The auction took place on Tuesday, February 13, 2018, at 17:00 Israeli time.
The preview and the auction were held at our offices: 8 Ramban st. Jerusalem.
Auction Preview on:
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The Auction was held on 13/02/18
Commentary on Rashi by the renowned Torah scholar R. Elya Mizrachi. Venice: Daniel Bomberg, 1527. First edition.
First edition of the Mizrachi commentary, the foremost super-commentary to Rashi's commentary on the Torah, by R. Eliyahu Mizrachi (the Re'em). Printed in his commentary on Parshat Masei is a map of Eretz Israel with east facing upward. This map, drawn primarily with straight lines in square and rectangular shapes, is the first Hebrew map ever printed.
Signatures and ownership inscriptions, as well as thirty old glosses in Sephardic handwriting from several authors. Several long glosses, (mostly trimmed). A gloss in Parashat Lech-Lecha reads: "I found written in the rabbi's manuscript…". In Parashat Bo, "R. Levi ben N… explained here…".
The title page and other pages contain many elaborate signatures of "Yehuda Levi Gazal" (Jerusalemite scholar; see enclosed material). A gloss in Parashat Beha'alotcha is signed, with the Hebrew letters D.I.G. (possibly, "the words of Yehuda Gazal). The top of page  contains the ownership inscription of "the young Nissim Chaim Moda'I Set" (1806-1891, rabbi of Izmir, author of "Drisha MeChaim" and other works). Several of the glosses are in his hand.
Two glosses are signed "M.C.R." (Parashat Noach) or "the young M.C.R." (Parashat Bechukotai). [Possibly the signature of R. Moshe Chaim Rimini, rabbi of Firenze, whose work "Machar Chodesh" was printed as a second volume to Sefer Matnat Yad by R. Daniel Trani, Firenze, 1794].
 leaves. Originally  leaves. The last six leaves are missing. 26.5 cm. Condition varies; good-fair. Most leaves are in good condition. Stains and dampstains on several leaves. Tears and damages to the title page (partially repaired with paper). Worming, affecting text in several places. Old binding.
Letter handwritten and signed by R. "Yisrael Meir HaCohen", author of the Chafetz Chaim. [Radin (Radun)], Av 1924.
Recommendation for a student of the Radin Yeshiva, highly praising his Torah knowledge and his attributes, and stating that "it is a great mitzvah to welcome him wherever he goes, and those who receive him will be blessed to G-d… Yisrael Meir HaCohen".
R. Yisrael Meir HaCohen (Kagan) of Radin (1837-1933, Otzar HaRabbanim 12262), famous throughout the Jewish world by the name of his first book "Chafetz Chaim", head of the Radin Yeshiva and author of many halachic and mussar books: Mishnah Berura, Shemirat HaLashon, Ahavat Chessed and dozens more. This letter was written in his later years, at the age of 86 [the slight trembling of his hand due to his advanced age can be detected in his signature].
 leaf, official stationery. 14 x 21 cm. Six and a half autograph lines and signature. Good-fair condition. Wear and small tears. Stains.
Exquisite memorial chandelier for a synagogue. Morocco, Tishrei 1933.
Silver (marked), cast, bent, sawn and embossed.
Intended for lighting memorial candles set inside lighting glasses, and for lighting electric light bulbs. Made of six parts:
1. Base made of 18 silver strips, bent and arranged in a goblet shape, wrapped inside a ring.
2. Star-of-David ornament, decorated with delicate saw work in vegetal and geometric motifs. Each of the six points of the star features a decoration (removable) in the shape of a flower, surmounted by a candle holder. Six chains attach this decoration to the central ring.
3. Central ring inscribed with a sawn dedication reading (in Hebrew), "For the eternal rest of Rabbi Yaakov A'atiya, who died on 1 Tishrei 5694 ". Six decorations in the shape of large flowers are screwed on to the ring. The flower decorations face sideways and downwards (inside each flower is a bulb holder). Six long chains attach the central ring to the top decoration.
4. Large upper decoration shaped as a six-armed crown and decorated with saw work in vegetal motifs.
5. Large ball, in the center of which is a horizontal strip with embossed squares.
6. Hanger shaped as a pierced crown in the shape of a flower, opening upwards.
This magnificent chandelier exemplifies the influence of European, particularly Dutch Jewish art on the Jews of Morocco's coastal cities, expressed mostly in the ritual objects of the Jews of Casablanca, Mogador, Tangier, Tetouan, Safi and other cities on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Many of the residents of these cities were Jews who had emigrated from Europe, or chose to live in Morocco for financial and commercial reasons, while maintaining their social and financial ties with their European colleagues and relatives.
Of particular interest in this chandelier are the large floral decorations (see above, no. 3), intended for holding incandescent light bulbs, reminiscent of the flowers appearing in hanging Sabbath lamps from Germany; the sawn crown (see above, no. 4), also reminiscent of large crowns decorating German and Dutch Sabbath lamps; the ball separating the upper decoration from the sawn crown (see above, no. 5), reminiscent of Polish, Dutch and German lamp necks which grow alternately wider and narrower; and above all - the design of the uppermost decoration (see above, no. 6), which shows the direct influence of the design of Dutch Sabbath lamps.
Length: 125 cm. Maximal width: 60 cm. Good overall condition. Some of the parts are bent or have light breaks. One of the large flowers (see above, no. 3) is slightly different from the others. The small candle holders (no. 2) are marked with hallmarks different from the other marks. Decorations may have formerly been suspended from the rings at the bottom ends of the candle holders.
1. North African Lights: Hanukkah Lamps from the Zeyde Schulmann Collection, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Chaya Benjamin. Jerusalem (2002), pp. 25-29.
