Pair of Torah scroll finials, made by the goldsmith Christian Ludwig Pintsch. Berlin, ca. 1755.
Silver, pierced, embossed, engraved and chased; parcel-gilt. Each of the finials is marked (stamps of the city and the goldsmith) three times.
Large, impressive finials, decorated with rocaille ornaments and lattice, applied cast eagles and pendent bells. Each finial is surmounted by an orb and bell-hung crown. Each finial is comprised of a central shaft and seven sections.
We know of two single (different) finials for a Torah scroll made by the goldsmith Christian Ludwig Pintsch; one is documented in the book by Wolfgang Schefller, Berliner Goldschmiede (Berlin, 1968), item no. 625; the other appeared in Sotheby's catalogue NO8814 (December 14, 2011), item 35.
The style of the present finials is known from other early German finials, such as a pair of finials created between 1716-1725 by the goldsmith Frantz Wagner (see: Die Goldschmiede Hamburgs, Erich Schliemann, 1985, no. 835). Another pair, similar in style, was made by the goldsmith Hans Cordt Albert Barckhan between 1760 and 1770 (see ibid., no. 838). A third pair, from the collection of the Jewish Museum in New York, was created by the goldsmith August Ferdinand Gentzmer in ca. 1789 (see Crowning Glory, Grafman, no. 260).
These finials were donated to the Nottingham Jewish community in 1913, along with a Torah scroll pointer (see next item) and 200 pounds sterling, by Gustav Meyer from Stockholm, in memory of his father, David Meyer, who served as minister of the Nottingham Jewish community between 1858 and 1868 and as president of the community in the years 1869-1881. David Meyer was even among the founders and staff of the innovative Jewish school in his community. When he resigned from his public roles and a farewell ceremony was held in his honor, Meyer was described as "One of the finest men that has been associated at any time with the Nottingham community".
Height: approx. 52 cm. Loose screws and a bend in one of the finials.
Provenance: donated to the Nottingham community in 1913 by Gustave Meyer, in memory of his father David Meyer, president of the Jewish community at Nottingham in the years 1869-1881.
Exhibition: Nottingham Castle Museum, Nottingham, ca. 1990.
Autograph letter (13 lines) signed by the author of Chiddushei HaRim R. Yitzchak Meir Alter, the first Gerrer Rebbe. [Warsaw?, Av 1857].
Interesting family letter sent to his nephew [brother's son-in-law], the wealthy Chassid R. Yehuda Yudel Kaminer of Chęciny [author of Degel Yehuda, later father-in-law of the second Gerrer Rebbe, author of Sfat Emet]. Detailed letter of regards with mention of many names of family members and good wishes: "G-d should grant you success and blessing in all endeavors". The letter contains advice on the matter of shidduchim for R. Yudel's son: "The shidduch you wrote me with… from here. I have inquired and his daughter is 17 or 18 years old or more. G-d should provide a suitable match for your son and you should not be hasty…" [an interesting testimony to the age of shidduchim in those years, that a young woman 17 years old is found lacking to a certain degree, to the point that "You should not be hasty"…].
R. Yitzchak Meir Alter, author of Chiddushei HaRim (1799-1866), Encyclopedia L'Chassidut Vol. 2, pp. 413-423) founder of the Ger Chassidism, a major Torah scholar and Chassid in his times and prominent leader of Polish Jewry. Born following the blessing of the Magid of Kozienice (who foretold that "he will illuminate the world with Torah"), was raised in the Magid's home and became his close disciple. At the age of 13, he moved to his father-in-law's home in Warsaw and studied by the Maharal Tzinz, eventually celebrated throughout Poland as the Illui (prodigy) of Warsaw. After the death of the Magid of Kozienice, he became one of the primary disciples of R. Simcha Bunim of Pashischa and upon the death of R. Simcha Bunim, a number of Chassidim wanted to appoint him successor, but Rabbi Yitzchak Meir gave deference to R. Menachem Mendel of Kotzk and influenced the Chassidim to follow the Kotzker Rebbe. He became the most outstanding figure among the Kotzkers and eventually married the Rebbe's sister-in-law. In 1859, Rabbi Yitzchak Meir was appointed the Kotzker Rebbe's successor, moved to the near city of Gur (Góra Kalwaria), building the court of Gerrer Chassidism in the city and serving in its rabbinate. During his seven-year tenure, his court blossomed and thousands became his followers. Besides his exceptional piety, he was venerated as an outstanding Torah scholar and wrote many responsa on halacha and aggada called Chidushei HaRim [=Rabbi Yitzchak Meir]. His books were highly lauded and reveal his sharpness and exceptional Torah proficiency. Companion of all the tsaddikim and leaders of his times, including Mitnagdim. Among them were R. Yisrael of Ruzhin, R. Yitzchak of Warka, R. Akiva Eiger, R. Ya'akov of Lissa (Leszno), author of the Netivot, Rabbi Eizel Charif, R. Shlomo Kluger and others. He led Polish Jewry and firmly stood his ground on many public issues. He publicly supported the Polish revolution in 1830, and after it failed, was forced to flee to Lviv (which was at the time under Austrian rule). He was also known for his valiant struggle against the "Dress Decree" in 1846-1851. Following his orders to resist the decree, he was imprisoned but wide public protest forced the government to release him and cancel the decree. After his death, R. Chanoch Henach HaCohen from Aleksander succeeded him for a short while and after the demise of R. Chanoch Henach four years later, a grandson of the Chiddushei Harim, R. Yehuda Aryeh Leib Alter, author of Sfat Emet was appointed the second rebbe of the Ger dynasty.
The recipient, R. Yehuda Yudel Kaminer of Chęciny (1827-1891), was the nephew of R. Baruch Frankel, author of Baruch Ta'am and son-in-law of the notable R. Moshe Chaim Rottenburg (elder brother of the author of Chiddushei HaRim). In his youth in Warsaw, he became close to the Chiddushei Harim who made his shidduch with his niece and loved him like a son. A Kotzker Chassid and central pillar of the Polish Chassidic world, he was an exceptional Torah scholar and famed for his wealth. After the untimely death of his father-in-law, R. Yudel managed his business, yet did not cease his Torah study and applied himself to learning 9-10 hours daily with his relative R. Pintshe of Pilica, and teaching Torah, besides the many hours he would study on his own. His Torah proficiency was acknowledged by the scholars of his times. R. Chaim of Sanz, author of Divrei Chaim referred to him as "the sharp-minded rabbi" and his uncle author of Chiddushei HaRim in the title of this letter refers to him as "My beloved friend… the outstanding clever and erudite rabbi, the famed notable R. Yudel". His Torah novellae on halacha and Aggadah were printed in the book Degel Yehuda (Piotrków, 1938). A biography of the author was added to the new edition of Degel Yehuda (Jerusalem, 1966), which relates that R. Kaminer received many letters from his uncle the Chiddushei Harim and from his son-in-law, author of Sfat Emet, but all were burnt during the Holocaust. This letter remained hidden and survived and was not printed among the rest of the letters of the "Chiddushei Harim" at the end of Sefer HaZechut, the Pe'er Institute edition (Bnei Brak, 1987).
Leaf, 21 cm. 13 autograph lines of the Rebbe. Good condition. Small tears to margins. Address on verso: to "Judel Kaminer in Checinach". With name of sender "I. Alter". Postmarks and wax seal.
