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Tikkun HaKlali, by R. Nachman of Breslov (Bratslav). [Breslov, 1821]. [Printed in the home of Moharnat – R. Natan Sternhartz of Nemirov (Nemyriv)]. First edition.
Printed without title page. The title consisting of the name of the book appears on the first page: "Its name is fitting for it - Tikkun HaKlali (General Rectification), because it is a rectification of the covenant called Tikkun HaKlali… to say these ten Psalms… he revealed it… R. Nachman" (page 1a).
The Tikkun HaKlali is a set of ten Psalms compiled by R. Nachman of Breslov to be recited as an atonement for violations of the Covenant. These ten chapters contain ten types of poetry which "represent the ten expressions with which the book of Tehillim was written" (page 1a). The Tikkun HaKlali is also beneficial for atoning for sins in general and is a Segula for livelihood, health and spiritual and material success.
According to Breslov Chassidic tradition, R. Nachman merited the revelation of this tikkun from Heaven and highly valued it. Before his death, he declared that "Whoever visits my gravesite, gives a coin to charity and says these ten Psalms, in whatever manner he can, I will try with all my might to bring him good…" (page 1b). He also said: "Whoever visits my gravesite, recites these ten Psalms and gives a coin to charity, no matter how great his sins, I will do everything in my power, spanning the length and breadth of the creation to save and cleanse him" (Sichot HaRan, 141). R. Nachman further declared: "I am very positive in everything I say. But I am most positive in regard to the great benefit of these ten Psalms" (ibid.), and he is also reputed for saying that his life was worthwhile, even if he came down into the world only to reveal this tikkun.
This is the first edition of the composition, printed in the home of R. Natan (Moharnat) by R. Shachne, his son. The Tikkun was printed without R. Natan's knowledge, as he himself wrote (Yemei Moharnat, I, section 99).
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: "And after the ten Psalms, it is beneficial to recite this prayer…". (The title Likutei Tefillot appears at the head of the pages).
On p. 5b, a passage was inserted (printed in a "window" beside the text) to be recited at the gravesite of R. Nachman of Breslov: "When praying at his holy gravesite, one should say the following: and in the merit of the righteous man who rests here… I endured a difficult journey to come prostrate myself on the grave of this true and holy righteous man…".
6 leaves. 16 cm. Printed on blueish paper. Fair-good condition. Stains. Worming affecting text, professionally restored with paper (in several places, letters were completed in handwriting). New, elaborate leather binding, placed in a slipcase.
Place and year of printing according to G. Scholem, Eleh Shemot, Jerusalem 1928, p. 38, no. 146; R. Natan Tzvi König, Neveh Tzadikim, Bnei Brak 1969, p. 67.
Stefansky Chassidut, no. 621.
Booklet (9 leaves) in the handwriting of R. Refael Yeshaya Azulai, the son of the Chida and Rabbi of Ancona, homily for Shabbat HaGadol. [Ancona], 1789.
Title at top of first leaf: "Shabbat HaGadol 1789". This sermon is the first "Shabbat HaGadol sermon" delivered by R. Yeshaya Azulai in Ancona since he began his tenure in the month of Tamuz 1788. This is the draft of the sermon, with erasures, additions and revisions in the handwriting of R. Refael Yeshaya Azulai.
R. Refael Yeshaya Azulai (1740-1823) was born in Jerusalem, the eldest son of his illustrious father R. Chaim Yosef David Azulai, the Chida. A great Torah scholar, he wrote halachic responsa, some of the responsa in his book Imrei No'am were printed in his son's book Zichron Moshe and some were printed in books authored by his father, 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.). In 1780, he travelled to Italy and to Western Europe as emissary of the city of Tiberias. Apparently, he also visited Germany and his father, the Chida, wrote (in his recommendation to the Ancona community) of the wealth of Torah knowledge his son acquired from the Ashkenazi Torah scholars. He concluded his mission in the city of Amsterdam in 1783 and settled there trading in books. In 1785, R. Avraham Yisrael Rabbi of Ancona died and the position of rabbi remained unfilled until the community leaders applied to the Chida in 1787, requesting his assistance in finding a suitable candidate for rabbi of the city. The Chida suggested two candidates and hinted that his son R. Refael Yeshaya is also suitable for the position. The community readily agreed and in 1788, sent R. Refael Yeshaya a letter appointing him rabbi of Ancona. However, he only arrived in Ancona in the month of Sivan and in the beginning of Tamuz began his tenure. He served as Rabbi of Ancona until his death on the 9th of Shevat 1823 (he lived 83 years like his father). He was greatly honored at his death and was mourned by his congregation for a long time after [for further information see the book by M. Benayahu on the Chida, pp. 476-487].
 leaves,  written pages. 19 cm. Good condition. Stains. Several tears. New leather binding (erroneous embossment on the spine: "Manuscript of Rabbeinu the Chida").
Enclosed is an authentication letter identifying the handwriting as that of R. Refael Yeshaya Azulai.
Soviet passport of the holy kabbalist R. Shlomo Elyashov, the Leshem. Gomel (Homel), 1923.
Russian passport, printed in Russian and French, of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. This passport discloses details pertaining to the immigration to Eretz Israel of the Leshem at the age of 82, together with his son-in-law, daughter and grandson: R. Avraham Popka-Elyashov, Mrs. Chaya Musha (Musia), and the child Yosef Shalom.
The passport was issued in Gomel (Homel) in November 1923, citing Eretz Israel as the destination of their journey. The identification details were completed by hand: Age: 82. Year of Birth: 1841. Place of Birth: Kaunas province. The leaves of the passport bear stamps, attesting to their journey from Homel, via Moscow, Odessa and Turkey: 1. Stamp of the Soviet Republic, from Gomel, November 1, 1923 – allowing exit from the Soviet Union to Eretz Israel, via Odessa. Russian. 2. Visa entry stamp to Eretz Israel from Moscow, November 14, 1923. English. 3. Stamp from Odessa, February 15, 1924. 4. Stamp from Turkey dated February 29, 1924 with details in Turkish and stamp of the Russian embassy in Turkey. 5. Stamp of the Government of Palestine dated March 7, 1924 (according to their immigration certificate issued by the Palestine Office of the Jewish Agency in Constantinople – see Kedem Auction 62 Item 280 – the date they registered in Constantinople for immigration was March 2, 1924, and they actually left Constantinople on a ship headed for Jaffa on March 6, 1924). The photograph was torn off this passport.
The holy Kabbalist R. Shlomo Elyashiv (Elyashov, Elyashoff), author of the Leshem (1841-1926) was a leading Lithuanian Kabbalist. His notes on Etz Chaim were printed in the Warsaw 1891 edition under the title Hagahot HaRav SheVaCh (Shlomo ben Chaim Chaikel), appellation the Sephardi rabbis were fond of calling him by. His series of books on Kabbalah named Leshem Shevo V'Achlama were published in 1909-1948, and are considered fundamental works on the study of Kabbalah. He was received in Jerusalem with great honor by the leading Sephardi and Ashkenazi Kabbalists, especially R. Shaul Dweck, dean of the Rechovot HaNahar yeshiva who had exchanged correspondence with him all the years, and the Chief Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak HaKohen Kook, his disciple in Kabbalah already during the time the Leshem lived in Šiauliai. His was joined in his immigration to Eretz Israel by his son-in-law from Homel - R. Avraham Elyashov (Elyashiv; 1878-1943), his daughter Rebbetzin Chaya Musha (Musia, 1881-1952) and their only son R. Yosef Shalom Elyashiv (1910-2012), then a young boy of thirteen and a half, who later became one of the leading Halachic authorities of this generation.
