Judaica - Books, Manuscripts, Rabbinical Letters, Ceremonial Art Books, Manuscripts & Rabbinical Letters

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The auction took place on Tuesday, February 13, 2018, at 17:00 Israeli time.

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The Auction was held on 13/02/18

Auction 59 Lot Number 367


Exquisite Memorial Silver Chandelier for Synagogue – Morocco, 1933

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 [1933]". 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.

Opening8,000$ Sold For13,530$ Including buyers premium

Auction 59 Lot Number 287


Letter of Recommendation Handwritten and Signed by the Chafetz Chaim – Radin, 1924 – With a Blessing: “Be Blessed to G-d”

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].
[1] leaf, official stationery. 14 x 21 cm. Six and a half autograph lines and signature. Good-fair condition. Wear and small tears. Stains.

Opening8,000$ Sold For19,680$ Including buyers premium

Auction 59 Lot Number 272


Letter of Responsum by Rabbi Eliezer Yitzchak Fried, Head of the Volozhin Yeshiva, 1838 – Responsum to his Disciple R. Shmuel Salant – Salant, 1838

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. [1] 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).

Opening4,500$ Sold For5,904$ Including buyers premium

Auction 59 Lot Number 4


Small Torah Scroll – Poland, 19th Century / Silver Case Embedded with Gemstones

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.

Opening4,000$ Sold For7,380$ Including buyers premium

Auction 59 Lot Number 177


Polemic Article Handwritten and Signed by Rabbi S.R. Hirsch – Frankfurt am Main, 1857

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, [2] 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.

Opening4,000$ Sold For6,150$ Including buyers premium

Auction 59 Lot Number 103


Likutei Maharin and Toldot Yitzchak ben Levi – by Rabbi Yisrael, son of Levi Yitzchak of Berdychiv – Only Edition – Berdychiv, 1811 – Copy of Rebbe Shraga Feivish Hager of Vizhnitz-Zalishchyky

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], 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.

Opening3,000$ Sold For3,690$ Including buyers premium

Auction 59 Lot Number 85


Passover Haggadah – With Marathi Translation – Poona, 1874

Passover Haggadah, with translation and halachot in Marathi, and with illustrations, edited by Moshe Yaakov Telker and Aharon Daniel Telker. Poona (Pune, India): [Vitthal Sakharam Agnihotri, 1874]. Lithograph.
2, [9] leaves, [1], 5-50, 5-44, 5 pages. 21 cm. Condition varies, good-fair. Most leaves in good condition. Stains. Coarse and open tears (primarily to inner margins), professionally repaired, affecting text in several places. New binding.
Yaari 1077; Otzar HaHaggadot 1437.

Opening3,000$ Sold For3,690$ Including buyers premium

Auction 59 Lot Number 33


Year-Round Siddur, Ashkenazi Rite – Amsterdam, 1704 – Tortoiseshell Book Binding with Silver Clasps

Year-Round siddur, Ashkenazi rite, with Tehillim and Ma'amadot. Amsterdam: Shlomo Proops, [1704]. 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, [1] 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.

Opening2,500$ Sold For5,412$ Including buyers premium

Auction 59 Lot Number 34


Siddur and Chumash with Spanish Translation – Amsterdam, 1717/1718 – Tortoiseshell Book Binding with Silver Clasps

Orden de las Oraciones cotidianas por estilo seguido [Daily prayers], Amsterdam, [1717]. Bound with: Los cinco libros de la ley divina [Five Books of the Torah]. Amsterdam, [1718]. Both printed by Shlomo Proops. Spanish.
Siddur and Chumash translated into Spanish. Title pages of both books are engraved. On the title page of the Siddur are Biblical scenes, and on the title page of the Chumash are illustrations of Moshe and Aharon, the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai and the Beit HaMikdash. The calendar "Calendario de Ros-Hodes Fiestas y Ayunos" (1717-1733, also printed by Shlomo Proops) is bound between the two books.
Fine tortoiseshell binding, with silver clasps (marked). Silver plates are embedded in the binding, on both sides.
Siddur: [8] leaves, 535, [3] pages. Calendar: [5] leaves. Chumash: [1] leaf, pp. 411-412 (belong to the Haftarot), 528 pages. Separate title page for the Haftarot at the end of the Chumash. 17 cm. Good condition. Gilt edges. Stains and dampness traces. Ex-libris on the inner side of the back binding. Minor damages to binding. One broken clasp.

