Auction 83 - Part I - Rare and Important Items

Divrei Chaim (Sanz) – Munkacs, 1877 – Copy of Rebbe Yeshaya of Kerestir

Opening: $2,000
Estimate: $5,000 - $8,000
Sold for: $15,000
Including buyer's premium
Divrei Chaim, by Rebbe Chaim Halberstam of Sanz - Part II, homilies on the festivals and novellae on Tractate Bava Metzia. Munkacs, 1877. First edition, published by the sons of the author.
Bound with: Nefesh David on the Torah portions – Michtav LeDavid, novellae and pilpulim, by R. David Tevele Rabbi of Lissa. Przemyśl, 1878. First edition.
On the title page and subsequent leaf of the book Divrei Chaim, stamps of R. Yeshaya of Kerestir, close attendant of the Tzaddik of Liska (handwritten inscription near the second stamp: "Yesha"; this may be an abbreviation of the name Yeshaya).
Additional signature at the top of the same title page: "Yitzchak Kohn, Becherov, which is near Zborov". Handwritten inscriptions on the verso of the title page.
R. Yeshaya Steiner of Kerestir (Bodrogkeresztúr; 1852-1922) was the disciple of Rebbe Tzvi Hirsh of Liska (Olaszliszka) author of Ach Pri Tevua and reverently followed in his footsteps. He was orphaned from his father R. Moshe at the age of three and was raised in the home of R. Tzvi Hirsh of Liska from the age of twelve. Drawn to Chassidut, he frequented the courts of Rebbe Chaim Halberstam of Sanz and Rebbe Mordechai of Nadvorna. However, his primary rebbe and mentor remained Rebbe Tzvi Hirsh of Liska, and he eventually became his close attendant (even when R. Yeshaya already served as rebbe, with throngs flocking to his court from all over Hungary, he would still sign: "...who served as attendant of the righteous Rebbe of Liska"). Rebbe Yeshaya was revered by the leading rebbes of his day, including Rebbe Chaim of Sanz and Rebbe Yissachar Dov of Belz (who stated that the "key to sustenance" is in the hands of R. Yeshaya of Kerestir). He performed thousands of charitable deeds, personally engaging in hospitality, and was considered one of the pillars of kindness and prayer in his times. He was renowned as a holy man, and thousands of Jews (as well as non-Jews) from all over Hungary would travel to his court to seek his advice. He was also renowned as a wonder-worker and for providing amulets. Until this day, his portrait is hung in homes as a segulah against mice. The story behind this custom is related in his biography, Mei Be'er Yeshayahu.
Divrei Chaim on the Torah and festivals was published after the passing of the author. In the foreword to the composition on the Torah, the sons describe their holy father and the day of his death: "...his great holiness and piety... was well-known. He dedicated his entire life to Torah study, devoted service and great fear of Heaven from his youth... Our own eyes saw on the day of his death... that he sanctified himself like the heavenly Seraphim with yichudim and great fervor which did not cease for one moment until his soul clung to the Heavenly Light...". The sons relate that their father, the Divrei Chaim studied tractate Bava Metzia "with great concentration with a group of eminent Torah scholars for over 20 years and that he composed wonderful novellae...". They also write that their father's novellae follow both revealed and esoteric approaches. At the end of the foreword, they write about their father's will to publish these books: "...We, the sons of our holy father the author, have expended effort in printing this composition in compliance with his command before his death to print and publish it speedily. The merit of our father should protect us and the entire Jewish People, and strengthen Torah and fear of Heaven, and we and all our Jewish brethren should be graced with an abundance of blessing and success".
Divrei Chaim: [2], 72; 48 leaves. Nefesh David: [4], 36, 11 leaves (lacking final leaf). 21.5 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains, including dark stains. Several tears, slightly affecting text. Nefesh David – open tear to title page, tears and leaves trimmed with damage to text. Old binding.
Manuscripts and Letters – Chassidic Luminaries
Manuscripts and Letters – Chassidic Luminaries