Handwritten vellum leaf, regulations of the Agudat Nashim (Women's Society) of the Halberstadt (Germany) community. 1728. Yiddish.
Large vellum leaf. Two ornately framed columns. Yiddish in cursive Ashkenazi script.
The text opens with mention of the need for the establishment of the "Holy society for the sake of Heaven" which undertakes to visit the female infirm. This is followed by nine regulations of the society, detailing the women's proper conduct during their visits and instructions upon the death of a sick person. One of the regulations establises the 15th of Kislev of each year as the society's special day.
At the end of the ninth regulation is a line of signature: "… like all engagement agreements (shtarot) of holy societies, drawn today, Monday, Rosh Chodesh Shevat 1728, here in the community of Halberstadt". Several more lines in another handwriting follow this clause.
At the bottom of the leaf are the signatures of about 40 of the society's women members. Among them are signature of wives and daughters of rabbis and notables of the Halberstadt community, such as: "Tzerla daughter of the minister" - daughter of the notable R. Yissachar Bermann Segal (Berend Lehmann), dubbed the "Jewish Finance Minister" because of his position as agent of the royal court; "Perka daughter of R. Shlomo Reinbach" - Rabbi of Halberstadt (died 1691); "Hitzla daughter of R. Lima" [possibly, the sister of Berend Lehmann]; "Keila daughter of Rabbi Feivush" [this R. Feivush is probably the one who signed a document from 1714, together with R. Leib Eiger and other Halberstadt rabbis - see Sinai no. 94, p. 269]; "--- daughter of the Rabbi of Amsterdam" [probably R. Avraham, son of R. Yehuda Berlin, who died in 1729]; "Sorla wife of R. Eliyahu Eiger daughter of R. Feivel" - R. Eliyahu Eiger, related to R. Akiva Eiger [apparently, brother of R. Simcha Bunim Eiger, father of the first R. Akiva Eiger of Halberstadt]; etc. More signatures were added at the top of the leaf [apparently, due to lack of space at the bottom].
Vellum leaf, 47 cm. Good-fair condition. Dark stains. Dampness traces, slight wear. Creases and folding marks.
Handwritten ornamented vellum leaf, supplication Sha'arei Rachamim, written for the woman Yente, wife of R. Tuvia Zeldin of Berlin. [Berlin, ca. mid-18th century]. Hebrew and Yiddish.
Vellum leaf, written on both sides in artistic calligraphic writing. Ornamental opening word at top: each letter of the word Sha'arei appears in a rectangular frame adorned with meticulous exquisite miniature illustrations. The word is flanked by floral designs. Borders frame the text on both pages.
The supplication is recited upon the opening of the Holy Ark on Rosh Hashanah and on Yom Kippur. Begins with: "[Open for me] the gates of mercy the gates of heaven…". The first passage is in Hebrew and the rest is in Yiddish.
The Hebrew text is written in square (vowelized) Ashkenazi script and the Yiddish text in Tzena U'Rena lettering.
At the end of the second page is a colophon in tiny letters: "This supplication belongs to the modest pious women Ms. Yente wife of the dear lofty chief R. Tuvia Zeldin of Berlin". Floral designs adorn three sides of the colophon: right, left and below.
Vellum leaf,  pages. 12 cm. Good condition. Folding mark. Placed in leather binding with gilt embossments.
Elaborate vellum manuscript, Birkat HaLevanah and Tefillat HaDerech. [Germany, late 18th century or early 19th century].
Square vowelized Ashkenazi script in charming scribal writing, on high-quality processed vellum. Birkat HaLevanah appears on the first leaves and Tefillat HaDerech on leaves -. At the beginning of both prayers are long passages with instructions and guidelines in a smaller unvowelized writing. Additional instructions prelude several sections of the manuscript which contain kabbalistic kavanot and references, such as "The kabbalists wrote that also Psalm 67 should be recited and one should shake his hems to chase away the 'klipot' and this is a big awesome secret" (page [5b]), "have kavanah of the initials… the moon is a sign…" (page [2b]).
Manuscript in impressive condition, with original leather binding embossed with gilt floral designs.
 leaves. 13 cm. Very good condition. Stains. Minor damages to binding. Original leather and cardboard case, with damages.
Vellum manuscript, Birkat HaLevanah, written by the scribe Eliezer Zusman Mezritch as a gift to the Bar-Mitzvah boy Wolfgang son of R. Itzak Speyer. Frankfurt am Main, 1836.
Pocket edition. Square, vowelized Ashkenazi script. Introduction and instructions in "Rashi" script. Details of the writer, the place and the year appear on the ornamented title page with a dedication to the Bar-Mitzvah boy in the center: "To the dear pleasant boy… Wolfgang Speyer, son of… Itzak Speyer, on his bar- mitzvah day, Shabbat Kodesh the 8th of Nissan 1836, his parents should merit bringing him to his chuppah, and he will follow in the footsteps of his forefathers keeping G-d's mitzvoth and His Torah, Amen".
Following the title page are the laws of Kiddush Levanah.
 leaves, 11 cm. Good condition. Stains. Contemporary binding, with damages.
Three fragments of parchment manuscripts removed from a "bindings' geniza", sections of ancient manuscripts of the Babylonian Talmud. [Europe, 13th century].
* Two leaf fragments from Tractate Yevamot (pages 104a-106a of the printed versions). Two columns per page, in square Ashkenazi script [13th century]. The leaf was cut across in half for use in binding. The two parts constitute almost the entire original leaf with the exception of several lines in the middle. One side of the leaf is very legible, whereas the other is faded and worn. Each section is approximately 29X17-18 cm.
* Section from Tractate Bava Kama (pages 87a, 88a of the printed editions). Two columns per page, in square Ashkenazi script [13th century]. The leaf is partially torn and lacking at top and at the right side. 21X24 cm.
Three leaf fragments by various writers. The leaves are dated to the 13th century according to NLI experts [see enclosed material].
These fragments of ancient manuscripts of the Talmud were written in time of the Rishonim, about 200 years before the printing press was invented. The text of the Talmud appears consecutively without the text of the mishnayot (which were assembled at the beginning of each chapter, typical of ancient manuscripts of the Talmud). These fragments contain several variations in comparison to the printed versions of the Talmud.
Three parchment fragments. Size varies, overall fair condition. Various damages sustained by the binding process.
Three handwritten leaves, removed from a "bindings' geniza". Commentary on the Mishnah by R. Ovadiah of Bartenura. [15th/16th century].
Semi-cursive Sephardi script, with enlarged titles and opening words. The writing and watermark on the paper indicate that the leaves originate in the lifetime of the author, R. Ovadiah of Bartenura (end of 15th century or beginning of 16th century).
The leaves contain a commentary on Tractate Eruvin, from Chapter 10, middle of Mishnah 9 until the end of the tractate, and on Tractate Pesachim, from the beginning until Chapter 1 middle of Mishnah 5. The text of the Mishnah was added to the margins in another handwriting.
At the end of Tractate Eruvin the scribe added a colophon in rhyme.
R. Ovadiah of Bartenura (born c. 1450, died c. 1520) is the leading commentator of the Mishnah and a prominent Torah scholar in his era. Born in Bartenura (Bertinoro), Italy, he was the disciple of the Maharik. In 1388, he ascended to Jerusalem and was appointed Rabbi of the city. In his lifetime, he was already acclaimed as an eminent Torah scholar as the Radvaz wrote: "This man was famed for his wisdom and is the head of all Jerusalem rabbis", "All the sages of France and Spain and Ashkenaz who live in Jerusalem would deferentially sit before him" (Radvaz responsa Part 4, Siman 1180 ). R. Ovadiah of Bartenura wrote several compositions, but his masterpiece is his famous commentary on the Mishnah which (similarly to the Rashi commentary on the Talmud) became the most basic and frequently studied commentary on the Mishnah and has been printed in thousands of editions of the Mishnah from his days until our times.
 leaves, approximately 30 cm. Fair condition. These leaves are almost whole. Dark stains. Tears, affecting text, with various levels of damage sustained by the binding process. The leaves were professionally repaired.
Manuscript. Torah, sections of Bereshit and Shemot. [Bukhara, second half of 15th century].
Oriental script. Babylonian complex vocalization, with some signs being unique to this manuscript (shapes of the kamatz and the patach). Tiberian vocalization (sub-linear) is some places.