Opening2,500$ Sold For3,444$ Including buyers premium

Auction 59 Lot Number 120


Manuscript of Chabad Essays – Essays of Rebbe Shmuel (Maharash) of Lubavitch – Two Words in the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s Handwriting

Handwritten volume, Chassidic essays of the teachings of R. Shmuel of Lubavitch, the Rebbe Maharash. [Russia, after 1881].
The volume contains copies of essays of the Rebbe Maharash from the years 1867-1881, with "hemshechim" [continuations] renowned in the circles of Chabad Chassidism: "V'Hecherim" 1871, "Mayim Rabim" 1876, etc. ("Hemshech" in Chabad terminology refers to a series of essays which extensively expound upon kabbalistic and Chassidic treatises, where each essay is a continuation from the previous one. The Maharash is the first who initiated this unique form of presenting his teachings).
Most of the volume is written by one copier, the rest is written by others. The title of one essay bears a date in the copier's handwriting: "Maharash, at a wedding in 1874".
Two essays (p. [153a] and p. [161b]) bear the name of the parsha (Naso and Shelach) in their titles, in the copier's handwriting, with the date 1874 in a different handwriting beside them. This handwriting is very similar to that of R. Menachem Mendel Schneerson of Chabad-Lubavitch, and apparently, he reviewed this manuscript and marked these dates.
The essay Yafa Shaah Achat attributed to the "Middle Rebbe" of Lubavitch (R. Dov Ber) was copied on leaves [185]-[190].
The first leaves bear ownership inscriptions: "Belongs to Yosef shochet and bodek of Obchuga".
Rebbe Shmuel Schneerson (1834-1883), the fourth Lubavitcher Rebbe, youngest son of the Tzemach Tzedek, was constantly in his father's presence, and after his father's death in 1866, succeeded him as Rebbe. He established his court in the town of Lubavitch, whereas his elder brothers served as rebbes in the towns of Kopys (Kapust), Liadi and Nizhyn.
His essays and "hemshechim" are renowned for their sharpness, clarity and brevity (in comparison to the other Chabad rebbes), and in their exceptional proficiency in kabbalistic and Jewish philosophy books. His many writings were printed in the Likutei Torah - Torat Shmuel series.
The Maharash carried the Jewish People's burden on his shoulders, and was very active in lobbying on behalf of the Jewish population which resided in the "Pale of Settlement" and suffered greatly from the decrees of the Russian Tsars. He had tremendous impact on his Chassidim. He was knowledgeable and extremely clever in worldly matters, had comprehensive medical knowledge and mastered several languages. (An interesting description of him appears in HeAvar, vol. 2, pp. 86-93, by a resident of Lubavitch in those times, Zvi Har-Shefer).
[306]; [10] leaves. More than 600 written pages. 22 cm. Good condition. Tears to margins of a few leaves, slightly affecting text. The gathering ending on leaf [201] is incomplete. Stains and wear. New binding.