Booklet, 17.5 cm. 8 leaves. Good-fair condition. Lacking photograph. Open tear in place of photograph at the center of leaf . Original, fabric covered wrappers, detached and slightly worn.
Three letters handwritten by the poet Zelda [Zelda Schneersohn-Mishkovsky], addressed to her relative, the young man David Zvi Hillman and his family. [Jerusalem, 1930s-40s].
Warm, personal letters, full of good wishes. Zelda calls the young man "David my dear" and writes in a gentle and tender manner: "I have not written you for a long while, however, I have prayed in my heart for your happiness… you are truly good and have been created to give joy and to receive love and holiness".
Zelda begs him "Do not err… and think otherwise about yourself" and writes that "The worst and darkest sin of man is to think badly of himself…".
She ends the letter with: "Love the G-dliness within yourself and your abilities... I believe in your strengths and future. Yours from the depths, Zelda".
In another letter, apparently sent in honor of David Zvi's bar-mitzvah, she writes: "Today, you are an adult, be strong and take courage, young man. It is very difficult to be an adult. You and I are friends, David, and I now pray for you like I pray for myself, G-d should grant you a pure heart and a blessed creative life. Life can and should be precious and glorious…".
She extends this letter with a letter of good wishes (on a separate leaf): "To you, Mother Devora".
Another letter is written to "Grandmother, Mother and Father" with good wishes in honor of "The time David reaches adulthood": "My heart sends you more and more good wishes, blessing which are not written and are like prayers…".
The poet Zelda (Shayna Zelda) Schneersohn Mishkovsky (1914-1984), member of the Schneersohn family of Chabad rebbes. At the age of 11, she immigrated to Jerusalem together with her parents and her maternal grandfather, R. David Zvi Chen (a leading Chabad rabbi). A short while after their aliya, her father and grandfather died and she and her mother were left bereft without support. These long years of orphanhood left a strong imprint on her poetry.
In 1950, she wed Aryeh Mishkovsky (son of R. Chizkiyahu Yosef Mishkovsky Rabbi of Krynki). For many years, she earned her livelihood from teaching, avoiding the limelight. Although she wrote poetry and stories in her formative years, her first compilation of poetry was only published in 1967 at the age of 53. This anthology was acclaimed as soon as it was published, raising its author to new heights in the world of Hebrew poetry.
The recipient of these letters, David Zvi Hillman (1926-2010), was the son of Zelda's cousin Devorah. He grew to be an outstanding Torah scholar and a renowned Torah researcher (he edited a number of works by Rishonim, was one of the head publishers of the Shabtai Frankel edition of the Rambam, wrote important articles and published the book Igrot Ba'al HaTanya U'vnei Doro, Jerusalem, 1953).
 leaves ( written pages). 18.5 cm. 25.5 cm. Good condition. Filing holes. Folding marks. Few stains.
Large collection of letters by the Rebbe the Rayatz of Lubavitch, bearing his signatures and some additions handwritten by him, most sent to Mr. Elchanan Glazer. Brooklyn, New york, 1944-1950.
35 letters, typewritten on the official stationery of the Rebbe the Rayatz, bearing his own signature. Most are in Yiddish, some in Hebrew and in English. Some of the letters have not been printed. Some bear the Rebbe's full signature, including his last name and several are signed with the letter Yud in Ashurit script, the special signature he used in the last year of his life.
The collection also contains two letters written in the name of the Rebbe the Rayatz on his stationery, signed by his secretary and a telegram sent on behalf of the Rebbe to his Chassidim in honor of Yom HaGeula.
Enclosed: · 5 envelopes with postage stamps sent with some of the letters in the collection, with the official letterhead of the Rebbe the Rayatz. · 4 photographs. Three are photos of the Rebbe and the fourth is a photo of a Chabad event (the Rebbe is not seen in the photo).
Items in the collection:
· Letter of good wishes for a wedding, with blessings for the New Year, with the Rebbe's full signature (including his last name).
· 4 letters of New Year wishes, one with two words in the Rebbe's handwriting.
· 6 letters of blessings related to medical issues, pregnancy and birth. A few words in the Rebbe's handwriting were added to four letters. Three were written in the last year of his life, with the letter Yud of his name Yitzchak in Ashurit script.
· 20 letters on various matters, some regarding assistance to refugees, another about reprinting the responsa of the Tzemach Tzedek, etc. One bears his full signature (including his last name). Most were not printed. Leaves with translations from Yiddish to English are attached to three of the letters.
· Two letters in the name of the Rebbe, signed by his secretary, R. Chaim Liberman.
· Letter in English, with his full signature (including his last name).
· Letter to R. Chanoch Hendel [Havlin] with a request to sell the property owned by the Rebbe the Rayatz in the city of Hebron, and with the proceeds to buy a new building in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv. 1944. Unprinted.
· Long letter, 2 pages, in Yiddish, to the Committee for Taharat HaMishpacha in Montevideo, capital city of Uruguay, regarding the construction of a mikveh. 1946. Unprinted.
· Four large photographs, taken on his first visit to the US in 1930. One photo was taken during his visit to the White House and the others were taken on the deck of the ship on his return trip from the US. Another photo is from a Chabad event (without the Rebbe).
R. Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson of Lubavitch-Chabad (1880-1950) was appointed Rebbe in 1920. In the lifetime of his father, the Rashab, he began his leadership role as his father's close assistant (at the age of 15, he accompanied his father to rabbinic conventions in Russia and in Europe). After his father's death, he served as Rebbe and led Chabad Chassidim who devotedly engaged in Torah activities under the Communist rule. His efforts to maintain Jewish life in Communist Russia landed him in prison several times. His last imprisonment was in 1927 and he was sentenced to death. Due to international pressure, he was released on the 12th of Tamuz (hence, this date is celebrated by Chabad Chassidism as Chag HaGe'ula). After his release, from 1928-1933, he lived in Riga, the capital city of Latvia, and from 1933-1940 in Poland, getting trapped in Warsaw at the outbreak of WWII. Chabad Chassidim in the US feverishly attempted to rescue him from Poland. After involving senior American officials and with the assistance of the head of Intelligence of the German Army, the Rayatz and his family were smuggled from Poland to the US (in Adar Bet 1940). A short while after he immigrated to the US, he purchased the 770 building in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, NY, which became his residence in his later years and headquarters of the worldwide Chabad center. In the US, the Rayatz established the central institutes of Chabad Chassidism - "The center for education", "Machane Yisrael" and the Kehot (Karnei Hod Torah) Publication Society and the center of the Tomchei Temimim Yeshivas.
The Rayatz was a devoted, active leader who was involved in all matters related to the Jewish People and was famous for his love and dedication to all Jews, also famed as an outstanding educator who understood the souls of his students. In his many letters, he deeply discusses various educational issues (see his pamphlet: Rules of education and guidance). Known for his writings with clear concise explanations of deep intangible Kabbalistic and Chassidic concepts. After his passing, he left thousands of manuscripts which were printed in dozens of volumes of his letters, articles and discourses. R. Shloimke of Zvhil who greatly admired the Rayatz, told a close friend that he received a revelation from Heaven that the Rebbe the Rayatz was the tsaddik of his generation. In 1928, in honor of the 12th of Tamuz, the first Chag HaGeula, R. A.Y.H. Kook, Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem and of Eretz Israel, published a proclamation in the newpaper Doar Hayom: "…G-d has given us rescuing angel in our generation… the lofty holy tsaddik R. Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, the Lubavitch Rebbe, who with amazing self-sacrifice upheld the pillars of the religion and Judaism and lit with the light of Torah and mitzvoth the gloom of that dark country (Russia)…".
