Auction 86 - Part I - Rare & Important Items

Three Polemic Books Against Chassidut – Megaleh Temirin / Divrei Tzadikim / Bochen Tzadik

Opening: $1,000
Estimate: $1,500 - $2,500
Sold for: $1,250
Including buyer's premium
Three polemic books by maskilim against Chassidut, printed by the maskil Joseph Perl of Tarnopol and his colleagues. First editions:
1. Megaleh Temirin, a satirical parody on Chassidut and its leaders, [by Joseph Perl]. Vienna: Anton Strauss, 1819.
An epistolary parody of Chassidic tales and the Chassidic style of speech. The book is comprised of 151 fictitious letters, exchanged between Chassidim, in effort to prevent the distribution of an anti-Chassidic book. Megaleh Temirin ridicules the Chassidic doctrine, the Chassidic leaders and the faith of the masses in the tzaddikim. It primarily imitates the style of Shivchei HaBaal Shem Tov and Sipurei Maasiyot.
[2], 55 leaves. 24.5 cm. Good condition. Stains and wear. Signatures on the title page, one scraped off resulting in small hole. Original binding, damaged. Placed in a new box.
2. Divrei Tzadikim, "to show the way to the light… and discussion amongst Chassidim… about the book Megaleh Temirim". Isaac Baer Levinsohn. Vienna: Anton Schmid, 1830.
Parody on Chassidim following the style of Megaleh Temirim. The book was edited by Joseph Perl, and some attribute the entire book to him (see Joseph Klausner, Historiah shel HaSifrut HaIvrit HaChadasha, II, 1952, pp. 312-313; III, Jerusalem 1953, pp. 40-41, 67).
16 pages. 17 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains and wear. Tears to inner margins, repaired with paper. Inscriptions and stamp. New cloth binding.
3. Bochen Tzadik, "various views on the book Megaleh Temirin", by Joseph Perl. Vienna: M.I. Landau, 1838. Sequel to Megaleh Temirin.
120, [4] pages. 21 cm. Good condition. Stains, including dampstains. Tears to title page; open tear at top of leaf, repaired with paper. Signatures and stamps. New binding.
The author, Joseph Perl of Tarnopol (1773-1839), one of the leaders of Galician Haskalah. He dedicated his life to leading an intensive battle against the Chassidim of Galicia, printing anti-Chassidic satires in Hebrew and in Yiddish, denouncing Chassidim to the authorities and harassing them. His actions affected prominent rebbes in Galicia, including R. Yisrael of Ruzhin and R. Tzvi Hirsh of Zidichov.
One of the personalities mocked by Joseph Perl in Megaleh Temirin (p. 39b) is Tamerl Bergson, a Jewish businesswoman and philanthropist, who was the patroness of Chassidic courts in Poland. According to Chassidic lore, the Chozeh of Lublin dubbed her "R. Tamerl". Reputedly, Tamerl, in attempt to eradicate this composition, declared (and had announced in her name in the synagogues of Warsaw) that she would pay three gold coins to whoever would bring her a copy of the book Megaleh Temirim. She then burned all the copies which were brought to her.
Chassidic Books
Chassidic Books