Auction 63 - Rare and Important Items

Letter Handwritten and Signed by the Chida – With the Blessing "No Harm Should Befall You"

Opening: $10,000
Estimate: $20,000 - $25,000
Sold for: $20,000
Including buyer's premium
Letter handwritten and signed by the Chida, R. Yosef Chaim David Azulai, to his disciple "…the Maharshach". Signed "Chada'ei Nafsha'i" with his blessing "No harm should befall you… happy and joyous, calm and secure…". [Livorno, ca. late 18th century].
Four lines handwritten and signed by the Chida himself.
The Maharshach to whom the letter is addressed is apparently R. Shmuel son of R. Moshe HaCohen, a sage from Livorno whom the Chida refers to as "My friend the learned R. Shmuel HaCohen" (see Machzik Beracha by the Chida, Siman 511, 1) and whose fame spread as a leading disciple of the Chida [see: Meir Benayahu, Rabbi Yosef Chaim David Azulai, p. 67].
The Chida would often sign "Chada'ei Nafsha'i" [in Aramaic this literally translates to "My soul rejoices"], the first word being the initials of his name [see for example: Igrot HaChida, Livorno 1867; Igrot 31,37, 43, 64].
The Chida - R. Chaim Yosef David Azulai (1724-1806), a leading posek, kabbalist, exalted Torah scholar, prolific author and famous rabbinical emissary, wrote over 80 compositions on all facets of the Torah and was a renowned emissary. Born in Jerusalem, son of R. Raphael Yitzchak Zerachya Azulai, a Jerusalemite scholar and great-grandson of Kabbalist Rabbi Avraham Azulai, author of Chesed Le'Avraham. From his early years, he was a disciple of leading Jerusalemite scholars and kabbalists, including Rabbi Chaim ibn Attar, the Or HaChaim HaKadosh. He began studying kabbalah at the Beit E-l Yeshiva for Kabbalists headed by R. Shalom Mizrachi Sharabi, the holy Rashash, and was a contemporary of R. Yom Tov (Maharit) Algazi who studied with him in the yeshiva.
In 1753, he embarked on his first mission as a rabbinical emissary on behalf of the Hebron community. During the course of his five years of travel, he passed through Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, England and France, gaining fame and attracting a great deal of attention and esteem wherever he set foot. In 1873, the Chida embarked on another mission on behalf of the Hebron community, leaving a profound imprint on all the places he visited. At the end of this journey, he settled in Livorno, Italy, to officiate as rabbi, and there he published most of his books.
Folded leaf, 19 cm. Good condition. Stains, ink stains, folding marks and wear.
Oriental Rabbis – Manuscripts, Letters and Signatures
Oriental Rabbis – Manuscripts, Letters and Signatures