Auction 92 Part 1 Rare and Important Items

Ohev Yisrael (Apta) – Zhitomir, 1863 – First Edition

Opening: $1,000
Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
Sold for: $3,500
Including buyer's premium

Ohev Yisrael, Chassidic homiletics on the Torah portions, by Rebbe Avraham Yehoshua Heshel of Apta. Zhitomir: R. Chanina Lipa and R. Yehoshua Heshel Shapira, grandsons of the rabbi of Slavita, 1863. First edition.
The book was brought to press by the author's grandson, Rebbe Meshulam Zusia of Zinkov (Zinkiv). In his foreword, he relates how his father, Rebbe Yitzchak Meir, son of the author, realized that many were copying the rebbe's teachings – each person according to his own understanding, and was concerned that this would lead to mistakes. He therefore chose one astute, outstanding Torah scholar and designated him to record the holy teachings, after which the writings were reviewed, and when necessary corrected, by the rebbe. Further in the foreword, he explains that the book was named Ohev Yisrael, based on the author's repeated assertion that the only character trait in which he could confidently take pride, even before the Heavenly court, was his outstanding love for his fellow Jew. Before his passing, he instructed his sons to write no other praise on his tombstone but Ohev Yisrael (Lover of Jews).
In his approbation (to the Lviv edition), R. Yosef Shaul Nathansohn writes: "...he loved every Jewish person with his heart and soul, and would show great affection particularly to Torah scholars. And our fathers related to us that while he was here [in Lviv], all the leading Torah scholars of the city would arise early to come and absorb his wondrous teachings...".

[1], 117 leaves. Leaves 71-74 bound out of sequence. 25 cm. Fair condition. Stains, including dampstains and dark stains (significant stains to final leaves). Large open tears to title page and several other leaves, affecting title page border and text; professionally restored with paper. Extensive worming, affecting text, repaired with paper. Several leaves possibly provided from a different copy. Stamps. New leather binding.

Chassidic and Kabbalistic Books