Auction 83 - Part I - Rare and Important Items

Manuscript, Unpublished Work on Shulchan Aruch Choshen Mishpat – Autograph of R. Yosef Berdugo Rabbi of Meknes

Opening: $1,500
Estimate: $5,000 - $8,000
Sold for: $32,500
Including buyer's premium
Manuscript, novellae and commentary on Shulchan Aruch Choshen Mishpat, by R. Yosef Berdugo Rabbi of Meknes, author of Ketonet Yosef. [Meknes, ca. first half of 19th century].
Unpublished work by R. Yosef Berdugo Rabbi of Meknes, handwritten by the author, with deletions, emendations and many interlinear and marginal additions.
Title in his handwriting at the top of the first leaf: "Clear and concise commentary to Shulchan Aruch Choshen Mishpat", followed by another inscription: "Also addendum to the Choshen Mishpat part titled Ketonet Passim".
While most of the manuscript was handwritten by R. Yosef Berdugo, there are also passages scribed by other writers, including his son (see below). According to the abovementioned inscription, this work complements the work Ketonet Passim (this possibly refers to R. Yosef Berdugo's published work on Choshen Mishpat, Ketonet Yosef). His disciple R. Shalom Messas relates (in his foreword to Responsa Divrei Yosef) that he personally saw in R. Yosef Berdugo's house an addendum volume to the novellae on Choshen Mishpat, possibly in reference to the present work.
In preparation for recording his commentary, R. Yosef Berdugo wrote throughout the book the numbers of the Shulchan Aruch sections (Sections 1-427 and then again Sections 1-299), leaving blank spaces after each number. He then filled many pages with his novellae and commentary, yet some pages remain blank.
On leaves [194]-[195], a son of R. Yosef wrote a table of contents "to an addendum manuscript by my father". Several other passages in the manuscript were added by a son, including one on the first page: "The rabbi, my late father, wrote at the beginning of his composition to Shulchan Aruch Choshen Mishpat...". Additional passages in different hands, of scribes or disciples of R. Yosef (for another manuscript similarly prepared by R. Yosef for recording novellae and passed down to his son R. Yehuda, see: R. Avraham Hillel, Sekirat Chiburim BeKitvei Yad, Min HaGenazim, XII, Ahavat Shalom, Modiin Illit 2018, pp. 374-376).
Inscription on back endpaper: "Yusuf Berdugo" (presumably not handwritten by the author).
R. Yosef Berdugo (1802-1854), Rabbi of Meknes, from the prominent Berdugo dynasty who fled to Meknes with the Spanish exiles. He studied Torah diligently from a young age, cloistering himself entirely for several years. He first served as dayan in the Beit Din of Meknes, and later as rabbi of the city. R. Yosef was regarded with such reverence by the members of his community, that it was decided that any taxes received from new stores in the mellah (Jewish quarter) would be given to him, so that he wouldn't have to worry about earning a livelihood, and be free to study without disturbance. R. Yosef was renowned as a prominent halachic authority, and halachic questions were addressed to him from far and wide. He was a prolific author, and at the beginning of his book on the Rambam (which remained in manuscript), he lists seventeen works he authored, including a work on Choshen Mishpat titled Ketonet Passim. Only Ketonet Yosef – treatises on topics of Choshen Mishpat in alphabetical order (Part I: Safed 1922, Part II: Casablanca 1935, Part III: Meknes 1943) and Responsa Divrei Yosef (Jerusalem 1968) were published.
Stamp on first leaf: "Rachamim Benamara, rabbi of the Kiryat Menachem and Ir Ganim neighborhoods in Jerusalem". R. Rachamim (1914-2002) served as dayan of Casablanca prior to his immigration to Eretz Israel. His writings were published in Ahavat Rachamim (Jerusalem, ca. 2010). His wife, Rivka, was from the Berdugo family, and thus the manuscript was preserved in the family.
Complete volume. [203] leaves (many leaves remained blank, apart from section numbers). 19 cm. Stains. Tears and wear. Worming. Binding damaged.
Manuscripts – Kabbalah, Halachah and Aggadah