48 paper items (containing 35 letters with the signature of the Rebbe the Rayatz) + 4 photographs. Size varies. Overall good condition.
Maharach Or Zarua Responsa, by R. Chain son of Rabbeinu Yitzchak of Vienna, author of Or Zarua. Leipzig, . First edition, copied from a manuscript "which was hidden for close to 600 years".
Copy of R. Natan Zvi Finkel "the Saba of Slabodka" and of his son R. Moshe Finkel. Handwritten inscription on the flyleaf: "Gift to my brother-in-law… R. Natan Zvi Finkel". Ownership stamps of his son R. "Moshe Finkel – Rosh Metivta of the Knesset Yisrael Yeshiva – Slobodka, Kovne". Signature on title page: "Zvi Meir HaCohen".
R. Natan Zvi Finkel – the "Saba of Slabodka" (1849-1927), leading figure in the Mussar Movement. Disciple of R. Yisrael of Salant and one of the founders of Kollel Perushim in Kovne. Founded many yeshivot, including the Slabodka Yeshiva, later named Knesset Yisrael after his teacher R. Yisrael of Salant. In his senior years, he moved to Eretz Israel and established a branch in the city of Hebron. Taught thousands of disciples, many of whom blossomed into Torah giants, and was known for his profound ethical influence. An anthology of his deep discourses was printed in the Or HaTzafun series. He conducted himself with simplicity and asceticism and modesty, never appearing in public, his name and signature do not appear on any official document of the Slobodka Yeshiva or Torah institutes which he managed. His private correspondence was infrequent and he would usually sign the few letters he wrote with his initials and not with his full signature. His home was open wide and his disciples would move about as comfortably as its owners. His personal belongings were few and books belonging to his private library are very rare.
R. Moshe Finkel, one of the heads of the Knesset Yisrael Yeshiva in Slabodka and in Hebron (1884-1925), esteemed son of the "Saba of Slabodka", R. Natan Zvi Finkel and son-in-law of the head of the yeshiva R. Moshe Mordechai Epstein, Torah prodigy who amazed both R. Chaim of Brisk and R. Meir Simcha of Dvinsk with his Torah knowledge and profound comprehension foreseeing that he would be a future Torah luminary. In 1913, he began delivering discourses in the Slabodka Yeshiva. In the month of Adar 1925, he moved to Eretz Israel and officiated as a head of the Knesset Yisrael – Slobodka Yeshiva in Hebron. He died on Chol Hamoed Sukkot 1926 at the age of 42 and in the lifetime of his illustrious father [stories abound of the Saba's control of his sentiments and his coping with his personal tragedy during the Festival].
XIV, 91 leaves,  leaf. Lacking the last three leaves of the index of responsa and errata. 22 cm. Fair condition. Stains and heavy wear. Defects and dampstains. Paper strips reinforcing the margins of some leaves. Detached leaves, torn and detached binding.
Interesting letter from Rebbe Tzvi Hirsh of Liska, with his full signature: "Tzvi Hirsh son of R. A. Rabbi of Liska". Liska (Olaszliszka), Iyar 1872.
Addressed to his relative R. Avraham HaLevi Kelner, posek in Nagykövesd (Veľký Kamenec). The Rebbe apologizes for his refusal to get involved in appointing a rabbi as dayan and posek, and in appointing a Shochet and Bodek in one of the villages: "Behold, when he was by me last week, I did not fulfill his wish in the matter at hand and I did not explain to him my motive for this… behold, I have always totally refrained from dealing with these three issues, i.e. Shochet and Bodek, dayanim and poskim, since these are lofty matters, therefore I have removed this yoke from my shoulders and left these weighty decisions to those who are greater than myself…".
R. Tzvi Hirsh Friedman – the Rabbi of Liska (1798-1874) was a leading Hungarian rebbe, of the first generation of Chassidism in Hungary. He was a disciple of the Yismach Moshe, Rebbe Shalom of Belz, R. Yisrael of Ruzhin, R. Meir of Premishlan and the Divrei Chaim of Sanz. He was reputed for the salvations he effected, and people flocked to him from throughout the country seeking his blessings. He authored Ach Pri Tevua, HaYashar VeHaTov, and more. His prominent disciple was R. Yeshaya of Kerestir, who signed all his signatures as: "who was the close attendant of the pious Rabbi of Liska".
 leaf. 28 cm. Written by a scribe with the handwritten signature of the Rebbe. Fair condition. Tears and stains. Slight damage to the text. Marginal paper repairs. Mounted on paper for preservation.
Likutei Amarim Tanya, by HaAdmor HaZaken Rebbe Shneur Zalman of Liadi. Zhovkva, .
The title page states: "Tanya, which is a book of collected writings… and we have added a touch… from the outstanding Torah scholar, the author, to explain the essence and topic of Teshuva, and this is a third part which was not included in the first edition printed in Slavita…" (emphasis original).
This edition is the second printing of the Tanya in the author's lifetime, and was presumably printed without his knowledge. This is the first edition to be printed outside Russia, and to contain chapters of Igeret HaTeshuva – Mahadura Kama at the end of the book (in Shklow 1806, the author published Igeret HaTeshuva Mahadura Batra).
The publisher R. Yaakov of Brody writes at the end of the book that many requested he undertake printing a new edition of this book, since the book was not available in his country (Galicia-Poland), due to the prohibition to export the book from Russia, where it was originally published.
The following statement appears before Igeret HaTeshuva [p. 67a]: "Says the publisher: A precious gem was in my possession from the scholarly author, a manuscript booklet pertaining to topics of repentance, and for the benefit of the public I have brought it to print".
This edition earned two important approbations from prominent rabbis. The first one from R. Moshe Tzvi Hirsh Meisels Rabbi of Zhovkva, and the second from R. Yitzchak HaLevi of Lviv, Rabbi of Kraków.
R. Yitzchak Shimshon Meisels Rabbi of Czernowitz (Chernivtsi), grandson of R. Moshe Tzvi Hirsh, relates in his approbation to the siddur of the Baal HaTanya that he was present when his grandfather accorded his approbation to the Tanya.
The second approbation was given by R. Yitzchak HaLevi of Lviv, Rabbi of Kraków, a foremost opponent of Chassidism. He was a leading signatory on the ban against Chassidim in Kraków in 1786, and the book Tzavaat HaRivash was burnt at his behest, while this book earned his effusive approbation, praising the author and his book profusely.
, 2-74 leaves. 17 cm. Good condition. Stains. Dampstains. Slight worming. Tears to the title page affecting title border, repaired. Tears to the corners of leaves -7, with some damage to the text, repaired. Minor marginal repairs to several other leaves. Tear to p. 74b, slightly affecting text. Marginal printing defect on p. 45a, due to crease in the paper. Ex-libris stamps. New leather binding.
Stefansky Chassidut, no. 623.
