Auction 63
Rare and Important Items

Lot Number 19

Manuscript of Shemen Rokeach, Novellae on Tractate Beitzah – Autograph of the Author Rabbi Elazar Löw Rabbi of Trietsch – Mahadura Kama, 1801, with Dozens of Hithero Unprinted Pages

Sold For
34,440$
Opening Estimate
3,000$ $8000-12,000$
Lot Number 19

Manuscript of Shemen Rokeach, Novellae on Tractate Beitzah – Autograph of the Author Rabbi Elazar Löw Rabbi of Trietsch – Mahadura Kama, 1801, with Dozens of Hithero Unprinted Pages

Large handwritten volume – Shemen Rokeach, novellae on Tractate Beitzah, and on various Talmudic treatises and subjects, Mahadura Kama of the printed book, handwritten and signed by the author R. Elazar Löw, Rabbi of Trietsch (Moravia). Trietsch, 1801-1803.
Most of the manuscript (approximately 70 leaves) contains novellae on Tractate Beitzah. Novellae on several treatises in Tractates Pesachim, Bava Metzia and Shevuot appear at the end of the manuscript. Most of the manuscript is handwritten by the author, only a few pages (about seven pages) were written by a scribe. Many deletions, revisions and additions between the lines appear throughout the manuscript.
For the course of two years, the author toiled over this composition while studying Tractate Beitzah with his disciples in the yeshiva, as evident from inscriptions at the beginning and end of this manuscript. Many ownership inscriptions appear on the front endpapers including a preface handwritten and signed by the author: "Here in Trietsch, Tuesday Rosh Chodesh Iyar 1801, halachic novellae of Tractate Beitzah... Elazar author of the Shemen Rokeach responsa and Sama D'Chayei and Torat Chessed and Zer Zahav, here in the Trietsch community". On p. 70a, at the end of his novellae on Tractate Beitzah, the author writes: "End of the novellae of Tractate Beitzah which I have studied here in the Trietsch Yeshiva, and have concluded on the 7th of Adar 1803. G-d should likewise give me the merit of arranging [novellae] on the rest of the tractates, and words of Torah should not cease from our mouths forever".
The novellae on Tractates Beitzah and Pesachim were printed during the author's lifetime in the book Shemen Rokeach (Prague, 1812), and some in his books, the Shemen Rokeach responsa, part 2 (Prague, 1802), Shaarei Chochmah – Shev Shemateta (Prague, 1807). This manuscript is the Mahadura Kama as the author himself writes in the printed book [see his book Shemen Rokeach on Tractate Beitzah (Prague 1812, p. 7a): "…These words have been copied verbatim from my writings in Mahadura Kama…". These same teachings can be found in this manuscript on p. 14b].
The author added dozens of passages and sentences to his printed book which do not appear in this manuscript. On the other hand, this manuscript contains dozens of sections (more than 22 pages, about one eighth of the manuscript), which to the best of our knowledge have never been printed. A detailed list of the pages with hitherto unprinted novellae is available upon request.
11 years elapsed from the beginning of writing the book on Tractate Beitzah until its printing. During those years, the author printed two books, Shemen Rokeach responsa, part 2 (Prague, 1802) and Shaarei Chochmah – Shev Shemateta (Prague, 1807). The author printed full sections of this manuscript in those books and did not reprint them in his book on Tractate Beitzah which was printed in 1812 (see enclosed list).
On p. 27a, the author copied two pages of the thoughts of his renowned scholarly son R. Binyamin Wolf Low, author of Shaarei Torah: "And I will hereby copy the teachings of my son… R. Binyamin Wolf…". The leaf with the copying of his son's teachings has lines crossing its length and width. At the side of the sheet, he writes: "That which my son has written… certainly this is the true explanation…". This leaf was printed in his book of responsa Shemen Rokeach, Part 2, Siman 18.
The author added a note to p. 14b: "At the time I was in Prague, I heard from Rabbi Isser'l Lisa, that the late R. Leib Rabbi of Holešov preceded me on this point, and he contradicted him…". This note also appears in the printed book, p. 7a, with his addition that he visited Prague in 1801 to bring part 2 of Shemen Rokeach responsa to print.
Various draft-like inscriptions on Talmudic topics fill the last four pages. Some are crossed out. On one of the last pages at the end of the book (p. [2b]), he writes: "And I heard from the venerable Rabbi Yosef of Paks" [disciple of the Chatam Sofer].
