Books, Manuscripts, Rabbinical Letters, Ceremonial Art Books, Manuscripts & Rabbinical Letters

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The Auction was held on 28/08/18


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Auction 62 Lot Number 247

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Letter Handwritten and Signed by Rabbi Chaim HaLevi of Brisk – Brisk, 1895

Interesting letter handwritten and signed by R. Chaim HaLevi Soloveitchik, with the "Stamp of the Beit Din… Brisk in Lithuania. Brisk (Brest), Tevet 1895.
Sent to a R. Avraham David (who presumably served as rabbi or posek). In his letter, R. Chaim expresses his surprise, why the inquiring rabbi, who obviously possesses straight reasoning and does not rule unless he has fully clarity, is later second-guessing himself and his ability to rule. At the end of the letter, R. Chaim adds: "His honor should not bear grudge against me for not expanding on Halachic topics, since the time does not allow me to".
This letter, written in the early days of R. Chaim's tenure as rabbi of Brisk, was written entirely in his own handwriting, unlike letters from later periods, which were written on his behalf by his attendants and household members.
R. Chaim HaLevi Soloveitchik of Brisk, Rabbi of Brisk (1853-1918), a foremost Torah scholar in Lithuania and one of the leaders of his generation, is considered the initiator of the learning method in Lithuanian yeshivot. He was the son of R. Yosef Dov Soloveitchik, the Beit HaLevi, and son-in-law of R. Refael Shapira, dean of the Volozhin yeshiva and son-in-law of the Netziv. After his marriage, he began serving as a third dean of the Volozhin yeshiva. With the yeshiva's closure, he proceeded to succeed his father, who passed away in 1894, as rabbi of Brisk, and continued teaching Torah to a small group of elite students. He was known for the uncompromising battle he waged against Zionism (R. Chaim would frequently say that the Zionist movement's prime objective is to uproot faith and Torah observance from the Jewish people). He was one of the founders of Agudath Yisrael, yet despite his extensive public and charitable activity, he did not cease innovating and learning Torah in his thoughts, delving deeply in Torah topics until to absolute exhaustion. A small compendium of his novellae was printed some twenty years after his passing, in the book Chiddushei Rabbeinu Chaim HaLevi on the Rambam, published by his son R. Yitzchak Zev Soloveitchik Rabbi of Brisk (Brisk, 1936 – in the foreword by the author's sons, they write how this book was written over a period of many years, revised over and over again, "even a hundred times"). Many novellae were disseminated orally in his name throughout Lithuanian yeshivot, transmitted and copied by many writers, resulting in the stencil edition of Chiddushei HaGaon R. Chaim [in recent years, several books were published based on R. Chaim's draft notebooks, including some novellae parallel to those printed in Chiddushei HaGaon R. Chaim based on oral transmission].
[1] leaf. Approx. 13X22 cm. Fair condition. Severe wear, slightly affecting text, professionally repaired.
The verso of the leaf contains novellae on the laws of Treifot (presumably written by the recipient of the letter).

Opening8,000$ Unsold

Auction 62 Lot Number 281

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Letter by Rebbe Aharon of Chernobyl

Letter signed by Rebbe Aharon of Chernobyl. [No date or place].
Grave warning to an individual who does not wish to obey a Torah ruling rendered by three rabbis and blessings if he will comply: "My warning is double with serious forewarning to fulfill the ruling of these rabbis without deviance, lest you regret… Aharon son of the famed R. Mordechai".
R. Aharon Twersky of Chernobyl (1787-1871), prominent Chassidic leader in his times and celebrated 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. Already during his father's lifetime, R. Aharon filled a central role in the Chassidic world, and his father wrote that his great holiness safeguards his generation. After his father's death in 1838, his eight sons served as rebbes in various cities, however, the eldest son, R. Aharon, succeeded his father in Chernobyl. He was esteemed by all his brothers and they 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 as demonstrated by the resoluteness and decisiveness inherent in his public missives. 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, especially due to his practice of appointing his grandsons as rebbes in his lifetime. R. David Moshe of Chortkiv (1827-1903) was his son-in-law.
[1] leaf. 18.5 cm. Written by scribe, signed by the Rebbe. Fair condition. Tears (repaired) to folding marks. Singeing damage to edges.

