Auction 42 - Rare and Important Items

Manuscript, Chizuk Emuna and Achituv V'Tzalmon – Books of Disputation with the Christians – Poland, 17th Century

Opening: $5,000
Manuscript, two books of disputation with the Christians: Chizuk Emuna, by Yitzchak bar Avraham of Troki, and Achituv V'Tzalmon. [Poland?, approx. second half of 17th century].
Thick volume. Eloquent Ashkenazi writing. At the end of the book Chizuk Emuna is the scribe's colophon: "By the scribe Aharon ben Rabbi Yosef Rimel of the Ganz Cohen Tzedek family". At the end of Achituv V'Tzalmon, the scribe signed: "Aharon Mas of Poznań".
The author of the book Chizuk Emuna is the Karaite scholar Yitzchak bar Avraham of Troki (Lithuania). This is the only Karaite composition accepted by the Jewish people and was even translated into Yiddish due to its criticism of the Christian faith. The book was first printed by Jews in 1704 but was publicized earlier by the Christians and stirred a great commotion. In one of his letters, Rabbi Akiva Eiger recommended printing this book "based on their heretic words". And he writes, "It is a good idea to make the effort to print it in Hebrew and in a foreign language so that women and the masses can read it…". The book was first printed in Altdorf by the priest Johann Christoph Wagenseil in 1681. The manuscript was not compared to the printed version of the book.
Achituv V'Tzalmon is attributed to Rabbi Matityahu ben Moshe HaYitzhari, a Spanish scholar from the 14th-15th century, Rabbi in Zaragoza and a participant in the "the Disputation of Tortosa" – a famous debate between Christians and Jews in which several Spanish scholars participated. The composition is structured in the form of a debate between a Jew, a Christian and a Moslem and is written in poetic phrase and rhyme. This work has not yet been printed.
A thick volume. 567 written pages. Lacking first leaf (the beginning of the introduction to the book Chizuk Emuna).
18.5 cm. Good condition, good-quality paper, spotting. Tears on several leaves. Several detached leaves. Ancient leather binding, with adornments and an inscription on the spine.
Rare and Important Items