Autograph Letter Signed by Rebbe Yitzchak Isaac of Zhydachiv – With a Letter by his Son, Rebbe Eliyahu – Recommendation for the Grandson of Rebbe Elimelech of Lizhensk, with Blessings for “Everlasting Success”
Autograph letter of recommendation (5 lines) signed by R. "Yitzchak Isaac of Zhydachiv". Written at the bottom of a letter by his son, R. Eliyahu Eichenstein, who at the behest of his father, Rebbe Mohari of Zhydachiv, writes a recommendation and a plan for organizing a collection of charity for R. Zusha "Grandson of the holy Tsaddik… R. Elimelech of Lizhensk". [Zhydachiv, ca. 1860s-1870s].
Letter by the Rebbe Mohari continuing the letter of his son R. Eliyahu (with an organized plan for collecting funds for the needy, enumerating names of the Zhydachiv Chassidim who are charity collectors of various communities). He writes in his own handwriting: "My regards to our friends wherever they are, G-d should bless them with everlasting success, since it is known that we survive the Diaspora in the merit of the tsaddikim, therefore I request to give liberally with a generous heart to the Chassid R. Zisse, who possesses this letter… By the supplicant, Yitzchak Isaac of Zhydachiv".
His son, R. Eliyahu writes at the top of the leaf: "…Therefore, my honored father requests to do this for the sake of the honor of his holy ancestors, and he especially requests from our people united in love, i.e. R. Shimon and R. Zvi Ze'ev of the Shchyrets community, R. Mendel Bodek and R. Moshe Ze'ev of the Lviv community, the Rabbi and R. Elimelech of the Rudky community, R. Itzi Troya and R. Zusha son of R. Ze'ev of the Sambir community, R. Leibish and R. Shmuel Shaul of the Ir Yashan [Staryy Sambor] community, R. Zvi Chazan and R. Kalman Leib of the Lutowiska community, R. Moshe Chazan and R. Berish son of R. Y. of the Dobrómyl community, and my father requests that the collectors and patrons do their best and the merits of his holy ancestors will be with them in this world and in the next. Words of the writer at my father's behest - Eliyahu son of my father, Rebbe of Zhydachiv".
The Mohari, R. Yitzchak Isaac Eichenstein of Zhydachiv (1805-1873), author of Likutei Mohari was a leading rebbe and kabbalist in his days. Nephew and disciple of Rebbe Zvi Hirsh Eichenstein, the Ateret Zvi of Zhydachiv and of R. Moshe Eichenstein of Sambir. Conducted himself with holiness from childhood and from age 14, midnight never passed without finding him still immersed in Torah study. His eminent uncle, R. Zvi of Zhydachiv said that a holy soul such as his had not descended to this world for centuries before his times. In his youth, he traveled widely to meet the tsaddikim of his generation: R. Menachem Mendel of Rimanov (who said upon meeting R. Yitzchak Isaac that "he will become a light to the world"), R. Naftali of Ropshitz, R. Meir of Peremyshlyany, R. Shalom of Belz, etc. He even traveled far to see R. Yisrael of Ruzhyn and reached faraway Medzhybizh to meet the eldest Tsaddik of the previous generation, R. Avraham Yehoshua Heshel, the Rebbe of Apta. When the Mohari planned to serve as rabbi of a small town, his teachers R. Shalom of Belz and R. Meir of Peremyshlyany refused to grant him semicha since in their opinion he was destined to lead thousands of Chassidim. After the death of R. Yitzchak Zvi of Rozdil in 1848, the large congregation of Zhydachiv Chassidim relocated to the court of R. Yitzchak Isaac. Many prominent rebbes were among his disciples and Chassidim: the author of Yitav Lev, Rabbi of Sighet, R. Yehoshua of Belz, R. Zvi Hirsh of Liska, R. Yechezkel Shraga of Sieniawa, and others. Especially astounding is the deference he was given by his cousin Rebbe Yitzchak Isaac of Komarna, author of Hechal HaBeracha who already served as Rebbe several years earlier. R. Yosef Meir, the first Spinka Rebbe, author of Imrei Yosef, R. Eliezer Zvi of Komarna, author of Ben Beiti, R. Shalom Mordechai HaCohen Schwadron - the Maharsham Rabbi of Brzeziny and other leading rabbis were among his disciples.
Following the practice of his uncle R. Zvi Hirsh of Zhydachiv, the Mahari was accustomed to citing complete sections of the Zohar and kabbalah, speaking with such animation that the holiness was so tangible, it imparted the feeling that his audience could "grasp it in their grip". Although he had thousands of Chassidim, he knew each one by his name as well as the names of his children, and would pray on their behalf and bestow upon them salvation and mercy as well as actually taking care of their needs as is apparent in this letter.
His son R. Eliyahu Eichenstein, author of Zichron Eliyahu (1837-1878), faithful disciple and assistant of his holy father, he managed all the matters of the court of thousands of Chassidim in Zhydachiv. Upon his father's death, R. Eliyahu delivered a eulogy laden with Torah and kabbalistic proficiency and brilliance. Most of the Zhydachiv Chassidim accepted his authority as his father's successor. He contracted an illness at a young age and before his death at the age of 41, requested in his testament that his Chassidim cling to the leadership of his brother R. Yissachar Berish Eichenstein of Dolyna.
Leaf, 21 cm. Good-fair condition. Wear and small tears to folding creases. Some tears are reinforced with acidic adhesive tape on the back. Stains as result of the tape.
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.
Toldot Ya'akov Yosef, Chassidic commentary on the Torah, by R. Ya'akov Yosef HaCohen of Polonne (Polnoye). Korets: Zvi Hirsh son of Aryeh Leib [Margaliot] and his son-in-law Shmuel son of Yissachar Ber Segal, .
Toldot Ya'akov Yosef, earliest printed Chassidic book. Authored by Kabbalist R. Ya'akov Yosef HaCohen of Polonne (died in Tishrei 1783), leading disciple of the Ba'al Shem Tov (according to various Chassidic traditions, he was born in the 1660s and died near to the age of 120). Primary disciple of the Ba'al Shem Tov and first disseminator of Chassidic doctrine. This book is the most important and authentic source of the teachings of the Ba'al Shem Tov. The author cites over 280 teachings, which he himself heard from the Ba'al Shem Tov [throughout the book, the words "I have heard from my teacher" are stressed].
This book is particularly cherished by Chassidic leaders who superlatively extolled the holiness of this book. The Maggid of Mezritch commended the author that he merited the revelation of Eliyahu and achieved lofty levels of holiness. R. Pinchas of Korets praised the book saying that such a book never existed and that his Torah thoughts are from Heaven. He asserted that the new books do not entirely conform to the truth, with the exception of the books of the Polonne rabbi which are "Torah from Paradise", and with each teaching "I have heard from my teacher", one can revive the dead [!]. The Saba Kaddisha of Shpola would recommend placing this book under the head of an ill person as a segula (LaYisharim Tehilla).
At the time R. Mendel of Vitebsk ascended to Eretz Israel, he met R. Pinchas of Korets who asked him: "Why did the Polonne Rabbi print one thousand books at the price of one gold piece per book. He should have rather printed one book and I would have paid one thousand gold pieces for it…".
