Auction 63
Rare and Important Items

Lot Number 123

Sipurei Maasiot by Rabbi Nachman of Breslov – First Edition – Ostroh, 1815 – Handwritten Correction by Rabbi Natan of Breslov – Additional, Bibliographically Unknown Title Page – Segula for Fertility

Sold For
196,800$
Opening Estimate
150,000$ $200,000-300,000$
Lot Number 123

Sipurei Maasiot by Rabbi Nachman of Breslov – First Edition – Ostroh, 1815 – Handwritten Correction by Rabbi Natan of Breslov – Additional, Bibliographically Unknown Title Page – Segula for Fertility

Sipurei Maasiot, parts I and II, "What we merited hearing from the mouth of our holy teacher, the hidden light Moharan (our master and teacher R. Nachman)". [Ostroh?], 1815/1816. First edition. Separate title page for part II (bibliographically unknown).
This is the first edition of Sipurei Maasiot by R. Nachman of Breslov (Bratslav), published by his foremost disciple Moharnat – R. Natan Sternhartz of Nemirov (Nemyriv), a few years after the passing of R. Nachman.
The tales were printed concurrently in two languages, in the upper part of the pages – in Hebrew, and in the lower part, in Yiddish, following the explicit directive of R. Nachman, as R. Natan related in his foreword to the book (R. Nachman originally narrated the tales in Yiddish, and R. Natan was the one who translated them into Hebrew).
R. Nachman himself ascribed great importance to the tales being printed in Yiddish, designating them a Segula for fertility, stating that it was easily possible that a barren woman who would read in it one tale would thereby merit to bear children (Chayei Moharan, 25).
According to Breslov Chassidic tradition, these stories told by R. Nachman of Breslov contain remarkable and profound Kabbalistic meanings, disguised as tales and parables, as stated in the title page, and as R. Natan asserts in his foreword. He writes further that most of the tales are completely original, conceived by R. Nachman, according to lofty insights he perceived with Divine Inspiration, which he disguised with a tale, also from lofty sources. R. Nachman himself extolled the profundity and holiness of his books, according immeasurable Kabbalistic meanings to each passage of the stories, and describing the tales as extremely remarkable and awe-inspiring novellae, containing exceedingly profound and hidden intent, and fitting to be read in public in the synagogue (foreword of R. Natan). These stories are sacred to Breslov followers and sections are read in the synagogue following the Shabbat morning prayers. Already in this first edition, allusions and secrets revealed by R. Nachman were added in several places, and throughout the generations, the stories were interpreted in multiple, varying ways according to Kabbalah, resulting in extensive literature by leading Breslov followers surrounding these tales. R. Natan considered it a great merit to have been the one to publish this book, asserting that to be eulogized as the one who published Sipurei Maasiot, would be a great praise for him (Siach Sarfei Kodesh, 3, 155).
R. Nachman's Sipurei Maasiot publicized him amongst non Torah-observant crowds, and aroused extensive interest amongst researchers and scholars throughout the world. Sipurei Maasiot was published in dozens of editions, including Breslov and Torah editions, as well as adaptations and translations in various languages.
Bibliographically unknown title page: this copy does not contain the eight leaves with "Omissions from the first Likutei Moharan" and "Errata from the first Likutei Moharan", and instead contains an additional title page, defining the additions at the end of the book as part II. This title page in not listed in the Bibliography of the Hebrew Book nor in various bibliography works (it is listed in Stefansky Chassidut based on this copy). The text of the title page is almost identical to that of the first title page, apart from the words "Part II" printed beside the title "Sipurei Maasiot". Following this leaf are 12 leaves of Sipurei Maasiot (consisting of a biography of R. Nachman of Breslov. This part was later printed separately under the name Shivchei HaRan), and 16 leaves entitled Likutei Moharan (later published separately under the name "Sichot HaRan").
Handwritten correction, presumably by R. Natan of Breslov: A handwritten note appears on p. 114b, containing a correction of a printing error. In the section of ten Psalms of Tikun HaKlali, one of the Psalms was printed as 133 instead of 137. The correction renders it 137. The note is written in a handwriting very similar to that of R. Natan of Breslov, and is probably his handwriting (see Sichot HaRan, entry 141, which mentions this mistake: "…only in the first edition of Sipurei Maasiot was the Psalm 137 erroneously recorded by printing error…).
Signatures in Oriental script (on the title page and leaf 3): "Yaakov Bukaie" (calligraphic signature) (R. Yaakov Bukaie, Rabbi and posek in Beirut, d. 1900, see: LiKedoshim Asher BaAretz, section 28). Signatures of "Shmuel Mursiya" (R. Shmuel Mursiya, a rabbi of Allepo, see: LiKedoshim Asher BaAretz, section 284), and of his son "the young David Mursiya".
114; 12; 16 leaves. Leaf 8 of the first pagination was bound out of sequence (between leaves 6-7). Without the 8 leaves at the end of "Omissions from the first Likutei Moharan" and "Errata of the first Likutei Moharan". Fair-good condition. Stains, dampstains. Tears, damage and worming to many leaves, affecting text in several places, mostly professionally restored with paper. Tear to lower margin of title page, affecting text of the foreword on the verso of the leaf, repaired and replaced in photocopy. New, elaborate leather binding.
Extremely scarce!
G. Scholem, Eleh Shemot, p. 28, no. 99 (describes this edition as extremely scarce). The place of printing listed here is according to Scholem, ibid., while A. Rosenthal asserts that the book was printed in Mohilev (Mogilev), see: Where was Sipurei Maasiot by R. N. of Breslov first printed?, Kiryat Sefer, 45 (1970), p. 155.
Stefansky Chassidut, no. 437.
According to a testimony of the publisher, R. Natan of Breslov, this book was printed in 1816 (Yemei Moharnat, p. 45b), and not in 1815 – as printed on the two title pages of this book.

Sold For
196,800$
Opening Estimate
150,000$ $200,000-300,000$

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