Auction 83 - Part I - Rare and Important Items

Leaf Handwritten by Rabbi Meir of Premishlan – Fragment of His Commentary on Psalm 20, Chassidic Commentary on Matters of Holiness, Repentance, Torah and Worship of G-d – Unique, Unpublished Passage – Found in a "Binding Genizah"

Opening: $15,000
Estimate: $20,000 - $40,000

Leaf (two pages, approximately 40 lines), handwritten by R. Meir of Premishlan.
The leaf was taken from a binding of a book ("binding genizah"; it is known that R. Meir of Premishlan used to conceal his writings in the bindings of his books). The leaf is written on both sides. The text on one side is almost illegible; the more legible text on the other side is a fragment of a Chassidic commentary on Psalm 20, authored by R. Meir of Premishlan, relating to matters of holiness, repentance, Torah study and worship of G-d.
This passage was never published.
The passage is unique. No other manuscripts by R. Meir of Premishlan on the topic of worship of G-d are known to us. His published manuscripts generally contain blessings, recommendations, exhortations to distance oneself from theft and abide to Beit Din rulings (pictures and transcripts of a large part of the manuscripts were published in the book Aspaklaria HaMe'irah, by R. Mordechai Gerlitz, 2 volumes). His teachings on the topic of worship of G-d, recorded in various books, were transmitted orally and do not originate from his manuscripts.
The Chakal Yitzchak of Spinka wrote that the way R. Meir of Premishlan used to expound upon a verse at his tish would bring down salvations and blessings to the Jewish people (Parashat Yitro, quoting there R. Meir's explanation for this practice).
Prominent Chassidic leaders regarded an autograph of R. Meir of Premishlan as a segulah and a holy amulet. R. Tzvi Hirsh of Liska (teacher of R. Yeshaya of Kerestir) possessed a letter handwritten by R. Meir of Premishlan, and he cherished it greatly, guarding it carefully as a holy amulet, and occasionally showing it to his associates (Aspaklaria HaMe'irah, I, p. 253).
Rebbe Meir of Premishlan (1783-1850), a foremost Chassidic luminary. He was the son of R. Aharon Leib of Premishlan and grandson of the great R. Meir of Premishlan (disciple of the Baal Shem Tov). His prime teacher was R. Mordechai of Kremenets (son of R. Michel of Zlotchov), but he also frequented the court of the Chozeh of Lublin. He was particularly celebrated for his righteousness and his farseeing Divine Inspiration. He is credited with hundreds of stories of wonders and salvations. Renowned for his exceptional philanthropy, he would reputedly dispense all his possessions to charity without leaving a penny for himself, and would not go to sleep before having distributed all the charity monies in his possession. He was highly esteemed by one and all, and R. Shlomo Kluger, who was not a Chassid, eulogized him with great reverence, referring to him as "the celebrated, outstandingly righteous man, a G-dly person... and I have merited seeing him twice, it is like being in the Divine presence... He conducted himself with such simplicity and humility, that not all recognized his true stature".
[1] leaf (two written pages). 20 cm. Fair-poor condition. Stains and wear. Tears, affecting text. Ink faded. One page mostly legible; ink faded on the other page – most words illegible. Repaired with paper. Placed in elegant, leather folder.
Expert report enclosed, authenticating the handwriting as that of R. Meir of Premishlan.

Segulot of Reciting Psalm 20
A prominent and ancient custom accepted throughout the Jewish world is to recite Psalm 20 at any time of trouble. This segulah, which is already mentioned in Rashi's Sefer HaPardes, is quoted by many Rishonim and kabbalists, and is alluded to in Midrashim.
The segulah is especially known to apply to a woman during pregnancy, and in particular to a woman experiencing difficult labor (then this Psalm should be recited 12 times, and some say 70 times, at her side). This segulah is mentioned in several places in the Zohar, and in one place the Psalm is even referred to as "the song of the pregnant woman". The Zohar as well as many early books explain that the Psalm comprises nine verses, alluding to the nine months of pregnancy, and seventy words corresponding to the seventy contractions and the seventy cries of a woman during labor. The segulah is mentioned in hundreds of books, and particularly in the books of the Chida. The Chida, at the end of his book Sansan LeYa'ir, writes that studying this Psalm is a segulah for recovery.
The book Shem Tov Katan states that it is "a wonderful segulah for any person who is in trouble, whether an individual or a community, as well as for a woman experiencing a difficult labor, to recited the Psalm Yaanecha Hashem... 12 times". In Yalkut Me'am Loez, after explaining at length the segulah of this Psalm for a laboring mother, it is written: "therefore we recite this Psalm after the Amidah prayer so that G-d should have mercy on us and answer us in our time of trouble, just as He answers the laboring mother..." (Parashat Devarim, p. 540).
Because of the many segulot for salvation this Psalm contains, it has become accepted throughout the Jewish world since the times of the Rishonim to recite this Psalm after the morning prayers, between Ashrei and Uva LeTzion, as the Tur states at the end of section 131 (see also Abudraham who explains this idea at length).

Manuscripts and Letters – Chassidic Luminaries
Manuscripts and Letters – Chassidic Luminaries