2. The Stieglitz Collection: Masterpieces of Jewish Art, Chaya Benjamin. The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, (1987), p. 228.
Magnificent Torah mantle. [Germany or Czechoslovakia, late 17th / early 18th century].
Silver and fabric thread embroidery on cardboard linings; velvet; fabric ribbons; sequins.
Exquisite mantle, adorned with rich embroidery of good quality on both sides.
Silver and colorful thread embroidery on dark red velvet and on heavy cardboard linings: a large embossed Torah crown on top of the mantle, beneath it a silver thread embroidered inscription reading "Keter Torah". On the left and right are a pair of columns intertwined with grapevine branches with leaves and fruit. The columns are surmounted by two vases with rich vegetation. A "carpet" in the center of the mantle is adorned with dense and rich silver thread embroidery in vegetal and symmetric geometrical patterns; the flowers' leaves are adorned with blue velvet. On the lower part is an embroidered pattern of leaves and branches with pomegranates at their ends. The reverse of the mantle is also adorned with rich embroidery, in vegetal patterns with pomegranate-like fruit.
90X46 cm. Fair condition. Velvet is worn, torn and lacking in some places. Numerous spots of embroidery are unraveled. Tears to margins and to seams connecting the front and back sheets.
Seder Me'ah Brachot (Hundred Blessings), "According to the Sephardic rite", including Bircat Hamazon (Grace after Meals), Passover Haggadah, Tefillat Haderech (travellers' prayer), and "prayer at sea", as well as blessings for different occasions. Venice: Giovanni Martinelli, "commissioned by Sir Vendramini", 1636.
Pocket-size edition. Original handsome leather binding, with elaborate gilt embossing and decorations. The letters GT are embossed in the center of the binding.
The edition is not registered in the catalogue of the Bibliography of the Hebrew Book, and appears in neither OCLC nor the catalogue of the National Library of Israel.
Ownership inscription the back flyleaf: "This volume belongs to Elisha Emron" [of Livorno. He is mentioned in the Chida's letter; see enclosed material].
63 leaves. 9.5 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains. Stains, wear and minor damage to the title page and several other pages. Tear to page 54, slightly affecting text. Several upper margins are trimmed bordering text. Original leather binding with gilt embossing; damaged.
Likutei Amarim [Tanya], Sefer shel Benonim - Sha'ar HaYichud V'HaEmuna, by R. Shneur Zalman of Liadi. [Slavita: Rabbi Moshe Shapira, 1796].
Copy lacking 16 leaves (of the original 86 leaves), bound with blank leaves in their stead, some completed in an ancient handwriting from the 19th century. These handwritten replacements follow the version of the first editions before the censor omissions.
First edition of the first Chassidic book containing the teachings of the Admor HaZaken R. Shneur Zalman of Liadi, a leading disciple of the Magid of Mezritch (disciple of the Ba'al Shem Tov) and forerunner of the Chassidic movement in Russia and Lithuania. He was called Ba'al HaTanya after his important book, basis of Chabad Chassidism as well as rudimental to all Chassidic teachings. The Tanya is studied in all circles as a basic book of matters of faith and service of G-d.
The book was first distributed in handwritten copies but after the mitnagdim intentionally spread fake copies, the Admor HaZaken decided to print the book and prohibit its reproduction for five years. Within less than forty years after the first edition, the Tanya was reprinted in more than ten editions in Russia and Poland, and from that time, it has been printed in thousands of editions all over the world, even in underground printing presses during wartime, under Communist rule in Russia and in printing presses in Arabic countries.
Leading Rebbes of all times lauded the importance and segula of Sefer HaTanya. R. Zusha of Annopol, who wrote an approbation for this first edition, writes: "With the Sefer HaTanya we will stride to greet Mashiach". R. Yehuda Leib HaCohen, who wrote the second approbation, said that the Tanya is like "incense" - a segula and cure for all the illnesses of the generation preceding Mashiach. When the book reached the hands of R. Levi Yitzchak of Berdychiv, he announced in amazement: "A great wonder how such a powerful awesome G-d can enter such a small book…". The Magid of Kosienice said: "Sefer HaTanya is a book from Gan Eden".
Many segulot have been attributed to studying this book and even just possessing it. R. Zusha of Annopol and R. Levi Yitzchak of Berdychiv were accustomed to carrying it with them at all times. Chabad Rebbes instructed taking it while traveling as a segula for protection and deliverance. Studying this book is said to be a segula to prevent alien thoughts, for strengthening faith, for blessing and success and deliverance.
The book is divided into two parts. Part 1: Book of "benonim" (responses to many questions constantly asked… and proper counsel for all difficulties in G-d's service). Part 2: Education of a minor… based on the first section of the Kriyat Shema. Sha'ar HaYichud V'Ha'emuna appears at the top of the pages of Part 2.
At the top of the pages: Likutei Amarim and Sha'ar HaYichud V'Ha'emuna. Later editions were called Tanya [titled after the first word of the book].
[8 blank leaves], 9-21, [22-23 replaced in handwriting], 24-80, [81-83 replaced in handwriting],  leaves in handwriting. (Originally: , 4-86 leaves). Damages with slight loss of text to the edges of several leaves (leaves 9-14, 18-19). 15.5 cm. Condition varies, good to fair. Stains and wear. Minor worming. Old rubbed binding with leather spine. Ownership signature on binding pastedown: "Yerucham Lipers[titz/tein] of Dubrowno".
Stefansky Chassidut, no. 622.
Small Torah scroll. [Poland, second half of 19th century]. Housed in a wooden and silver case. [Unknown country of origin, 20th century].
Octagonal case, in Uzbek-Bukharin style, made of silver-plated wood. The exterior of the case is decorated with Stars of David, Two Tablets of Law and lamps, many granulation ornamentation and embedded gemstones. The case has stylized handles and a silver-chain bolt. The case is crowned by two (removable) finials designed like crowns, also embedded with gemstones and decorated with granulation and filigree.
