old binding.

Opening1,000$ Sold For2,460$ Including buyers premium
Show 24 of 168 Lots

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