Auction 83 - Part I - Rare and Important Items

Four Leaves Handwritten by the Haflaa – Unpublished Novellae on Tractate Bava Metzia

Opening: $20,000
Estimate: $25,000 - $30,000
Sold for: $25,000
Including buyer's premium
Four leaves handwritten by R. Pinchas HaLevi Horowitz Rabbi of Frankfurt am Main, author of the Haflaa – novellae on Tractate Bava Metzia.
Four consecutive leaves. The first leaf (numbered 20) contains novellae on folio 13a; the next three leaves (the first of which is numbered 21) contain a lengthy treatise on the Talmudic topic found in folio 8b.
The contents of these leaves were not published in Chiddushei Haflaa on Talmudic tractate, printed in 1900 and 1994, and were presumably not published anywhere else.
These leaves were presumably part of a manuscript which was in the possession of R. Efraim Zalman Horowitz of Komarno, great-grandson of the Haflaa, sections of which were published in Chiddushei Haflaa (Munkacs 1895). The publisher, R. Sender Chaim of Kozova, relates in his foreword that R. Efraim Zalman gave him the manuscript to transcribe for publication, however he eventually transcribed and published only parts of it – mostly those pertaining to Orach Chaim and Yoreh De'ah. He also mentions the Talmudic novellae in the manuscript, stating his intent to publish them as well, yet the Talmudic novellae remain unpublished.
R. Pinchas HaLevi Ish Horowitz (1731-1805), rabbi of Frankfurt am Main, author of the Haflaa, served in his early years as rabbi of Witkowo and Lachovice. On 26th Tevet 1772, he was appointed rabbi and dean of Frankfurt am Main, which at that time was the largest Torah center in Germany. He held this position for over thirty-three years, until his passing. He edified many disciples in his yeshiva, the most prominent of them being his close disciple the Chatam Sofer. He led the battles against Haskalah and the Reform movement. R. Pinchas and his Torah novellae were held in high regard by all the leaders of his generation, whether Chassidic or opponents of Chassidut.
At the end of 1771, shortly before he arrived in Frankfurt, R. Pinchas spent several weeks together with his brother R. Shmelke Rabbi of Nikolsburg, by the Maggid of Mezeritch, where they absorbed the secrets of Torah and worship of G-d from the Maggid and his leading disciples (the Mitteler Rebbe of Lubavitch relates to this in his famous foreword to Shulchan Aruch HaRav, first printed in 1814). The Tzemach Tzedek of Lubavitch defines R. Pinchas as a disciple of the Maggid (Likutei Torah, Bamidbar, Zhitomir 1848, p. 29b, in a gloss on the words of his grandfather the Baal HaTanya). In his book Panim Yafot, the Haflaa brings several principles from the teachings of the Maggid of Mezeritch (see: Erchei HaHaflaa, Jerusalem 2006, I, pp. 40-41), although he only mentions him explicitly in one place, in Parashat Beshalach (p. 57b), in the commentary to "Vayavo'u Marata" (some claim that the omission of the name of the Maggid from the book Panim Yafot is the fault of the copyists of the manuscript. In his foreword, the publisher R. Efraim Zalman Margolies states that Panim Yafot was not printed based on the author's own manuscript, but from a transcript produced by one of the grandsons of the author, "based on a transcript of the book produced by various scribes", meaning that the book was printed based on a third hand copy. This claim still does not explain the fact that the name of the Maggid of Mezeritch is not mentioned in any of the books published by the Haflaa in his lifetime, even in places where the ideas quoted were derived from the teachings of the Maggid). During his short stay by the Maggid, the Haflaa drew close to several disciples of the Maggid, including the Baal HaTanya, R. Zusha of Anipoli and R. Avraham of Kalisk (whom the Haflaa referred to, in 1792, with great reverence: "my beloved friend, the great luminary, R. Avraham HaKohen of Tiberias"). In a letter he wrote in 1792, he expresses his esteem for the Chassidim of Tiberias who devote themselves to the worship of G-d in the Holy Land (Yeshurun, XXI, p. 855). The Haflaa was a prolific author, and he recorded many novellae on all parts of the Torah and on most Talmudic tractates. He gave the general title of "Haflaa" to all his books. The first book of this series, on Tractate Ketubot, was named Ketubah (Offenbach 1787), and the second, on Tractate Kiddushin, was named HaMikneh (Offenbach 1801). Both were published in his lifetime, while the third part in this series, Panim Yafot on the Torah in five volumes (Ostroh 1825-1826), was only published after his passing. His halachic responsa were published in Responsa Givat Pinchas.
[4] leaves (approx. six written pages). 19 cm. Fair condition. Stains, including dark dampstains. Some words faded. Wax stains on first leaf, affecting text. Marginal tears.
Manuscripts and Letters – Chassidic Luminaries