Height of parchment: approx. 23 cm. Good-fair condition. Dark stains. Faded ink and ink spreads in several places. Late corrections. One membrane was written by another scribe. Some membranes are detached and some loose. The upper and lower margins of the scroll have been trimmed to fit into the wooden case [made according to Sephardic custom]. Perhaps the parchment was chemically treated imbuing the current light-brown color.
Height of case: 31 cm. Diameter: 18 cm. Height of finials: 27 cm. Good condition. Missing gemstones. Bends. Stains.
A circumcision knife in the original case. [Brno, Moravia, early 19th century, ca. 1810].
Filigree silver; steel; wooden case; velvet lining.
A circumcision knife with a handle made of silver filigree and granulation. At the tip of the handle is a ball set with a red gemstone. A gold leaf is rolled inside the handle. The knife is inserted in the original wooden case, carved as a fish with eyes, fins and scales and lined with velvet.
Knife: 19 cm. Fair condition. The blade, handle and tip of handle are detached from each other. The handle is slightly broken and lacking parts where the handle is attached to the blade. The stone set at the tip of the handle is broken. Breaks, stains and bends. Case: 23 cm. Good condition. Slightly worn and rubbed. Suspension loop at the edge.
See similar item in: Jewish Tradition in Art, The Feuchtwanger Collection of Judaica (The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 1970), item no. 20.
Torah Shield. [Galicia, 1842].
Silver, repoussé, cut and engraved. Filigree.
A rectangular and arched shield made of two layers: gilt back-plate with latticed filigree on top. In the center of the shield is a medallion shaped as the Tablets of the Law with engraved initial words of the Ten Commandments. At the base of the tablets appears an engraved verse: "Torat Hashem Temima Meshivat Nefesh" with emphasis on the letters that compose the year תר"ב i(1842). Three small medallions, round, with an arrow, an arch and a scepter set with filigree. Suspension chain.
16X13.5 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains. Bends. The latticed filigree is attached to the back plate with pins, some lacking. Breaks at corners. Slight soldering repairs. One of the chain's links (on the back) is lacking.
Literature: Treasures of the Torah, from the Collection of the Historical Treasures, Museum of the Ukraine, 2000, item no. 35.
A polemic article - "Rabbi Josua, der Mann der goldenen Mitte" [Rabbi Yehoshua, the Man of the Golden Mean], handwritten and signed by R. Shimshon Raphael Hirsch. [Frankfurt am Main, ca. 1857].
14 large pages, autographic writing with erasures and revisions, additions and marginalia. German incorporated with Hebrew words.
This is the tenth of a series of articles published by R. Hirsch in the Orthodox periodical Jeschurun, against the doctrine of Heinrich Graetz, critiquing the latter's book Geschichte der Juden ("History of the Jews"). Graetz was a member of the Chochmat Yisrael movement and was denounced by R. Hirsch and other Orthodox rabbis as a heretic who denies basic tenets of the Jewish faith. The following is a characteristic sentence from this composition (p. 1, free translation): "The plain facts demolish the pattern that the author has managed to construct out of the stars in the beautiful moonlit nights of his fantasies".
R. Hirsch added a handwritten inscription on a blank page at the end of the article, in which he requests that the typesetter should approach him for necessary instructions regarding the Hebrew, and writes that he can meet him in the school from 10:00-11:00. R. Hirsch signed at the end of the passage with the initial of his name: "H".
This article was printed in the Jeschurun periodical (founded by R. Hirsch and published from 1854-1869, constituting the primary literary platform for his articles in the German language), Year 3, Issue 5 (February 1857), pp. 229-254. See enclosed material.
R. Shimshon Raphael Hirsch (1808-1888), illustrious leader of German Orthodox Jewry and founder of the secessionist Orthodox community, disciple of the Chacham Bernays of Hamburg, and R. Yaakov Etlinger author of Aruch LaNer of Altona. From the early age of 22, Rabbi Hirsch served as rabbi of Oldenburg, Emden and Nikolsburg. In 1850, the eleven Orthodox families residing in Frankfurt am Main requested his leadership of the new Orthodox Adat Jeschurun congregation. R. Samson Raphael Hirsch was the first to attempt to prevent the rapid spiritual decline of German Jews and single-handedly reestablished Jewish Orthodoxy in Germany. His authority in halacha and Torah imbued him the indisputable position of leader of Orthodox Jewry in Western Europe. He was active in establishing congregations in various cities throughout Germany and educated an entire generation in Torah and mitzvot by means of books and articles he published (The Nineteen Letters, Chorev and more).
14,  pages. 34 cm. Condition varies among the leaves, good-fair. Stains. Wear and occasional tears in margins, including open tears slightly affecting text. New, elegant leather binding, with gilt embossment.
Manuscript, Midrash HaGadol on Vayikra. Darb Al Chanashat (Yemen), . Bound with: manuscript, Perush HaMishnah L'HaRambam - Seder Moed. [Yemen, 16th/17th century].
Thick large volume, opens with Midrash HaGadol on Vayikra (lacking a small part of the beginning), in ancient Yemenite script in two columns. Punctuated "Reshut" Piyyutim introduce each Parsha. Concluding colophon on p. [153a]: "This Midrash was concluded with G-d's kindness and compassion… in the month of Adar 1601 and was written for the cherished synagogue of Darb Al Chanashat… and the writer… Y.S.Z. son of Moshe son of Yitzchak son of the famed Nissim from Aden…" [Darb Al Chanashat - an ancient Yemenite Jewish community destroyed in the 1679 Mawza Exile never to revive - see enclosed material].