During the war against Chassidism, the first edition of this book was publicly burnt in Brody and in other places which is the reason for the scarcity of this edition (Encyclopedia L'Chassidut, Vol. 2, p. 277).
Signatures of "Yechiel Zvi son of R. Bezalel Margaliot of Krynki" [R. Hirsh Krineker, one of the elders of the Karlin Chassidim of Jerusalem, disciple of the author of Beit Aharon of Karlin], "Belongs to… R. Duver son of Moshe Meyesovke".
202 leaves, 30 cm. Condition varies among the leaves, good-fair. Stains. Large tears to title page, affecting text, professionally repaired (with the addition of short sections replaced with photocopies). Tears affecting text in a few more places (in the margins), professionally repaired (with the addition of short sections replaced with photocopies). Elaborate new leather binding.
Stefansky Chassidut, No. 605.
Handwritten leaf, ruling signed by the Nodah B'Yehuda. Prague, 1762.
Ruling of arbitration concerning the construction of a brick wall for the Chevra Kaddisha Gomlei Chassadim in the courtyard of the Prague synagogue. Sribal writing signed by the Nodah B'Yehuda: "Yechezkel Segal Landau".
The ruling was written after two community heads who served simultaneously as gaba'im of the synagogue and of the Chevra Kaddisha approached the Nodah B'Yehuda: "R. Yitzchak Austrelitz, the head of our community and R. Yosef Kreplach community notable, gaba'im of the synagogue came before me…". The document continues to record that the Chevra Kaddisha wishes to build a brick wall to replace the wooden wall which was there until then (fear lest it be a fire hazard), and this wall will somewhat encroach upon the area of the synagogue court.
R. Yechezkel Segal Landau, the Nodah B'Yehuda (1714-1793), renowned Rabbi of Prague and leading posek and Torah scholar of his times was born in Apta and after his marriage relocated to Brody. There he was appointed Rabbi of the sages of the famous kloiz in which he studied Torah day and night and among other subjects also received kabbalistic teachings from R. Chaim Sanzer, who praised him with superlative terms of regard. In 1734, he was appointed dayan in Brody and his fame as a posek began to spread. At that early stage of his life, serious questions related to releasing agunot were referred to his expert command of halacha. In 1746, he was appointed Rabbi of Yampil and from 1755 Rabbi of Prague succeeding R. David Oppenheim. In Prague, he headed the yeshiva and his authority and far-reaching influence spread throughout the Diaspora. He had many eminent disciples such as R. Avraham Danzig, author of Chayei Adam, R. Elazar Fleckeles, author of Teshuva MeAhava, R. David Deutsch, author of Ohel David, etc. The Nodah B'Yehuda was actively involved in the great polemics of his times. He was active in arbitrating the dispute between R. Ya'akov Emden and R. Yehonatan Eybeshutz, was one of the leading speakers in the affair of the Cleves Get and fiercely fought the German maskilim (Enlightenment Movement). He was famed as a posek for posterity by his two-volume book of responsa Nodah B'Yehuda, one of the basic and most important books of responsa and halacha, and most of his rulings were fixed as the halacha for following generations. Among his other compositions: Zion L'Nefesh Chaya (Tzalach) on Talmudic tractates, Dagul M'Revava - Glosses on the Shulchan Aruch, etc. Much has already been written on his attitude towards Chassidism and its leaders. The Nodah B'Yehuda was related to the wife of the Ba'al Shem Tov but opposed Chassidism. However, some claim that his opinion of Chassidism was ambiguous and complex. Great Chassidic leaders held him in high esteem. It is told that the Ba'al Shem Tov said: we could not harm the Nodah B'Yehuda since "in his soul, holy sparks of souls are hidden" (Gelman, HaNodah B'Yehuda U'Mishnato, p. 63).
 (folded) leaf, 28 cm. Good condition. Few stains. Folding creases.
Below the ruling is a (German) signature of Carlos Fischer - the German Christian censor, from later time - 1824. The top of the leaf bears two official stamps.
Tikkun HaKlali, by R. Nachman of Breslev. [Breslev, 1821]. [Printed in the home of R. Natan Sternhertz of Nemyriv]. First edition.
Printed without title page. The title with the name of the book and its introduction appear on the first page: "Its name is appropriate - Tikkun HaKlali, because it is a tikkun of the brit called Tikkun HaKlali… R. Nachman" (page 1a).
The Tikkun HaKlali, ten chapters of Tehillim compiled by R. Nachman of Breslev to recite as a tikkun for flawing the brit. These 10 chapters contain 10 types of song which "are aspects of the 10 languages in which the book of Tehillim was written" (page 1a). The Tikkun HaKlali is also beneficial for atoning for sins in general and also advantageous for livelihood, health and spiritual and material success.
According to Breslev Chassidic tradition, R. Nachman merited the revelation of this tikkun from Heaven and highly valued it. Before his death, he said that "all who visit my gravesite and give a coin to charity and say these 10 chapters of Tehillim, in whatever manner he can, I will try with all my might to bring him good…" (page 1b). He is also reputed for saying that his life was worthwhile, even if only he came down into the world to reveal this tikkun.
This is the first edition of the composition, printed in the home of R. Natan.
After the chapters of Tehillim, the prayer Ashira L'Hashem was added on leaves 4-6. This prayer was composed by R. Natan to be recited after saying the Tikkun.
On page 2b is a correction adding a word [handwriting from time of printing], possibly in the handwriting of the printer, R. Shachne son of R. Natan.
On page 3b is a signature: "Eliezer Auerbach" [possibly, a relative of R. Natan, related to his wife, daughter of R. David Zvi Auerbach Rabbi of Kremnica].
6 leaves, 17 cm. Good condition. Stains. New, elaborate leather binding.
Place and year of printing according to G. Scholem, Ele Shemot, Jerusalem 1928, p. 38, no. 146; R. Natan Zvi Konig, Neve Tsaddikim, Bnei Brak 1969, p. 67.
Stefansky Chassidut, No. 621.
Congratulatory letter in honor of a wedding, with one and a half lines handwritten and signed by Rebbe Aharon of Belz. [Belz, ca. 1935].
The letter was sent to Vienna to the Belzer Rebbe's relatives, Rebbe Yitzchak Meir of Kopishnitz (Kopychyntsi) and his son, Rebbe Avraham Yehoshua Heschel of Kopychyntsi. Most of the letter was written by a scribe, with the following added by Rebbe Aharon of Belz (in his handwriting, in different ink): "I am writing to out of love for my relatives and to express my congratulations and blessings on the upcoming wedding. The small Aharon of Belz".
The body of the letter contains many blessings: "I am sending my blessings to my relatives, the great R. Yitzchak Meir and his son, the beloved R. Avraham Yehoshua Heschel… I received your letter regarding the upcoming wedding of your daughter and granddaughter, and I wish to congratulate them. May their happiness on their wedding day be complete, and may they raise genarations of worthy, righteous offspring. May they be blessed with a long and happy life filled with all that is good, and may we hear such happy tidings from all of the Jewish people…".
Rebbe Aharon Rokeach of Belz (1880-1957), son of Rebbe Yissaschar Dov and grandson of Rebbe Yehoshua of Belz, was renowned as a holy man and miracle worker, who was called "Aharon, G-d's holy one". He was among the leaders of European Jewry before the Holocaust, as well as a rebuilder of Torah and Chassidut after the war. His ascetic lifestyle and obvious holiness caused thousands of followers to flock to his court for blessings and advice.
