Auction 42 - Rare and Important Items

Handwritten Leaf by Kabbalist Rabbi Shabtai of Rashkov – Disciple and Scribe of the Ba'al Shem Tov

Opening: $15,000
A leaf in the handwriting of Rabbi Shabtai of Rashkov, a close disciple of the Ba'al Shem Tov, sections of Etz Chaim, the teachings of the Arizal written by his disciple Rabbi Chaim Vital. [1750].
The leaf is written on both sides, in the handwriting of Rabbi Shabtai of Rashkov. It contains the end of Sha'ar HaNesira and the title of Sha'ar HaPartzufim.
The G-dly Kabbalist Rabbi Shabtai of Rashkov (Rashkover; Encyclopedia L'Chassidut Vol. 3, pp. 654-655), author of Siddur Rabbi Shabtai. Disciple and scribe of the Besht. A tsaddik and Kabbalist, one of the lofty holy men who basked in the shadow of the Besht in Medzhybizh and was counted among his disciples. Some say that Rabbi Shabtai was a disciple of the Magid of Mezritch. The tsaddik Rabbi Meir of Peremyshlyany served as a teacher in his home and a story is told of the journey of the Besht to be with them to cancel the power of the Frankists which was spreading at that time by yichudim and kavanot. The Besht and his disciples were careful to don tefillin written with special holiness and purity and with specific preparations and Rabbi Shabtai was one of the holy scribes who wrote holy writings with yichudim and lofty kavanot. Moreover, he was known as an expert copier and editor of manuscripts, especially the holy writings of the Ari's teachings and those of his disciples. For example, written in the book Pri Etz Chaim [by Rabbi Chaim Vital] printed in Koritz in 1785 which contains many additions by the Ari's disciples not found in the first edition: "These are added to the first (edition) which we have toiled and found the book Pri Etz Chaim proofread carefully and copied from the handwriting of Rabbi Shabtai Roshkover. All his writings are known to be correct…". The story is told that the Besht requested Rabbi Shabtai to copy the work of the kabbalist Rabbi Heshel Tzoref "and he gave it to him to copy but only a short while elapsed and Rabbi Yisrael Ba'al Shem Tov died".
Rabbi Shabtai is especially celebrated throughout the following generations for his Siddur with kavanot of the Ari which he himself arranged according to the writings of the Ari and his disciples. The siddur was first printed in Koritz in 1794, and the disciples of the Besht and leading Chassidic Rebbes prayed from this siddur and accepted its version and guidelines. The siddur of Rabbi Shabtai is one of the primary sources of the Chassidic nusach of prayer and is the source for many Chassidic customs. The siddur of Rabbi Asher, a similar siddur of kavanot accepted by leading Chassidic authorities which was edited by the Kabbalist Rabbi Asher Margaliot, one of the Torah scholars from the Brody kloiz, based his siddur (among other sources) on the “siddur of the kabbalist…Rabbi Shabtai of Rashkov…” which he possessed in manuscript form. Rabbi Shabtai also wrote a composition named Klalut Tikum V’Aliyot HaOlamot, printed in Lvov in 1788.
In the name of the Rabbi of Otyniya, a story circulates about the holiness of Rabbi Shabtai’s writings. Once, inadvertently a manuscript of Rabbi Shabtai’s siddur fell into a fireplace and unwittingly, a fire was lit throughout the whole winter. Nonetheless, only the blank sheets were burned and the rest remained entirely unscathed.
The dates of Rabbi Shabtai’s birth and death are unclear. A glorious lineage of tsaddikim and rebbes descended from him. Among them are his son Rebbe Yosef – a disciple of Rabbi Pinchas of Koritz, his grandson – Rebbe Shlomo Zalman of Rashkov, his great-grandson – Rabbi Shabtai [the second] of Rashkov.
1 leaf, written on both sides. 19 cm. Very good condition.
Enclosed is an authorization by an expert identifying the handwriting of Rabbi Shabtai of Rashkov.
Rare and Important Items