Opening7,000$ Unsold

Auction 62 Lot Number 223

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Manuscript – Segulot, Amulets, Incantations and Hashbaot – Practical Kabbalah Notebook of R. Refael Yeshaya Azulai Rabbi of Ancona, the Chida’s Son – Passages in his Handwriting

Manuscript containing Segulot, Hashbaot, incantations and amulets – Practical Kabbalah notebook of R. Refael Yeshaya Azulai, son of the Chida and rabbi of Ancona. Written partly by a scribe, and partly by R. Refael Yeshaya Azulai. [Ancona, ca. 1820-1824].
Handwritten notebook, mostly in neat Italian scribal-script, and alternately in Sephardic script – the handwriting of R. Refael Yeshaya Azulai, who added Segulot, Hashbaot and amulet texts. The manuscript also contains personal lists, with income and expenditures records and names of Jews in Ancona, as well as two pages of Torah thoughts. Includes tables, Kabbalistic illustrations and "Ktav Malachim".
In the bound notebook are interspersed additional handwritten leaves, also on practical Kabbalah, some in R. Yeshaya Azulai's handwriting, and some in scribal-script.
An overall breakdown of the manuscript:
Leaves [1]-[4a]: Amulet texts for protection in various matters: to remove foreign thoughts, for a storm at sea, for headache and malaria; Hashbaot and incantations "to cause anyone to do your will..." and "against fear".
Leaves [4b]-[8]: Accounting inscriptions and names of people [presumably from Ancona], in Hebrew and Italian, some handwritten by R. Yeshaya Azulai, dated "Tishrei 1821", "Nisan 1822", "Elul 1822" and "Tishrei 1822". P. [7b] contains an amulet "Segula for a thief" with "Angels' seals" illustrations.
Leaves [9]-[12]: Segulot, Hashbaot and incantations for various matters: "to be loved by all", "for escaping prison", "for increasing a woman's milk supply", "to cause illness or death to an enemy", "to cease menstruation", "against miscarriage", and more. Leaf [10] contains two amulet texts handwritten by R. Yeshaya Azulai. Leaf [11] contains a list of 12 different Segulot "for a difficult labor".
Leaves [13]-[14a]: three pages of Torah teachings (Halacha and Aggadah) in R. Yeshaya Azulai's handwriting.
Leaves [14b]-[16]: Lists of accounts and names, mostly handwritten by R. Yeshaya Azulai. Leaf [14b] contains a list of calculations, handwritten by R. Yeshaya: "Tishrei 1820 the salary I receive from the community for the whole year is two hundred scudos every six months…".
Leaves [17]-[24]: Segulot, Hashbaot and amulet texts, with tables, Kabbalistic combinations of names and "Angels' seals", for various matters, including: "to annul sorcery", "to sell merchandise", "for a thief", "for a store", "to sell and buy", "for difficult labor", "to change a person's mind", and more. Some pages contain accounting and various other inscriptions, some in R. Yeshaya Azulai's handwriting.
P. [18a] contains a handwritten list by R. Yeshaya Azulai of prices of books (the book LeDavid Emet from his father the Chida appears in the list).
The front endpaper contains a record of a dispute - "Shimshon Pacifico's claim on the widow of Moshe Yitzchak Pesaro…".
In the additional leaves interspersed in the manuscript: gathering of six written pages, Segulot and Refuot, She'elat Chalom (dream question), Holy names and amulet texts (numbered, sections 1-33); several leaves from a handwritten work on practical kabbalah; several leaves from a different Segula notebook, Hashbaot and incantations, with passages in R. Yeshaya Azulai's handwriting.
R. Refael Yeshaya Azulai (1743-1826) was born in Jerusalem, the eldest son of the illustrious R. Chaim Yosef David Azulai - the Chida. A great Torah scholar in his own right, he was a rabbi, posek and leader of Italian Jewry in his times. Some of his halachic responsa were printed in his father's books, who honored and esteemed him and always mentioned him with epithets of love ("my dear son", "my firstborn son, the perfect great chacham", "the light of my eyes", "friend of my soul", etc.). After the death of R. Avraham Yisrael, rabbi of Ancona, in 1785, the community leaders turned to the Chida who hinted that his son R. Refael Yeshaya would be suitable for this position. He served as rabbi of Ancona for many years until his death on Shevat 9, 1823 (he lived 83 years, like his father). He was greatly honored at his death and was mourned by his community for a long time [for further information see M. Benayahu's book on the Chida, pp. 476-487].
[24] leaves + [8] leaves. Approx. 19 cm. Overall good condition. Stains and wear. Tears and damage. Worming in places, slightly affecting text. Binding worn.

Opening5,000$ Unsold

Auction 62 Lot Number 5

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Minhag Avot Tanya – First Edition – Mantua, 1514

Minhag Avot Tanya. Customs and laws. [By R. Yechiel son of R. Yekutiel Anav, author of Maalot HaMiddot]. Mantua: Shmuel Latif, 1514.
Printed without a title page. Printer's colophon appears on the last page, dated Sivan 1514 in Mantua. The leaf with the table of contents is bound at the beginning of the book.
Short explanatory glosses, in early Italian script.
This book is an abridgement of Shibolei HaLeket, with many additions. It was arranged as a halachic composition accompanying the Italian-rite siddur (Minhag Bnei Roma). The book was printed anonymously, but in various editions was attributed to R' Yechiel son of R' Asher (the Rosh) and to R' Yechiel son of R' Tzidkiya.
[100] leaves. 19 cm. Good-fair condition, most of the leaves are in good condition. Stains. Light wear to some of the pages. Worming in a few places, some of it restored. Restored tears, several tears repaired with adhesive tape. New leather binding.
In following editions, the composition was called Tanya Rabata or Tanya Rabati. About the author and the composition, see: I.Z. Feintuch, Masorot V'Nuschaot BaTalmud, Ramat Gan 1985, pp. 65-76; Y. Ta-Shema, in: Italia, 11, 1995, pp. 48-49.