Opening2,500$ Sold For3,075$ Including buyers premium

Auction 59 Lot Number 134


Reshit Chochma – Dedication by the Author of Arugot HaBosem

Reshit Chochma, by the kabbalist R. Eliyahu de Vidas. Mukacheve, [1891-1898].
The title page bears a handwritten dedication signed by R. Moshe Greenwald Rabbi of Chust who gave the book as a wedding gift to his disciple "Outstanding in Torah and fear of G-d R. Ze'ev Tirneuer of Satmar on the day of his wedding", with warm hearty blessings.
Signatures and stamps, long glosses and inscriptions by the recipient of the book, R. Ze'ev Wolf Tirneuer.
The famous Torah scholar R. Moshe Ben-Amram Greenwald (1853-1910, HaChatam Sofer Ve'Talmidav p. 521) was a prominent Hungarian rabbi and head of yeshiva. Disciple of R. Menachem Katz Prostitz of Deutschkreutz (Zelem) and disciple of the Ktav Sofer in Pressburg. In his youth, he headed a yeshiva in his hometown Cherna, later serving in the rabbinate of several Hungarian communities and as Rabbi of Chust from 1893. Although he studied in the yeshiva of the Chatam Sofer, he was affiliated with Chassidism and would travel to the Belz and Siget rebbes. In Chust, he established his court and expanded his yeshiva which eventually became one of the largest yeshivas in Hungary. Disciples from all over the country and abroad flocked to his yeshiva and many Hungarian rabbis were his disciples. He was renowned for his compositions Arugat HaBosem on Halacha and Aggadah. His son was R. Ya'akov Yechizkiya Greenwald Av Bet Din and Rebbe of Papa, and his grandson is R. Yosef Greenwald of Papa, who established the post-Holocaust Papa Chassidism in America.
The recipient of the book and writer of the glosses is R. Ze'ev Wolf HaLevi Tirneuer (1882-1959), a beloved disciple of R. Yehuda Greenwald, Rabbi of Satmar as well as a disciple of R. Moshe Greenwald Rabbi of Chust, author of Arugot HaBosem. He served as Dayan in the city of Samloi and after World War I, in the rabbinates of Lespezi (Moldovia), Shotz (Bucovina) and others. After the Holocaust, he immigrated to Safed in 1950 together with his son-in-law R. Aharon Leifer of Nadvirna-Banie and served as Rabbi of the Agudat Yisrael Beit Midrash. He was an exceptional prodigy and holy man and adopted many Kabbalistic practices. In his senior years, he printed his book Tal Orot on the melachot of Shabbat but most of his writings were never printed.
276 leaves. 23.5 cm. Dry paper. Good-fair condition. Wear and stains. Splendid leather binding.
Regarding this edition, see: Kiryat Sefer, Vol. 27, 1951, p. 277.

Opening2,500$ Sold For3,075$ Including buyers premium

Auction 59 Lot Number 114


Likutei Amarim Tanya – Shklow, 1806 – First Edition of Igeret HaTeshuva – Printed in the Lifetime of the Author, the Admor HaZaken

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, [1806]. 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.
[4], 5-95, [1] leaves; [1], 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.

Opening2,500$ Sold For4,428$ Including buyers premium

Auction 59 Lot Number 339


Parchment Ketubah – Framed with Elaborate Engraving – Hague, Holland, 1742

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.

Opening2,500$ Sold For5,166$ Including buyers premium

Auction 59 Lot Number 315


Letter with Nuptial Good Wishes – Handwritten and Signed by Rebbe Itzikel of Pshevorsk – Blessings for Torah and Material Wealth

Letter (about 12 lines) handwritten and signed by the holy Rebbe "Yitzchak Gvirtzman" of Pshevorsk (Przeworsk). [Antwerp, 1950s].
Sent to a disciple with blessings upon the marriage of "the dear bridegroom, my friend, son of my friend", which took place in the US: "…Now on the wedding day, I from afar… bless you… that the wedding should take place at an opportune and successful time… and you should merit children and grandchildren who study Torah and fulfill mitzvot, and also merit two 'tables' [both wealth and Torah], and succeed in all your endeavors… in the paths of Torah and Chassidut among all the Jewish People…".
R. Moshe Yitzchak Gvirtzman, known as Rebbe Itzikel of Pshevorsk (1882-Yom Kippur 1977), was a fifth generation descendent of Rebbe Elimelech of Lizhensk. He was a close Chassid of R. Yechezkel of Sieniawa, and of his son, the Divrei Simcha of Cieszanów. Served as Rebbe of Przeworsk. Survived the Holocaust in Siberian exile, and thereafter traveled via Poland and France, and settled in Antwerp, Belgium. Known for his holiness and his exceptional abstention and self-denial (for years he never rested his feet on his bed and would sleep in a sitting position). He followed in the footsteps of his illustrious ancestor, author of the Noam Elimelech, who incorporated devotion to G-d's service with charitable deeds to his fellow Jews. Thousands flocked to his court seeking his wise counsel as well as his prayers on behalf of the ill and suffering. Famed for his chessed, he distributed large sums of money to needy Jews throughout the world.
[1] leaf. 16 cm. Good-fair condition. Creases and folding marks, minor tears to margins.
Enclosed is the letter's envelope (with printed title: Rabbin Isac Gevircman), with postage stamps and postal stamping from the 50s. Good-fair condition.