Rebbe Aharon was crowned as leader of the Belz Chassidut in 1927, and became one of the foremost leaders of Eastern European Jewry. As such, he was especially targeted by the Nazis during the Holocaust. His followers smuggled him from ghetto to ghetto, until he managed to escape to Budapest, Hungary, from where he made his way to Eretz Israel on a difficult journey that spanned Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey and Syria. His wife, children, grandchildren and entire extended family were killed by the Nazis, and he arrived in Eretz Israel accompanied only by his brother, R. Mordechai of Bilgoraj, who also lost his entire family (R. Mordechai's son, R. Yissaschar Dov, born of his second marriage in Eretz Israel, is the current Belzer Rebbe). Rebbe Aharon settled in Tel Aviv, where he began to rebuild the shattered remnants of his chassidut.
The recipient of the letter was Rebbe Yitzchak Meir of Kopychyntsi (1861-1935), a scion of the rebbes of Apta and Ruzhyn. He was the son of Rebbe Avraham Yehoshua Heschel of Medzhybizh and the son-in-law of Rebbe Mordechai Shraga Friedman of Husiatyn. In 1894 he became rebbe in Kopychyntsi, near Husiatyn, and quickly became renowned for his holiness as well as his deep wisdom and understanding. During WWI, he joined his friend Rebbe Yisrael Hager in Vizhnitz, and later settled in Vienna, although he frequently visited his chassidim in Galicia and Bukovina. His sons-in-law were Rebbe Avraham Yaakov of Sadigur-Tel Aviv, Rebbe Eliezer Hager of Vizhnitz, and Rebbe Avraham Yehoshua Heschel of Tarnopol.
Rebbe Yitzchak Meir's son, Rebbe Avraham Yehoshua Heschel (1888-1967) was one of the great Chassidic leaders in the United States. He succeeded his father as rebbe of Kopychyntsi in 1936, but managed to escape to the United States in 1939, where he established his Chassidic court. He served as a member of the American Moetzet Gedolei Hatorah, and was known for his kindness, generosity and caring, both for other Torah leaders and for simple Jews. He is buried in Tiberias, near the gravesite of his uncle, R. Yisrael of Husiatyn.
Single leaf, approximately 22 cm. Overall good condition. Fold lines and creases. Wear and tears to the top of the page.
Letters signed by Rebbe Aharon of Belz are extremely rare. This letter, which contains an additional line in the Rebbe's handwriting, is especially unique.
Year-round siddur with Kavanot HaAri. Part 1 - weekday prayers. "Siddur Rabbi Asher", by Rabbi Asher Margolioth of Brody and Medzhybizh, disciple of the Baal Shem Tov. Lviv: R. Shlomo Yarush Rappaport, 1787.
Important kabbalistic and Chassidic siddur, a faithful source for the kabbalistic teachings of the disciples of the Baal Shem Tov and of the kabbalists of their days.
This is the copy of the first Spinka Rebbe, author of Imrei Yosef, and of his son, author of Chakal Yitzchak.
The title page was replaced with a handwritten copy. This leaf bears the signatures of Rebbe "Yosef Meir son of R. Shmuel Zvi of Mukachevo" and of his son "Yitzchak Isaac son of Pere[l]". The endpaper before the title page and the leaf following the title page, bear the stamps of the Rebbe, author of Imrei Yosef: "Yosef Meir Weiss - Rabiner Szaplancza".
On the leaves of the siddur are several handwritten kabbalistic glosses, apparently in the handwriting of the Imrei Yosef of Spinka.
"Siddur Rabbi Asher", an Ashkenazi rite siddur, nusach Sefarad, containing Kavanot HaAri - one of the earliest kabbalist siddurim of Chassidic doctrine and of the disciples of the Baal Shem Tov. The siddur was edited by Kabbalist R. Asher son of R. Shlomo Zalman Margolioth of Medzhybizh, one of Holy Group of disciples of R. Yisrael Baal Shem Tov, and a leading Torah scholar of the famous Brody Kloiz.
The siddur was printed in Lviv in 1787, in the printing press of Rabbi Shlomo Yarush [who printed the first edition of Noam Elimelech that same year. The workers of that printing press were known for their great holiness, being of the hidden tsaddikim of the generation]. The siddur opens with approbations by Brody Torah scholars and approbations of Rabbi Yissachar Dov of Zolochiv and Rabbi Moshe of Pshevorsk, etc.
The history of this printing began about seven years previously, with the 1781 printing of a siddur with Kavanot HaAri in Zhovkva, encouraged by the Brody Kloiz kabbalists, later known as the "Siddur Chachmei HaKloiz". This was the first siddur with kabalistic kavanot printed in that region, and evolved from the dissemination of kabbalah in the area by the Brody scholars and by the disciples of the Baal Shem Tov. From the day this siddur was published, Rabbi Asher toiled in the study of its sources: the Ari's writings, Sefer HaYichudim, Pri Etz Chaim, manuscript of the siddur of the Chassid Kabbalist R. Shabtai of Raşcov, etc. He labored to correct all mistakes and revise the content to perfection. In his introduction, R. Asher writes about the Siddur Chachmei HaKloiz that "the first time can never be perfect". He explains that he permitted himself to revise it because he was a disciple of Kabbalist R. Chaim Sanzer of Brody, studying in particular "this true awesome wisdom", and also his teacher proofread this siddur, "therefore, I was able to edit and revise it".
The owner of this copy, R. Yosef Meir Weiss, author of Imrei Yosef of Spinka (1838-1909), was the first Spinka Rebbe, predecessor of the dynasty of Spinka rebbes. A prominent Torah scholar and Chassid, disciple of the Maharam Ash, Rabbi of Uzhhorod (Ungvár) and others. He was close to the Sar Shalom of Belz, to R. Menachem Mendel of Vizhnitz and to R. Chaim of Sanz, author of Divrei Chaim. However, his primary rebbe was his relative, R. Yitzchak Isaac of Zhydachiv - the Mahari, who considered R. Yosef Meir his most illustrious disciple.
In 1870, his teacher the Mahari of Zhydachiv appointed him rebbe, but he refused to act as rebbe during his teacher's lifetime. Only in 1876, after R. Chaim of Sanz ordained him rebbe, did he begin receiving Chassidim in his hometown Săpânța, in the Maramureş region. His name quickly spread throughout Hungary and Galicia and thousands of Chassidim became his disciples, among them many prominent Torah scholars, such as Rabbi Shalom Mordechai Schwadron the Maharsham of Berezhany, and others.
He was reputed for his amazing proficiency in revealed and hidden Torah. The Spinka Chassidism preserved the Zhydachiv version of prayer and conduct. His fervent prayers inspired the Chassidic multitudes, and are described as prayers with superhuman exertion. Stories are told of the amazing wonders he performed, through his blessings and counsel which were given with Ruach HaKodesh. His son, the Mahari of Spinka, attests that "his blessings worked many wonders and that many childless women bore children as a result of his prayers and his prayers cured the ill… I can almost say that every word which was emitted from his holy mouth was answered…". After his death, his grave is renowned as a site for prayer and deliverance. In 1972, his remains were brought to Eretz Israel and buried in the special plot of Spinka Chassidim in the Segulah cemetery in Petach Tikva.