Opening4,500$ Unsold

Auction 62 Lot Number 32

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Bechinat Olam with Bakashat HaMemin – Ferrara, 1551

Bechinat Olam, ethical and philosophical poetry, by R. Yedaiah (HaPenini) ben Avraham Bedersi. Ferrara: Shmuel ibn Ascara HaTzarfati, [1551]. First edition with the commentaries of R. Moshe ibn Habib, and with a commentary to Bakashat HaMemin by R. Yosef Frances.
Signatures on the title page: "Belongs to me the young… Azubib"; "Nehorai Azubib" (prominent rabbi in Algiers, died 1785).
The book is comprised of ethical lessons in poetic format regarding this world and the world to come. Bakashat HaMemin is a poetic prayer with all words beginning with the letter Mem.
R. Yedaiah HaPenini Bedersi (ca. 1270-1340) was a poet, doctor and philosopher from Béziers in Provence, France. He considered himself a disciple of the Rambam and he wrote enthusiastically in his favor during the great debate regarding the study of philosophy. (His responsa were published in the Rashba's responsa, chapter 418).
122, 13 leaves. 18.5 cm. Good condition. Stains. Worming in several places. Restored title page with slight damage. Restoration of worming and small tears on other pages. Elegant leather binding, new.

Opening4,000$ Unsold

Auction 62 Lot Number 17

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Rabbeinu Bachyei on the Torah – Pesaro, 1517 – Glosses

The Rabbeinu Bachyei commentary on the Torah, by Rabbeinu Bachyei ben Asher ibn Halawa. [Pesaro: Gershom Soncino, 1517].
Dozens of notes in early Ashkenazic script (some trimmed). Most consist of corrections, some of additions and novellae. Some lengthy notes. In Parashat Balak, particularly lengthy notes appear at the foot of the pages.
[272] leaves (originally: [274] leaves. Lacking the title page and last leaf). An additional leaf was bound at the end of the book (from the Pesaro 1507 edition of the Rabbeinu Bachyei commentary). The first leaf, within an illustrated border (originally leaf [2]), was bound back-to-front (to give it the appearance of a title page). 29 cm. High-quality paper. Good-fair condition. Stains, dampstains. Wear to the first leaves. Marginal tears to several leaves. Only the front cover remains, detached.

Opening3,000$ Unsold

Auction 62 Lot Number 217

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Binah LaItim – Amsterdam, 1841 – Signatures of “Yaakov Abuchatzeira” and “Yitzchak Abuchatzeira”

Bina LaItim, prayers and study arrangements for various times according to Moroccan (Maghreb) rite, by (the anthologist) Avraham son of Mordechai Ankawa. Amsterdam, [1841].
The book includes: Kabbalistic kavanot for the blowing of the Shofar according to the teachings of the Arizal, prayers and tikkunim for the High Holidays, annulment of vows and curses, prayers for circumcisions, prayers and songs for Simchat Torah, additional lamentations for Tisha B'Av (including the lamentations of the sages of Morocco), and more.
The verso of the title page contains a signature in Sephardic (Western) script: "I, the young Yaakov Abuchatzeira". On the subsequent leaf, an additional signature appears: "Yitzchak Abuchatzeira". We were not able to ascertain whether the signatures belong to the kabbalists R. Yaakov Abuchatzeira - the Abir Yaakov, and his son R. Yitzchak Abuchatzeira.
The book contains inscriptions and additional signatures from Morocco. Inscriptions on the title page: "In the memory of R. Avraham Maman". Stamps of "David son of Avraham Maman". The back endpaper contains accounting inscriptions with various names, including: "David Maman", "Moshe Gozlan", "Yitzchak Berdugo" and more.
[1], 71, [1] leaves. Fair condition. Stains and wear. Tears to two leaves, affecting text. Original binding, damaged.