Extremely rare. A singular Bukharan manuscript from the Middle Ages. The only known Bukharan manuscript on this part of the Torah. Moreover, this manuscript contains an early Torah text tradition, constituting a source of the Ashkenazi tradition of the Torah in later times.
As aforesaid, Bukharan manuscripts are exceedingly scarce and besides this manuscript, only one more manuscript on the Torah is known. Most of that manuscript (with the exception of two and a half chapters) contains different sections than this manuscript (particularly of Bamidbar-Devarim). This is the earliest Bukharan manuscript and the only known one from this early time for this part of the Torah (Bereshit-Shemot).
The version in this ancient manuscript differs from the present Torah version and is a rare testimony of the early Torah version according to Ashkenazi tradition which apparently originated in Oriental countries. Ashkenazi manuscripts differ in many details in comparison to most Scriptural manuscripts in other countries. These variations include chaserot and yiterot (words with and without the letters vav and yud), parshiot petuchot and setumot (spaces left between sections) and the manner of writing the "songs" in the Torah. Although these variations were suspected to be attributed to new revisions by Ashkenazi scribes, recently, these variations have been proven to be based on early Oriental traditions which are preserved in few and scarce sources. This manuscript, written in 15th century Bukhara, reflects that ancient tradition and is one of the only known manuscripts which preserved the original version which later appeared in Ashkenazi manuscripts.
For example, the layout of the last verse of Shirat Hayam: the Ashkenazi tradition differs from traditions of other countries due to a disagreement among the Rishonim as to whether this verse is part of the song which calls for a different pattern of writing the words. In this manuscript, this verse is written according to the prevalent Ashkenazi practice.
This manuscript contains the following sections: Bereshit 27:33-29:13; 30:1-20; 30:33-31:41; 31:54-39:13; Bereshit 40:4-Shemot 25:33; 26:22-29:29; 39:14-39 (end of Parshat Toldot, sections of Parshat VaYetze, Parshat VaYishlach, most of Parshat VaYeshev, Parshat Miketz almost until the end of Parshat TeTzaveh [a small section of Parshat Terumah is lacking] and several verses of Parshat Pekudei).
 leaves. 18.5 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains and wear, dampstains in several places. Repaired wear and tears. Old binding.
Written according to (enclosed) article by Prof. Jordan S. Penkower, Professor in the Bible Department at Bar Ilan University. See also: Prof. Jordan S. Penkower, Torah manuscript proofread by Misha'el ben Uziel, Tarbiz 58, pp. 64-66.
Four Handwritten Volumes, the Five Books of the Torah – Tafsir Rasag in Judeo-Arabic – with Mesorah Gedolah, Mesorah Ketanah, and Machberot HaTijan – Micrographic Illustrations – Sana’a, Yemen, 1698 – Handwriting of the Dayan R. Moshe Elkati’i
Manuscript, Five Books of the Torah, with Rashi commentary, Targum Onkelos, Tafsir R. Saadia Gaon [Judeo-Arabic translation], with the Mesorah Gedolah and the Mesorah Ketanah, Haftarot and Machberet HaTijan. [Yemen, apparently Sana'a, 1698].
Impressive manuscript, in charming Yemenite script, composed of the Five Books of the Torah. Bound in four volumes. Highly artistic scribal writing. Nice-looking typography with uniform spaces between the columns: The text of the Torah appears in the center in square vowelized letters with te'amim, surrounded by Targum Onkelos and the Judeo-Arabic translation in semi-cursive script [Targum and Tafsir verse per verse. Targum with Babylonian supralinear punctuation]. The Rashi commentary in smaller letters encompasses these two translations. The Mesorah Ketanah markings appear in the space between the Torah and the translations. In this space, at the beginning of all 54 weekly portions, appears a Star of David illustration. The text of the Mesorah Gedolah is written in the upper or lower margins.
The composition Machberet HaTijan [explanation of the grammar of the Holy Tongue] appears at the beginning of the first volume, lacking the beginning.
At the beginning of Vol. 3 - two pages adorned with artistic micrographic "carpets" composed of verses from Tehillim, followed by a Judeo-Arabic composition on grammar and te'amei hamikra (tropes). Apparently, the original place of these leaves was at the beginning of the first volume, before the Machberet HaTijan.
Bound at the end of the second volume and at the end of the fourth volume are the haftarot of all the Shabbatot and Festivals, with an Aramaic translation. Text and translation, verse per verse. The Hebrew is punctuated under the letters, whereas the translation has supralinear punctuation.
In Vol. 4, at the end of Sefer Devarim, is the scribe's colophon: "This pure Torah has been completed in 1698… by the behest of my good friend… Yosef ibn Avraham ibn R. Yosef HaCohen Alaraki… the scribe Moshe ibn Saadia ibn Yehuda Alkati'i…".
The scribe, R. Moshe (Musa) ben Saadia ben Yehuda Kati'i (Alkati'i), a leading Yemenite sage, dayan and scribe, was born in Sana'a in 1640. He served as dayan in Sana'a and signed court rulings from 1698 (see: Encyclopedia L'Chachmei Teiman). He died in 1715 he was a prominent leader of the expatriates of the Mawza Exile, later chosen as dayan and Rosh Bet Din of Sana'a. His name is included in the list of the sages who instituted regulations after the exile. He was a prolific scribe and 11 manuscripts which he copied during 1677-1706 are known (see full details in Encyclopedia L'Chachmei Teiman, p. 569), not including this manuscript (which is not listed ibid). He was among the Mawza exiles in 1679, and joined the Ra'avad Mori Shlomo Manzeli, Mori Yichye-Zecharia HaLevi and Mori Shalom Tawili in instituting various regulations. The Maharitz mentions his name regarding a regulation concerning hosha'anot, which he heard from his grandfather Mori Tzalach the Dayan.
4 volumes. Vol. Bereshit:  leaves. Vol. Shemot:  leaves (including one blank leaf). Vol. Vayikra-Bamidbar:  leaves. Vol. Devarim:  leaves. 28 cm. High-quality coated European paper. Condition varies. Most leaves are in good or good-fair condition, some in fair condition. A few leaves have substantial open tears affecting text, four leaves are fragmented (half or less of the leaf remains). Stains. Tears and damages (professionally repaired). New handsome leather bindings.
Sefer HaRokeach by R. Eleazar ben Judah of Worms. Fano: Gershom Soncino, Passover 1505. First edition.
One of the most significant books of Halachic and ethical literature, "carefully proofread by the light of our exile, R. Yehuda Yaaleh of Pesaro". Many bibliographers posit that this is the first Hebrew book to be printed with a title page.
The author, R. Eleazar of Worms (1176-1238), was a disciple of his father, R. Yehuda (Judah) ben Kalonymus of Mainz, as well as of R. Yehuda HaChasid, author of Sefer Chassidim, from whom he learned Kabbalah. He authored many books, most prominently the Sefer HaRokeach, and he is commonly referred to as "Baal HaRokeach".
Several glosses in Italian Hebrew script. Ancient ownership inscriptions on the title page ("Mine, Shlomo of Fano", and others). Censorship inscription on the last page.
 leaves, 27.5 cm. Most leaves are in good condition; several leaves are in fair condition. Stains; dampstains. Repaired tears and damage to the bottom of the title page and several other pages (minor damage to several words). New ornate leather binding, with matching leather case.
Mishneh Torah, Venice, 1524 – Many Glosses and a Signed Colophon – “Proofread Book” According to the “Aleppo Manuscript”, Which was Signed by the Rambam “Proofread from my Book, I, Moshe Son of R. Maimon”
Mishneh Torah L'HaRambam, Vol. 2, Haflaah-Shoftim (nine of the 14 parts of Yad HaChazaka). [Venice: Daniel Bomberg, 1524].
"Proofread copy" - thousands of glosses of corrections and omissions, in an ancient handwriting [from the time of printing, ca. 16th century]. Corrections that originate from the "proofread book" signed by the Rambam.Some of the glosses are singular and unknown from any other source.
The book ends (p. 763b) with a colophon in the handwriting of the proofreader, who writes that he copied his glosses from a "proofread book" of Rabbi Nissim Bibas who proofread it using the Aleppo manuscript - the proofread copy that the Rambam testified on it in his own handwriting, "Proofread from my book": "I, Avraham Ibn Reuven, have found in the possession of the sage R. Nissim Bibas a proofread book of Rabbeinu Moshe, which was proofread by the aforementioned sage from a book which is currently in Haleb, written by Rabbeinu Moshe himself. Therefore, I have requested that he give me the book which he has proofread and I have proofread this book according to his copy to the best of my ability. If I had difficulty understanding any matter which had been proofread, I did not write them until the aforementioned sage provided the explanation".
