Auction 42 - Rare and Important Items

Mikdash Melech – Amsterdam, 1750 – Manuscript and Glosses by the Mekubal Rabbi Moshe Shlomo of Tulchyn, Disciple of the Vilna Gaon and Editor of his Kabbalistic Writings

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Mikdash Melech, explanation on the Zohar – Part 3 of Vayikra, by the Mekubal Rabbi Shalom Buzaglo. Amsterdam, [1750]. First edition.
• On the leaves before the title page are four closely-written pages, by Rabbi Moshe Shlomo of Tulchyn, disciple of the Vilna Gaon, with a Kabbalistic commentary on the Zohar. One segment is signed with the initials: NLMS. In one place he writes, "See the manuscript of my teacher the Chassid Rabbi Eliyahu of Vilna on his explanation to …". • The book has more than 30 glosses in his own handwriting [two are signed NLMS]. The manuscript and the glosses have never been printed.
The Mekubal Rabbi Moshe Shlomo of Tulchyn, one of the leading disciples of the Vilna Gaon who assisted in editing his kabbalistic writings, served as a magid and rabbi in Vilna. In the list of the Vilna Gaon's disciples recorded by his sons [in the introduction to the Vilna Gaon's commentary on Orach Chaim], they write; "and the fifth [of the Vilna Gaon's disciples] is the famous Rabbi Shlomo of Tulchyn … The great love he had for him was known and he taught him the Zohar and Sefer HaYetzira, and difficulties he found in the Ari's disciples' writing, he explained to the best of his ability and knowledge…". Rabbi Avraham Danzig, author of the Chayei Adam wrote of Rabbi Shlomo; "the great and holy ascetic Chassid the Mekubal Rabbi Moshe Shlomo who was Rabbi here in our community…who spent all his days studying the Torah and fulfilling mitzvoth and fasting and abstaining…He was well-versed in kabbalah and served as Rabbi of our community… all his life, he was occupied with Torah study, G-d's service and fasting…He was so great in the knowledge of the hidden Torah that my mechutan Rabbi Eliyahu testified that he is fitting to receive Torah secrets". Rabbi Moshe Shlomo was an outstanding tsaddik and mekubal and even before he arrived in Vilna, his knowledge of kabbalah was great. Later he merited studying from the Vilna Gaon and became his close disciple in these lofty matters and was worthy of receiving many teachings until Rabbi Shmuel Luria who published his book Sha’ar HaShirim (Warsaw 1890), called him the “disciple companion of the Vilna Gaon in Kabbalah”. Besides being one of the Vilna Gaon’s close disciples, he played an important role in spreading his philosophy, he copied the Gaon’s writings on kabbalah from the Gaon’s own handwriting, edited them and added his glosses. There is almost no work of the Vilna Gaon which is not embellished by his glosses. His glosses on the Gaon’s commentary on Sifra D’Tzniuta and on the Gaon’s explanations on the Zohar and on Tikunei HaZohar and on his commentary to Sefer HaYetzira are all well-known. At times, he expands and expounds the thoughts according to what he had heard from his rabbi verbally. Some of the explanations and thoughts he heard from the Gaon were preserved for generations only due to his copies and several of the Vilna Gaon’s kabbalistic writings were printed from the writings Rabbi Shlomo edited. He died during the life of his teacher and the Gaon’s sons said that after Rabbi Shlomo’s death, the Vilna Gaon was sorry that he did not teach him more secrets and hidden aspects of the Torah. He said, “Why did I hide hidden thoughts from him, did he not fear G-d from his youth with all his might…”. The date of his death and his burial place are unknown. See attached material [which also includes his book Sha’ar HaShirim].
[1], 183 leaves (missing first title page and the following leaf) + 3 leaves [4 pages] of the manuscript. 20 cm. Fair-good condition. Spotting and wear. Worm marks. Detached signatures and leaves. Ancient leather binding, damaged and worn.
Category
Rare and Important Items