His only son, Rabbi Yitzchak Isaac Weiss (1875-1944, Encyclopedia L'Chassidut, pp. 379-380), succeeded his father as Spinka Rebbe. During World War I, he moved to Mukachevo and from there to Selish, which thereafter became the new center of Spinka Chassidism. He and most of his family perished in the Holocaust. His book Chakal Yitzchak miraculously survived and was printed.
Volume 1 (of three volumes).  handwritten leaf,  leaves (the three volumes are composed of  leaves). This copy of Vol. 1 lacks the title page and the following leaf. Part of the title page was replaced with a handwritten copy, with a large open tear. 17.5 cm. Condition of leaves varies. Some are in good condition and some in fair condition. Stains. Wear and coarse tears to bottom margins of many leaves, affecting text. Contemporary leather binding, partially detached and worn.
Letter of recommendation by the Rebbe of Sieniawa "Yechezkel Shraga Halberstam". Sieniawa, 1897.
Recommendation to assist a family from the city of Stropkov which "left its country and birthplace in favor of living in the Holy Land, and I hereby want to introduce him to our people that he is worthy of endearment and respect wherever he goes, because he is a learned and G-d fearing man". At the beginning of the letter, the Rebbe notes the common relatives he has with the recipient of the letter.
The first Sieniawa Rebbe, R. Yechezkel Shraga Halberstam, Rabbi of Sieniawa (1815-1899), author of Divrei Yechezkel, eldest son of the Divrei Chaim of Sanz. Torah prodigy, proficient in revealed and hidden Torah, and in Halachic and Chassidic knowledge. He was already venerated in his role as rabbi and rebbe during his father's lifetime. Progenitor of important Chassidic dynasties, during the course of his life many of his sons and grandsons served in the rabbinate and became rebbes in various cities. Holy and pure from youth, he served leading rebbes of his times and was considered their primary disciple. He was famed for the miracles he performed, and instructed his students to save his letters, which would provide them with protection and salvation.
Official stationery, "Yechezkel Shraga Halberstam - Sieniawa", approximately 22 cm. Fair condition. Tears to folding creases and wear. Mounted on fabric for preservation.
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.
Single leaf (two handwritten pages - over 100 lines) handwritten by R. Moshe Sofer, the Chatam Sofer - novellae for Yom Kippur and Sukkot. [Pressburg (Bratislava), 1831].
Large leaf, handwritten on both sides. One side contains the title "Granted to me by G-d for Yom Kippur, 1831", and the second side contains the title "Granted to me by G-d for Sukkot, 1831".
These paragraphs were printed in Drashot Chatam Sofer (part I, pages 34b and 51b-52a). The leaf contains the complete Torah novellae for Yom Kippur and Sukkot, 1831.
The Chatam Sofer would write and organize all his novellae, sermons, lessons and Torah responsa. As he described in one of his letters, "I have written all the Torah thoughts with which G-d has enlightened me, and they are available to all who wish to copy them, just as earlier generations did before the advent of the printing press". Out of fondness of his holy Torah novellae, his descendants and disciples would preserve his holy manuscripts, as a segula for fear of Heaven and salvation.
Single leaf,  written pages. Approximately 104 handwritten lines. 25X40 cm. Good condition. Stains.
Two-Volume Manuscript – Commentary of the Vilna Gaon on Tikkunei HaZohar / Hadrat Kodesh by the Vilna Gaon – Original Copy of Rabbi Yitzchak Eizik Chaver, with Glosses Handwritten and Signed by him – Unprinted Glosses
Two manuscripts: Commentary of the Vilna Gaon (Gra) on Tikkunei HaZohar; Hadrat Kodesh, kabbalistic entries and anthologies of teachings of the Gra. Copied by scribes, with many corrections and notations of Kabbalist R. Yitzchak Eizik Chaver, some in his own handwriting and some copied by his scribes. [Lithuania-Poland, early 19th century].
These manuscripts originated in the home of R. Yitzchak Eizik Chaver, and he studied them and illuminated them with glosses in his own handwriting. The manuscript was written for him by several scribes [apparently, primarily by his son R. Yosef Chaver and partly by other scribes]. The manuscript contains more than 100 glosses by R. Yitzchak Eizik Chaver, some with signatures at beginning or end: "N.L. [Nir'e Li] Yitzchak" ("So it seems to me, Yitzchak"), initials of the inscription "Nir'e Li Yitzchak", and "Yitzchak" [he signed "Yitzchak" mostly on glosses in his own handwriting]. Some glosses were written by the scribe [his son R. Yosef] while copying the book (in "windows", parentheses in the text, or in the margins), and some were added at a later time to the margins. The glosses contain textual corrections and kabbalistic notations.
At the beginning and end of the first volume are ownership inscriptions in the handwriting of: "Yisrael Yosef son of R. Y. Heilprin", who attributes the composition to R. Yitzchak Eizik Chaver: "This book was authored by… R. Yitzchak Isaac and Rabbi of Suwałki...". Signatures of R. "Yitzchak Zvi Rakovsky" [descendant of R. Eizik Chaver].
Extensive parts of the text were apparently written by his son R. Yosef Chaver (see Kedem Catalog, Auction 33, item 351), who added many of his father's glosses while writing [and his own as well]. At the beginning of Vol. 1 (until leaf 44) are glosses (textual corrections) in a different hand, signed "N.L.A.".
Vol. 1 contains the Gra's commentary on Tikkunei HaZohar from the introduction to Tikkunei HaZohar until the end of Tikkun 57. From p. 151b are further glosses of R. Eizik Chaver, and other additions. Vol. 2 contains the Vilna Gaon's commentary on Tikkunei HaZohar from Tikkun 58 until the end (Tikkun 70). Afterward is an essay by R. Moshe Shlomo of Tulchyn, disciple of the Vilna Gaon. A new pagination opens Sefer Hadrat Kodesh. This part of the manuscript has many corrections (of copying errors), in the margins and between the lines.
In the margins of Hadrat Kodesh are inscriptions next to several sections in a later writing: "Printed in Sefer HaYetzirah" [with the Gra's commentary]; "Printed in Sifra D'Tzni'uta [with the Gra's commentary]; "Printed in Yahel Or" [printed in Vilna, 1882].
Kabbalist R. Yitzchak Eizik Chaver (1787-1852, Otzar HaRabbanim 11168) was one of the major promoters of the writings of the Vilna Gaon. At the early age of fourteen, Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Shklov (disciple of Vilna Gaon) already noted his readiness to study Kabbalistic wisdom. Even in his youth, his name spread as a Torah prodigy, erudite in all facets of Torah, and he served as rabbi of several prominent communities: Prozina, Razini, Vawkavysk. From 1837-1849, served in the Tykocin rabbinate and in 1849 relocated to the Suwałki rabbinate and served as rabbi for four years. Exalted genius, among the leading Torah giants and rabbinical authorities of his times, he completed the Talmud 60 times. Composed dozens of books on revealed and kabbalistic Torah topics, of which only some were published, including many Kabbalistic books on the teachings of the Vilna Gaon, halachic responsa and books on Talmudical treatises.