The glosses in this book were accurately copied from the glosses of R. Nissim Bibas, who proofread his book according to the Aleppo manuscript. This copy was produced during the lifetime of R. Nissim Bibas, and the writer notes in his colophon that he copied his manuscript while actually studying and clarifying the corrections with R. Nissan Bibas himself.
The sources of these glosses are in the Aleppo (Haleb) Manuscript, on which the Rambam himself signed that it was proofread from his own copy: "Proofread from my book". In the 16th century, the Aleppo Manuscript was famed as the most accurate manuscript of Rambam's books and this is mentioned in the books of the greatest Achronim (later sages) such as the Radvaz, the Mabit and the Mahari Korkus (see following article). One of the famous copiers of the Aleppo manuscript is R. Nissim Bibas, from whom the writer of the manuscript offered here copied his glosses (the copy with the original glosses of R. Bibas remains undiscovered). Other copies of the Aleppo manuscript are known, including that of R. Berachot son of Yosef HaCohen (see following article).
In our times, editing of the Rambam's work has been done using the remnants of the "proofread books" of the leading sages of previous generations, which were proofread according to the Aleppo Manuscript and according to the notations of Egyptian sages. The better known editions are the Shabtai Frenkel edition and the Rambam Meduyak edition by R. Yitzchak Shilat. Used in producing these editions were remnants of the original Aleppo manuscript [which are in the Oxford Bodleian Library] and copies of the manuscript.
Some of the glosses in this manuscript are the only source of the text of the Aleppo proofread book, which did not reach the aforementioned editions from other sources (in his introduction, R. Shilat notes the existence of these glosses, but he laments the fact that he did not manage to use them at the time he published his work, see enclosed material). Some of the glosses in this book are singular and unknown from any other source.
Description of the content of the glosses of this book: The book contains numerous glosses. Thousands of corrections (including erasures. A line and a half of the Rambam's text is erased on p. 513b - Hilchot She'ar Avot HaTum'ot, end of Chapter 6) in the margins and between the lines. Virtually all the leaves containing the text of the Rambam have corrections (some corrections are noted in lengthy glosses, with additions of entire sections which were omitted during printing, for example, pp. 491b, 509b). The margins of some of the longer glosses are trimmed.
In some places in which the Rambam writes "and this is its form", the proofreader added illustrations [apparently, an early copy of illustrations which appeared in the reliable manuscripts he was using], see: pp. 429a, 453a, 453b, 494a.
Long handwritten glosses appear on p. 406a and on p. 416b: "Question 11 posed by Lunel sages" and "Question 12… Lunel sages to our rabbi" [the Rambam's responsa to the Lunel sages was first printed in the 18th and 19th centuries, in the books Pe'er HaDor, Kovetz Teshuvot HaRambam, Maase Roke'ach, etc. Here is an early copy from the 16th century].
Other inscriptions: On p. 581a are two ancient, dated inscriptions: "…I, Yosef son of R. Yehuda Tali have wed the daughter of R. Yafet Yadia abu Sha'ara on Sunday, Rosh Chodesh Nissan 1558 in Egypt"; "The two brothers died… notables, with none other like them… Died on Monday… Tishrei 1558…".
On p. 546a is a gloss in another handwriting, a scholarly notation on the words of the Magid Mishneh. A gloss in another handwritten appears on p. 757a [Yemen?, 17th century?].
401-764 leaves, [leaf 766]. (Originally: , 394-767 leaves. Lacking 10 leaves: the title page and leaves 394-400, 765, 767). Varying fair condition. Detached leaves, without binding, placed in a binder, in plastic sleeves. Stains and wear. Slight worming. Several leaves at beginning and end are repaired with paper.
Mishneh Torah by the Rambam, end of Nezikin and most of Kinyan and a small part of Avodah [part of Vol. 2. Venice: Daniel Bomberg, 1524].
Many glosses in ancient Oriental script [from the time of printing, mid-16th century]. Some are long glosses (titled "Gi[layon"), containing sections copied from books of Rishonim [such as the Me'eri, R. Meir HaMe'ili, the Ran, Shita L'Talmid HaRashba, Shita Lo Noda L'Me, etc.], and replacements of omitted sections in the version of the commentators on the Rambam. Short glosses of corrections of versions of the Rambam and of his commentators, and sources.
The glosses are characteristic to the "proofread" books of the Rambam from the yeshiva of R. Bezalel Ashkenazi, author of Shita Mekubetzet and disciple the Ari HaKadosh, located in Egypt. The content of these glosses have parallels in other writings of the author of Shita Mekubetzet. For example: On page 595a is a long gloss ending with the words: "…until here from the Shita L'Talmid HaRashba and it seems that he is the son of the Ritvah" - This manuscript of novellae by the "Talmid" [disciple of] HaRashba is cited by R. Bezalel Ashkenazi several times in his books. In some places, he adds his assumption that the composition was written by the Ritvah's son. See the writings of the Chida: "Rules of R. Bezalel Ashkenazi": "So he wrote in Chiddushei Kiddushin by the Talmid HaRashba and apparently he is the son of the Ritvah" (Ein Zocher, Ot 40, Siman 29; Chaim Sha'al responsa, Part 2, Siman 27). [This composition by the Talmid HaRashba on Tractate Kiddushin was recently printed by Machon Ofek in the book Or Ganuz, Part 1].
On page 599b is a long "Gi[layon" gloss: "from the Shita of R. Meir HaMe'ili on Ketubot, Chapter Almana Nizonet" [R. Meir son or R. Shimon HaMe'ili, a Provence sage, author of Sefer HaMe'orot]. This gloss was printed in the Shabtai Frankel edition according to the manuscript "Gilayon proofread book". The teachings of R. Meir HaMe'ili are cited several times in the Shita Mekubetzet on Tractate Ketubot (for example, p. 22b; p. 44a; etc.).
Leaves 569-632; 458-459, 465-468. Total of 70 leaves + a section of leaf 471. 36 cm. Fair condition. Wear and coarse tears, some affecting text. Stains and dampstains. Worming. Some glosses are trimmed. New binding.
Literature: M. Benayahu, "Glosses on the Mishneh Torah from the Rambam's copy and glosses attributed to R. Bezalel Ashkenazi and to the Ari", Sinai 100, pp. 135-142; A. Chavatzelet, "Proofread copies of the Rambam used by Maran the Beit Yosef and the author of the Shita HaMekubetzet", Moriah 115, pp. 19-22; Introduction to the Mishneh Torah L'HaRambam Mada and Ahava - proofread book, Machon Ofek, Jerusalem, 1997, pp. 27-29; Introduction to Or HaGanuz - books of the Rishonim on Tractate Kiddushin, Part 1, Machon Ofek, Jerusalem, 1999, pp. 12-15.
Mishneh Torah by the Rambam, Venice, 1574 – Scholarly Glosses Printed in Mishneh LaMelech in the Handwriting of Rabbi Avraham Rozanis the First, Rabbi and Father-in-Law of the Mishneh LaMelech – Scholarly Glosses by Other Writers from the Same Period
Mishneh Torah by the Rambam, with the Kesef Mishneh commentary by R. Yosef Karo. Parts Haflaah and Zera'im [of the third volume. Venice: Bragadin, 1574]. First edition of the Kesef Mishneh.
About 16 long (trimmed) glosses on the sheets of the book. These include six scholarly glosses in the characteristic handwriting of R. Avraham Rozanis, rabbi and father-in-law of R. Yehuda Rozanis, author of the Mishneh LaMelech. Five of these six glosses appear in the book Mishneh LaMelech with a few variations, creating an interesting phenomenon (already noted, see below): glosses written by the father-in-law were inadvertently included in his son-in-law's book.
One of the glosses written by R. Avraham Rozanis has not been printed [however, a long explanation on the same topic was printed in Mishneh LaMelech, apparently written by the son-in-law, the author of the Mishneh LaMelech himself].
The book also includes approximately 10 long scholarly glosses, written in Oriental script by several unidentified writers [characteristic to Turkish sages at that time], most begin with "The writer said".