Eight booklets of Chassidic essays, printed and distributed by Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneersohn, the Lubavitch-Chabad Rebbe, from 1977-1992.
The Lubavitcher Rebbe was known for his love of the printed word. He printed hundreds of letters addressed to various authors, some containing encouragement for printing Torah novellae and others with comments on their books. During the years of his leadership and even earlier, dozens of books of Chabad teachings were printed and proofread by the Rebbe. "The rebbe practiced a distinctive custom of handing out books or booklets containing Chassidic teachings with his own holy hands to the large audience who came to see him, men, women and children" (History of the Kehot Publishing Co.).
This lot contains eight booklets handed out by the Rebbe:
· "Kuntress Ahavat Yisrael", anthology of sayings and articles of Chabad Rebbes on the subject of Ahavat Yisrael. Brooklyn, Nissan, 1977. Inscription on title page: "I have received this from the holy hands of the Rebbe, David Gottesman".
· "Kuntress 11th of Nisan – 1990", Chassidic essay, discourse delivered by the Rebbe on the 11th of Nisan 1978, which he himself proofread and printed in honor of his 88th birthday. Brooklyn, Nisan, 1990. First edition.
This booklet was distributed by the Rebbe on the eve of the 11th of Nisan 1990, in honor of his 88th birthday. It was bound in a "light-blue festive binding… the countenance of the Rebbe was particularly shining while distributing [the booklets]…" (Beit Chayenu).
· "Kuntress Etz HaChaim", about the obligation to study esoteric facets of the Torah, by R. Shalom Duber Schneerson of Lubavitch. Cheshvan, 1991.
· Kuntress "Ma'amar Baruch She'asa Nisim – 1904", Chassidic essay of a discourse delivered by R. Shalom Duber Schneerson of Lubavitch in 1904, put into writing by his son the Rayatz. Brooklyn, Shevat, 1991. First edition.
· "Kuntress Siyum V'Hachnassat Sefer Torah", two Chassidic articles containing a discourse delivered by the Rebbe at two events of dedication of new Sifrei Torah in 1970 and in 1981, proofread by the Rebbe. Brooklyn, Kislev, 1992. Inscription on title page: "Received from the holy hand of the Rebbe, David Avraham Gottesman".
This booklet was distributed by the Rebbe, on the eve of the 28th of Cheshvan 1992, in honor of a hachnasat Sefer Torah written by Moroccan Jews in memory of his wife, Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka. "The booklet for a siyum and hachnasat Sefer Torah, with a brown cover, slightly similar to parchment… 'Special edition' appears under the title".
· "Kuntress Derushei Chatuna" (homilies for weddings), seven Chassidic essays spoken and written by R. Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, the Rayatz of Lubavitch, in honor of his daughter's marriage to his son-in-law the Rebbe in Kislev 1929, with two articles by the Rebbe based on his father-in-law's articles printed in this booklet.
Brooklyn, Kislev, 1992.
The booklet was handed out by the Rebbe on the 17th of Kislev. "It is bound in a light-blue cover of high-quality paper and inscribed in spectacular red letters: Kuntress Derushei Chatuna… Thousands of people passed before the Rebbe, one after another… quickly, to merit a glimpse of the king's countenance… and to leave happily with a special gift…".
· "Kuntress Ma'amarim 1912", three Chassidic articles, their content delivered and written by R. Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson, the Rayatz of Lubavitch in Tishrei 1912. Brooklyn, Shevat, 1922. First edition. Inscribed on the title page: "Received from the holy hand of the Rebbe, David Avraham Gottesman".
The booklet was distributed by the Rebbe on the eve of the 10th of Shevat 1992.
· "Kovetz 22nd of Shevat", compilation of discourses and letters of the Rebbe, "related to the special role of a woman and Jewish daughter in fulfilling the special mission of our generation in disseminating Torah and Judaism…". Brooklyn, Shevat, 1992. Inscribed on title page: "Received from the holy hand of the Rebbe, David Avraham Gottesman".
This booklet was distributed by the Rebbe on the 22nd of Shevat 1992. "The booklet contains about 60 pages, pink color… The distribution lasted for five hours during which the Rebbe handed out more than 10,000 pamphlets…".
The Lubavitcher Rebbe R. Menachem Mendel Schneerson (1902-1994) was the seventh Chabad-Lubavitch Rebbe, son of R. Levi Yitzchak, rabbi of Ekatrinoslav (today Dnipro, Ukraine) and sixth-generation direct descendant of the Tzemach Tzedek. His brilliance and outstanding leadership qualities were evident from a young age. He married the daughter of the Rebbe Rayatz and upon their immigration to the US, he became his father-in-law's close assistant and among other tasks, undertook the management of the central Chabad institutes and was chief editor of Kehot publishing. After the passing of his father-in-law in 1950, R. Menachem Mendel was appointed Rebbe and head of the world Lubavitch Chassidism. He established the "sheluchim" (emissaries) project which has spread to all corners of the world and the Rebbe was renowned for his genuine love and concern for each and every Jew. Famed as a miracle worker with far-reaching foresight, his prayers and blessing assisted thousands. His vast knowledge in all spheres of Torah, halacha and Kabbalah were world-renowned and evident in the dozens of books he authored. Esteemed by the leading Chassidic Rebbes of his times, the Rebbe, author of Netivot Shalom of Slonim referred to his in a letter written in 1961: "The great and holy leader crown and glory of the Jewish People".
8 items. Size varies. Overall good condition.
Manuscript by Rabbi Yitzchak HaLevi of Lemgo, and a Manuscript by his Disciple Rabbi Avraham Prins – Amsterdam, 18th Century – Novellae, Sermons, Letters, Notes and Memoirs – Important Historical Material Regarding the Ashkenazi Community of Amsterdam
Volume comprised of three manuscripts: · Manuscript of novellae and sermons, autograph of R. Yitzchak HaLevi of Lemgo, author of Toldot Yitzchak. · Manuscript of novellae, sermons and circumcision ledger handwritten by his disciple R. Avraham Prins of Amsterdam. · Copyings of letters and documents from that period, including letters addressed to the Pekidim and Amarkalim (officials and administrators in Amsterdam), and more.
The manuscripts were presumably bound in the beginning of the 1830s. The binding is imprinted with gilt letters: "Zera Yitzchak – Toldot Avraham". The volume contains invaluable Torah and historical material from Torah scholars and public leaders of Amsterdam in the 18th century. Below is an outline of its contents:
· Chiddushei Shas VeChiddushei Sugiot (Talmudic novella). Sermons on Halacha and Aggada: for Siyumim, in praise of the Torah and in praise of peace, for festivals and eulogies. Handwritten by R. Yitzchak Itzak HaLevi of Lemgo, a prominent Amsterdam Torah scholar and rabbi of Groningen. Amsterdam [ca. 1790]. Page 82b mentions "Admor HaGaon" (this may refer to R. Shaul Rabbi of Amsterdam, or to his son and successor R. Yaakov Moshe Lowenstam).
, 88 leaves, [1 index leaf]. Autograph of R. Yitzchak of Lemgo.
· Torah novellae and sermons. Familial and communal memoirs. Registry of circumcised babies (Mohel's ledger). Memoirs and copies of documents and letters regarding Eretz Israel. Writings about his teacher, R. Yitzchak of Lemgo. Testaments and eulogies. Handwritten by R. Avraham Prins of Amsterdam (1768-1851), a leading community activist and founder of the Pekidim and Amarkalim organization (officials and administrators in Amsterdam on behalf of the Jews in Eretz Israel), official and chief supervisor of all matters concerning Eretz Israel. [1810-1849].
