Auction 83 - Part I - Rare and Important Items

Manuscript, Four Brief Works by the Yismach Moshe on the Megillot and on the Book of Mishlei – Many Additions and Glosses Handwritten by the Editors, His Descendants the Yitav Lev Rebbe of Sighet and Rebbe Moshe David Teitelbaum Rabbi of Laposch

Opening: $15,000
Estimate: $20,000 - $25,000
Sold for: $52,500
Including buyer's premium

Manuscript leaves, four brief compositions on the scrolls of Esther, Kohelet and Ruth, and on the book of Mishlei, by R. Moshe Teitelbaum Rabbi of Ujhel (Sátoraljaújhely), the Yismach Moshe. Written by a scribe, with glosses, transition sentences and many additions, handwritten by his descendants, the Yitav Lev – Rebbe Yekutiel Yehuda Teitelbaum Rabbi of Sighet, and Rebbe Moshe David Teitelbaum Rabbi of Laposch (Târgu Lăpuș).
large-format leaves, written on both sides (two columns per page).
These compositions were edited and prepared for print by Rebbe Moshe David Teitelbaum Rabbi of Laposch in Sighet 1906, and appear in the book Yismach Moshe on Neviim, Ketuvim and Megillot.
Prior to that, in 1849-1861, the Yitav Lev selected sections from these leaves and incorporated them in the book Yismach Moshe on the Torah portions. In some of the sections in this manuscript, the Yitav Lev added notes and transition sentences in his own handwriting.
The four works are:
• Work on Megillat Esther. 12 leaves (24 written pages).
Published under the title Asis Rimoni. In his foreword, the editor explains that he titled the work Asis Rimoni since this name appears in the manuscript (indeed, in the present manuscript this title appears at the top of leaf 3; however, at the top of leaves 1 and 5 appears a different heading – Asis Rimonim). The editor conjectures that this title was chosen since its numerical value corresponds with that of the author's name – Moshe ben Tzvi.
• Work on Kohelet. 10 leaves (19 written pages).
Published under the title Mor ULevonah (numerical value equal to that of Moshe).
These leaves contain several glosses handwritten by the Yitav Lev, on pages: 5b-6a (three of the glosses extend over both pages; the glosses were published in Yismach Moshe, Parashat Lech Lecha); 8a-b (printed in Yismach Moshe, Parashat Re'eh).
• Work on Ruth. 3 leaves (5 written pages).
Published under the title Kelil Tiferet.
• Two leaves from a work on the book of Mishlei.
The second leaf (both sides) contains several glosses handwritten by the Yitav Lev (most printed in Yismach Moshe, Parashat Acharei, one printed in Yismach Moshe on Neviim and Ketuvim).
The leaves of all works also contain dozens of glosses handwritten by the editor Rebbe Moshe David Teitelbaum Rabbi of Laposch.
Altogether 27 leaves. 41-42 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains, including dampstains. Wear. Marginal tears, affecting text in several places.

Rebbe Moshe Teitelbaum Rabbi of Ujhel
(Sátoraljaújhely; 1759-1841) was an illustrious Chassidic leader in Hungary and Galicia. An outstanding Torah scholar and G-dly Kabbalist, sharp and well versed in all facets of Torah, revealed as well as hidden. During his lifetime he was renowned as a holy G-dly man and a wonder-worker benefiting from Divine Inspiration. He first served as rabbi of Shinova (Sieniawa) from 1785-1808, and in 1808, was appointed rabbi of Ujhel and its region. At first, R. Moshe was an opponent of Chassidut, and in his youth, he travelled to Vilna to study Torah from the Gaon of Vilna (R. B. Landau, HaGaon HeChassid MiVilna, p. 291, in the name of R. Zalman Weber. The Klausenburg Rebbe cites an interesting testimony from that visit, which his great-grandfather the Yismach Moshe related about the conduct of the Gaon of Vilna with his disciples – Responsa Divrei Yatziv, Part IV, Yoreh De'ah, section 131). Over the years, R. Moshe gravitated towards Chassidut, influenced by his son-in-law R. Aryeh Leib Lifshitz of Vishnitsa, author of Responsa Aryeh D'Vei Ila'i, who convinced him to travel to the Chozeh of Lublin. There, R. Moshe saw revelations of Divine Inspiration, and became the Chozeh's close disciple, adhering to Chassidut and disseminating its doctrines. This transformation took place while he was still serving as rabbi of Shinova. He also travelled to the Ohev Yisrael of Apta. From 1815, R. Moshe began distributing amulets to those requiring salvation and "the pen cannot properly describe the wonders performed by those amulets". Reputedly, he deliberated whether to continue writing amulets until he heard a pronouncement from Heaven: "Do not fear for I am with you" (Tehillah LeMoshe). Until this day, most of the texts of amulets and "protections" in Ashkenazi countries are attributed to the Yismach Moshe, including the printed text of the "Protection for the infant and the mother" and "Protection from epidemic". The text of the renowned Kerestir amulets, inscribed by Chassidic rebbes for safeguarding home and property, also originates from him.
His published writings include the well-known books of homiletics – Yismach Moshe on the Torah, Megillot and on Talmudic Aggadot, Tefillah LeMoshe on Tehillim, Responsa Heshiv Moshe and other books. His book Maayan Tahor, with the laws of Niddah in Yiddish for Jewish women, was appended to many siddurim.