Opening2,000$ Unsold

Auction 62 Lot Number 390

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Large Synagogue Silver Memorial Lamp – Morocco, 1930

A large hanging memorial lamp, for a synagogue. [Essaouira (Mogador)?], Morocco, dedication from 1930.
Silver (marked), cast, engraved and soldered.
The lamp is ornamented with a strip of vegetal patterns with three stylized handles attached to it. A dedication is engraved below this strip: "For lighting an eternal candle in memory of… Pinchas M. Toby…". A large slotted ball at the base of the lamp, surrounded by an engraved star with eight points and vegetal decorations. Three chains hang from the lamp's handles and are set at their ends in a silver dome with a suspension loop.
In the collection of Ketubot (marriage contracts) of the Israel Museum is a Ketubah recording the marriage of Shlomo son of Pinchas son of Moshe Toby with Masuda daughter of Masuda daughter of Yaakov son of Yosef Afriat from Mogador (Essaouira), from the year 1893.
For a similar lamp see: Morocco, Jews and Art in a Muslim Land, edited by Vivian B. Mann. Published by Merrell, New York, 2000. Item no. 20.
Height: approx. 32 cm. Diameter: approx. 25 cm. Total length: approx. 85 cm. Weight: 2.30 kg. Bends. Breaks. Rough soldering repairs.

Opening2,000$ Unsold

Auction 62 Lot Number 392

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Chanukah Lamp – Lilies – Portuguese Community in Holland, 19th Century

Chanukah lamp. [Holland, 19th century].
Cast brass, soldered and bent.
A lamp of the type used by the Portuguese community in Holland. The back plate consists of three lilies; below them are openings shaped as wide shields. On the base of the central lily is a blank rectangular plate. Apertures in the lilies. A cast Shamash is placed in the opening of the right lily. A cast row of oil fonts, removable. The oil fonts and the back plate are contained in a matching base with pierced apertures designated for projections securing the lamp to the base.
Height: 23.5 cm. Width: 27 cm. Good condition. Bends. Stains. Some defects. Lacking oil font.
Literature: Narkis, "Menorat HaHanukkah", plate XXI, item 58.

Opening2,000$ Unsold

Auction 62 Lot Number 305

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Four Letters from the Scholars of Hebron to Rabbi David Avraham Chai Vivanti of Ancona – Numerous Signatures of Hebron Rabbis – Controversy between Hebron Rabbis and the Emissary Rabbi Moshe Kimchi

Four letters sent by the rabbis of Hebron, in 1853-1859, to R. David Avraham Chai Vivanti of Ancona, concerning raising charity funds for the community of Hebron, and the controversy surrounding R. Moshe Kimchi and his faction. The calligraphic signatures of the leading rabbis of Hebron at the time appear at the bottom of the letters.
· Letter from Hebron rabbis on various matters connected to the emissaries of the Hebron community and the charity funds from Italy, signed by R. Moshe Ferreira, R. Refael Yisrael Elyakim, R. Moshe son of R. David Kimchi, R. Chaim Nissim Meir Kushti, R. Chaim Yehuda Melamed and R. Yaakov Yosef Turjeman. [Hebron, 1853]. The bottom of the leaf contains a responsum on the topic of a woman who yielded to adultery and subsequently became pregnant, signed by R. Moshe Ferreira.
· Letter from Hebron rabbis concerning the charity funds of the Zera Yitzchak Gallico Yeshiva and additional matters, signed by R. Moshe Ferreira, R. Avraham Yitzchak Carigal (signature partially torn), R. Chaim Nissim Meir Kushti, R. Yaakov Yosef Turjeman, R. Yitzchak Aryeh and R. David Polychron Hasson. [Hebron], 1857.
· Letter from the Hebron rabbis during their exile in Jerusalem, following the dispute which erupted between them and the Hebron emissaries R. Moshe Kimchi and R. Yisrael Elyakim; signed by R. Avraham Yitzchak Shaul Carigal, R. Yaakov Yosef Turjeman, R. David Polychron Hasson, R. Yitzchak Chaim David Ezra, R. Nissim Capeluto and R. Rachamim Refael Turjeman. [Jerusalem, 1859]. The Hebron rabbis write how they are exiled and wandering in Jerusalem in the wake of the fierce dispute which erupted with R. Moshe Kimchi, who succeeded in exciting the people to support him, while all he wishes is to rule over the Jews and consume their money.
· Particularly lengthy letter, concerning the dispute and controversy in the Hebron community, signed by R. Avraham Yitzchak Shaul Carigal, R. Yosef Abboud, R. Nissim Capeluto, R. David son of R. Chaim Conforte, R. Rachamim Refael Turjeman, R. Yitzchak Chaim David Ezra, and another signee. [Hebron, 1859]. The Hebron rabbis, "insulted and wronged", write that following the dispute with R. Moshe Kimchi and his followers, they were removed from the list of beneficiaries of the distribution, and they fail to receive charity funds. The letter contains many details about the controversy.
To the best of our knowledge, these letters were never published, and contain many hitherto unknown details.
4 letters. 18-26 cm. Overall good condition. Stains. Folding marks (the letters were folded for sending, two of them have an address on the verso). Tears in several places (caused by opening of letter), slightly affecting the text; a tear to one of the letters partially affecting one of the signatures.