Rabbi Elazar Löw (1758-1837) a famous Torah scholar, officiated most of his life as rabbi of six prominent communities in the Moravian region. Headed a yeshiva and taught more than 1000 disciples, including many future Torah leaders. His son was the famed R. Binyamin Wolf Löw, author of Shaarei Torah. R. Elazar was a prolific writer and was famous for 13 large compositions which he authored (12 were printed in his lifetime). A large part of his writings deal with Talmudic rules and methods. He would continue pondering his Talmudic studies in his sleep and many of his novellae would appear in his dreams. Reputedly, his diligence and holiness were so pronounced that upon the ending of Yom Kippur he would not taste anything and would study throughout the night, and each year on that night, would merit the revelation of Eliyahu Hanavi (Zichron Elazar). His biographers write of the effectiveness of his prayers. Before his passing, he said that already 30 days after his death, prayers can be recited at his gravesite. In 1833, he was hit by lightning which damaged his eyesight and he became blind. From then until his death, he sat and studied from memory, portraying his exceptional memory of the entire Torah. The Chatam Sofer mentioned this in his eulogy: "He was blind for several years, however, this did not impair his amazing proficiency and sharpness in the least". The Chatam Sofer cites his books in several places although he was his contemporary. R. Mordechai Bennet was so amazed at his book Shaarei Chochmah-Shev Shemateta that he claimed that it "was not written by a human, rather by an angel and such a work has never appeared". Although, R. Elazar considered printing his books a G-dly mission, he never went into debt to print them: "He would not allow himself to print many books at once lest he would not be able to pay the expenses because printing was expensive. Therefore, each time, he would print a small part of his novellae until he paid the expenses and he allocated the profit from the printings towards printing more of his novellae. His only intention was to strengthen and fortify Torah study" (Beit Asher Ohel Sarah, p. 103, at the beginning of Menuchat Asher. Brooklyn, 1963). In his testament, he requested that the names of all his books should be written on his tombstone.
This manuscript contains dozens of citations from Ateret Paz on Sefer Moed. R. Low inherited this manuscript from his grandfather and teacher R. Pinchas Zelig Rabbi of Lask. The book Ateret Paz was printed on Seder Nashim (Frankfurt an der Oder, 1768). However, his book on Seder Moed has never been printed until today and remnants survive only in this composition by his grandson and his disciple. [A few examples out of many - on p. 10a, he writes between the lines: "As written by my grandfather in his book Ateret Paz on Seder Moed"; on p. 11b: "I saw this written by my grandfather on the book Ateret Paz on Seder Moed"; p. 74a: "My grandfather author of Ateret Paz explained this in a lengthy discussion…"].
The author writes in his book Shemen Rokeach (Prague, 1812) in his novellae on Tractate Berachot (p. 10a): "And I remember seeing in the writings of my grandfather the famous R. Pinchas Zelig, author of Ateret Paz… and these writings are in the possession of my son R. Binyamin Wolf Rabbi of Amshinov in Poland… If G-d gives me the privilege of attaining my grandfather's holy writings before this composition is published, I will print them in the last pamphlet". Apparently, at the time he wrote his composition on Tractate Berachot, he still did not have access to the manuscript of Ateret Paz on Seder Moed, but while writing his works on Tractates Pesachim and Beitzah, the manuscript was before him, since its content is frequently cited in this manuscript.
The first flyleaf bears an ownership inscription of one of his sons: "Belongs to me Yechiel Michel son of R. Elazar" and an ownership inscription of a daughter: "Esther daughter of the great Torah scholar…Elazar". Two ownership inscriptions appear on the page following the title page, one inscribed by a nephew: "This book belonged to my uncle… R. Elazar Rabbi of Trietsch, author of the Shemen Rokeach responsa…". The endpapers bear several ownership inscriptions in Latin letters: Isaac Low Singer, Meir Heller, Azriel, Avraham and other names.
[1], 16, 15, 16-85, [4] leaves. A small leaf is bound between leaves 43 and 44. A total of 179 written pages. 35 cm. Most leaves are in good condition. Dampstains and wear to the last leaves. Tears to two front endpapers, and to margins of the last four leaves, some affecting text. New leather binding.

Sold For
34,440$
Opening Estimate
3,000$ $8000-12,000$

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