The venerable R. Avraham (son of R. Meir) Rozanis (1535-1620), mostly cited by the name R. Avraham Rozanis the First, was one of the greatest and most resilient Torah scholars in Constantinople in his days, at the time that Constantinople was a major Torah center. Disciple of R. Shlomo HaLevi HaZaken (the Elder) and of R. Yom Tov Tzahalon (the Maharitz). From his youth, he was famous for his great Torah wisdom and all Constantinople scholars acquiesced to his opinion. He served as vizier in the royal court of the Sultan. In 1659, he was compelled to move with the sultan's court to the city of Adrianople where he lived until 1677 and was acclaimed throughout the Ottoman Empire. He staunchly opposed the false Messiah Sabbatai Zevi and his signature heads the list of signatures on the renowned letter sent to communities throughout Turkey admonishing them to defy the false Messiah's instructions to cancel the fast of Tisha B'Av. He himself met with Sabbatai Zevi when he arrived in Adrianople and was imprisoned by the Sultan and at that time Sabbatai Zevi admitted that Natan HaAzati led him astray with his "prophecies".
The only daughter of R. Avraham Rozanis married his great disciple and nephew R. Yehuda Rozanis author of the Mishneh LaMelech who often cites teachings of his illustrious father-in-law "The rabbi my uncle". A few of his responsa were printed in books written by great Torah scholars of his generation, however, most his Torah novellae were written in his glosses on his books. After his death, all his books with his glosses were inherited by his eminent son-in-law, author of Mishneh LaMelech and many of his novellae were printed in the book Mishneh LaMelech prepared for printing by Rabbi Yaakov Kuli author of Me'am Lo'ez.
The Chida in his book Shem HaGedolim (entry: R. Yehuda Rozanis) writes: "Cited in several places in the book Mishneh LaMelech are brief teachings and in particular resolute disagreements with later Torah authorities. All such citations are not the rabbi's own Torah thoughts, rather they are the teachings of his father-in-law R. Avraham Rozanis and the rabbi copied his father-in-law's teachings unto his sheets. Rabbi Yaakov Kuli found these handwritten glosses and thought that they were the teachings of the Mishneh LaMelech. This I have received directly from the elder rabbis".
The Chida further writes in Shem HaGedolim (entry R. Avraham Rozanis): "Rabbi Avraham Rozanis the First… father-in-law of the Mishneh LaMelech, was a great Torah scholar and wrote extensively on the sheets of books and all the brief resolute words in the Mishneh LaMelech on the Maharshach were written by this rabbi, and his son-in-law has copied them into his own book. The person who arranged the book [Rabbi Yaakov Kuli] thought that these were his Torah thoughts" (see enclosed material). In this book, this phenomenon can clearly be discerned, since the original glosses clearly written in the handwriting of R. Avraham Rozanis were printed in Mishneh LaMelech written by his son-in-law [regarding the identification of the handwriting of R. Avraham Rozanis in his glosses, see enclosed article - "Editing the book Mishneh LaMelech on the Rambam", by Yisrael Natan Heshel, Beit Aharon V'Yisrael, Issue 67, pp. 89-98].
, 163 leaves (leaves 91-102 and 145-150 are bound out of order). Lacking copy (originally, part 3 included: , 451,  leaves). 31 cm. Fair condition. Dampstains and wear. Worming. Repairs with paper (to many leaves near the spine and to the margins of several leaves). Detached leaves. Almost all the glosses are trimmed with significant loss to text. Worn detached binding.
Tikkunei HaZohar – Mantua, 1557 – First Edition – Copy of Kabbalist Rabbi Yehuda Fatiyah, with a Dedication Handwritten and Signed by Him, and with His Glosses – Glosses and Signatures of Other Writers
Tikkunei HaZohar. Mantua: [Meir son of Efraim of Padua and Ya'akov son of Naftali HaCohen of Gazzuolo, 1557]. First edition.
Copy of Kabbalist R. Yehuda Fatiyah with a special dedication, handwritten and signed by him, and several glosses in his handwriting. Signatures and many glosses of other writers [in Sephardi- Babylonian script].
At the end of the introduction is a long interesting dedication in the handwriting of R. Yehuda Fatiyah. First, he writes of the importance of this edition of Tikkunei HaZohar: "It is the first printed edition ever, because it was printed in 1557… at the time the Arizal was yet a young man, and the sources cited in Etz Chaim and in Eight She'arim refer to this printed edition…". R. Yehuda Fatiyah then relates that he sent this book with his son to give it "as a gift" to the "institute officials" in Jerusalem: "Since it is valuable, I have sent it with my son on Sunday, the 9th of the month of Adar Bet 1935 upon his aliya to Jerusalem to give it to the institute official as a gift to add it to the rest of the books gathered by the Jewish People and I have appointed my son as an emissary to perform this mitzvah and complete this mission and the Guardian of the Jewish People should also guard my son Servant of G-d and his son Shaul…Ye'uda Moshe Yeshua Fatiyah" [possibly, he is referring to the institute which eventually developed into the NLI].
The signature of his aforementioned son appears on the first leaf: "Abdullah Ye'uda Moshe Fatiyah". Other ownership inscriptions and signatures throughout the book.
Handwritten glosses by R. Yehuda Fatiyah on several leaves (page 33b and leaves 106-107).
Corrections and glosses of other writers, including long kabbalistic glosses. Two have curly signatures ["Abdullah/David?... Nuriel?"]. One gloss begins with the words: "Behold I have heard from my father R. Nuriel…".
R. Yehuda Fatiyah (1859-1942) was a leading kabbalist and Babylonian (Iraqi) sage, disciple of the Ben Ish Chai. After moving to Jerusalem in 1934, he studied at Rabbi Sadeh's Yeshiva for Kabbalists together with his companion R. Ya'akov Chaim Sofer, author of Kaf HaChaim. A posek and kabbalist, he dealt extensively n kabbalistic Tikkunim and amulets and for many years removed Dybbuks and "Evil Spirits" as he himself relates in his book HaRuchot Mesaprot. During World War II, he wrote Kabbalistic prayers and Tikkunim and iorganized prayer ceremonies of leading Kabbalists for the deliverance of the residents of Eretz Israel from the Nazi enemy. Authored Beit Lechem Yehuda and Matok LaNefesh and other books.
1-15, 17-146,  leaves (originally: , 146,  leaves). Lacking title page and the  following leaves (with a ruling of R. Moshe Basula), and leaf 16 (replaced with a leaf in Oriental handwriting). Condition varies among the leaves, fair-good. Stains. Wear and tears to several leaves, repaired with acidic adhesive tape. Old binding.
Manuscript – Otzrot Chaim by Rabbi Chaim Vital, with Glosses of Kabbalist Rabbi Natan Shapira ha-Yerushalmi, Author of Matzat Shimurim – Italy, 17th Century – Copy of Kabbalist David Sonnino, Disicple of the Ranash, with His Handwritten Glosses
Manuscript, Otzrot Chaim by R. Chaim Vital, with glosses of R. Natan Shapira ha-Yerushalmi - the Ranash. [Italy, 17th century].
Complete manuscript, cursive Italian Hebrew script.
Written (twice) at the top of the first leaf: "R. Sonnino". This manuscript belonged to Kabbalist R. David Sonnino, disciple of Kabbalist R. Natan Shapira ha-Yerushalmi - the Ranash (died in 1666 or 1667), author of Matzat Shimurim, Tuv HaAretz, Yayin HaMeshumar and other compositions, famed for editing the Ari's writings and for his glosses. Long glosses in the handwriting of R. David Sonnino.
This manuscript was edited by Kabbalist R. Natan Shapira (see: Avivi, Kabbalat HaAri, pp. 701-711 about his editing of the Ari's writings), and many of his notations are integrated into the text (in parentheses), beginning with his initials in one form or another. Apparently, this manuscript was written by an Italian kabbalist.
Dozens of long glosses in the handwriting of R. David Sonnino - disciple of the Ranash, some are his own comments and others are cited in the name of his teacher (in two scripts: Sephardi and Italian, apparently both written by R. David Sonnino). In most places, the Ranash is mentioned with the appellation of the living (such as on page 80a; on page 153a), with the exception of one place in which he is mentioned with the appellation of the dead (page 147a). Two glosses begin with the initials of David Sonnino "H.D.S." (pages 136b and 169a). To the best of our knowledge, these glosses have never been printed.
Kabbalist R. David Sonnino (born in 1535), disciple of R. Natan Shapira in Italy, signed his glosses on several kabbalistic manuscripts with the initials H.D.S. [HaTza'ir David Sonnino], see: Yael Okun, regarding the identity of H.D.S. disciple of R. Natan Shapira, Kiryat Sefer Vol. 64 (1992-1993), pp. 1111-1112.