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

Auction 59 Lot Number 288


Letter of Ordination – Rabbi Baruch Ber Leibowitz, Head of the Kamenets Yeshiva

Letter handwritten and signed by R. Baruch Ber Leibowitz, head of the Knesset Beit Yitzchak Yeshiva, with a semicha [Yoreh Yoreh, Yadin Yadin] ordaining his disciple R. Shmuel David Varshovchik (Warszawczyk). Kamenets, 1934.
"The sharp erudite amazingly profound young prodigy… R. Shmuel David son of R. Meir Yaakov Varshovchik… studied at our yeshiva for seven years and grew in sagacious Torah study… has a future of growing to become a leading Torah figure… With a joyous heart… I ordain him with semicha… Yoreh Yoreh Yadin Yadin… because he will become one of the greatest celebrated Torah scholars whose Torah and fear of G-d will illuminate the Jewish People and many will bask in his light".
R. Baruch Dov (Ber) Leibowitz (1864-1940), author of Birkat Shmuel, was a great Torah teacher in his times. An illustrious disciple of R. Chaim of Brisk at the Volozhin Yeshiva, son-in-law of R. Avraham Yitzchak Zimmerman Rabbi of Halusk. After his father-in-law relocated to the Kremenchuk rabbinate, he succeeded him as rabbi of Halusk and established a yeshiva there. After a 13-year tenure, he was invited to serve as head of the Knesset Beit Yitzchak Yeshiva in Slobodka. During WWI, he traversed with his yeshiva to Minsk, Kremenchuk and Vilna, until he finally established the yeshiva in Kamenets. Author of Birkat Shmuel on Talmudic treatises, his Torah teachings are a bedrock of profound yeshiva Talmudic study.
Recipient of the semicha: R. Shmuel David Varshovchik, a student at the Baranovich and Kamenets Yeshivas, and later a head of the Yaakov Yosef Yeshiva in the US. In 1977, he remarried Rebbetzin Chana, widow of R. Noach Shimanovitz, founder and head of the Kfar Chassidim Yeshiva, and served as a head of that yeshiva until his death in 1988.
[1] leaf, official stationery. 29.5 cm. 13 autograph lines. Good condition. Folding marks. Wear and small tears to margins and folding marks.

Opening2,000$ Sold For3,444$ Including buyers premium

Auction 59 Lot Number 2


Small Torah Scroll, with Brass Handles – Ashkenazi-Chassidic Script – Southern Poland, 19th Century

Torah scroll, Ashkenazi-Chassidic scribal writing. [Southern Poland, ca. mid-19th century].
Ink on parchment, 42 lines per column. Rolled on brass Atzei Chaim.
Two ornamentations: One appears at the beginning of Shirat HaYam above the opening words: Az Yashir, and the second is a slanting of the letter "chet" of "VaYachel Moshe". The travels in Parshat Mas'ei are written in a unique manner: most of the lines begin with the word "VaYis'u".
Enclosed is a report by an expert on ancient Torah scrolls who determined the place and date of writing: "The script follows the method of Chassidic leaders who followed the tradition of the Arizal. The name Havaya is also written according to Chassidic teachings and according to the Eshel Avraham of Buczacz (Buchach)". The expert also notes that the membranes were sewn with consecutive stitches.
Height of parchment: approx. 30-32 cm. Maximum height including atzei chaim: approx. 49 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains. Faded ink, slightly browning. Holes with halachically valid patches. Parshat Pinchas opens with a new 3-column membrane [ca. beginning of 20th century]. The scroll is rolled on a pair of cast and engraved brass atzei chaim, upper handles broken and damaged. Non-original mantle, red velvet with silver embroidery (on a cardboard lining). The mantle is larger than the book.