Opening1,500$ Unsold

Auction 62 Lot Number 9

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e Rudimentis Hebraicis – Rudiments of Hebrew – Dictionary of Hebrew Words and Hebrew Grammar by Johann Reuchlin – First Edition – Pforzheim, 1506

De Rudimentis Hebraicis liber primus (First Book of Hebrew Rudiments), by Johann Reuchlin. [Phorce (Pforzheim): Thomas Anshelm, 1506]. Latin, with Hebrew words.
The first edition of Johann Reuchlin's book, the first Hebrew dictionary and grammar book for Christian scholars. This book was known to have great impact on the development of the study and research of Hebrew texts by Christians in the Renaissance and Hebraism period.
Marginal handwritten notes and inscriptions in Latin on some leaves.
The author, Johannes Reuchlin (1455-1522) was a foremost German humanist and Hebraist.
[1], 606 pages. Originally: [1], 620, [5] pages. Lacking 10 last leaves (replaced with photocopies): pp. 607-620, [5], including the leaf with Reuchlin's coat of arms. Right to left pagination, slightly faulty. 28 cm. Thick, high-quality paper. Good-fair condition. Stains and wear. Marginal creases to some leaves. Tears (the first leaf was professionally restored). New binding.

Opening1,500$ Unsold

Auction 62 Lot Number 362

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Torah Scroll on Gevil – Original Ornate Atzei Chaim – Morocco, 19th Century

Torah scroll. [Morocco, 19th century].
Ink on Gevil (soft texture, brown-hue), Sephardic scribal writing. Rolled on the original atzei chaim. 48 lines per column.
The scroll is rolled on a pair of wooden atzei chaim, carved with a geometric pattern and decorated in green and red. Silver rings, also decorated with geometric patterns are attached to the top of the atzei chaim. At the bottom of one of the atzei chaim is an ownership inscription in ink: "This is the scroll of R. Yitzchak Gabai".
Height of membranes: approx. 53 cm. Maximum height including the atzei chaim: approx. 96 cm. Fair condition. Dark stains. Tears to membrane. Tears affecting text in several places. Late corrections to text. Two late replaced membranes (20th century?).
Enclosed is a report by an expert on ancient Torah scrolls regarding the place and date of writing.

Opening1,500$ Unsold

Auction 62 Lot Number 375

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Silver Crown – Donation of a Ladies’ Auxiliary – England or the United States, 1923

Silver crown. [England or the United States], dedication from the year 1923.
Silver (marked), embossed, cut and engraved; gemstones.
An open crown decorated with openwork decoration of acanthus leaves, and with green, blue and red gemstones. Two shields appear on the body of the crown; one is engraved with the inscription "Donation of the Ladies' Auxiliary D'Chevra Tehillim" and the other "VeLomdei Chayei Adam, 1923".
Diameter: 19 cm. Good condition. Bends. Fractures.

Opening1,400$ Unsold

Auction 62 Lot Number 23

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Responsa Binyamin Ze’ev – Venice, 1538 – Corrections in the Author’s Handwriting

Binyamin Ze'ev, Halachic responsa and rulings, Parts 1-2, by R. Binyamin Ze'ev ben R. Matitya. [Venice]: Daniel Bomberg, [1538].
This copy contains corrections in the author's handwriting: corrections appear on pp. 260a, 405b and 501b in R. Binyamin Ze'ev's handwriting, and a lengthy addition in his handwriting appears on p. 456b, signed with the following words: "So it seems to me, the layman" (as R. Binyamin Ze'ev commonly refers to himself in his book).
Apart from these notes, there are three scholarly notes by a different writer, two of which are signed: "A.Y." (pp. 200a, 302a, 504a).
This book was brought to print by its author, R. Binyamin Ze'ev ben Matitya of Arta, Greece, one of the greatest halachic authorities of his generation, and was the first book of halachic responsa to be published by its author. The book aroused great controversy due to several halachic decisions it contains which some leading Italian rabbis strongly contested, and R. Binyamin was dismissed from his position as rabbi of Arta in its wake. Some changes were made during the printing, including the omission of sections 255-256 (at the end of Part 1) "in order to maintain peace", and their replacement with two leaves of new text. The book was proofread by R. Binyamin Ze'ev alone, as he writes in the colophon at the end of the book, and the great trouble this entailed caused mistakes to creep into the printing. After the initial printing, R. Binyamin Ze'ev proofread and corrected some of the copies by hand.
Great importance has been ascribed to this book in halachic literature, though some halachic authorities banned it following the opposition it aroused. It is interesting to quote the words of the Maharshal, his contemporary, who contested one of the halachic decisions in the book, and relates to the errors which in his opinion crept into the book: "If he is righteous, why did G-d allow an error to come about through him? Was he not the writer, who brought the book to print in person?". The Rema, however, lists the author among the greatest halachic authorities and relies upon his decisions. (About the book, the controversy it aroused and the differences between the copies, see: Meir Benayahu, Introduction to Sefer Binyamin Ze'ev, Jerusalem, 1989).
Copy lacking beginning of Part 1 and end of Part 2: 81-367, [2], 376-399, 399-573 leaves. (Missing leaves 1-80 at the beginning of the book, and last 2 leaves at the end of Part 2, in the middle of the eulogy on the author's son). 20 cm. Good-fair condition. Thick, high-quality, light-colored paper. Stains. Wear to some of the leaves. Worming in several places. The lengthy glosses are trimmed. A loose gathering in the middle of the book. Acidic adhesive paper strips on the margins of the [2] leaves at the end of Part 1. Old binding, worn and damaged.