At the beginning of the volume is an ancient vellum leaf - last leaf of a Yemenite Chumash [ca. 15th century]. On one side is a text of Parshat Zot HaBeracha (with Targum and superlinear vocalization) and on the verso is a colorful decoration of a "carpet" incorporated with micrographic verses.
The second part of the volume contains a manuscript in ancient Yemenite writing [ca. 16th/17th century], Perush HaMishnayot L'HaRambam, in Judeo-Arabic [original language of the composition], Seder Moed, with several illustrations and illustrative diagrams. Lacking a small section [from Tractate Shabbat until the middle of Tractate Moed Katan]. Homilies and allusions to wisdom gleaned from the letters of the Torah appear on the first two leaves of the composition. Inscriptions on first leaf: "This is… Midrash Vayikra and Seder Moed for the Darb Al Chanashat Synagogue", "Avraham son of David son of Shalom son of Shlomo Al Kalufi".
 leaves. 29 cm. Midrash HaGadol lacks several leaves at the beginning. The end of Perush HaMishnah is lacking, from the middle of Tractate Moed Katan in addition to two middle leaves. Condition varies among the leaves, good-fair. Stains. Dampness traces. Worn margins. Various levels of worming. Coarse tears to several leaves, affecting text. Vellum leaf at beginning of the volume is torn and damaged, affecting text. New binding.
Two letters of Torah teachings.
* A long handwritten letter with two signatures of R. "Eliezer Yitzchak son of R. M. Hillel" Fried, head of the Volozhin Yeshiva, Nissan 1838.
* Letter draft (unsigned) in response to a letter by R. Eliezer Yitzchak, in the handwriting of his disciple R. Shmuel Salant. [Salant, Nissan, 1838].
The letter was sent to his disciples in the Volozhin Yeshiva, R. Shmuel Salant and his friend R. Yosef Michel, who traveled to their city of Salant for Pesach and sent their rabbi a query about flour for matzot which became damp. At the end of the letter, Rabbi Eliezer Yitzchak writes that his father-in-law Rabbi Yitzchak of Volozhin agreed with his ruling: "All the above I have discussed with my father-in-law and he agreed". R. Eliezer Yitzchak also asks about his friend "The illustrious Rabbi Zvi Hirsh", father of R. Shmuel of Salant.
In 1837, R. Shmuel of Salant married the daughter of R. Yosef Zundel of Salant, a prominent disciple of R. Chaim of Volozhin. After his marriage, he traveled to study in the Volozhin Yeshiva for several years and would return to his home in Salant for the festivals only. This question was sent to his great teacher on the days preceding the Pesach festival.
R. Eliezer Yitzchak Fried (1809-1853) was a scion of the founding family of the Volozhin Yeshiva. He was the maternal grandson of the founder, Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin and son-in-law of his uncle Rabbi Itzele of Volozhin [his father the Torah scholar Rabbi Hillel of Grodno served as Assistant Head of the Volozhin Yeshiva for ten years before he moved to serve in the Grodno rabbinate]. In the lifetime of his father-in-law Rabbi Itzele of Volozhin, he was appointed assistant head of the yeshiva. After his father-in-law died, he was appointed head of the yeshiva for a short tenure until his untimely death. After his death, his younger brother-in-law the Netziv succeeded him as head of the yeshiva. From a young age he was known for his Torah proficiency. "Torah scholars of his times discussed various questions with him while he was yet a youth". He diligently reviewed the entire Talmud every month (cited from his son’s introduction to the book Chut HaMeshulash containing responsa spanning three generations: R. Chaim of Volozhin, his son-in-law R. Hillel Fried and his grandson R. Eliezer Yitzchak). Most of his Torah novellae were never printed as his son describes: "About fourteen years before his death, he became mortally ill… and in spite of his precarious state of health and extreme frailty, driven by his great love and thirst of Torah he devoted himself to its constant study… and gathered strength to teach in the yeshiva twice a week. But due to his extreme weakness, he had not the strength to record everything in writing and many of his novellae remained with his disciples. Even the teachings which he did write were not arranged properly for printing and some he did not have adequate time to complete…".
2 written pages, 23 cm. Good condition, foxing and creases. + A letter by R. S. Salant.  leaf, 12 x 17.5 cm. Good condition.
This responsum was printed with variations in his book of responsa Chut HaMeshulash, Siman 52 (Vilna, 1882). Both responsa were fully printed in the book Torat Rabbi Shmuel of Salant, Part 1, pp. 78-82 (Jerusalem, 1998).
Year-Round siddur, Ashkenazi rite, with Tehillim and Ma'amadot. Amsterdam: Shlomo Proops, . Separate title pages for Tehillim and for Ma'amadot.
Fine tortoiseshell binding with ornate silver clasps. Ornate silver plates are embedded in the binding, on both sides. Two of the plates are etched with the initials "S.L." and "D.L." (apparently, the initials of members of the Levi family).
270; 42; 65,  leaves. 16 cm. Good condition. Gilt edges. Light stains. Small tears to first title page, almost without loss. Detached endpapers (front endpaper is torn and partially missing). Handwritten family inscription (Hebrew and English) on back endpaper. Pasted on the front endpaper is a strip of paper with an English dedication. Minor damages and breaks to binding.
Ketubah recording the marriage of the groom Yitzchak son of the late Moshe Yisrael Suasso with the bride Rachel daughter of the late Yitzchak Teixeira de Andrade. Hague, Holland, the 7th of Nissan 1742.