Opening1,800$ Sold For2,952$ Including buyers premium

Auction 59 Lot Number 121


Collection of Letters – Rebbe Rayatz

Three letters by the Rayatz [R. Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson] of Lubavitch, letter from his son-in-law R. Shemaryahu Gur-Aryeh and a letter from Kollel Chabad in Jerusalem, sent to R. Menachem Mendel Kuperstock:
* Three typewritten letters on official stationery, signed by the Rebbe Rayatz of Lubavitch. Brooklyn, 1943-1945.
* Letter by R. Shemarya Gur-Aryeh, son-in-law of the Rebbe Rayatz. [USA], Iyar 1940. Letter written on official stationery with an address in Riga, written two months after he arrived in the US with the Rayatz: "You have surely heard of our timely arrival in the US…".
* Letter by the management of Kollel Chabad in Jerusalem, with stamps and signatures of R. Shlomo Yehuda Leib Eli'ezrov Rabbi of Hebron, R. Yitzchak Avigdor Orenstein [first Rabbi of the Kotel], and one more signature. Jerusalem, 1945.
R. Menachem Mendel Kuperstock, prominent Chabad Chassid in the Vilna region, Chassid of the Rashab and Rayatz, was a witness at the wedding of R. Menachem Mendel Schneerson of Lubavitch and his signature appears on the ketubah. In 1935, he immigrated to Eretz Israel and settled in Haifa, in which he established and led the Chabad community.
Five letters. Size varies. Overall good-fair condition. Stains. Folding marks. File holes.
* Enclosed: Photocopy of a letter by the Rayatz to the Chabad yeshivas in Eretz Israel.

Opening1,800$ Sold For2,214$ Including buyers premium

Auction 59 Lot Number 175


Manuscript, Masechet Purim – Western Europe, 18th Century

Manuscript, Mesechet Purim - Purim parody phrased in the style of the Mishnah and Talmud, in Hebrew and Aramaic. Ethical songs and piyyutim. [Western Europe, ca. second half of the 18th century].
Cursive Ashkenazi script, decorative borders and titles on all pages. An illustration of the seven-branched Temple menorah appears on the last page.
The last leaves contain humorous "Maaravot" piyyutim for the first eve of Purim and the second [as an imitation in jest of the two days of Festivals instituted in the Diaspora, not instituted for Purim].
[1], 15 leaves. 19.5 cm. Thick high-quality paper. Good-fair condition. Heavy wear and stains. The ink on the first pages is slightly faded. Original Bristol wrappers, damaged.

Opening1,800$ Sold For2,214$ Including buyers premium

Auction 59 Lot Number 281


Collection of Letters – By Rabbi Chaim Berlin – Letters with Hitherto Unprinted Torah Teachings

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.

Opening1,500$ Sold For3,936$ Including buyers premium

Auction 59 Lot Number 380


Five Paintings of Mir, Created by Bert Lehmann – Disciple of the Mir Yeshiva Before WWII

Five paintings of the town of Mir, created by Bert Lehmann. Acrylic on canvas, mounted on Masonite. Signed ("B. Lehmann"). * A house in the town, residence of the Leshinsky family in which Lehmann lived during his time in the Mir Yeshiva. The house had a removable roof for Sukkot (described on verso in English: "Sukkah roof at the house where I ate in Mir"). * House situated on the general landscape of the town of Mir. in the winter (described on verso in English: "The House I lived in Mir 1937-8"). * View of the Mir castle. * A road in the town (the back of the structure of the cheder is visible). * A Jewish water-carrier. The artist Bert Lehmann (1916-2015) was born in Sweden, studied at the Mir Yeshiva from 1937-1938. During that time, he became friendly with Shlomo Wolbe (1914-2005), later celebrated as a famous mashgiach, author of Alei Shur. Due to this friendship, Bert's father, R. Chaim Lehmann, invited R. Wolbe to come to Sweden to teach Torah studies to members of his family, which ultimately saved R. Wolbe from the horrors of the Holocaust. R. Wolbe would often recount the story of the hashgacha pratit of his salvation in the merit of the Lehmann family [R. Wolbe remained in Sweden for eight years during which he delivered Torah discourses to youth and adults, and after the war founded a Charedi school for girl survivors. He was the channel for transferring funds from donors to the Mir Yeshiva for support of the Yeshiva in Shanghai. See enclosed material]. Five paintings, 22X29.5 cm to 45X61 cm. Four are framed. Overall good condition. Slight damages.

