Manuscript of R. Avraham Auerbach Rabbi of Bonn – Ezri MiKodesh – 1820s-1830s

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Two manuscript volumes, Ezri Mikodesh, two parts, novellae on Talmudic tractates, Talmudic methodology, halachic responsa and homiletics – handwritten by R. Avraham Auerbach Rabbi of Bonn, [ca. 1820s-1830s].
Autograph manuscript in two volumes; with deletions, glosses and additions (occasionally on pieces of paper pasted over the text) handwritten by the author. In several places, there are glosses and additions handwritten by his sons – R. Aharon Auerbach Rabbi of Bonn and R. Tzvi Binyamin Rabbi of Halberstadt, author of Nachal Eshkol; and by his grandson – R. Aviezri Zelig Auerbach Rabbi of Halberstadt. The title Ezri MiKodesh was given by the author. In several places, one part of the work is referred to by a different title – Zehav HaKodesh (presumably the title given to the brief glosses containing references only). Ezri MiKodesh was edited by the author and his sons. It was recently published by the Shomrei Mishmeret HaKodesh institute (Jerusalem, 2019), based on the present manuscripts (after being further edited).
Several essays are dated Shabbat Shuvah or Shabbat HaGadol, early 1830s, and the work was presumably mostly written in those years. At the end of the first volume (leaves 223-224), the text of a community regulation from 1716 is quoted, forbidding requesting a special exemption to live outside of the Jews' street, and evading tax or community tolls; with the text of the annulment of the prohibition from 1821, signed by R. "Avraham Auerbach, rabbi of Bonn and the region".
In the present work, the author brings many teachings in the name of his father R. Aviezri Zelig Auerbach and his grandfather R. Tzvi Hirsh Auerbach Rabbi of Worms. He also quotes his illustrious father-in-law, R. Yosef David Sinzheim, prominent French rabbi and president of Napoleon's Sanhedrin. On leaves 201-214, the author copies halachic rulings and responsa from his father-in-law, author of Yad David. Another responsa by his father-in-law is copied on pp. 224b-225a.
The author also quotes teachings by other German rabbis, such as R. Avraham Lissa Rabbi of Frankfurt am Main (p. 15b) and R. Yitzchak Kahana Rabbi of Bonn (p. 99b).
At the beginning of the second volume, heading handwritten by the author's son (R. Aharon Auerbach Rabbi of Bonn): "Ezri MiKodesh Part II – Halachic novellae, rulings and Talmudic methodology, by my father R. Avraham Auerbach", followed by his foreword with words of encouragement and ethics.
The author, R. Avraham Auerbach (1763-1845), disciple of R. Natan Adler and colleague of the Chatam Sofer, was a leading rabbi of Germany and the Rhinelands. He was the son of R. Aviezri Zelig Auerbach Rabbi of Bouxwiller (1724-1768), and son-in-law of his uncle R. David Sinzheim Rabbi of Strasbourg (president of Napoleon's Sanhedrin). He was raised by his grandfather R. Tzvi Hirsh Auerbach Rabbi of Worms, and later studied under R. Natan Adler in Frankfurt am Main, together with the Chatam Sofer (who later eulogized him; see: Ishim BiTeshuvot HaChatam Sofer, p. 20). He served as rabbi of several German communities. In 1808, he was appointed rabbi of Bonn. His descendants include prominent rabbis and Torah leaders, including his eldest son, R. Tzvi Binyamin Auerbach – author of Nachal Eshkol and Rabbi of Darmstadt and Halberstadt; and his son R. Aharon Auerbach, Rabbi of Bonn.
His work Ezri MiKodesh was published in 2019, while the rest of his books remained in manuscript, including his work Brit Avraham on the Yalkut (mentioned in Mishnat Rabbi Natan by his son R. Tzvi Binyamin Auerbach) and Remez HaEresh on the Torah (mentioned by the author in a homily for Shavuot, see Ezri MiKodesh p. 492).
The author's father-in-law, Rabbi Yosef David Sinzheim (ca. 1736-1812), of whom a few rulings and responsa are copied in the present manuscript, was one of the leading French Torah scholars of the past few generations and president of the Grand Sanhedrin established by Napoleon. He was born in Trier (southwestern Germany), where his father, R. Yitzchak Isaac Sinzheim, served as rabbi. In 1778, he founded a yeshiva in Bischheim (Alsace, France) together with his brother-in-law R. Naftali Hertz Medelsheim (Herz Cerfbeer of Medelsheim). The yeshiva later relocated to Strasbourg. In the early 19th century, he was appointed by Napoleon as president of the Grand Sanhedrin – a Jewish high court convened by Napoleon in order to legalize the status of the Jews in France. In this position, he very wisely dealt with various attempts to reform Jewish practices. R. Sinzheim was eulogized by the Chatam Sofer: "…This tzaddik whom we are eulogizing, R. David Sinzheimer, author of Yad David, was very honored and close to Paris royalty and was asked about a number of issues. He responded to their questions and was greatly esteemed by the king and the officers… Nonetheless, he studied Torah all his life, completing the Talmud several times, and was proficient in all the books of the Rishonim and Achronim as can be discerned from his book. I knew him in my youth and also later, I could recognize his righteousness in our correspondence…". R. Sinzheim left many Torah writings, including Yad David on the Talmud, Minchat Ani on Talmudic topics and Shelal David on the Torah. Many volumes of his works were printed by Machon Yerushalayim.


Two volumes: 3-227 leaves; [18], 96 leaves, and many more blank leaves (altogether: 342 written pages in vol. I, and 154 written pages in vol. II). 19.5 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains. Traces of past dampness and mold stains to vol. I. Detached leaves in vol. II. Vol. I in a new binding, somewhat loose. Vol. II in an old binding, detached (missing spine).


Provenance: The author's descendants. The manuscripts were preserved for many years in the Mendel Gottesman Library at Yeshiva University, NY, Ms. 21-22, and were returned to the author's descendants, who used it to publish the book Ezri MiKodesh in 2019.

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