His son, R. Yosef Chaver (died Cheshvan 1875) served as Rabbi of Parysów, Knyszyn and Jedwabne [in the Lomza region, Poland]. Author of Zero'ah Netuyah on the Passover Haggadah, Nefesh Naki - a eulogy on his father, Sha'ar Yosef, Tzefirat Tif'arah, etc. His illustrious father venerated him for his Kabbalistic knowledge, and in his testament, Rabbi Yitzchak Eizik Chaver requested that his son the Rabbi of Knyszyn "study my homiletic writings - because he is very proficient in the homiletic study and he will be able to choose the good writings with leanings towards the truth of the Torah".
Two volumes composed of approx. 295 leaves. Vol. 1: 1-31, , 32-111, , 112-151,  leaves. 21 cm. Neat handsome writing, on bluish paper. Condition varies, good-fair. Wear and stains. First leaf partially detached. Worming to all leaves, slightly affecting text. Detached and damaged binding.
Vol. 2: 1-79, , 1-21, 21-59,  leaves (leaf 57 of the second pagination was erroneously bound between leaves 57 and 58 of the first pagination; leaf 34 of the second pagination was erroneously bound between leaves 71 and 72 of the first pagination). 21 cm. Neat handsome writing, on bluish paper. Condition varies, fair. Stains. Dampstains to first leaves. The corners of the last leaves are torn and damaged with lacking text (leaves 24-59, including the leaves which were bound out of order). Open tears to margins of some other leaves. Worming. Cardboard binding.
Tikkunei HaZohar with the Gra's commentary was printed in Vilna, 1867. Sections of Hadrat Kodesh were printed in the book Yahel Or (Vilna, 1882) and in other books of the teachings of the Gra. The book was first printed by Mossad HaRav Kook (Jerusalem, 2014), by R. David Kamenetsky. This manuscript is mentioned there in the introduction, titled "Manuscript 3".
These glosses of R. Yitzchak Eizik Chaver on the Gra's commentary on Tikkunei HaZohar have not yet been printed, but another manuscript with copies of glosses from this manuscript was sent to Jerusalem to R. Yitzchak Eizik's disciple Kabbalist R. Yitzchak Kahane of Kolno, author of Toldot Yitzchak (part of that manuscript can be found in the NLI in Jerusalem). Here are the original manuscripts from which those manuscripts sent to the author of Toldot Yitzchak were copied.
Enclosed is an expert report, by R. David Kamenetsky, who inspected and researched this manuscript. The primary source of this description is the enclosed article he wrote (in 2008) as well as his introduction to Hadrat Kodesh (published by Mossad HaRav Kook, Jerusalem, 2014).
Tefillat Nehorah, siddur "nusach Sefarad" (Sefarad tradition). Two parts. Slavita: R. Shmuel Avraham Shapira son of the Slavita rabbi, 1833.
Siddur with many additions. Edited by R. Aharon son of R. Yechiel Michel HaLevi of Mikhalishki. Prayers and pleas, kabbalistic and simple kavanot, commentaries, laws and practices, mussar and words of inspiration, Tikkunei Shabbat, Haggadah and Yotzrot, etc.
Approbations of rabbis of Ostroh and Sudilkov. Part of the title page of Part 1 was printed in red ink. Separate title page for Part 2.
Signatures of "Yitzchak Zvi son of R. Avraham of Leżajsk (Lizhensk)" [R. Hershel Shemesh of Safed].
Part 1: , 5-31, -125, 139-178, 157-164, 187-190 leaves. Lacking 14 middle leaves (leaves 32, 126-138). Part 2: , 189-192, 5-125 leaves. Another leaf is bound between leaf 64 and leaf 65, containing a section of the Zohar which is customarily recited before teki'ot (not recorded in the Bibliography of the Hebrew Book). 18 cm. Condition varies among the leaves, fair-good. Stains and wear. Repaired title page, lacking upper part, replaced with photocopy. Repaired tears and worming to many leaves, damages to text (the book was professionally repaired). Elegant new leather binding.
Leaf (two written pages) in the handwriting of R. Pinchas HaLevi Horowitz, author of the Hafla'ah, novellae on Tractate Nidah.
The leaf contains novellae on Tractate Nidah, from page 5a to page 6b. These novellae have not been printed.
R. Pinchas HaLevi Ish Horowitz, author of the Hafla'ah (1731-1805), close disciple of R. Dov Ber the Magid of Mezeritch [studied under his tutelage together with his brother R. Shmelke of Nikolsburg]. For more than 30 years, he served as Rabbi of Frankfurt am Main, the hub of Torah study in Germany at that time. The Chatam Sofer was among his disciples. He authored important books, including HaMikneh on Tractate Kiddushin, Ketubah on Tractate Ketubot and Hafla'ah on several tractates and on the Shulchan Aruch, giving him his cognomen "Ba'al HaHafla'a".
 leaf (2 written pages), 19 cm. Fair condition. Stains and creases, wear and tears to margins.
Enclosed is an expert's report identifying the handwriting as that of the Ba'al Hafla'ah.
Letter written by a scribe, with the full signature of R. Aharon of Chernobyl, "Aharon son of the famous R. Mordechai". 10th of Elul [ca. late 1860s].
Letter of family greetings sent to his son-in-law R. David Moshe of Chortkiv and to his daughter Rebbetzin Faiga, and to his grandchildren R. Menachem [Nachum] Mordechai and his wife Sheva, and "the dear groom Yisrael". The letter ends with blessings for the New Year.
R. Aharon Twersky of Chernobyl (1787-1871), foremost Chassidic leader in his times and prominent luminary of the Jewish world in the mid-19th century. He was the eldest son of R. Mordechai of Chernobyl and succeeded his ancestors as Rebbe in the city of Chernobyl. In his youth, he was educated by his grandfather Rebbe Menachem Nachum of Chernobyl, author of Meor Einayim. During his father's lifetime, R. Aharon already filled a central role in the Chassidic world, and his father wrote that in his great holiness, he safeguards his generation. After his father's death in 1838, his eight sons served as rebbes in various cities, however, his eldest son succeeded his father in Chernobyl, esteemed by all his brothers, who gave him deference in their private matters as well [as can be seen by the superlative titles he was given by his brother, R. Avraham the Maggid of Turiysk, who himself was rebbe to thousands of Chassidim]. R. Aharon recognized the authority allotted to him and addressed the public with resolute and decisive terms. For example, in one letter he writes: "I inform them that even if they live as long as Metushelach, they will not know and understand even one thousandth of the good I have done for them in those days, with G-d's help".
R. Aharon lived a long life and merited seeing many of his descendants serve as rebbes, since he was accustomed to appointing his grandsons as rebbes in his lifetime. The most outstanding rebbe among his descendants was the recipient of this letter, his son-in-law R. David Moshe of Chortkiv (1827-1903), who was greatly esteemed by his father-in-law, as he writes in this letter when blessing his son-in-law's Chassidim: "All who are attached with ties of love to the light of the holiness of my holy and pure son-in-law". His daughter, Rebbetzin Faiga, recipient of this letter, was the maternal granddaughter of R. Aharon of Tetiyev, a descendant of the Baal Shem Tov. His grandson R. Menachem Nachum Mordechai, mentioned in the letter, died at a young age in 1870, and his widow Rebbetzin Sheva remarried Rebbe Yisrael of Sadigura. His grandson Yisrael, mentioned in the letter, is Rebbe Yisrael of Chortkiv (1854-1933), an eminent rebbe and leader from the early 1900s until the 1930s.