Opening1,500$ Sold For1,968$ Including buyers premium

Auction 59 Lot Number 244


Interesting Letter by the Author of Sde Chemed to Jerusalemite Rabbis – Karasubazar, 1884

Long letter (3 pages) by R. "Chaim Chizkiya'u Medini, called author of the Sde Chemed" with two of his signatures. [Karasubazar, 17th of Tamuz 1884]. Sent to the Sephardi rabbis of Jerusalem "Elder Great Torah scholar…" [R. Refael Meir Panigel, the Rishon L'Zion], "…The Yissa Beracha" [R. Ya'akov Shaul Elyashar], and to the Rabbi "Matza Chen… Rav Nehorai…" [R. Chaim Nissim Baruch, Ra'avad of the Jerusalem Sephardi community]. The letter is about the Jerusalem emissary "Aharon HaCohen" who fell ill during his stay at Karasubazar. The author of the Sde Chemed took care of his needs and rescued the funds of the Jerusalem Kollel charities which were in his possession at the time. The entire letter was written by a scribe, with the exception of the financial calculations and the two autograph signatures in the handwriting of the author of the Sde Chemed. Rabbi Chaim Chizkiyahu Medini, author of the Sdei Chemed (1835-1905, Otzar HaRabbanim 6323), served in the rabbinates of Constantinople, Karasubazar (Crimea) and in the Hebron rabbinate. He was renowned for his diligence and proficiency in revealed and hidden Torah knowledge. He corresponded with Torah leaders all over the world. He himself published the 18 volumes of his huge encyclopedic composition Sde Chemed, and many other books. [1] leaf, 26.5 cm. Written on both sides. Good condition.

Opening1,500$ Sold For3,198$ Including buyers premium

Auction 59 Lot Number 310


Letter of Inspiration by the Rebbe “HaMalach”, Rebbe Avraham Duber HaCohen Levine, to his Son Rabbi Refael Zalman

Long letter of inspiration and guidance in Torah study and G-d's service, handwritten and signed by R. Chaim Avraham Duber HaCohen Levine. [Without place or date].
Among his words of guidance, he writes: "My dear beloved son… I see fit to inspire you to study Mishnayot and the Tosfot Yom Tov, because the Tosfot Yom Tov is an outstanding Torah scholar who in a few brief words expressed profound ideas…". He also suggests studying Netiv HaAvodah in the book Netivot Olam of the Maharal.
R. Chaim Avraham Dov HaCohen Levine (died in New York in 1938, Encyclopedia Le'Chassidut Vol. 1 p. 566), was a disciple of the Maharash (Rebbe Shmuel Schneerson) of Lubavitch and studied under the tutelage of disciples who learned Torah directly from the father of the Maharash, the Tzemach Tzedek. R. Levine immigrated to the USA and held his court in the Nusach HaAri Synagogue in the Bronx. He served G-d adhering to the conduct of pious men who lived hundreds of years before his times. On Shabbat and Festivals, he entirely refrained from sleeping and was immersed in G-d's service the entire day. At times, he would be silent for more than 10 hours straight, standing in profound meditation (service of the soul during which all thoughts and senses are concentrated solely on G-d).
Young men surrounded him and hovered in his presence. In the US, they were referred to as the "Malachim" (angels) named after their Rebbe Avraham "HaMalach" and were distinct in their extreme piety and abstention, in their different attire and long fringes. They studied only from Slavita and Zhitomir printings of the Talmud, and had other customs that provoked American yeshiva heads. After the death of the rebbe, R. Ya’akov Schorr brother of Rabbi Gedalya Schorr of Torah V’Da’at headed the group of "Malachim". R. Levine's writings were published anonymously in the book Otzar Igrot Kodesh (Jerusalem, 1952) with the author described as "Echad (one) [acronym of Avraham Chaim Dov] of the eminent people of his times… a rabbi similar to an angel of G-d".
His son Rabbi Refael Zalman HaCohen Levine, studied the entire Sefer HaTanya with his holy father when he was only eleven or twelve years old. He was the disciple of Rabbi Baruch Ber Leibowitz at the Knesset Beit Yitzchak Yeshiva in Vilna. Upon Rabbi Baruch Ber's visit to the USA, he stayed at Rabbi Refael Zalman’s home in Albany for ten days and many stories are recounted about this visit [see MiPihem U’Mipi Kotvam, Vol. 2 pp. 97, 142-144].
Folded leaf, 3 pages. 27 cm. Approx. 41 handwritten lines. Good condition.