Opening1,400$ Unsold

Auction 62 Lot Number 26

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Sefer HaTishbi – Isny, 1541 – First Edition

Sefer HaTishbi, Opusculum Recens Hebraicum, lexicon of Hebrew words, by the grammarian R. Eliyahu HaLevi Ashkenazi (R. Eliyahu Bachur). Isnae (Isny, Germany): [Paulus Fagius], 1541. First edition.
Hebrew and Latin on facing pages. The Hebrew text is vocalized. Latin title page and introduction. On the last page is the colophon and device of the printer Paulus Fagius.
[8], 275, 269-271, [5] pages. 22 cm. Good condition. Stains. Handwritten Latin signature and glosses. Contemporary leather binding; spine restored.
Another edition of Tishbi was printed in Isny that same year, with the Hebrew text only, see Kedem Auction 40, item 336.
A different Latin edition appears in the Bibliography of the Hebrew Book, listing 0110328, in which the book begins with [24] pages, including additional poems in Latin and in Hebrew and a Hebrew title page. This copy has originally only [8] pages, of the Latin title page and introduction.

Opening1,200$ Unsold

Auction 62 Lot Number 273

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Colorful Illustrated Parchment Ketubah – Bordeaux, France, 1788

Ketubah recording the marriage of the groom Aharon son of the notable David de Soria with the bride Rachel, daughter of the wealthy Yitzchak Mendes Campos. Bordeaux, France, Shavuot Eve, Tuesday Sivan 5, June 1788.
Handwritten on parchment, in Rashi script, within a fine floral border, hand painted in red and green. The signatures of the witnesses and groom appear at the foot of the Ketubah in French, followed by the Hebrew signature: "David son of Yaakov Chaim Athias" – R. David Athias, Rabbi of Bordeaux.
A paper leaf is attached to the verso of the Ketubah – official document with the French translation of the Ketubah, by R. Athias, Rabbi of Bordeaux, approved by a Bordeaux notary.
35X23.5 cm. Good condition. Right and left margins of the Ketubah trimmed to fit the leaf bound with it, with loss of most of the ornamented border. Stains. Small open tear to the parchment not affecting text.

Opening1,200$ Unsold

Auction 62 Lot Number 364

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Torah Scroll in a Tunisian Style Wooden Case – Dedications in Memory of R. Faraji Alush Rabbi of Gabès and Members of his Family – Israel, Mid-20th Century

Torah scroll, Sephardic scribal writing, placed in a Tunisian-style wooden case wrapped in drapery. [Israel, ca. 1960s].
Ink on processed parchment. Writing characteristic of Oriental Jewry in Israel in the 60s.
The scroll is placed in a 13-sided wooden case draped in fabric in Tunisian style, topped with a sawn crown. Attached to the case are dedication plates shaped like the Two Tablets, with the names of: "R. Faraji Alush and his son Susu Alush and his wife Felila", and the inscription: "Donation of the girls Kadara and Zahiya Alush for the life of the family of the holy rabbi…". Hooks are attached all around the case for hanging the crimson velvet drapery, machine-embroidered with silver threads, decorated with a braided ribbon and straps. A Torah crown and Tablets of Law are embroidered in the center, flanked by verses, Stars of David surrounded by flowers, lamps and dedications: "Kadara daughter of Felila Alush, Zahiya daughter of Felila Damara and Simcha daughter of Tita Bochovze", "Felya daughter of Aziza, Aziza daughter of Esther, and Oreda daughter of Rivka, R. Parazi son of Oreda and Pinchas son of Mas'uda Alush".
R. Faraji Alush (1854-1921), Rabbi of Gabès (Tunisia), was a revered sage in Tunis. Author of Responsa Ohev Mishpat. In the 1970s, his remains were brought to Israel and interred in the Be'er Sheva cemetery, alongside the grave of his disciple R. Chaim Chori.
Height of parchment: approx. 50 cm. Light-colored white parchment. Good condition.
Height of case: 74 cm. Diameter: approx. 34.5 cm. Good-fair condition. Breaks. Open break on one side of the crown.
Drapery: 57 x 113 cm. Good condition. Unraveling fabric and stitches and torn loops.