Spanish-Dutch parchment ketubah, adorned with a high-quality copper engraving: on the right and left margins are two vases with large bouquets, on which various birds and animals are perched. On top are images of a bride and groom in contemporary attire (on the right) and a mother with her two children (on the left; allegory to Caritas [chessed]). The text of the ketubah is written between two rounded pillars entwined with branches, topped by an arch. On the arch are two Cherubs holding a drapery bearing the inscription "B'Siman Tov". At the bottom of the engraving is a large Rococo cartouche for writing the tena'im. Two inscriptions in Latin letters appear in the bottom margins - on the left: "27 Adar Seni A° 5453 Yom Sabat Kodes" and on the right: "H. Y. Aboab" referring to the date of the death (the 27th of Adar Bet 1693) of Chacham Isaac Aboab da Fonseca, Rabbi of the Amsterdam community.
The copper-engraving was inspired by the design of two Dutch ketubot created in 1648 and in 1654 by the artist and engraver Shalom Mordechai Italia. Shalom Italia, who arrived in Holland from Mantua, was also known for two Megillot Esther which he produced and for the portraits of Ya'akov Yehuda Leon and of Menasseh ben Israel.
The bottom of the ketubah bears the signatures of the groom and Aharon La Costa Abendana in Latin letters and of Daniel HaCohen Rodriguez in Hebrew letters. The same signatures also appear at the end of the tena'im written on the bottom cartouche.
In the collection of ketubot of the Israel Museum in Tel Aviv is a ketubah from 1750, recording the marriage of Avraham son of Yitzchak Yisrael Suasso (relative of the aforementioned groom) with the bride Esther daughter of Yitzchak Teixeira de Andrade (apparently, sister of the aforementioned bride).
34X41.5 cm. Good condition. Stains and small tears to margins.
1. Ketubbah: Jewish marriage contracts of the Hebrew Union College Skirball Museum and Klau Library, Shalom Sabar (NY, 1990), pp. 265-270.
2. The Oeuvre of the Jewish Engraver Salom Italia, by Mordechai Narkis, in: Tarbiz, Vol. 25, Issue 4, Tamuz 1957, pp. 441-451; Vol. 26, Issue 1, Tishrei 1957, pp. 87-101.
3. HaKetubah B'Iturim, David Davidowitz. Published by A. Levine-Epstein, Tel Aviv, 1979, pp. 21-24.
Sefer Tehillim (Psalms), with Seder Ma'amadot. [Venice, 1623]. Unknown printer.
Miniature volume with original leather binding. Title page of Sefer Tehillim is missing. Separate title page for Seder Ma'amadot containing the printing date and location.
,  blank leaf;  leaves. Approx. 7 cm. Missing title page of Sefer Tehillim. Condition varies; good-fair. Stains. The second part has several open tears to the margins, affecting text in several places. Dark stains. Original leather binding; with defects and worming.
This edition is not listed in the Bibliography of the Hebrew Book and does not appear in the catalogue of the National Library of Israel.
Likutei Amarim Tanya, Part 1 - Sefer shel Benonim, Part 2 - Chinuch Katan - Sha'ar HaYichud V'Ha'emuna and Part 3 - Igeret HaTeshuva. By Rebbe Shneur Zalman of Liadi. Shklow, . Printed by the partners Baruch son of R. Eliyahu and Yitzchak son of R. Shmuel. Printed in the author's lifetime. First edition printed in Shklow.
This is the first edition of Igeret HaTeshuva of the "Mahadura Batra" (afterward printed in all editions) as written on the title page: "And now Igeret HaTeshuva by the author has been added". Approbations of R. "Meshulam Zusil of Hannopil", R. "Yehuda Leib HaCohen", R. Baruch of Shkow, R. Moshe of Kopys (Kapust) and R. Zvi Hirsh of Smalyany. The name of the author is not mentioned on the title page nor in the approbations, the same as most of the first editions [printed before the 1814 Shklow edition].
Part 1 opens with: "The introduction of the compiler and this is a letter send to our acquaintances" - an unsigned preface by the author. This copy contains the entire introduction, including the passage "Cursed be the person who impinges upon the rights… these are the words of the compiler of Be'urei Amarim" [this passage was omitted from some copies, see: Torat Chabad, pp. 52-53].
Ancient ownership inscriptions of R. Yosef son of R. Ze'ev Wolf [Zolkind?] of Berezovo. Many inscriptions on flyleaves.
, 5-95,  leaves; , 2-18 leaves. 16 cm. Bluish-greenish paper. Fair condition. Stains and wear. Few tears and damages (open tear affecting text of the upper corner of leaf 49). Worming to text. Detached leaves. Ancient damaged binding.
Several variants of this edition exist [see: Mondshine, Torat Chabad, pp. 50-57]. "Igeret HaTeshuva" was also published separately with errata listed at the end of Part 2.
Stefansky Chassidut, no. 626.
Small leaf of Torah novellae on the laws of eruvin, handwritten by R. Avraham Yeshaya Karelitz, author of the Chazon Ish. [Vilna, 1920s].
Written on the official stationery of his brother-in-law R. Shmuel Greineman, publisher of the Chazon Ish series.
Most of this text has not been published in his book on eruvin (Vilna 1929), with the exception of the last six lines (which were printed in this book at the end of Siman 44).
From 1920-1933, the Chazon Ish lived in Vilna. During those years, he walked each day from his home to the home of his brother-in-law R. Shmuel Greineman who lived in a quiet section on the outskirts of the city. He would closet himself in a room which his brother-in-law provided for his use, deeply immerse himself in Torah study and write his novellae. After his writings accumulated to the size of a book, he would hand them over to his brother-in-law R. Greineman and the latter prepared them for print. During the years he resided in Vilna, he composed three books, including his book on eruvin.
