Auction 63
Rare and Important Items

Lot Number 24

Autograph Manuscript – Novellae on the Bible, Talmud, Halacha and Customs – Includes Records of the Customs of Frankfurt am Main – Unidentified Author, Prominent Torah Scholar in Frankfurt in the Time of the Haflaa – Frankfurt am Main, 18th/19th Century

Sold For
15,990$
Opening Estimate
6,000$ $10,000-15,000$
Lot Number 24

Autograph Manuscript – Novellae on the Bible, Talmud, Halacha and Customs – Includes Records of the Customs of Frankfurt am Main – Unidentified Author, Prominent Torah Scholar in Frankfurt in the Time of the Haflaa – Frankfurt am Main, 18th/19th Century

Large manuscript (thick volume, hundreds of leaves), novellae on the Bible, Mishnayot and the Talmud, commentary on the weekday, Shabbat and Festival prayers, customs and their reasons, and more. [Frankfurt am Main, ca. late 18th-early 19th century].
Hundreds of leaves handwritten by the author, with many deletions and additions. Complete and original composition by an author we were unable to identify, with mentions of his city – Frankfurt am Main. The author was presumably a leading Torah scholar of Frankfurt, during the tenure of R. Pinchas Horowitz, author of the Haflaa, as rabbi of the city.
The style of novellae is diverse, and includes novellae based on the allegoric approach: many Gematrias (association of words by their numeric value), interpretations according to Kabbalistic teachings and more. The volume contains novellae following the order of the Torah, from Bereshit until the end, novellae on Mishnayot – Orders Zera'im and Moed; novellae on the Talmud – on many tractates; commentaries to Tehillim, Megillat Esther, and to other books of the Bible; commentary to the Passover Haggadah; and more. Many leaves of the book bear the heading "Selections", and contain various novellae on prayers, piyyutim and customs. In several places, the author mentions his city, Frankfurt, and documents the city's customs and their rationales. For instance, on p. 151a: "and in the Bible printed here in Frankfurt…". On p. 176b: "The custom of reading the section regarding lighting the lamps in Parashat Behaalotecha on the eighth day of Channuka… and here in Frankfurt we do not have this custom, since…". On p. 265b: "Here in Frankfurt, the custom was to delay the Shabbat morning prayers in the synagogue, reciting the Shema after the 3rd hour of the day…". On p. 273a: "Here in Frankfurt, the custom isnot to recite KaKatuv Al Yad Nevi'echa, since…".
The author also documents (on p. 177b and p. 265b) a famous custom in German communities, named Jahreskaddisch (the Kaddish of the year), of singing the Kaddish on Simchat Torah in the tunes of the entire year (regarding this custom, see Minhagei Maharitz HaLevi [Dunner, Bnei Brak 2016], part I, pp. 394-395).
Another unique custom is recorded - Chomez'digen Borchu (Barchu of Chametz), of singing Barchu of the evening prayer at the close of Passover in the tune of Selichot days (p. 177a): "In the evening following the last day of Passover, we sing Barchu in a pleasant and stirring tune like during the High Holidays, since Chametz (leaven) is an allegory to the evil inclination, so we sing in this tune to be inspired, to be wary of the evil inclination, and to fortify our heart in worship of G-d" (regarding this custom, see Minhagei Maharitz HaLevi, part I, p. 174).
Several handwritten leaves were found interspersed in the volume, containing drafts and various notes of novellae. One of the leaves includes a lengthy and interesting inscription, documenting the author's initiative of establishing a detailed calendar for the years 1799-1800.
The last leaves are indexes to the contents of the manuscript, arranged by the author. An inscription in Latin characters appears on p. 284b (author's signature?).
1-142, 142-152, 152-174, 174-177, 179-284 leaves (the first leaf is blank). In total, 285 written leaves + [5] single leaves. High-quality paper. 34 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains and wear. Ink smudges. Wear to the page corners at the beginning and end of the book, affecting text. Detached leaves and gatherings. Original binding, damaged and detached.
Enclosed is an expert's report on the manuscript.

Sold For
15,990$
Opening Estimate
6,000$ $10,000-15,000$

Auction house commission: max 23%

Commision

Sign up for the Kedem Newsletter!

Sell / Buy at Kedem

Our specialists will provide you with a free estimate for your items. No commitment on your part.

How to Sell?

Enhance your existing collection with exciting new items or start a new collection today.

How to Buy?