147 written pages, in the handwriting of R. Avraham Prins. (Some of the signatures following the copyings may be autographic – original, not written by the copier).
R. Yitzchak Itzak (Segal) HaLevi of Lemgo (1748-1801) a prominent scholar of the Etz Chaim study hall of the Ashkenazi community in Amsterdam, was a disciple of R. Shaul of Amsterdam, and a close friend of his son R. Yaakov Moshe. He was amongst the prominent regular "learners" in the Beit HaMidrash and served as lecturer and dean of the yeshiva. In 1800, he was appointed rabbi of Groningen and its district.
His manuscripts underwent many vicissitudes, and numerous books and articles have been written on the subject. His great composition Toldot Yitzchak, commentary on the Tosefta, of which his disciple R. Avraham Prins (who succeeded him as head of the yeshivah) added a sample to Likutei Tzvi, Amsterdam 1809, disappeared and was only revealed to the public at auctions, first appearing in 1870 at the Friedrich Muller auction house in Amsterdam (Item 944) in three folio size volumes containing approximately 1600 leaves. In 1881, the same manuscript was offered as part of the estate of Levi Gutshlag Winifred of the Hague at the H.G. Baum auction house (Item 156). In ca. 1900, this manuscript reached the Rosenthaliana library in Amsterdam. In 1965, Joseph Onderwyser published a book in English named Mavoch (labyrinth) in which he describes in a very picturesque (and odd) manner his worldwide quest for the manuscript of the colossal work on the Tosefta, discovering it in an internal list of the Rosenthaliana library in Amsterdam. This book then raised a polemic in the press and in journals and eventually, a team of editors began publishing the commentary. So far, one volume has been published on Tractate Megillah, Jerusalem, 2002, by Machon Ofek. The volume is prefaced with a long article - the author's biography, and an account of
his tenure in the Amsterdam Beit Midrash.
This manuscript sheds light on the early history of R. Yitzchak of Lemgo's manuscript composition on the Tosefta: On p. 76 of his notebook, R. Avraham Prins documents the purchase of the manuscript at the sale of the estate of R. Yitzchak ben Mordechai of Lemgo, R. Yitzchak's nephew. He relates that it was he who bound it in three volumes "and in each volume I imprinted his name in gilt letters". He bemoans the fact that he lacks the means to publish the book. On p. 86, written at a later date, R. Avraham repeats the fact that since he realized that he was unable to publish the book, he bound it in three volumes so that his teacher's family members could study it (apparently, he returned the three volumes to the descendants of R. Yitzchak of Lemgo).
This booklet, handwritten by R. Yitzchak of Lemgo, is hitherto unknown and a discovery in its own right. R. Avraham Prins writes about it on p. 86 and about more letters "bound with this volume". Evidently, this volume was not offered at the same auctions in the 19th century at which the other three volumes by R. Yitzchak of Lemgo were sold. In addition, R. Avraham Prins' diary of memoirs and sermons discloses new details of the biography of his close teacher R. Yitzchak of Lemgo who taught him Torah and raised him in his home like his own son after he was orphaned.
The diary of the memoirs of R. Avraham Prins is of great significance, as it also reveals unknown details of the history of the Ashkenazi community in Amsterdam in the late 18th century and in the early 19th century.
Among them are details of the circumstances which led to the establishment of the Pekidim and Amarkalim (Officials and Administrators) organization, when a Jew left behind a will dedicating one third of his inheritance to the poor people of Eretz Israel. His heirs attempted to prevent the execution of the will, but R. Avraham together with R. Tzvi Hirsch Lehren endeavoured to collect the inheritance, initiating the establishment of the Pekidim and Amarkalim (pages 81-82). The copying of these Pekidim and Amarkalim documents is also unknown, as the book Igrot HaPekidim VeHaAmarkalim MeAmsterdam published in Jerusalem, 1965 only includes the letters sent from Amsterdam to Jerusalem, while these are copies of letters sent from Eretz Israel to Amsterdam. This material has not yet been sufficiently examined, but below is an outline of the letters' contents: Letters signed by R. Tuviah ben R. Shlomo, R. Natan Nata ben R. Menachem Mendel, R. Avraham Shlomo Zalman Shapira (Tzoref) and his son-in-law R. Aryeh ben R. Yerachmiel, treasurer and trustee. Letters from the rabbis of Hebron, Tiberias and Jerusalem.
A letter from Livorno containing a copy of a missive by R. Yisrael of Shklow, disciple of the Vilna Gaon to R. Shlomo Zalman Tsoref regarding the mission for locating the Ten Lost Tribes. (This letter is a new discovery in this enigmatic affair - See article by Dr. Aryeh Morgenstern, Sinai, 100, pp. 552-554).
Throughout the years, R. Avraham Prins recorded in this volume Torah and ethics thoughts, as well as eulogies for his offspring who died during his lifetime and wills he wrote at the age of 60 and 64. On p. 86, he wrote that "In Sivan 1838, I reached the age of 70". In his testament from 1849 he hints that he is 80 years old (p. 119), evidence to the fact he was born in 1768 or in 1769. R. Avraham Prins died in 1851.
Total of approx. 200 leaves (some are blank). 19.5 cm. Thick high-quality paper, very good condition. Original leather binding with gilt inscription and ornaments, in very good condition. Minor repair of tear to back cover. Ex-libris.
Esther scroll on gevil, in a luxurious case decorated with damascene work. Near East (Syria/Iraq), 19th century (dedication from 1853).
Ink on gevil; Repoussé brass, inlaid with silver and copper (damascene work).
Scribal writing (STaM) characteristic of the Syrian-Iraqi region in the late 19th century, on light brown gevil, 18 lines per column.
Rolled on a brass handle and inserted in a large case decorated with damascene work, in dense geometrical and vegetal patterns. At the top and bottom of the case are bands of text (in Hebrew) that complement each other: "There was a Jew in Susa the capital / whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, son of Shimei, son of". At the center of the case, inside four stylized medallions, is the verse "The Jews had / light and gladness / and joy and honor", followed by "and the year 5613 (תרי"ג)" (a sign whose meaning we could not decipher is inscribed inside the letter ר).
Parchment height: 21 cm. Fair-good condition. Some tears and defects. Repairs in a number of places. Height of case: 41 cm (including handle). The bottom end of the handle is broken. A piece is missing from the top end (where the cover fits onto the case, with a new screw). Some pieces are missing from the inlay.
Large handwritten volume, ledger of the regulations of the Talmud Torah Society, containing hundreds of names of community members. Ujhel (Sátoraljaújhely), 1822-1874.
The regulations are followed by an endorsement handwritten and signed by the rabbi of the city, R. Moshe Teitelbaum, author of Yismach Moshe. The list of names of the society members includes R. Yirmiyahu Löw, Rabbi of Ujhel, his son R. Elazar Löw, and the grandsons of the Yismach Moshe, R. Yekutiel Yehuda Teitelbaum (later Rabbi of Sighet, author of Yitav Lev) and R. Yechezkel Halberstam (later Rabbi of Shinova, author of Divrei Yechezkel).