This text is related to a halachic polemic in which the Chazon Ish disagreed with the teachings of R. Ben Zion Sternfeld Rabbi of Bielsk [a renowned Torah scholar in his days] which appear in his book Sha'arei Zion responsa (1903, Part 1, Siman 4), regarding carrying on Shabbat in a city which is bounded by bridges. In his book on eruvin (Siman 44), the Chazon Ish refutes the reasoning of the Sha'arei Zion and disagrees with his opinion. The text in this leaf contains another challenge to the words of the Sha'arei Zion, which was not printed in his book.
16 lines in the handwriting of the Chazon Ish on the official stationery of his brother-in-law "S. Greineman Vilna". 11.5 cm. Good condition. Folding marks.
Eight letters handwritten and signed by R. Chaim Berlin and two leaves with copies from books in the handwriting of R. Chaim Berlin. Yelizavetgrad (today Kirovohrad, Ukraine), 1900-1905.
All the letters were sent to R. Chaim Ya'akov Sheftel of Kiev, a philanthropist and great Torah scholar, publisher and owner of an important printing press in Berdychiv, author of Erech Milin (Berdychiv 1905).
Most of the letters are related to the work R. C. Sheftel invested in preparing his book Erech Milin, an encyclopedic work of measures mentioned in the Talmud. To complete his work, R. Sheftel needed many rare books and applied to rabbis and scholars who owned large libraries to lend or copy books in their possession. The extensive library of his friend R. Chaim Berlin provided much of the material he sought. At the end of his book Erech Milin (p. 140), R. Sheftel thanks all the rabbis who lent him their books including R. Chaim Berlin and writes: "To this rabbi, I owe double gratitude for the trouble he took to copy things from books which were difficult for him to send to me" (two of those copies are included in this collection).
In his letter from Tishrei 1905, R. Chaim writes: "That which I have written to my beloved rabbi... I have written this in Nauheim [Bad Nauheim, Ukrainian spa town] in a desolate city bereft of any books… But I erred and my memory deserted me and I thought that the Rambam explained… that the Rambam permitted… However, when I arrived at home I found that I had erred in the core of the matter, that the Rambam does not permit… collapsing the foundation of all I had written and things I have said were erroneous".
The renowned Rabbi Chaim Berlin (1832-1912, Otzar HaRabbanim 5925), was an illustrious rabbi in his times and a venerable rabbinic figure in Lithuania and later in Jerusalem. Eldest son of the Netziv of Volozhin, he served as Chief Rabbi of Moscow and his imprint was felt throughout Russia. Served for a while as head of the Volozhin Yeshiva and in its rabbinate, as well as in the Kobrin and Yelizavetgrad rabbinates. He moved to Jerusalem in 1906 and soon after was recognized as one of the leading authorities of the city. R. Berlin's extensive library was celebrated as one of the most important libraries of his days and served him in all his rabbinical positions. He brought the library with him upon his aliya to Jerusalem. In these letters, he repeatedly writes about the books in his library.
10 items (approx. 16 written pages), including 8 signed letters (two of them on postcards). Varied size. Overall good condition. Few stains and wear. Folding marks.
Most of the letters have not been printed.
Manuscript, Pe'er Yisrael, Torah novellae, segulot and cures, poems and riddles, by R. Shlomo son of R. Ya'akov of Strelitz. Werkendam (Netherlands), [1803-1805].
Illustrated title page. Complete three-part manuscript. The manuscript is dated in three different places: 1803, 1804 and 1805, hence we assume that it was written in the course of these years. The title page bears the date 1843 in gematriya form, however, the writer may have erred in calculating the gematriya.
In the introduction to the manuscript, the author writes of his travails and of the places he traversed. He recounts his journey to Prague to study Torah directly from the illustrious Yechezkel Landau (to whom the writer refers with lavish titles), however he could not fulfill his aspiration "due to lack of funds required to rent books and for living quarters". He signs the introduction: "Shlomo son of the late Ya'akov of Strelitz, grandson of the famous R. Zvi Hirsh Livshitz of Berlin and Breslau".
A graphic star-shaped poem and another flowery sonnet by the author follow the introduction.
Three-part manuscript: Part 1 - Aggadah novellae, anecdotes and highlights of the weekly Torah portions and Chazal sayings heard by the writer from rabbis during his travels through Prague, Furth, Frankfurt an der Oder, Neustadt, etc. These include novellae by Torah leaders whose Torah teachings were lost to following generations, such as R. Yehuda Leib Halberstadt (1777-1831), a disciple of the Pnei Yehoshua, dayan and lecturer at the famous yeshiva in Furth; R. "Moshe Nash" [possibly, mentioned in the Chatam Sofer responsa, Part 6, Siman 37, counted among the Nikolsburg dayanim]; R. Feivel Boskowitz [Rabbi of Dindish]; teachings heard from "…R. Efraim Benisti, sage in Safed", etc. He also cites Torah thoughts in the name of "R. Naftali Katz" [author of Semichat Chachamim].
This part ends with riddles in rhyme followed by a long poetic riddle and a "lamentation by R. Hertz Weisel on the death of R. Moshe son of R. Menachem of Dessau (Mendelsohn) of Berlin". This lamentation was printed after Mendelsohn's death in the HaMe'asef periodical, Adar I 1786, however, it appears in this manuscript with variations and additions.
Part 2 - Contains hundreds of "segulot and cures, some which I and others have tried and found effective" in Hebrew and Yiddish, from various books and persons. Among others, the author cites a segula in the name "R. Yoel Ba'al Shem" for a woman undergoing difficult labor (this segula does not appear in the book of segulot Mifalot Elokim); pregnancy test "in the name of R. Yosef Rofeh brother of R. Chisda Barceloni"; cures "by the expert physician R. Shmuel of Hamburg for lung disease"; segula by R. Yakar for preventing toothache, etc.