Opening1,200$ Unsold

Auction 62 Lot Number 391

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Silver Candlesticks – Germany, Late 18th Century

Silver candlesticks. Königsberg, late 18th century.
(Stamped) silver, engraved and etched.
The candlesticks are designed like smooth cylindrical pillars standing on a square base, topped by removable candle holders. The pillars and bases are adorned with etchings of drapes, fringes and vegetal patterns.
Height: 28.5 cm. Width: 13 cm. Good condition. Dents. Minor corrosion. Light breaks. Soldering repairs. The base of one sconce has been replaced with a new part (late replacement).

Opening1,000$ Unsold

Auction 62 Lot Number 96

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Babylonian Talmud – Shanghai, 1942-1946 – Printed by Holocaust Refugees

12 volumes of a Babylonian Talmud edition, published by the students of the Mir yeshiva, Shanghai, 1942-1946.
These volumes of the Talmud were printed in Shanghai during WWII, by the students of the Mir yeshiva, who escaped Europe during the Holocaust.
In six of the volumes the name of the publisher is "Vaad HaHadpasah - Torah Or", three volumes are ascribed to "The Ezrat Torah Library of the holy Mir Yeshiva", one volume states only "Yeshivat Mir", and in two volumes the name of the publisher is not indicated.
The volumes here contain tractates: Shabbat, Eruvin, Pesachim, Gittin, Kiddushin, Nazir, Sotah, Bava Kama, Sanhedrin, Makot, Shevuot, Avodah Zara and the Minor Tractates, Zevachim, Menachot, Chulin, Bechorot, Arachin, Temurah, Keritot, Me'ilah, Niddah.
12 volumes. Approx. 26 cm. Overall good condition. In a few volumes, tears to some leaves and detached leaves. Stains. Dry and slightly brittle paper. New, elegant bindings.

Opening1,000$ Unsold

Auction 62 Lot Number 395

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Walking Stick of the Stretin-Haifa Rebbe

Walking stick. [Israel, mid-20th century].
Wood; metal.
The stick itself is made of wood painted black, topped by a decorative metal handle. The end of the stick is made of bone.
This walking stick belonged to Rebbe Avraham Brandwein of Stretin, son of Rebbe Uri Brandwein of Yezupil (Azipoli). Served as rebbe in Piatra Neamţ, Romania, and was very active during the Holocaust in assisting refugees who arrived from Poland. After the Holocaust he immigrated to Haifa, where he established his Beit Midrash. Died in 1973.
Length: approx. 91 cm. Good condition. Dents and slight damage to handle. Minor damage to wood. The bone-finishing is broken and partially lacking.
Enclosed is an authorization attesting that the stick was received as a gift from his daughter the Rebbetzin.

Opening1,000$ Unsold

Auction 62 Lot Number 173

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Collection of Books from the 17th-19th Centuries – Early Notes, Signatures and Ownership Inscriptions