The Talmud Torah Society was an organization for promoting Torah study in the city, contributing to the tuition of children from destitute homes, providing them with a Torah education. Each of the society members had to sponsor Torah study, thus becoming a member of the association. Like other such societies in Jewish communities, this society was also a social group. The members would gather to study together, and participate in each other's joyous events as well as times of mourning. They would assemble to study Torah throughout the night preceding a Brit Mila, and after the passing of a member, they would study and pray for the elevation of his soul. 48 clauses of regulations relating to monetary and spiritual matters appear on the first five pages of the ledger, obligating the volunteers to support Torah study in the city. The ledger begins with the words: "Today, we have come together, all the undersigned, to strengthen the Talmud Torah Society of our city… and have decided to institute permanent regulations which are listed here…". The 48 regulations follow this introduction.
On p. [3a], at the conclusion of the regulations, are three lines handwritten by R. Moshe Teitelbaum, Rabbi of Ujhel, who writes: "Due to lack of time, I could not study these regulations, however, I rely on the five elected men who have undoubtedly used their judgement properly, and I agree to all these things which were spoken with truth and justice, so says Moshe Teitelbaum of Premishla, here in Ujhel and its region". This endorsement is followed by the signatures of dozens of members of the Talmud Torah Society.
The following rabbis are amongst the signatories on the regulations: R. Aharon Guenzler and his son R. Moshe Yehuda Leib Guenzler (father of R. Shmuel Guenzler Rabbi of Visheva, and father-in-law of R. Avraham Yehuda Schwartz Rabbi of Mád and author of Kol Aryeh); R. Itzek Friedlieber of Sereď (disciple of the Chatam Sofer, HaChatam Sofer V'Talmidav, pp. 245-246); R. Tzvi Hirsh Adler of Abony (disciple of the Chatam Sofer, HaChatam Sofer V'Talmidav, p. 412); R. Yeshaya HaLevi (of Liska, presumably a dayan in Ujhel in 1847-1848); and others.
The pages of the regulations and signatures are followed by about one hundred pages of names of members. Each page bears the names of one or two members in large calligraphic scribal script. The dates of the death of society members appear on some pages, with information pertaining to them and their estates. A copy of the testament of one of the members is presented on p. 10a. The last dozens of pages contain protocols with additional regulations, the names of new members who joined the society throughout the years and the dates of their enrollment.
P. 1a is dedicated to the first and foremost member, the rabbi of the city: "R. Moshe Teitelbaum Rabbi of Ujhel – 1822". Inscribed under his name: "Died at a ripe old age and heavily mourned, 28th Tammuz 1841".
The next two leaves (on a different, greenish paper, bound inside the ledger many years after its first entries) contain the name of R. Yirmiyahu Löw – the renowned author of the Divrei Yirmiyahu books who officiated as rabbi of the city from 1852: "R. Yirmiyahu Löw Rabbi of Ujhel – 1852". Another inscription was added under his name: "R. Yirmiyahu Löw died in 1874 on the first day of Chol HaMoed Pesach. His son and successor, R. Elazar Löw Rabbi of Ujhel, 1874".
The name of the member R. Yekutiel Yehuda Teitelbaum, grandson of the Yismach Moshe, appears on p. 53a. At that time, he was 23 years old (later, Rebbe and Rabbi of Sighet, author of Yitav Lev): "The astute rabbi, R. Yekutiel Yehuda Teitelbaum – 1831". Another documentation of the date the Yitav Lev joined the society appears in the protocols at the end of the volume (p. [149b]): "Thursday of Mishpatim 1831. The young man R. Yekutiel Yehuda grandson of the rabbi, the great luminary, was accepted for…" (listing his weekly contribution).
The last page of the additions at the end of the ledger, features the name of R. Yechezkel Shraga Halberstam, eldest son of the Divrei Chaim of Sanz, and son-in-law of the son-in-law of the Yismach Moshe (later, Rebbe and Rabbi of Shinova, author of Divrei Yechezkel): "Today, the young man R. Yechezkel Halberstam was accepted into the society, with the agreement of the undersigned…" (specifying his weekly contribution).
On p. [2b], Clause 36, an interesting regulation appears: "If a son is born to a member of the society, the administrators will send ten of his neighbors who are society members to the home of the baby's father on the eve before the circumcision, before nightfall, to pray the evening prayers on time, and they will remain to study Mishnayot until after midnight without pausing. And they will not sit down for a proper meal, thoughthat is customary in our region. Because no source cites such a meal as a seudat mitzvah and night was given for [Torah] study, and it causes many to waste their time on frivolous conversation. However, the custom of serving fruit, various pastries and black coffee to keep them awake is a pleasing and acceptable practice…".
This ledger contains a veritable treasure trove of data about the city of Ujhel and its community leaders during the first half of the 19th century.
R. Moshe Teitelbaum, Rabbi of Ujhel (1759-1841), was an illustrious Chassidic leader in Hungary and Galicia. An outstanding Torah scholar and G-dly Kabbalist, sharp and proficient in all facets of Torah, revealed as well as hidden. During his lifetime, he became famous as an awesome holy divine figure, with Divine Inspiration, who worked wonders. He first served in the Shinova (Sieniawa) rabbinate from 1785-1808, and in 1808, was appointed rabbi of Ujhel and its region. During the first half of his life, R. Moshe was an opponent of Chassidism, and in his youth, he travelled to Vilna to study Torah from the Vilna Gaon (R. B. Landau, HaGaon HeChassid MiVilna, p. 291, in the name of R. Zalman Weber. The Klausenburg Rebbe cites an interesting testimony from that visit, which his great-grandfather the Yismach Moshe related about the conduct of the Vilna Gaon with his disciples – Responsa Divrei Yatziv, Part IV, Yoreh De'ah, section 131). Over the years, R. Moshe gravitated towards Chassidism, influenced by his son-in-law R. Aryeh Leib Lifshitz of Vishnitsa, author of the Responsa Aryeh D'Bei Ila'i, who convinced his father-in-law to travel to the Chozeh of Lublin. There, R. Moshe saw obvious revelations of Divine Inspiration, and became the Chozeh's close disciple, adhering to Chassidism and disseminating its doctrines throughout the region. This transformation took place while he was still officiating as rabbi of Shinova. He also travelled to the Ohev Yisrael of Apta. From 1815, R. Moshe began distributing amulets to those requiring salvation and "the pen cannot properly describe the wonders performed by those amulets". Reputedly, he deliberated whether to continue writing amulets until he heard a pronouncement from Heaven: "Do not fear for I am with you" (Tehilla L'Moshe). Until this day, most of the texts of amulets and "protections" in Ashkenazi countries are attributed to the Yismach Moshe, including the printed text of the "Protection for the infant and the mother" and "Protection from epidemic". Also the text of the renowned Kerestir amulets, inscribed by Chassidic rebbes for safeguarding home and property, originates from him.
His published writings include the well-known books of homilies - Yismach Moshe on the Torah, Megillot and on Talmudic Aggadot, Tefilla L'Moshe on Tehillim, Responsa Heshiv Moshe and other books. His book Maayan Tahor, with the laws of Nidda in Yiddish for Jewish women, was appended to many siddurim.