202,  leaves (besides for the blank leaves at the end of the volume). 20.5 cm. Good-fair condition. Worming to inner margins. Stains. Partially detached binding.
Manuscript, Otzrot Chaim, Ari's teachings by R. Chaim Vital, with "western" editing, and hitherto unprinted glosses by Kabbalists R. Avraham Azulai and by R. Avraham Ibn Musa. [Morocco, 18th century].
Western-Sephardi script, with many marginalia.
Otzrot Chaim was edited by R. Ya'akov Tzemach, with Seder HaAtzilut as R. Chaim Vital heard from his teacher the Arizal. Since the book does not contain the entire Seder HaAtzilut, Moroccan kabbalists re-edited the book and incorporated several She'arim of the book Mevo She'arim. This is a manuscript of the composition with "western" editing, which incorporates several she'arim of Mevo She'arim. This version only exists in manuscripts which were copied in North Africa and was first printed in Livorno in 1849.
This manuscript was enriched by glosses of eminent 18th century Moroccan kabbalist, R. Avraham Azulai (died in 1741), one of the teachers of R. Shalom Buzaglo, author of Mikdash Melech on the Zohar, and R. Avraham Ibn Musa (died 1733), disciple of R. Ya'akov Marrache of Tetouan. Their glosses are signed with the initials "A.A" [Avraham Azulai] and with "A.B.M." [Avraham ben Musa].
The Chida relates about R. Avraham Ibn Musa (Shem HaGedolim) that he would debate on kabbalistic topics with R. Avraham Azulai of Marrakech, apparently regarding their glosses on Otzrot Chaim; and seems to indicate that the disagreement between them was apparent in their glosses. Some of their glosses were printed in the Livorno edition, however, these printed glosses do not reveal any dispute between the two luminaries. On the other hand, in Ginzei Meir Benayahu, a pamphlet exists with a copy of the glosses of R. Avraham Azulai and of R. Avraham Ibn Musa. These glosses were copied as a separate entity, not on the sheets of the book Otzrot Chaim and the pamphlet contains glosses not printed in Livorno and indeed, disagreements and disputes between the two kabblists are apparent (see: M. Benayahu, R. Avraham Ibn Musa and his son R. Moshe: Of the leading spokesmen of the Ari's kabbalistic teachings in North Africa, Sefer Michael 5, Tel Aviv, 1978, pp. 22-24). Some of these glosses were printed before the 1844 Livorno edition as an independent booklet within the book Mekom Binah, Salonika 1813, however, there too, the glosses were not printed in their entirety.
This manuscript contains all the glosses, but here they are incorporated into the book sheets - each gloss in its appropriate place, and the debates mentioned by the Chida are manifest. R. Yosef Avivi, expert of manuscripts of the kabbalistic teachings of the Arizal, writes of the significance of this manuscript: "I do not know of any other manuscript of Otzrot Chaim with the notations of R. Avraham Azulai and of R. Avraham Ibn Musa in their entirety and each in its appropriate place on the sheets of the book".
As aforementioned, some of these glosses were printed in the book Mekom Binah, Salonika 1713, and some in the 1748 edition of Otzrot Chaim, Livorno, but some of these glosses have never been printed.
Ownership inscriptions: "Shlomo son of Masud", "Mordechai…" "Masud Karkus".
 leaves (and many blank leaves at the beginning of the volume). Incomplete manuscript. Original pagination appears at the top of the leaves: 25-165. Approximately 23 cm. Fair condition. Stains, dampstains. Wear and tears. One detached leaf. Tears affecting text in several places. New leather binding.
Written according to the (enclosed) article by R. Yosef Avivi - expert of manuscripts of the kabbalistic teachings of the Ari.
Manuscript, Novellae and Commentary of R. Natan Shapira of Grodno on the Tur, Orach Chaim, Yoreh De’ah and Choshen Mishpat – Poland, Before 1577 – Complete, Comprehensive Hitherto Unprinted Composition, by Contemporary of the Rama and the Maharshal
Manuscript, novellae and commentary on the Tur, by the Maharnash - R. Natan son of R. Shimshon Shapira of Grodno, author of Mevo She'arim and of Imrei Shefer [grandfather of the Megale Amukot]. [Poland, earlier than 1577].
Thick volume, in ancient semi-cursive Ashkenazi script, by several writers. Written in the lifetime of the Maharnash. Contains novellae and commentaries on the Tur, Yoreh De'ah, Choshen Mishpat and Orach Chaim. The volume is titled: "Novellae of R. N. Shapira on Yoreh Deah". The volume ends with a colophon: "End of the laws of Purim and end of the commentary of R. Natan Shlita, Gershon son of R. Binyamin Katz of Moravia of the Austerlitz community".
None of this manuscript has been printed. "Novellae and Commentaries of Maharan Shapira" which was printed and appended to the Tur in the El HaMekorot edition is a different composition whose content and scope differ from this work (see below).
The volume begins with novellae on Yoreh Deah (Simanim 1-294). In Simanim 189 and 231, is a reference to the Maharam of Padua with the appellation for the living [R. Meir Katzenelbogin - the Maharam of Padua died in 1565].
Following the novellae on Yoreh Deah are wide-ranging novellae on Choshen Mishpat which embody the main part of this volume (from Siman 1-Siman 427). This part was written by several writers and has many long marginalia and glosses between the lines, also written by several different writers. Some are signed at the end with the initials "M.V" [Mori V'Rabbi - (my teacher and my rabbi)]. Perhaps these glosses were heard from R. Natan Shapira at another time and were later added to the manuscript [see below about the various editions of the Maharnash novellae], or perhaps, these are novellae by another sage of those days. These glosses require further study; possibly one of the writers is a leading rabbi of that generation.
Part 3 of this volume contains novellae on Orach Chaim (from Siman 2, apparently lacking the first leaf, until the end of Hilchot Purim - the end of the composition). This part has been written in its entirety by "Gershom son of R. Binyamin Katz from Moravia, the Austerlitz community", who signed the colophon at the end of the volume.
The Maharnash - R. Natan son of R. Shimshon Shapira (ca. 1490-1577), author of Mevo She'arim and Imrei Shefer was a leading sage who lived in the generation of great Torah luminaries, the first Polish sages. He was a cousin and friend of R. Shachne of Lublin, Rabbi of the Rama, and of the Maharshal [his grandson, named after him, is R. Natan Shapira, author of Megale Amukot, 1585-1633]. He was famous for posterity as a leading posek known for his composition Mevo She'arim on Sha'arei Dura (Lublin, 1574) which eventually became a basic book on the laws of Yoreh De'ah throughout Ashkenazi countries. His glosses on the Rif and on the Mordechai were printed in the Vilna Talmud titled Hagahot Maharnash. Among his other works are Imrei Shefer, commentary on the Torah, and his well-known commentary on Birkat HaMazon. He served as Rabbi of Grodno (from which his cognomen "R. Natan Shapira of Grodno" was derived). A responsum regarding releasing an agunah which R. Shapira had written at the time he was Rabbi of Grodno is printed in the new Bach responsa (Siman 75). In his senior years, he was appointed Rabbi of Posen and its vicinity ("Greater Poland") and held this position until his death. In the book Tzemach David by his relative R. David Ganz (disciple of the Rama), he writes: "R. Natan of Grodno, son of my uncle R. Shimshon Shapira is a supreme Chassid who illuminated the eyes of the Jewish People with his commentary on Rashi and on R. Y. of Dura…". R. Binyamin Aharon Solnik, author of Mas'at Binyamin was among his famous disciple.
Commentaries and novellae on the Tur: The Maharnash novellae on the Tur can be traced to several manuscripts. In 1958, novellae attributed to the Maharnash were printed by El HaMekorot titled Chiddushei U'Bi'urei Maharan Shapira in an anthology of commentaries appended to their edition of the Tur. These novellae were gleaned from manuscripts held in Oxford's Bodleian Library (from the collection of R. David Oppenheim). Only a relatively small amount of novellae were printed in the El HaMekorot edition in comparison to the novellae on the Tur by R. Natan Shapira which appear in earlier manuscripts which are much more comprehensive and with variations (for example: the London-Montefiore Manuscript 177 and the Oxford-Bodleian Manuscript 256. The latter was written in the lifetime of the Maharnash, like this item). Evidently, the Maharnash delivered discourses containing different novellae each cycle his yeshiva studied the Tur; which explains the different compositions. We also found (in a manuscript in the Warsaw Library) a third composition of novellae by the Maharnash on the Tur (Yoreh De'ah), apparently from a third cycle of study in the yeshiva. This manuscript before us also contains a third compilation of novellae on the Tur Choshen Mishpat in several leaves which were added following the novellae on Choshen Mishpat (leaves [146-147], [155b-157]; Simanim 6-19, 22-46). The novellae on these leaves are not parallel to the novellae on those same Simanim in the previous set of novellae, and were not printed in the El HaMekorot edition.