Part 3 - "Ne'im Zemirot - praises and poems", containing poems for weddings and various occasions. Various inscriptions, appendices and additions to the first parts.
 leaves. 15 cm. Fair-good condition. Stains. Detached gatherings. Without binding.
Letter handwritten and signed by R. "Moshe Shlomo Zalman ben Asher Anshel Kaiser". London, 1852.
The letter was sent to R. Shmuel Salant and R. Aharon Zelig Ashkenazi of Jerusalem, "executors of the will of R. David Tevil Berliner".
R. David Tevil Berlin (died 1851) was the son of R. Shlomo Hirschel Berlin (1761-1843), rabbi of Prenzlau, Poland, and later of London, and grandson of R. Tzvi Hirsch, rabbi of Berlin. R. Shlomo Hirschel officiated as rabbi of London for almost forty years, but sent all his children to live in Poland after their marriages (Klilat Yofi, pp. 134-135). His son R. David Tevil moved to Jerusalem in 1838. R. Tevil's son-in-law was R. Yochanan Tzvi Shlank of Jerusalem, a student of the Chatam Sofer and one of the founders of "Kollel Hod" (Germany and Holland).
After the passing of his first wife Toiba, the daughter of R. Yitzchak Reich of Gąbin, R. David Tevil married Chasha, a much younger woman. This current letter refers to "the pitiful young widow, bereft of her husband and her son" (an infant who passed away several months after his father).
The passing of R. David Tevil was a tragedy, as is evidenced by the letter sent by the directors of Pekidim and Amarkalim [Clerks and Administrators] in Amsterdam (1852): "We were shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of R. David Tevil Berliner, and appalled to hear of the terrible events surrounding his death, especially as the tragedy took place in the Holy City. May G-d send comfort to his bereaved family and prevent the recurrence of such tragedies" (from the manuscript letters of Pekidim and Amarkelim, scanned at "Yad Ben-Tzvi". Ledger no. 13, p. 1).
The author of the letter, R. Moshe Shlomo Zalman Kaiser, was a wealthy Torah scholar and influential community member in London, where he managed the funds sent to Eretz Israel.
 leaf, 27 cm. Thin bluish paper. Good-fair condition. Wear and small tears.
Manuscript, anthology of midrashim and ideas (te'amim) on various topics from the Torah, the Book of Esther, the Passover Haggadah, etc. [Yazd (Persia), 18th/19th century].
Oriental-Persian writing on blue paper. Titles in enlarged script (hollow letters in several places), scant ornamentation.
The manuscript includes a large collection of "te'amim" - collected works and ideas (primarily through "remez") from midrashim and various other sources, including homilies on the Torah, the Book of Esther, the holidays of Sukkot and Pesach, etc. Folk tales are included as well, such as "The Tale of Gadiel the Lad", "Ta'am R. Yisrael Nag'ara", and others. Among the te'amim addressed: "Yoav ben Zruya and the wiping out of Amalek", "Revelation of the Messiah", "When a man dies he is either righteous or evil...", and others. Leaf  contains remazim on the mnemonic symbols of the Torah portions. ["I am writing this tersely, and the wise man will delve into these and will know them"]. Leaves [99-101] contain exegesis and remez on the symbols Kadesh and Urchatz of the Passover Haggadah.
The author is Mula Yitzchak son of R. Moshe Or Shraga; his signature appears in many places throughout the manuscript, while in one instance (p. [39b]) his full attribution appears: "the humble servant ... Yitzchak ... son of Or Shraga". The title on the first page indicates: "I am penning this book for R. Shmuel my teacher, my rabbi and my friend"; alongside this are two different signatures in curly writing. On p. [50a] at the head of "A Collection of Midrashim on A Woman of Valor..." he wrote: "I wrote this book for the light of my eyes, the crown on my head... my teacher R. Shmuel son of the honorable R. Yosef..". On p. [61a] he blesses the owner of the book: "May G-d grant the owner of this book long life and wealth... No harm will befall him by virtue of Shmuel from Ramah". On p. [95a] he quotes from his father R. Yitzchak Moshe Or Shraga: "And what the Rabbi - my father and teacher - stated...".
At the head of pp. [91a] and [102a] are [trimmed] titles: "Parshat Zachor, I delivered this sermon in the year 55-[?] and with good fortune in 55-[?]".
Several glosses in the margins, signed "Nissan son of Eliyahu".
The sage (Mula) R. Yitzchak son of Moshe Or Shraga, was the grandson of the renown kabbalist Mula Or Shraga, and one of the sages of Yazd. Little is known about him. He was mentioned in various writings between 1839 and 1865, and was known to have written a composition on the Torah (Y. Shraga, from Yazd to the Holy Land, p. 149). Before us is a full work handwritten by him. R. Or Shraga and his descendants led the Yazdi community as rabbis and leaders for 200 years. His descendants continue to lead the Yazdi Jewish community in Israel today.
 leaves. 20.5 cm. Good overall condition, some pages in fair condition. Stains, wear and tears, some restoration in the margins. Rough tears on a small number of pages, repaired with paper. Binding slightly damaged.
Masoret HaTalmud, Talmudic tractate index by topic. [Salonika]: Judah Gedalia, .
Only edition of the first printed index to Talmudic tractates. The title page includes a listing of the twenty-nine tractates in the index, without the tractates from Seder Kodashim and Taharot. Published anonymously.
This index was published before the establishment of the standardized Talmudic page format (“tzurat hadaf”) by Daniel Bomberg, and therefore references chapters rather than pages.
The word "Talmud" on the title page is erased and replaced with the word "Gemara", evidently due to censorship (the word "Talmud" was written in the margin in pencil during a later time period).
Handwritten ownership inscriptions on the title page in Italian script: "I bought this volume from R. Yitzchak… the young Yitzchak Shabtai of Ovadia"; "I bought this volume, Daniel ben Uziel…"
54 leaves. 24 cm. Poor condition. Stains. Extensive worming to most leaves. Old binding with worming; front board detached.