Rebbe Yekutiel Yehuda Teitelbaum – the Yitav Lev (1808-1883), son of R. Elazar Nisan Teitelbaum Rabbi of Sighet, and son-in-law of R. Moshe David Ashkenazi – rabbi of Tolcsva who immigrated to Safed. He was a close disciple of his grandfather the Yismach Moshe – Rebbe Moshe Teitelbaum Rabbi of Ujhel, who drew him especially close and disclosed to him Heavenly revelations which he had perceived with Divine inspiration. He was also a disciple of Rebbe Asher Yeshaya of Ropshitz. In 1833 (at the age of 25), he was appointed rabbi of Stropkov, and after the passing of his illustrious grandfather, he was selected to succeed him as rabbi of Ujhel. He was then appointed rabbi of Gorlitz (Gorlice), and later of Drohobych. In 1858, he went to serve as rabbi of Sighet (Sighetu Marmației), capital of the Maramureș region, and founded there a large yeshiva, which numbered at its zenith two hundred students. Amongst his renowned disciples from that time was R. Shlomo Leib Tabak author of Erech Shai and head of the Sighet Beit Din. His grandson attested that "he was a merciful father to his disciples, carrying them on his shoulders as a nurse carries a suckling, and overseeing each one individually to ensure they studied Torah in holiness and purity". In Sighet, he earnt worldwide renown, and thousands of Chassidim flocked to seek his counsel and wisdom, blessing and salvation. He was renowned for his exceptional holiness, and his grandson R. Yoel of Satmar attested that his holiness was never tainted. Numerous stories circulated of the wonders he performed, including incredible insights which were revealed to him with Divine Inspiration and through his exceptional wisdom. He was reputed in his generation as one who could read the minds of those standing before him, and amazing stories were told of this ability. His epitaph reads: "The renowned rabbi, he edified upstanding and reputable disciples, left behind valuable compositions". He is renowned for his books: Yitav Lev on the Torah, Yitav Panim on the Festivals, Rav Tuv on the Torah and Responsa Avnei Tzedek.

Rebbe Moshe David Teitelbaum (1855-1935), grandson and close disciple of the Yitav Lev of Sighet. Together with his grandfather, he published Tefillah LeMoshe on Tehillim by their ancestor the Yismach Moshe. In 1906-1908, he published two volumes of Yismach Moshe on Neviim, Ketuvim and other topics. Likewise, he edited and published some of the works of his grandfather the Yitav Lev. In 1882, he was appointed rabbi of Laposch (Târgu Lăpuş, present day: Romania). In his final years, he settled in the United States, where he served as the Volover Rebbe.

Throughout his life, the Yismach Moshe composed novellae on all parts of the Torah – Halachah, Aggadah, Derush and Chassidut. He wrote these novellae sporadically, on pieces of paper, rather than in an organized fashion. After his passing, his writings were given to the Yitav Lev, his grandson and disciple, who gave them to a scribe to be copied methodically. After the writings were copied, the Yitav Lev began editing and arranging the novellae according to topics. While he was editing them, he added glosses, introductory and transition sentences, and many sources. From these writings, the Yitav Lev printed the Yismach Moshe series on the Torah portions, between 1849-1861. In time, when the Yitav Lev became busy with his rabbinical position, his yeshiva and disseminating Torah to his many disciples, he handed over the rest of the writings to his son-in-law, R. Yisrael Yaakov Yukel Teitelbaum Rabbi of Gorlitz and to his grandson R. Moshe David Teitelbaum Rabbi of Laposch, for them to edit and arrange other works of the Yismach Moshe for print. R. Yisrael Yaakov Yukel Teitelbaum of Gorlitz edited Responsa Heshiv Moshe (Lviv, 1866). R. Moshe David Teitelbaum of Laposch edited Tefillah LeMoshe on Tehillim (Krakow, 1880), and in 1906 and 1908, he compiled and published two new volumes of Yismach Moshe, comprising a compilation of ten small works on Neviim, Ketuvim, Megillot, Aggadot and more.

These leaves were used in the preparation of several books of the Yismach Moshe, and show the initial stages of editing – prior to the rearrangement according to subjects – bearing the handwritten editing notes of his holy descendants.

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