Leaf, approximately 26 cm. Good-fair condition. Tears and damages to margins (not affecting text), wear and stains.
Archive of the German-Jewish photographer Kurt Meyerowitz, containing over 150,000 negatives. Jerusalem and various places in Israel, mid-1950s to 1980s (mostly from 1960s and 1970s).
Kurt Meyerowitz was born in 1906 in Gelsenkirchen in the region of Westphalia, Germany. He received his first camera as a bar-mitzvah gift, and since that moment did not cease photographing throughout his entire life, although he had never studied photography. With the Nazi rise to power he escaped to France, wandered between a number of cities and finally found his way to Switzerland, where he lived until the end of the war.
In 1945 he immigrated to Palestine and settled in Jerusalem, where he opened a photo lab called "Photo Emka", which became known as one of the leading, most professional photo labs in the city. Its clients included photographers Tim Gidal, Werner Braun, Alfred Bernheim and others. In those years Meyerowitz began to establish himself as an independent photographer, first in the service of photographic agencies and later for the JNF, the Knesset and the Foreign Ministry, the Youth Aliyah organization, Hadassah Hospital and other institutions.
The present archive contains documentation, extraordinary in its breadth, of various aspects of Israeli life in those years. Among other things, the collection includes:
* Thousands of negatives documenting the activities of the Israeli Knesset in the 1960s and 1970s, including negatives of David Ben-Gurion, Moshe Dayan, Levi Eshkol, Golda Meir, Yitzhak Rabin, Menachem Begin, Yigal Allon, Yitzhak Ben Zvi, Zalman Shazar, Ephraim Katzir, Shimon Peres, Ariel Sharon and others.
* Thousands of negatives documenting the visits of statesmen and notables to Israel, including negatives showing the visit of Richard Nixon in 1974, Margaret Thatcher's visit in 1976, Henry Kissinger's visit, Teddy Kennedy, Frank Sinatra, Danny Kaye, and hundreds of ambassadors and other persons.
* Numerous negatives showing the Israeli youth village; the Hadassah Medical Center at Ein Kerem; the signing of the ceasefire agreement between Israel and Egypt at the end of the Yom Kippur War; IDF forces on the western bank of the Suez Canal; the Porat Yosef Yeshiva in Jerusalem's Geula neighborhood in the 1950s; Jerusalem's Old City and the Western Wall following the Six-Day War; the funeral of S.Y. Agnon; Purim celebrations; and other subjects.
* Thousands of negatives of private studio photographs.
The negatives are stored in about 60 cardboard boxes and inserted in paper envelopes, most of them captioned, numbered and dated. Many include contact prints. In addition, the collection contains six catalog notebooks with notation of the works, their number and the date they were taken (the notebook notation does not include the entire collection, and part of it records earlier works).
1. About 200 photographs (of different sizes), including photographs of the Western Wall after its occupation in the Six-Day War, granting of military decorations to outstanding soldiers, the return of POWs at the end of the Yom Kippur War, and more.
2. About 30 uncut negative rolls.
The rights to Meyerowitz's photographs will be transferred to the buyer of the archive.
Size and condition of negatives varies. Good overall condition. A small part of the negatives are in fair-poor condition, glued together, damaged or crumbling.
1. Und sie haben Deutschland verlassen... müssen, Fotografen und ihre Bilder, 1928-1997, [Projektleitung]: Published by Klaus Honeff, Frank Weyers. Rheinisches Landesmuseum Bonn, Landschaftsverband Rheinland, Bonn, 1997, pp. 330-331.
2. Photographers of Palestine, by Guy Raz. Tel Aviv: Mappa, 2003, p. 141.
Altneuland, Roman von Theodor Herzl. Leipzig: Hermann Seemann Nachfolger . German. Fourth edition.
Utopian novel. Herzl employs the plot to describe his vision regarding the Jewish state to be founded in Palestine.
On the front endpaper is a dedication in the hand of Theodor Herzl: "Der lieben Ella / der liebe Theodor / 6 XI 1902" [To Beloved Ella, from Loving Theodor, 6 November 1902].
Herzl's wife's sister Julia (Julie), née Naschauer, was nicknamed Ella (1875-1940).
The novel "Altneuland" was published a few years after the publication of Herzl's "The Jewish State" and after his visit to Palestine. Herzl wrote the novel in the years 1899-1902, giving the manuscript the title "New Zion". Later, he changed the manuscript's title to "Altneuland", after the name of the Prague synagogue, "Altneuschul". In the same year it was published, the book was translated to Yiddish and Hebrew (in Hebrew it was titled "Tel-Aviv" [literally 'mound of spring'], the title chosen by the translator, Nahum Sokolow. This name was later adopted as the name of the first Hebrew city). Within less than a year "Altneuland" was translated to six more languages. Printed on the title page is the famous motto, "Wenn Ihr wollt, Ist es kein Märchen" - "If You Will It, It Is No Dream".
, 343,  pp, 18 cm. Fair condition. Endpapers and first and last leaves attached with acidic adhesive tape. Several detached leaves. Stains. Tears to margins of several leaves. Original binding, worn, with tears to spine (reinforced with acidic adhesive tape).
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.
Letter by R. Yisrael Meir HaCohen (Kagan) of Radin, author of the Chafetz Chaim, with his signature and stamp. Radin (Raduň), 25th of Elul 1928.
Official stationery of the Chafetz Chaim, with his signature "Yisrael Meir HaCohen" and his stamp. The letter was sent to "the benefactor… Mr. Bacharach of the city of Hamburg", thanking him for his past donation to the Radin yeshiva and requesting that he increase his support due to the difficult financial straits of the yeshiva. The letter contains blessings for the New Year.
Rabbi Yisrael Meir HaCohen of Radin (1837-1933, Otzar HaRabbanim 12262), widely known by the name of his first book, the Chafetz Chaim. He headed the Radin Yeshiva, and authored many halachic and ethical works: Mishnah Berurah, Shmirat HaLashon, Ahavat Chessed and many more. This is a letter written in his later years, at the age of about 89 [trembling is discernable in his signature].
17 cm. Fair condition. Stains, dampness traces on bottom margin. Folding creases and wear. Mounted on paper for restoration.
Long (2-page) autograph letter signed by R. Shlomo Eiger, to "…Rabbi of Krotoszyn". Posen (Poznań), 26th of Kislev 1845.
Autograph in small close clear handwriting. Bearing his unique signature, which combines Hebrew and Polish: "S. Eiger הק"ש איגר" (his first initial and surname in Hebrew). This letter was written as a rejoinder to a polemic letter sent to him by R. Shmuel Mendelson of the Krotoszyn rabbinate, but it was never sent. An inscription was added to the beginning of the letter: "I have not sent this letter, however I responded to that which he said to investigate the three people which he mentioned by name, and he told me to write again briefly". The letter is about a responsum (cited in the R. Shlomo Eiger responsa, Orach Chaim, Siman 3) send by R. Shlomo Eiger at the beginning of the month of Kislev 1856, to the Krotoszyn community regarding a halachic controversy in the city which evolved around changing the customs of a synagogue which was rebuilt after the old one was consumed by fire. In the responsum printed in the aforementioned book, the name of R. Shmuel Mendelson is mentioned as one party involved in this halachic dispute. In general, R. Shlomo agreed to the ruling of R. Shmuel, however in some of the issues of this polemic, R. Shlomo concurred with the opinion of Dayan R. Yisrael Goldschmidt (disciple of R. Akiva Eiger) who was in disaccord with that ruling.
