Auction 71 - The Collection of Rabbi Prof. Daniel Sperber

Two Anti-Semitic Books – "The Jewish Faith and Superstitions" by Friedrich Albrecht Christiani, with Engravings Depicting Jewish Customs / "The Whole Jewish Belief" by Anton Margaritha – Leipzig, 1713

Opening: $300
Sold for: $1,250
Including buyer's premium
Two anti-Semitic books by Jewish converts into Christianity, bound together: "The Jewish Faith and Superstitions" by Friedrich Albrecht Christiani, and "The Whole Jewish Belief" by Anton Margaritha. Leipzig: Friedrich Lanckischens Erben (Friedrich Lanckischen's heirs), 1713. German and some Hebrew.
1. Der Jüden Glaube und Aberglaube [The Jewish Faith and Superstitions], by Friedrich Albrecht Christiani. Second edition.
An anti-Semitic work on Jews and Judaism, accompanied by an engraved title page and eight engraved plates depicting Jewish costumes, ritual artifacts and customs.
Friedrich Albrecht Christiani was born in 1647 as Baruch to a Jewish family from Prostitz in Moravia (today Prostějov in the Czech Republic). In his youth he served as a cantor in Bruchsal. In 1674, he converted into Christianity and moved to Leipzig, where he served for twenty years as chair of the Leipzig university department for Semitic studies and published several compositions about the Jews and their customs. Shortly before 1700 he returned to his birth town, Prostitz, and to Judaism.
[1] title page, 88, 186, [10] pp. + [9] engraved plates.
2. Der Gantze Jüdische Glaube [The Whole Jewish Belief], by Antonio (Anton) Margaritha.
An anti-Semitic, polemic work by the convert Anton Margaritha (1492-1542), a descendent of a well-known family of rabbis in Germany; son of the Rabbi of Regensburg Shmuel Margaliot and grandson of Rabbi Yaakov Margaliot. It was first published in Augsburg, in 1530, and includes the first translation of the Jewish prayer book for a non-Jewish readership (see: "Between Judaism and Christianity(ies), between Ethnography and Polemic: Antonius Margaritha's Writing on the Kabbalah in 'The Whole Jewish Belief'" [Hebrew], by Daniel Lehmann). Engraved title page.
Der Gantze Judische Glaube claims to expose the true face of Judaism, mocks Jewish customs and makes serious accusations against the Jews. Margaritha warns his Christian readers against being in contact and trading with Jews, cautions them not to consult with Jewish physicians and portrays a negative picture of the Jewish Sabbath and the custom of using a "Sabbath Gentile". One of the worst allegations targets the political loyalty of the Jews, who are portrayed as treacherous subjects and supporters of enemy countries, headed by the Ottoman Empire. This work deeply affected Martin Luther, who was inspired by it to write his anti-Semitic book "On the Jews and Their Lies". Alongside its wide influence on anti-Semitism in early modern history, the book is also considered a valuable source of information about the daily life of Jews and their customs at the time.
The grim accusations against the Jews made by Margaritha in this book led to a public debate, conducted in 1530 before the Imperial Committee that convened in the Reichstag of Augsburg, in the presence of Emperor Karl V. Margaritha's opponent in this debate was the well-known Jewish lobbyist Rabbi Joseph ben Gershon of Rosheim (Joseph Loanz). After Joseph ben Gershon refuted Margaritha's claims against the Jews, Margaritha was banished from Augsburg.
[1] engraved title page, [15] leaves, 360, [24] pp.
The two books are bound together. Volume: 17 cm. Good condition. Stains. Some small tears. A piece is cut from the title page of the first book (completed with a strip of paper, slightly affecting text). Upper engraved title page of the first book colored with felt-tipped pen. New leather binding and new endpapers.

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Monkeys for Kapparot
Regarding the custom of Kapparot on the eve of Yom Kippur, Margaritha makes an odd remark (pp. 60-61), based on the teaching that a rooster is taken for Kapparot since in Hebrew it is called "Gever", as are men: "Some say that they have heard from early Sages that monkeys should
be used, since they are most similar to men, but as it is not always possible to get monkeys, roosters are used".