Auction 33
Books, Manuscripts and Rabbinical

Lot Number 420

Emissary Letter from the Congregation of Hebron, 1772 – Rabbi Chaim Yosef David Azulai – Historical Document

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22,755$
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Lot Number 420

Emissary Letter from the Congregation of Hebron, 1772 – Rabbi Chaim Yosef David Azulai – Historical Document

Rabbinic emissary letter, prepared by leading rabbis of the congregation of Hebron, in anticipation of the second and significant mission of the Chida [Rabbi Chaim Yosef David Azulai]. Ornamented signatures of rabbis: Rabbi Aharon Alfandari; Rabbi Chaim Yehuda Gomitz Fato; Rabbi Eliyahu ben Archa; Rabbi Yitzchak HaKohen; Rabbi Pinchas Mordechai Bajayev and Rabbi Chiyah Ze’evi. Sivan, 1772.
Letter written in scribe writing. The writing of the letter is very similar to the handwriting of the Chida.
The Chida – Rabbi Chaim Yosef David Azulai (1724-1806), among the greatest rabbinical authorities, divine Kabbalist, exalted genius, lucrative author and famous rabbinical emissary (Shadar). Born in Jerusalem to Rabbi Raphael Yitzchak Zerachia Azulai, among scholars of Jerusalem and great grandson of Kabbalist Rabbi Avraham Azulai, author of Chesed Le’Avraham. From the days of his youth, his knowledge poured forth unto the leading scholars and Kabbalists of Jerusalem, including Rabbi Chaim Ben Attar – the holy Or HaChaim. His absorption of knowledge in secret wisdom began in Beit E-l Kabbalist Yeshiva, by Rabbi Shalom Mizrachi Sharabi – the holy Rashash. His friend, Rabbi Yom Tov Algazi, studied with him, by the Rashash.
Embarked on his first mission as a rabbinical emissary on behalf of the congregation of Hebron in 1753, at age 29. During the course of his journey, which lasted approximately five years, he passed through cities of Italy, Germany, Holland, England and France. This mission granted him fame. His arrival attracted a great deal of attention, his greatness was recognized, and he was held in great esteem thereby receiving generous contributions. He then began recording his journeys in a diary called “Ma’agal Tov” (printed in Livorno, 1879).
In 1773 the Chida embarked on an additional mission on behalf of the congregation of Hebron. Whereas on his first journey the Chida was young and relatively unknown, his second mission, as one of the famous scholars of his generation, left a profound imprint in all places which he visited. He began his journey throughout Europe in Livorno, Italy. In this journey he passed through most Jewish communities of Italy, France, Belgium and Holland. He made a great impression and was a source of admiration by all. Hundreds of people escorted him while entering and departing various cities. His brilliance and wisdom, vast scope of knowledge, and glorious appearance resulted in his great esteem in the eyes of Christians. He met with kings, rulers and ministers, formed connections with scholars of the nations, merchants and state leaders who bestowed him the status of an official delegate. Aside from his great success in fundraising for the benefit of settlement in Eretz Israel, the Chida was called upon to deal with local matters and internal problems of the congregations. Within this framework he served as mediator and arbitrator between community leaders and clerks, in business and partnership disputes; served as arbitrator for litigants, restored peace in many families, delivered inspirational sermons, inspired the nation and was involved in Halachic amendments, while being sought after by many individuals who desired his blessing and advice.
The Chida was among the greatest authors of all times. He authored over 80 compositions in all facets of Torah, including his composition "Birkei Yosef" which had great influence on determination of Halachic rulings. His books were accepted throughout the entire Jewish Diaspora and were afforded great esteem. He wrote the majority of his compositions while travelling or dealing with other preoccupying matters, and possessing very few books, thereby reflecting his immense genius and phenomenal memory capacities. Upon visiting each city, the Chida would examine the book treasuries and local libraries, and research unknown manuscripts and compositions by Torah giants. As a result of the great honor and admiration which he earned, he was awarded entry permits to large libraries and museums, such as the National Library of Paris, where he spent many hours copying important manuscripts. His vast revelations and knowledge which he acquired during these visits are integrated in all his books, especially in his important book "Shem HaGedolim".
This is a historical document – a bill of appointment of the Chida as a rabbinical emissary for the second and most important mission. Among the signatories of the document is Ga’on Rabbi Aharon son of Rabbi Moshe Alfandari (c. 1680-1774), among the Torah giants of Izmir, author of Yad Aharon and Merkavat HaMishna, grandson of Rabbi Chaim Alfandari the elder. Immigrated to Eretz Israel in 1763 and was appointed as chief rabbi of Hebron in 1760. Conferred with the Chida, who cites him extensively in his books, and writes “I was fortunate to be associated with him in his old age upon his immigration to the Holy City of Hebron, and was delighted to absorb his Torah and holiness”. Other signatories are also well-known famous rabbis, and their signatures appear in additional letters of rabbis of that period, and upon approbations of books of the Chida and other books.
Approx. 31.5 cm. leaf. Quality paper, good-fair condition, wear on margins. Placed in fine elegant frame with a picture of the Chida.
Attached is an authorization of this significant document by an expert

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22,755$
Opening
18,000$

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