From this letter, we can derive that R. Shmuel sent R. Shlomo in response a letter protesting his involvement in this matter, deviating from his father's practice of not entangling himself in disputes against rabbis of other cities. R. Shlomo responded at the beginning of this letter: "…Please forgive me if I say that I do not believe that which you wrote that my father did not justify opinions which were in opposition to that of the prevailing rabbi, but always respected the prevailing rabbi's opinion - how can I believe such a derogatory statement about him. However, I do believe that in matters which did not pertain to Torah law, he respected the rabbi, but what can I do if you did not understand the places in which I wrote not to do anything which does not comply with the opinion of the prevailing rabbi… I also do not understand why you claim that I justified the opposing opinion over yours. I actually, rejected the opposing opinion concerning the main practical aspect of the discussion and justified your ruling not to nullify the old custom…".
R. Shlomo Eiger (1786-1852), a leading Torah scholar in his times, second son of R. Akiva Eiger (and brother-in-law of the Chatam Sofer) was among the most learned and wealthy Warsaw residents and after he lost his fortune during the 1831 Battle of Warsaw (R. Shlomo Eiger, R. Chaim Davidson and R. Berish Meisels supported the revolt), he was appointed to the Kalish rabbinate. In 1840, he succeeded his father as Rabbi of Posen. He edited and published his father's responsa and novellae adding a few of his own novellae to these books. In addition, his books Gilyon Maharsha on the Talmud and on the Shulchan Aruch were also printed. The book Rabbi Shlomo Eiger responsa printed by Mossad HaRav Kook (Jerusalem, 1983-1985) and Sefer Ha'Ikarim - explanations of halachic principles (Jerusalem, 1991-1996) are composed of his writings.
Leaf, 20 cm. approximately 42 autograph lines written on both sides. Good-fair condition. Wear, holes and tears, scarcely affecting text.
Parchment megillah containing two stories of deliverance of North African Jewery. [Tangier, Morocco, second half of 19th century].
Ink on parchment, engraved wood.
Charming square script on two parchment sheets. 10 columns, with purple borderlines. Rolled on original wooden handle.
This scroll is composed of two megillot which were read on the two days of "Purim Katan" celebrated in Tangier and in Morocco. The first is the story of the "Purim de las Bombas" deliverance which is followed by the megillah of the salvation of "Sebastian's Purim".
"Purim de las Bombas" (Purim of the bombs) was instituted as a festival for posterity among Tangier Jews after the miracle of the salvation of the Jews of the city in 1849, after French ships bombed the city of Tangier from the sea and the Jewish neighborhood was not harmed in the least. In commemoration of that miracle, sages from Tangier instituted the celebration of Purim Katan each year on the 21st of the month of Av. The story of this deliverance was written for commemoration and was read each year in public, like Megillat Esther, and this day of salvation was celebrated with song and praise.
"Sebastian's Purim" was instituted following the miracle of the deliverance of Morrocan Jews in 1578, at the time Sebastian the King of Portugal attempted to conquer Moroccan cities from the hands of King Moulay Abd Al-Malik. He was joined by King Moulay Muhammed, who formerly served as King of Morocco before his kingdom was seized by Abd Al-Malik. The King of Portugal send a mighty army of 17,000 soldiers in a fleet of 500 ships to Morocco. Using brilliant strategy, the Moroccan army beguiled the Portuguese army deep into their country. The latter marched for five days under the unrelenting boiling Moroccan sun carrying their heavy equipment and finally the battle was fought near the town of El Ksar el Kebir. Within four hours, the Portuguese army was defeated. 8000 soldiers lay dead in the battlefield and another 15,000 were taken into captivity. King Sebastian of Portugal as well as King Abd Al-Malik of Morocco were among the fallen. The third king, Moulay Mohammed drowned himself following the defeat, so all three kings died in one day. From that time, this battle was known as the Battle of the Three Kings. This war directly impacted the fate of Moroccan Jews. Reputedly, two anusim from the Portuguese army told the Jews of Morocco that the King of Portugal had intended to convert the Jews to Christianity after his occupation of Moroccan cities. In commemoration of this miracle of salvation, Moroccan Jews fixed a Purim Katan each year on the second day of Rosh Chodesh Elul, with songs and praise and abstaining from work. Moroccan Jews call this festival "Sebastian's Purim" or "Purim de los Cristianos" (Purim of the Christians). The tidings of the death of King Sebastian of Portugal spread to faraway Jewish communities and the Maharit who lived in Safed writes: "In the year of 1579, a meteor was seen for 40 days in the west… It was a sign of the death of the King of Portugal named Sebastian, while fighting in Africa…" (Teshuvot V'Piskei Maharit HeChadashim, Jerusalem 1978, p. 22). This Purim is celebrated by Moroccan Jews up until recent times, and was commemorated by reading a megillah in public, like the reading of Megillat Esther.
Only a few such megillot, written in the form of a scroll (and not in a pamphlet), are known to exist. We do not know of any other parchment copies in the form of a megillah (a scan of a similar megillah written on paper is held in NLI, from the collection of Bill Gross).
Height of parchment: 13.5 cm. wooden handle: 37 cm. Good condition. Stains. Holes in beginning of first sheet. Several breaks to wooden handle. Without lace for tying.
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.
Torah scroll pointer ("Yad"), made by the goldsmith Anders Isleben. [Vimmerby], Sweden, , dedication dated 5559 .
Cast, sawed and engraved silver; parcel-gilt. Marked.
Closed hand, with an outstretched index finger and a cuff. Handle, half of which has four facets; the other half is made of four shafts decorated with small silver dots, bearing sharpened platelets and holding a gilt ball (movable). At the end of the hand is a flattened ball and a small crown-shaped decoration. Engraved on one of the facets is the dedication: "Leib son of Moshe Lam", and on another facet – a verse from the Book of Exodus (13:9), enciphering the Jewish year 5559, corresponding to 1799.
The name of Rabbi Leib Lamm from Stockholm appears at the end of the book "Chevel Lehachiot" ["A Rope to Recover"], printed in Altona in 1803, in a list of prenumeranten. A Torah shield with a dedication by Aaron son of Leib Lamm (also from the collection of the Nottingham Jewish community) was sold at Sotheby's, auction N08814 (December 14, 2011), item no. 32. At the end of the pointer is a loop and chain.
This is one of the earliest known Jewish ceremonial objects from Sweden. There is little existing evidence regarding Jewish presence in Sweden until the 18th century (according to population records, in 1787 no more than 150 Jews lived in Sweden, and in 1807 – 631 Jews only). In 1779, under the reign of Gustav III, Jews were granted the right to settle in Stockholm, Göteborg and Norrköping, under certain restrictions. In 1782, Jews were granted the right to settle in Sweden without converting to Christianity, and at the same year Jews were granted the privilege to build a synagogue and to pray in public.
See previous item.
Length: 29.5 cm. Good condition.
Provenance: donated to the Nottingham community in 1913 by Gustave Meyer, in memory of his father David Meyer, president of the Jewish community at Nottingham in the years 1869-1881.