Likutei Maharin and Toldot Yitzchak ben Levi, Chassidic and Kabbalistic homilies on the Torah and the Megillot, by R. Yisrael, rabbi of Pikov, son of R. Levi Yitzchak of Berdychiv. Berdychiv, 1811. Only edition published by the author, who signs on the title page: "Yisrael, rabbi of Pikov, son of the holy Torah scholar and G-dly man… R. Levi Yitzchak, rabbi of Berdychiv".
On the last leaf is the stamp of Rabbi "Shraga Feivish son of R. Baruch". Several stamps (Latin letters) of Rebbe "Feibish Hager, Rabbiner Zaleszczyki, Galizien".
Rebbe Shraga Feivish Hager (ca. 1875-1936) was the seventh son of the Rebbe, author of Imrei Baruch of Vizhnitz and brother of Rebbe Yisrael of Vizhnitz and of Rebbe Chaim of Otyniya. He was the son-in-law of Rebbe Chaim Menachem of Zinkov-Apta, and after the death of his first wife, he remarried the daughter of his relative Rebbe Moshe of Kosov. From 1897, he served as Rebbe in Zalishchyky. Many flocked to him for deliverance and hundreds of Jews filled his Beit Medrash during the festivals. During WWI, he immigrated to the city of Chernivtsi and established his court there. His son is the Kosov-USA Rebbe Avraham Yehoshua Heshel Hager who arrived in the US following the Holocaust and established his Beit Medrash in Boro Park, NY.
The author Rebbe Yisrael (Devremdiger), rabbi of Pikov and Berdychiv (died in 1818), son and successor of R. Levi Yitzchak of Berdychiv, author of Kedushat Levi. In this book printed in 1811, a year after his father's death, he writes on the title page that he is rabbi of Pikov, without noting that he was already appointed (in 1810) as his father's successor in the Berdychiv rabbinate. In this book, he quotes the teachings of his illustrious father.
, 1-83 leaves (leaf 1 is bound out of order and appears after leaf 18). 20 cm. Blue and greenish paper, good condition. Stains and wear. Margins of title page slightly damaged. New elegant binding.
Stefansky Chassidut, no. 283.
Manuscript, novellae by leading "Western" sages - R. Shmuel ibn Denan and his companions, with additional compilations: versions of shtarot, Urim V'Tumim (goralot) and "Dream interpretations of Ben Sira". Fez, [1760s].
The volume was written in Fez by R. "Yitzchak ibn Ya'akov HaCohen Skali" from the city of Debdou, who signed at the end of many sections, sometimes with his curly signature.
Various compilations compose the first part of the volume: Et Sofer - versions of shtarot, Urim V'Tumim - Goralot, "Dream interpretations of Ben Sira" followed by "Dream interpretations of the sage R. Shlomo Almoli" (incomplete copy of the printed version).
Colophon by the writer appears at the end of the section of the versions of shtarot: "…It has been completed on Friday the 3rd of the month of Kislev 1760… here in Fez… Yitzchak ibn Ya'akov HaCohen Skali". At the end of Urim V'Tumim is a concluding colophon with his signature: "Urim V'Tumim has been concluded… I, the undersigned from the city of Debdou have found them in the manuscript of the sage R. Emanuel Seriro…'.
The second part of the volume is composed of a large compilation of Torah and halachic novellae by Western sages, leading 17th century Moroccan sages. The writer copied manuscripts which he accessed and usually noted their sources at the end of each section. For example: "I have found written in the handwriting of R. Shmuel ibn Denan…", or "This I have found written by the sage the dayan R. S.E.D. [Shmuel ibn Denan] and he found it in the name of R. Saadia ibn Denan". "Up to here I have found written in the name of the sage R. Chaim Uziel at the time they appointed him head of the yeshiva".
Large sections are novellae by R. Shmuel ibn Denan, copied by the writer from the former's manuscripts. Towards the end of the volume (leaves -), is a long sermon from 1573: "I have delivered this sermon after the death of my father… in 1573…". Followed by: "Sermon delivered by the sage R. Saadia ibn Denan after the death of his father, the aforementioned R. Shmuel…". In another place (leaf ) is a citation of R. Shmuel written in 1612: "Spoken by the writer during the days of siege and distress in Kislev 1612 by Shmuel ibn Denan…". A date is cited elsewhere: "Tevet 1616…". [R. Shmuel ibn Denan III, died on Purim 1622 and was a venerable Moroccan sage. He signed many regulations instituted by Fez sages from 1593-1614 and served as dayan and later as Chief Rabbi of the "Ma'amad". He was a holy person and his tomb became a prayer site (see: Malchei Rabbanan, entry: Meir Benayahu, Divrei HaYamim shel Fez, pp. 33-34)].
Novellae from other sages of his times are cited, such as R. Saadia ibn Denan, R. Yehuda ben Attar, R. Yehuda Uziel, R. Yeshaya Bakish, R. Binyamin Nahon, R. Mordechai ibn Pachicha, R. Yitzchak Avzardil, R. Shaul ibn Denan, R. Yitzchak Kriyot, etc. Torah discussion "in the name of Ashkenazi sages" appear in one place.
To the best of our knowledge, these novellae were not printed.
Bound at the end of the volume are several leaves in western writing, by a number of writers. On one leaf is a section titled: "…Homily for Chanuka", signed "…Machluf [---?]".
 leaves (lacking one or more leaves at the end). 19 cm. Good-fair condition. Most leaves are in good condition. Open tears to first leaves, affecting text. Stains and wear. Dampstain traces. Worming. Contemporary damaged leather binding.