As we mentioned before, these novellae on three parts of the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah, Choshen Mishpat and Orach Chaim) were not printed in the El HaMekorot edition. The parts on Orach Chaim and Yoreh De'ah do appear in other manuscripts, but to the best of our knowledge, these novellae on Choshen Mishpat do not appear in any other known manuscript.
In the Derisha and Perisha (by the author of the Sma) on Tur Orach Chaim and Yoreh De'ah, he cites novellae in the name of the Maharnash a number of times. These novellae appear in this manuscript (at the beginning and end of the manuscript are inscriptions in late Ashkenazi script [Galicia? 19th century?] with sources of these places in the Derisha and in the Perisha).
 leaves, 20 cm. Good condition. Stains. Minor wear and tears. Leather binding, with damages.
The manuscript was dated before 1577 according to the colophon at the end of the volume, in which the Maharnash is mentioned with the appellation added to the name of a living person. In Part 1 of the manuscript, the Maharam Padua is mentioned with the appellation given to the living and it reasonable to assume that it was copied in his lifetime, before his death in 1565.
Sefer HaAroch MiShach Part II, on Tur Yoreh De'ah (Simanim 112-189), by R. Shabtai Katz, the Shach. Four unopened gatherings (32 pages) of a book whose printing was never fully executed, apparently from one of the Hungarian-Transylvanian presses. [Grosswardein?, ca. 1920s-1940s?].
These sheets were discovered by us, inserted at the end of a volume of Part I of the Sefer HaAroch MiShach on Tur Yoreh De'ah (Simanim 1-110), Vienna, 1809 (Second edition). They contain part II of HaAroch MiShach, which is considered a "lost work".
Sefer HaAroch MiShach is a work by the Ba'al HaShach on Tur Yoreh De'ah. The Shach began this work prior to writing Siftei Cohen on the Shulchan Aruch Yoreh De'ah. Part I of this work was first printed in Berlin in 1767 by the author of Minchat Aharon (Aharon MiGeza Zvi, the grandson of the daughter of the Shach), who added his own novellae within the book. Several more editions of it were published subsequently (Vienna 1809, Russia-Poland ca. 1820), and many editions of Arba'a Turim added the work at the end of Part I of Yoreh De'ah.
Part II of the work was not published at that time, and it is considered a "lost work". Inspection of bibliographical listings and library catalogues did not uncover any indication of an actual printing of Part II.
From what is known, the manuscript of Part II was inherited by the son of the author of Minchat Aharon, R. Eliezer of Schwabach, who wrote the Chidushei Bnei Aharon. From there the manuscript was passed down to his descendants - the Berlinger and Levi families. Since the Holocaust of European Jewry all traces of the manuscript disappeared; in all likelihood it was lost in the Holocaust.
The first reference to the existence of a manuscript of Part II appeared in an 1867 article in the weekly Der Israelit (1867, No. 51, December 18, p. 885), which stated that the manuscript was held by R. Naftali Hirsch Berlinger (a family member of the descendants of the Shach and of the Minchat Aharon who published Part I), who is interested in publishing it. Then the manuscript was passed on to R. Shimon (Sandor) Levi from Fürth, who was the husband of R. Naftali Hirsch Berlinger's granddaughter. In 1907, R. Shimon Levi published the novellae of R. Eliezer of Schwabach in the Chidushei Bnei Aharon (Munkács, 1907). The publisher states in his introduction that he hopes to bring to print additional works in his possession, that have never before been published, "in particular Aroch MiShach Part II by the Ba'al HaShach - because they have not yet seen the light of print".
The book "Megillath Mishpachtenu - Records concerning the ancestry of the Levi, Berlinger and Ellinger families of the Zvi branch" (Izhak Risch, published by the author, Haifa 1974, p. 29), describes the travails of the manuscript until the Holocaust, and indicates that the book has never been published - stating the following: "One manuscript penned by the Shach was inherited by the Berlinger family, but was apparently lost in the Holocaust... Part II of that book was passed on to R. Naftali Hirsch Berlinger. The weekly 'Der Israelit', in the article mentioned above, called out to the public (in 1867) to assist the holder of the manuscript R. Naftali Hirsch in publishing Part II of the Aroch MiShach... The manuscript then came into the possession of R. Shimon Sandor Levi, the husband of Kresla, daughter of R. Eliezer, who was the son of R. Naftali Hirsch... R. Shimon Sandor Levi did not ultimately publish the Aroch MiShach Part II. He passed away in Fürth in 1933, 10 years after his wife Kresla. From that point the manuscript was held by Hermina, R. Shimon Sandor's second wife. Torah-learned family members petitioned to be given the manuscript, in order to carry out the wish of their patriarch, the Shach. This transpired shortly before the Holocaust. From then on, nothing is known of the Aroch MiShach Part II manuscript...". R. Shlomo Englard (the Radziner Rebbe) writes of this in the Yeshurun anthology (Volume 13, Elul 2003, pp. 1981-1982, note 146): "...Part II was maintained as a manuscript and was in the possession of the family until just before the Holocaust, at which time all trace of it was lost (see Megilat Mishpachtenu p. 29). Based on unsubstantiated rumors, there are still pages of the manuscript among antique and manuscript collectors, but this must still be checked and verified. In any event, anyone with knowledge of the whereabouts of the manuscript or any of its parts - would be doing a great service to the Torah world, and the merit of the public will be credited to him".
R. Shimon Levi of Fürth invested a great deal of effort in the emendation of the Aroch MiShach, and he apparently intended to publish both parts of the book in a newly annotated and corrected edition. The VaYelaket Yosef anthology (edited by his dear friend R. Yosef HaCohen Schwartz from Grosswardein - Siman 14 in 1911, Simanim 23 and 114 in 1912) contains novellae and comments taken from R. Yitzchak Grieshaber's handwritten comments on the margins of Part I of the Aroch MiShach, with footnotes to them under the heading "Glosses of Shem MiShimon - from R. Shimon Segal Levi of Fürth". The work before us, too, contains a publisher's footnote on page 31 under the heading "Comments of Shem MiShimon", in which R. Shimon Levi refers to his own comment to Siman 65 - in Part I, that seemingly was meant to be redacted as part of this edition.
Printed at the end of this work [p. 32] is a copy of the colophon from the original manuscript. From this colophon it is clear that the manuscript from which
this work was printed is the same one from which Part I was printed in Berlin (1767). The name of the scribe signed on the colophon is R. Dov Ber Katz, son of R. Yitzchak (publisher of Gvurat Anashim, Dessau, 1697), son of R. Moshe Katz, son of the author R. Shabtai Katz. This same R. Dov Ber Katz is mentioned in the Minchat Aharon's introduction to the Sefer HaAroch MiShach Part I, as follows: "...this book came into my possession from the grandson of my uncle, the renowned R. Dov Ber, preacher of Opatów".
A beginning of a responsum that was among the manuscripts of the publisher is printed after the colophon. The author of the responsum is unknown to us.
These sheets were discovered (in the course of our examination) in a volume of Part I, on whose title page are ownership stamps of R. Yisrael Weltz, Av Bet Din of Budapest [a preeminent rabbi in Budapest after the Holocaust. R. Yisrael Weltz was the first of the Budapest rabbis to settle in Eretz Israel after the Communist revolution in Hungary, leaving the majority of his books with his fellow rabbis who remained in Hungary]. Based on the shape of the letters and the typography in this book, it appears that it was printed in a Hungarian-Transylvanian press in the period preceding the Holocaust [an adornment appears at the end of the work on p. 31, identical to that found in other books printed in the 1930s by R. Yosef HaCohen Schwartz in the city of Grosswardein (Oradea). The Hebrew press in Grosswardein continued to be active during the war, through the end of the winter of 1944]. It is not known when these sheets were printed - it may have been in the 1920s or 1930s by R. Shimon himself [who died in 1933]; alternatively, they may have been printed later by family members who obtained the manuscript already edited for printing from his widow.