R. Yosef Shaul Nathansohn, Rabbi of Lemberg, in his approbation to Responsa Heshiv Moshe, writes that in his youth the author "knew by heart about 800 leaves of the Talmud, all arranged... He was a disciple of the holy Torah scholar, author of Drishat Ari… and received Torah and practical Kabbalah from this righteous man, and I have heard awesome things about him while he was in Ujhel…". Although he and the Chatam Sofer disagreed on several issues, they were close friends and greatly esteemed one another. The Chatam Sofer would use effusive expressions of love and reverence in his correspondence to R. Moshe. Once, the Chatam Sofer's son, the Ktav Sofer, contracted a serious illness and the Chatam Sofer appeared to the Yismach Moshe during his prayers on Yom Kippur requesting he pray for his son's salvation. The next day, R. Moshe indeed received a letter from the Chatam Sofer with his request to pray for his son (Tehilla L'Moshe).
According to the testimony of his grandson, the Yitav Lev, Rebbe of Sighet (cited in several places in his books), his grandfather R. Moshe Teitelbaum merited celestial revelations and visions. Once, upon concluding the Amidah prayer, he requested of G-d to merit to see a revelation of what the Rama of Fano wrote in his book Asara Maamarot, that after the destruction of Beit HaMikdash, Eliyahu Hanavi brings the daily Tamid sacrifice. "As soon as he prayed for this, G-d fulfilled his request and he saw with his own eyes Eliyahu clad in priestly garments, standing and sacrificing the Korban Tamid, and this was publicly known" (Yitav Lev). This same grandson also recounts that once he "sat with him (his grandfather) several hours after midnight and he told him a number of awe-inspiring things… Believe me that the angels gather to hear my words… I also hear the announcements made in Heaven…". In many places in his books, the Yismach Moshe cites lofty Torah novellae which were revealed to him in his dreams, sometimes even mentioning the date, such as "On the second day of Rosh Chodesh Adar 1796, I fell asleep on the couch and it was revealed to me…"; "According to a revelation in my dreams regarding the Gan Eden of the Tana'im…". Also, many souls of venerable tzaddikim from the Upper World would appear to him in his room, especially during the Simchat Torah dancing (Tehilla L'Moshe).
, 1, , 2-23, 25-27, 30-77,  leaves. Including 106 written pages (the two leaves bound after leaf 1 are not part of the original ledger). 38 cm. Good condition. Stains and wear. New leather binding.
Literature: R. M.A.Z. Kunstlicher, Alei Zikaron, 28, Kislev 2016, pp. 2-17 – "Regulations of the Talmud Torah Society of the Ujhel community – 1822 – With the Endorsement of the Yismach Moshe"; see further: Alei Zikaron, 29, pp. 92-93; HaChatam Sofer V'Talmidav, pp. 245-246, 412.
Siddur of year-round prayers, arranged following the prayer-rite of the Arizal, by HaAdmor HaZaken Rebbe Shneur Zalman of Liadi, the Baal HaTanya. Slavita: Rebbe Shmuel Avraham Shapira, son of the rabbi of Slavita, 1827.
The title page states: "…superior to all siddurim preceding it from various prints, whether for the beauty of its print or for the precision of its proofing…".
The Slavita edition is considered one of the most precise editions of the Baal HaTanya's siddur. The siddur was printed in Slavita twice, in 1827 and in 1836 (the differences between the 1827 and 1836 editions are minute, affecting only the vocalization in a few places). According to the testimony of R. Lawat in his book Shaar HaKollel, the Tzemach Tzedek would pray from the Slavita edition of the siddur (presumably the one printed in 1836), and annotated it with his corrections and glosses.
The first edition printed in Slavita was up until now considered lost. Its existence was known only through an incidental mention in an approbation accorded to a siddur printed in Czernowitz (Chernivtsi) in 1853, which stated that this siddur was printed based on the format of siddurim printed in Slavita in 1827. As mentioned, this siddur had since disappeared.
This siddur contains several handwritten corrections to the vocalization and punctuation. The annotations correspond with those made by the Tzemach Tzedek in the margins of his siddur (these notes appear at the end of the Torah Or siddur).
The printer, Rebbe Shmuel Avraham Shapira (1784-1864) was the son of Rebbe Moshe Shapira, Rabbi of Slavita. His grandfather, R. Pinchas of Korets, described him before his birth as bearing a lofty soul. He studied under great Chassidic leaders, including R. Zushe of Anipoli (Hannopil), R. Baruch of Medzhybizh and the Saba of Shpoli (Shpola). In 1836, following the infamous libel, his printing press was shut down and in 1839 he was incarcerated with his brother until 1856. Upon his release, he was appointed rebbe. The Beit Aharon, Rebbe of Karlin, reputedly then handed him a Kvittel, requesting he effectuate a salvation for his son-in-law Rebbe Avraham Yaakov of Sadigura (Sadhora).
Some of the title page letters are printed in red ink.
1-92, , 93-172 leaves. Lacking leaves 13, 62-63. Altogether lacking 3 leaves. 18 cm. Fair-good condition. Stains and wear. Winestains to the leaves of the Passover Haggadah. Tears and damage to the title page, mainly to the inner margins, professionally restored, with slight damage to text. Tears and damage to many leaves, mainly to inner margins, professionally restored, with no damage to text. Open tears to leaves 12, 21, 33, 49-50, 74 and leaf  after 92, repaired with paper, with handwritten replacement of text in a script replicating the print. Four pages from different siddurim (unidentified editions) bound at the end of the siddur. Ownership inscriptions. New, elaborate leather binding.
Extremely rare. The book is not listed in the Bibliography of the Hebrew Book, nor in the Vinograd-Rosenfeld CD. Does not appear in the NLI catalogue, nor in the catalogue of the Chabad library in Brooklyn.
Manuscript, novellae on Tractates Sukkah, Beitza, Megillah, Kiddushin, Chullin and omissions. Novellae and commentaries on the Rashi and Mizrachi commentaries to the book of Devarim (Parashiot Devarim to Ki-Tetze). [Meknes? (Morocco), ca. 1800].
A title appears at the beginning of Tractate Sukkah (p. 1a): "Novellae on Sukkah – I will begin recording novellae on Tractate Sukkah with the help of G-d"; and a colophon at the end of Tractate Sukkah (p. 7b): "We completed Tractate Sukkah on Thursday, Sivan 9, … and we began Tractate Beitza on Sunday, Sivan 12, may G-d help me…".
Unpublished compositions – a "Shita" of novellae and comments arranged in order of the tractates' pages. Author's autograph (unidentified), in particularly neat Oriental script, with corrections, deletions and many additions – interlinear, intercolumnar and marginal. The style of writing suggests that these compositions were compiled by the author over the course of his learning. The writer appears to be a Meknes Torah scholar. The formatting style is very typical of manuscripts produced by Torah scholars of Meknes, Morocco. The contents include citations of Meknes Torah scholars such as R. Moshe Toledano, R. Mordechai Berdugo and others. The flowing language he uses, rich in flowery expressions, also parallels the style of other books by Meknes Torah scholars. In many instances, the author quotes novellae in the name of his teacher "מור"י" and in several places, he transcribed entire passages from the writings of his teacher "מור"י" (see for example p. 11b). On p. 22b, to Tractate Kiddushin, he quotes teachings he heard in the name of Tosafot Shantz (the nonextant Tosafot Shantz composition on Kiddushin existed then in manuscript).