Opening1,200$ Sold For2,214$ Including buyers premium

Auction 59 Lot Number 227


Two Manuscripts – Homilies and Novellae, by Rabbi Yosef Peretz – Morocco, 19th Century

Two handwritten volumes, homilies and novellae, by R. Yosef son of Ya'akov Peretz. [Morocco, 19th century]. Sephardi script, alternating between semi-cursive and cursive.
* Manuscript, novellae and homilies of weekly Torah portions and eulogies. The year 1874 appears in the title of p. 2a: "I will begin to write Midrash… in the month of Elul 1874". The writer signs his name several times "Yosef Peretz". P. [59b] bears the signature: "Yosef ibn Ya'akov Peretz".
* Manuscript, novellae on Megillat Esther and on the Passover Haggadah, Aggadic novellae on various topics and eulogies in consonance with the weekly Torah portions. In several places the author signed "Yosef Peretz". On p. [22a] he writes: "I will begin to write topics pertaining to the deceased… Yosef Peretz".
2 handwritten volumes. [62] leaves; [55] leaves. 22 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains and wear. Tears to several leaves, affecting text. Evidently, several leaves are lacking. New bindings.

Opening1,200$ Sold For1,476$ Including buyers premium

Auction 59 Lot Number 293


Letter Regarding the Study of Daf HaYomi and the Mishnah HaYomit – By the Gaon of Koziegłowy, Rabbi Aryeh Zvi Frumer

Letter handwritten and signed by the Gaon of Koziegłowy, R. Aryeh Zvi Frumer, head of the Chachmei Lublin Yeshiva. [Lublin, 1938].
Sent to R. David Zvi Zilberstein of Tel Aviv, towards the completion of the second cycle of studying the entire Talmud in the framework of HaDaf HaYomi. The letter contains a request that in the speech R. Zilberstein intends to broadcast on the radio, he arouse his audience to add the study of the Mishnah Yomit complying with the regulation of the rabbis at the third "Great Assembly": "…That the Siyum of the entire Talmud should be completed together with the two Sedarim which do not have an accompanying Talmud, Zera'im and Taharot. Therefore, I request that on the upcoming 28th of Sivan, at the time you speak in favor of the Daf HaYomi, you also speak about the Mishnah Yomit… I hereby am sending you the new schedule for the Mishnah Yomit and also letters by Polish Torah scholars…".
Rabbi Aryeh Tzvi Frumer - "The Koziegłower" (1884-1943), famous Polish Torah scholar. Grandson of R. Dovrish of Oświęcim and prominent disciple of the author of Avnei Nezer of Sochaczew. Proficient in revealed and hidden Torah, head of yeshiva and leading posek. Rabbi of Zawidz, Koziegłowy and Sosnowiec. Head of the Sochaczew Yeshiva and one of the heads of the Chochmei Lublin Yeshiva. After the death of R. Meir Shapira in 1933, he was appointed his successor as head of the yeshiva. He was very active in disseminating and encouraging the study of the Daf HaYomi initiated by R. Meir Shapira. Author of Eretz Zvi responsa and Si’ach HaSadeh. Perished in Holocaust.
Official double-leaf stationery. The first leaf bears a printed title: "Aryeh Zvi Frumer - Rabbi of Koziegłowy - here in Sosnowiec, and now Rosh Metivta in Lublin". The letter is written on the second leaf.
14.5X23 cm. Good-fair condition, creases. Lacking bottom part of leaf (blank), with slight damage to the signature.

Opening1,200$ Sold For1,722$ Including buyers premium
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