Here is a book which was never completed at the press and is bibliographically unknown - and may even be the only copy in the world. A surprising discovery of the lost work HaAroch MiShach Part II. It appears that the manuscript from which this work had been copied was lost in the Holocaust and all that remains of the work is this printed version - which, to the best of our knowledge, is the only issue of that printing to have survived. Thus, this book possesses the importance of a manuscript - as it is the only existing source from an entire work of R. Shabtai Katz, the Ba'al HaShach - Part II of an important work whose first part is included today in most editions of the Tur.
, 2-31,  pages. 34 cm. 4 unopened gatherings, 2°. Good condition.
+ Part I: , 3-70 leaves. 35 cm. Good condition.
Handwritten leaf (2 written pages), titled "D'rush Na'eh - Parshat Emor". Autograph of the author, R. Yehuda Loew ben Bezalel - the Maharal of Prague. [Moravia, ca. 16th century]. Single leaf of a manuscript (unknown to us today). This is an incomplete section of novellae on Parshat Emor. This section has not been printed. The title D'rush Na'eh which appears at the top of the pages also heads the Maharal's sermons which were printed in his lifetime: Sermon for Shabbat Teshuva 1584 (D'rush Na'eh, Prague, 1584), Sermon for Shabbat HaGadol 1589 (D'rush Na'eh, Prague, 1589). Another sermon printed in his lifetime is the sermon for Shavuot 1593 (Darosh Darash, Prague, 1593). The content of this manuscript is a halachic homily on Parshat Emor regarding the laws of impurity of a Cohen concerning contact with a deceased relative. The style of language is characteristic to the other writings of the Maharal. The expression "I say" which is prevalent in the books of the Maharal is used twice in the manuscript. The Maharal - R. Yehuda Loew ben Bezalel (1512-1609) illustrious Torah scholar served in the rabbinate and headed the yeshivas in Nikolsburg, Posen and Prague. A prominent teacher of R. Yom Tov Lipman, author of the Tosfot Yom Tov, his sons-in-law were R. Yitzchak Katz and R. Eliyahu Luantz, the Ba'al Shem of Worms. A leading rabbi in his days and celebrated Jewish philosopher of all times, his books containing his distinctive cogitation and explanations of Aggadot Chazal were a gift for posterity. Leader of Moravian Jewry, he was known for his ties with non-Jewish kings and for his untiring battle against blood libels. The Maharal is etched in the hearts of the people as a wonder-worker. The stories of the Golem which he created by yichudim and kavanot according to Sefer Yetzira and which was sent by its maker on mysterious missions to thwart the libels agains jews are famous [see Nifla'ot Maharal and many folk tales printed about the Golem of Prague]. Some of his prolific compositions: Gevurot Hashem, Derech Chaim, Netivot Olam, Be'er HaGolah, Tiferet Yisrael, Netzach Yisrael, Or Chadash, Ner Mitzvah, Gur Aryeh on the Rashi commentary on the Torah, Chiddushei Maharal on Talmudic Aggadot and sermons. The Maharal's philosophy which appears in his many writings constituted a basic foundation of Chassidic thought for years to come and his name is revered by Chassidic leaders from the days of the Ba'al Shem Tov. Some of his holy books were reprinted by the Magid of Koznitz and by R. Levi Yitzchak of Berdychiv. Leaf written on both sides. Approximately 19 cm. About 46 handwritten lines. Fair condition. Coarse open tears, professionally repaired. Dark stains. Enclosed in a report by an expert on rabbinic manuscripts, identifying the autograph of the Maharal and the importance of its content, confirming that it was not printed in his book of sermons.
Handwritten leaf, regulation of rabbis and community leaders of Ancona, proscribing mixed dancing, with signatures of local rabbis and notables including the signature of R. Yedidya son of R. Moshe Galante, Safed emissary. [Ancona (Italy), 1615].
"To fulfill the will of our Heavenly Father and to make a safeguard for the Torah… the sages and rabbis and committee members of the Italian community and of the Levantine community… No Jew can dance with any woman at any time…".
The regulation contains bans, warnings and curses on the person who transgresses these codes and states that this edict was enacted with the approval of the "vicarage of the His Majesty the Cardinal".
Added to the end of the regulation is a reservation, in a diffrent handwriting, that women can dance with male teachers during dancing lessons: "And it is worthwhile to clarify that men who teach women to dance, i.e. the Maestri di Baller can dance with them, only while they are teaching them…".
The regulations bear the signatures of rabbis and community notables alongside the signature of the famed sage R. Yedidya Galante a Safed emissary who stayed at that time in Ancona, who signed: "…Yedidya son of Moshe Galante". The other signatures: "David son of R. Yitzchak Franco", "Elimelech son of Yosef Tzorfati', "Elya Halalya of Cuneo", "Ya'akov son of R. Yishmael", "Refael Pintzo", "Shem Tov Ibn Haviv", "Moshe Refael… Ibn Haviv".
On the verso and on the following pages are inscriptions in Italian regarding the content of the regulation. The Hebrew text does not bear the name of the city and the date, however, they do appear in the Italian text.
R. Yedidya Galante, author of Chiddushei Galante, son of R. Moshe Galante (the first) of Safed (disciple of R. Yosef Karo and Rabbi of Safed). In 1607, he was sent from Safed as emissary to Italy, and in the month of Shevat 1607, wrote a responsum from Cuneo on the matter of an estate. In 1608, he printed his father's book of responsa in Venice to which he added novellae of Rishonim printed from manuscripts. R. Yehuda Aryeh of Modena writes of his meeting with R. Galante in Venice and that the latter recounted the greatness of the Ari to the sages of the Venice: "The sage R. Yedidya Galante, an emissary from Eretz Israel, arrived here and at that time the venerable sage R. Eliyahu Montalto lay ill… Many Torah scholars went to visit him… and while still there, Galante began recounting miracles and wonders performed by the Ari…" (Ari Nohem, Jerusalem, 1929, p. 80).
Avraham Ya'ari (in Sh'luchei Eretz Yisrael, p. 247) writes that the mission of R. Yedidya Galante to Italy ended in 1614, however this regulation enacted a short while later bears his signature. His novellae and rulings have been printed in his book Chiddushei Galante and at the end of his father's book of responsa.
Folded leaf (4 pages), 27.5 cm. Fair condition. Stains. Tear in the center, slightly affecting text. Folding creases and wear.
Manuscript, single leaf from the book Devash HaAryeh, kabblistic composition by R. Gur Aryeh HaLevi, a Mantua rabbi. Autograph of the author, each passage signed with his initials "G.A.L.Y". [Mantua, 17th century].
Leaf 2 of a kabbalistic composition, apparently never completed. Novellae on Biblical verses [the Israel Mehlman Collection contained leaf 1 of this composition (Manuscript 123), and a microfilm copy exists in the NLI (erroneously listed as Dvar Aryeh). This leaf is titled in the author's handwriting, explaining his choice of the composition's name].
The "G-dly kabbalist" R. Gur Aryeh son of R. Moshe Hoshaya HaLevi [Pintzi], Rabbi of Mantua in the second half of the 17th century. Authored a commentary on the Shulchan Aruch which was printed together with the Shulchan Aruch in Mantua in 1722-1723 by his nephew R. Gur Aryeh the Second, son of R. Binyamin HaLevi Pintzi. Other compositions he wrote are still in manuscripts, some with kabbalistic content. He was an associate of R. Moshe Zacuto - the Remez (1625-1697), and he himself attests that he heard an angel speaking to the Remez, as cited in the Chida's book Shem HaGedolim (entry R. Moshe Zacuto): "And R. Gur Aryeh who wrote glosses on the Shulchan Aruch… testified that he heard the angel speaking to him".
 leaf, written on one side. 32 handwritten lines. 20.5 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains. Tears to margins. Small holes caused by ink erosion, affecting text. Glue residue on the verso.
Manuscript, Seder Get L'Arusah (arrangement of a divorce bill [Get] for a betrothed woman [arusah]), by R. Yishmael HaCohen, rabbi of Modena, author of Zera Emet. [Italy, 18th century or beginning of 19th century].