Collection of books from the 17th-19th centuries with interesting ownership inscriptions, signatures and handwritten notes:
· Shulchan Aruch, with the Me'irat Einayim commentary (Sema) by R. Yehoshua Falk HaKohen. Berlin, [1717]. Bound with: Turei Zahav on Choshen Mishpat, by R. David HaLevi Segal. Fürth, [1767]. Notes in early Ashkenazic script (18th century). An interesting ownership inscription appears at the end of the volume, by a Jew named Shlomo Zalman, mentioning his studies under his teachers R. Zerach Eidlitz in Prague and R. Matityahu Neugroschel of Prague, Rabbi of Rausnitz (Rousínov).
· Lechem HaPanim, commentary on Shulchan Aruch Yoreh De'ah, by R. Moshe Yekutiel Kaufman. Wilhermsdorf, [1726]. Numerous signatures and ownership inscriptions: "Itzek Lifchovitz"; "This book belongs to Aharon Katz of Hirschaid" (Germany); "G-d granted me this holy book, Avraham Baruch Katz of Hirschaid, I purchased this book from Leib the bookseller for… Today, Monday, Tammuz 21, 1735"; "I, his younger brother Aharon Katz of Hirschaid, acquired this book from my step-brother written above, in exchange for… Tuesday, Shevat 11, 1736"; "I acquired this book from the one written below… Chaim son of R. Shimshon", and additional signatures. Several brief notes.
· Responsa Beit Yaakov, by R. Yaakov of Zuzmir (Sandomierz). [Dyhernfurth, 1696]. Lacking 2 leaves at the beginning and [8] leaves of indexes at the end. Several notes, by two writers.
· Mishneh Torah, Part I, Mada-Zmanim, by the Rambam. Fürth, [1765]. A signature appears on the title page: "Mordechai Adler". An ownership inscription appears at the top of the title page: "…Aharon Moshe, I acquired it from R. Mordechai Adler Katz, Marcheshvan 17, 1796…". Other ownership inscriptions and signatures.
· Pri Chadash, on Shulchan Aruch Yoreh De'ah, by R. Chizkiya da Silva. Fürth, [1769]. Various signatures and ownership inscriptions: "Belongs to… the great Torah scholar… Dov, head of the Beit Din of…"; "Belongs to R. Avraham son of R. Yosef, Posek of Lazdijai"; "Aharon son of R. Y.Tz."; and other signatures.
· Seder HaDorot, history of personages and events from the creation of the world until close to the time of the author, by R. Yechiel Heilprin Rabbi of Minsk. Karlsruhe, 1769. First edition. Part of the title page is missing and was replaced with a photocopy. Lacking last two leaves. An ownership inscription appears on the title page: "This Seder HaDorot belongs to my father, the prominent Torah scholar R. Michael Shimon May, bookseller… here in Breslau… Moshe Leib son of the great scholar…" (R. Michael Shimon May, d. 1833, a renowned scholar, printer and bookseller, one of the authors of Chiddushei Hagahot on the Tur – printed in Dyhernfurth, see item 172). Several handwritten notes appear in the book.
· Shaar HaMelech, on the Rambam, three parts, by R. Yitzchak Nunez-Belmonte, with Taam HaMelech, by the physician R. Baruch Jeitteles of Prague. Brno, [1801-1803]. Second edition of Shaar HaMelech and first edition of Taam HaMelech. Lacking title page and last leaf of Part II. Ownership inscription handwritten and signed by R. Yosef Shmuel Katz (a dayan in Nikolsburg [Mikulov] at the time of Maharam Banet): "…I thank G-d that I merited to purchase Shaar HaMelech, Yosef Shmuel son of R. Refael Katz".
· Responsa Noda BiYehuda, Tinyana, Part I (Orach Chaim and Yoreh De'ah) and Part II (Even HaEzer and Choshen Mishpat), by R. Yechezkel Landau. Sudylkiv, 1833. Printed on light-blueish paper. Stamps of the kabbalist R. "Menachem Menchin Heilperin" (1834-1924, one of the founders and deans of the Shaar HaShamayim yeshiva for kabbalists. Composed and published many Kabbalistic works). Notes in (cursive and square) Ashkenazic script.
9 books in 8 volumes. Size and condition vary.

Opening800$ Unsold

Auction 62 Lot Number 400

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Of the High Priest’s Tribe – Oil Painting after Isidor Kufmann

Of the Hight Priest's Tribe, after an oil painting by Isidor Kaufamn (1921). [USA? 20th century].
Oil on board.
The painting is signed "R. Nelson" (?) and is framed in an ornate gilt frame.
Plate: 40.5X30 cm. Good condition. Slight damage to paint. Frame: 46 x 56.5 cm. Good condition. Defects, fractures and indentations.

Opening800$ Unsold

Auction 62 Lot Number 306

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Letter Signed by Hebron Rabbis – 1864

Letter signed by the scholars and rabbis of Hebron – letter of thanks upon receipt of donations for the Zera Yitzchak Gallico Yeshiva. Hebron, [1864].
The letter also mentions the rabbi of Ancona – R. David Avraham Chai Vivanti, who regularly helped the Hebron community by raising funds for them in his community.
Signees: the rabbi of the town – R. Moshe Ferreira (signature and stamp), R. Moshe son of R. David Kimchi (signature and stamp), R. David Polychron Hasson (signature and stamp) and R. Nissim Cappellotto (signature).
[1] leaf. 13.5 cm. Good condition. Stains. Folding marks.

Opening800$ Unsold

Auction 62 Lot Number 338

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Grosse Jüdische National-Biographie – Czernowitz, 1925-1936 – Biographic Lexicon of Jewish Personalities in Seven Volumes

Grosse Jüdische National-Biographie, mit mehr als 8000 Lebensbeschreibungen namhafter jüdischer Männer und Frauen aller Zeiten und Länder (Great Jewish National Biography - biographical lexicon of Jewish personalities of all times and countries), by Salomon Wininger. Czernowitz (Chernivtsi): Orient, [1925-1936]. Seven volumes. In German.
Monumental work by Salomon Wininger (1877-1968), native of Bucovina. Wininger, who studied in Vienna's universities at the beginning of the century, was greatly impacted by the Zionist Movement and joined it. He wrote this lexicon to display the importance of the Jewish People to the world and to demonstrate the many great and famous personalities it produced: authors, poets, scientists, inventors, illustrious military leaders, etc. The lexicon contains more than 12,000 biographies, and includes personalities born to Jewish fathers and non-Jewish mothers, as well as those who were baptized at birth or later converted to another faith, in conformance with the author's assertion that "a Jewish head and Jewish blood endure forever".
Seven volumes. 24.5 cm. Good condition. Few stains. Original bindings.

Opening800$ Unsold
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