The manuscript is composed of 138 detailed clauses of all the practical steps and laws for writing a get for an arusah, including the conduct of the husband, the scribe and the witnesses and the manner the get is delivered to the woman. Cursive, neat Italian Hebrew script, with many handwritten additions by the author. In these additions, the author mentions several times the arrangement of a get titled Michtav L'Chizkiyahu by R. Chizkiya Mordechai Bassan (Pnei Yitzchak, Mantova, 1743), and the arrangement of a get in the Shemesh Tzedakah responsa by R. Shimshon Morpurgo (Venice, 1743).
R. David Sassoon (Ohel David, Manuscript no. 927) attributes this manuscript to R. Yishmael HaCohen of Modena. The style of writing indicates that this is an autograph of the author, with revisions and additions. The handwriting is similar to the handwriting in another document written by R. Yishmael HaCohen with his signature "Dictates and signs" (Shenot Dor VaDor, Vol. 1, pp. 328-329 - see enclosed photocopy).
R. Yishmael HaCohen, Rabbi of Modena (1724-1810), was a leading Italian sage and prominent posek. In 1782, after the death of his brother R. David HaCohen, rabbi of Modena, he began serving as Rabbi of Modena, which was one of the largest Torah centers in 18th century Italy. For decades, R. Yishmael was Rabbi and leader in Modena and in actuality of entire Italy. During this era, R. Yishmael's opinions were the final deciding factor of halachic issues, community matters and all Jewish affairs in Italy. "His rulings were unequivocally accepted and he was famed as a genius posek and as the determining opinion" (the biography of the author at the beginning of the book Shevach Pesach, Jerusalem, 1997). At the time the Jewish "Sanhedrin" was instituted by Napoleon in 1806, R. Yishmael HaCohen wrote a detailed response to 12 questions asked by Napoleon about the relativity between the state law and the Jewish law [the primary reason Napoleon wanted to institute the "Sanhedrin" was his wish to "adjust the faith" of the Jews to their "obligations as French [citizens]"]. At that time, R. Yishmael HaCohen was 83 years old and he could not travel to participate in the session of the Sanhedrin, but his wise and unflinching words constituted the halachic basis of the words of the "Sanhedrin" of the Jewish sages who represented the Italian region. The three parts of his book Zera Emet responsa on the Shulchan Aruch (Livorno, 1783-1812) only cover the parts of Orach Chaim and Yoreh Deah, but his works on Even HaEzer and on Choshen Mishpat are still in manuscripts. This is a remnant of the Torah teachings of that illustrious posek on Even HaEzer with many novellae of practical halacha on the laws of writing and delivering a divorce document.
Many compositions about arranging gittin were written by leading poskim, Rishonim and Achronim. Certain specifics required for a get of an arusah [a woman who had received kiddushin, yet did not enter the chuppah] differ from the regular get of a married woman. Most books about arrangements of a get do not discuss a get for an arusah, due to the rarity of separating the kiddushin rites from the chuppah [the early custom of doing so has been cancelled in most Jewish communities and at the time this composition was written this separation was only practiced in certain areas of northern Italy and Oriental countries. For details regarding the various customs of erusin and nisu'in, see essay by David Sassoon, Igrot Paras V'Teiman, HaTzofeh L'Chochmat Yisrael, 9, Budapest 1925, pp. 211-212].
5 pages. 29 cm. Good condition. New binding.
Provenance: Sassoon family collection. Ohel David, Manuscript no. 927.
Manuscript, "Seder Shefar Hatikkun that holy individuals are accustomed to recite on Yom Kippur eve after the evening prayers". [Italy, 1791].
Manuscript on thick, high-quality paper. Square vowelized script. Illuminated title page. The bottom of the title page contains the inscription "this book was purchased by Mordechai Yosef della Rocca, 1791". The title page states that the Tikkun is taken from Sefer Otzar Nechmad (based on Sefer Chemdat Yamim), "by the honored rabbi of the Omron family", but this text differs from the one in Sefer Otzar Nechmad. The beginning of the tikkun states "this is the organized study for Yom Kippur eve after evening services in Catalan synagogues". At the end of the tikkun, Tractate Yoma is printed in its entirety, as well as a prayer for livelihood. The end of the manuscript contains prayers to be said at dawn on Yom Kippur. The final page states "Kaddish should be said for the souls of the deceased…".
 leaves. 20.5 cm. Good condition. Stains. Binding with leather spine; slightly damaged.
A leaf handwritten by the Chida, novellae on Tractate Megillah.
12 lines handwritten by the Chida. Novellae on the subject of fulfilling the mitzvah of Purim Se'udah at night. The content was printed in the Chida's book Petach Einayim (Tractate Megillah 7b), with variations and later editing.
The Chida - R. Chaim Yosef David Azulai (1724-1806), a leading rabbinical authority, Kabbalist, exalted genius, prolific author and famous rabbinical emissary. Born in Jerusalem to R. Raphael Yitzchak Zerachya Azulai, a Jerusalem scholar and great-grandson of Kabbalist Rabbi Avraham Azulai, author of Chesed Le'Avraham. From his early years, he was a disciple of leading Jerusalem scholars and kabbalists, including Rabbi Chaim Ben Attar, the Or HaChaim HaKadosh. He began studying kabbalah at the Beit E-l Yeshiva for Kabbalists headed by Rabbi Shalom Mizrachi Sharabi, the holy Rashash and was a contemporary of Rabbi Yom Tov Algazi who studied with him in the yeshiva.
In 1753, he embarked on his first mission as a rabbinical emissary on behalf of the Hebron community. During the course of his five years of travel, he passed through Italy, Germany, Holland, England and France. During this mission, his name began to spread. Wherever he traversed, he attracted a great deal of attention and many acknowledged his greatness. In 1873, the Chida embarked on an additional mission on behalf of the Hebron community which left a profound imprint on all the places he visited. At the end of this journey, he settled in Livorno, Italy to serve as rabbi and there he published most of his books.
The Chida was among the greatest authors of all times and composed more than 80 works in all facets of Torah, including his composition Birkei Yosef, a commentary on the Shulchan Aruch which has greatly impacted the area of halachic rulings. His books were heralded throughout the entire Jewish Diaspora with high regard. He wrote the majority of his compositions while preoccupied with travelling or with other matters, and with access to very few books, attesting to his overwhelming genius and phenomenal memory. In each city the Chida visited, he would inspect the local libraries and search unknown manuscripts and compositions written by Torah scholars. Due to the great respect and admiration he evoked, he was granted authorization to enter large libraries and museums, such as the National Library of France, in which he spent many hours copying important manuscripts. The vast knowledge he gleaned during these opportunities are infused into all his books, particularly in his bibliographic masterpiece Shem HaGedolim.
Leaf, 10X14.5 cm. Good condition. Folding marks.
Enclosed is an expert's report identifying the handwriting as that of the Chida.
Letter by R. Shmuel Shemaya, son of Avraham David Papo, to R. Chaim Yosef David Azulai - the Chida. Ancona, .
The letter opens with titles of lofty praise and tribute (5 lines) to the Chida. Thereafter, the writer writes about his astonishment that he did not receive a letter from the Chida for a long time: "Why have I been forgotten… much time has elapsed and I have not merited receiving your pleasant letters...". Further, he writes of a dream in which the Chida appeared to him: "And twice or three times I have merited speaking to you in a dream and enjoyed your shining countenance…".
On the verso, in another handwriting, is a copy of a letter addressed to the "G-dly kabbalist R. Peretz HaLevi…", without a signature.
R. Shmuel Shemaya Papo, son of R. Avraham David Papo, Rabbi of Ragusa and Ancona. Father of R. Avraham David who was the son-in-law of the kabbalist R. Moshe Zacuto - the Remez. R. Shmuel Shemaya was a sage in Ancona and upon the arrival of the Chida during his travels, the two met and thereafter exchanged correspondence (see enclosed material). In his book Ma'agal Tov (p. 6), the Chida writes of his travels and of his meeting with R. Shmuel Shemaya: "…And we have arrived in Ancona… and several of the sages including the two great luminaries R. S. Papo and R. Y. Peretz…". In the copy of T'fateh Aruch by the Maharam Zacuto, which he received from R. Shmuel Shemaya Papo, the Chida writes: "Book… I received from the perfect tsaddik descendant of the author… Dayan R. Shmuel Shemaya son of R. Avraham son of R. Shmuel, son-in-law and disciple of the author… here in Ancona…" (see enclosed material).
 leaf, 26.5 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains. Wear and tears to margins.