The novellae on the Torah primarily relate to the Rashi commentary on the Torah. He extensively quotes and discusses the words of R. Eliyahu Mizrachi and the Rashbatz (R. Shalom ibn Tzur, a Moroccan Torah scholar – who composed a super-commentary to Rashi on the Torah. The Rashbatz's composition was not published, but parts of it are extant in manuscript. The passages quoted here may not appear in the extant manuscripts). He also cites teachings by HaRav HaMarbitz (R. Mordechai Berdugo of Meknes, 1715-1762), and from the book Melechet HaKodesh by HaRav Maharmat (Melechet HaKodesh on the Torah by R. Moshe Toledano, printed in Livorno in 1803. The composition in this manuscript was presumably authored after that date, though a possibility remains that the author studied Melechet HaKodesh in manuscript form, before it was published).
An inscription appears near the beginning of the book (in a different handwriting), recording the receipt of funds "for learning" from "Senor Chaim Sayegh".
, 22,  leaves. Including 13 empty leaves (apart from a brief note not pertaining to Torah). 21 cm. Neat, close writing, most leaves are formatted in two columns. Fair condition. Wear and dampstains. Worming and small tears (affecting text in some places). Some detached leaves. Without binding.
Leaf bearing an ownership inscription signed "Moshe son of R. G. of Zaloshin". Kislev 1820.
R. Moshe of Zaloshin (Działoszyn), son of R. Gershon (1789-1831, Encyclopedia L'Chassidut, III, pp. 273-276) was the author of Siddur Tikunei Shabbat, the Mishpat Tzedek commentary to Tehillim and Ge'ulat Yisrael on the Passover Haggada, which were reprinted in dozens of editions.
A prominent righteous man of Poland, he was the father of Rebbe Yaakov Aharon of Zaloshin and R. Yosef Gershon of Dvart (Warta). According to several sources, R. Moshe of Zaloshin was a foremost disciple of the Chozeh of Lublin, but this fact is disputed by Chassidic historians (see Encyclopedia L'Chassidut, III, pp. 273-274). It is an established fact that the Chozeh of Lublin greatly revered him, going so far as to praise him "from the age of ten he dedicated himself to G-d". His son, Rebbe Yaakov Aharon of Zaloshin Rabbi of Alexander (Aleksandrów Łódzki), was a disciple of the Chozeh of Lublin and R. Bunem of Pshischa (see Encyclopedia L'Chassidut, II, p. 252). His second son, R. Yosef Gershon Rabbi of Dvart, also served as rebbe (Encyclopedia L'Chassidut, II, p. 140).
His book Tikunei Shabbat was published anonymously in his lifetime in Warsaw, 1825. The book earned an enthusiastic approbation from R. Akiva Eiger, who terms the author "Righteous", "outstanding in Torah and Chassidism, fearful and anxious of G-d's word". R. Efraim Zalman Margolies extols his virtues in his approbation to the aforementioned book, describing his holiness and diligent Torah study from a young age, his practice of secluding himself, his great modesty and loathing of honor, which drove him to publish the book anonymously.
Rebbe Yosef, "the Yehudi HaTov from Neustadt", who was engaged in reciting Psalms his entire life, would keep on hand the Tehillim with the Mishpat Tzedek commentary composed by R. Moshe of Zaloshin.
At his passing, R. Meir Yeshaya Meisler of Zlotchov eulogized him describing how he would cry exceedingly during prayer, arousing the whole congregation. He engaged in charity considerably, travelling around to collect funds for needy brides. His zealousness and meticulosity in Mitzva performance were exceptional. There was nothing he did not do with absolute devotion for love of his Creator. For many years, he adopted silence, writing notes when necessary. On Shabbat and Festivals, he would not speak about any secular matters, not even in the Holy Tongue.
 leaf. 14.5 cm. Good condition, slight damage.
Keter Shem Tov, "All the holy teachings of Rabbi Yisrael the Ba'al Shem Tov" – a compendium of the teachings of the Ba'al Shem Tov, edited by R. Aharon HaCohen of Zelechow and Apta. Zhovkva, . First edition. Printed by Yehuda Leib Meir Heffer and by Mordechai Rabin Stein.
The first part of the book Keter Shem Tov – a renowned compendium of the teachings of the Ba'al Shem Tov, citing his teachings compiled from the books of his disciples, R. Ya'akov Yosef of Polonne and of the Magid of Mezeritch. This book is one of the early printed compilations of the teachings of the Ba'al Shem Tov and was published in two parts in Zhovkva, 1794-1795.
Approbations by R. Menachem Mendel of Liska and by R. Shlomo of Karlin and by R. Avraham Moshe of Przeworsk appear at the beginning of the book. These are followed by "The testament of the Ba'al Shem Tov". A letter sent by the Ba'al Shem Tov to Eretz Israel, to his brother-in-law, R. Gershon of Kuty is printed on the next leaf.
The author, R. Aharon HaCohen of Zelechow and Apta (Encyclopedia L'Chassidut, Vol. 1, p. 157), wrote a number of popular Chassidic books. Among them: Or Ganuz LaTzaddikim, Tefilla Yeshara – Keter Nehora and others. Disciple of R. Azriel Meisels of Ryczywół. Succeeding R. Levi Yitzchak of Berdychiv as Rabbi of Zelechow, he later officiated as Rabbi of Biłgoraj. In 1803, he served as Rabbi of Apta alongside R. Avraham Yehoshua Heshel, author of Ohev Yisrael.
Several variants were published from this edition, with minor typographic variations and differences in the text of the title pages [see the Bibliography of the Hebrew Book, record no. 139450].
The title page and several leaves bear the signatures of Rabbi Shmuel Heller, Rabbi of Safed, signed "Shmuel Heller" [1786-1884, a Torah scholar, proficient in various wisdoms including medicine, he was raised in the home of the Chozeh of Lublin and following his advice, immigrated to Eretz Israel. Officiated as Rabbi of Safed for 60 years], and signatures of Rabbi Moshe Deutsch, son-in-law of R. Shmuel Heller's son, signed "Moshe Deutsch".
 leaves. 19.5 cm. Fair-good condition. Stains, dampstains and wear. Tears to title page, slightly affecting text (the leaf was professionally repaired). Worming to title page and to several other leaves, repaired. Open tear to top corner of leaf 21, not affecting text, repaired. Small open tears to the margins of three leaves preceding the last leaf, repaired. New leather binding.
Stefansky Chassidut, no. 249.
Document signed by rabbis and community activists, with an addition handwritten and signed by the Rebbe of Ger: "This letter is also with my consent. So says Avraham Mordechai Alter". [Poland, ca. 1920s].
Concluding paragraph of a mimeographed, public letter, with handwritten signatures and additions. The printed letter, lacking its upper part, bears signatures of the four "members of the executive committee, the financial committee": R. "Meir Dan Refael son of R. Ch. Y" (the Gaon of Dvohrt, author of Kli Chemda); "Yeshaya Ringelblum[?]"; R. "Yitzchak Meir Levin" (leader of Agudat Yisrael); "Yaakov Trokenheim" (Agudat Yisrael representative in the Warsaw city council).
The letter pertains to a fundraising campaign for some important public cause (presumably of Agudat Yisrael, or of the Orthodox Coalition of the Warsaw Kehilla), and requests the financial support of wealthy members.
R. Meir Dan Plotzky (1866-1926), author of "Kli Chemda", was a leading Polish Torah scholar and rabbi, disciple of the Nefesh Chaya, the Gaon of Kutno and the "Avnei Nezer". He served as rabbi of Dvohrt (Warta) and Ostrów-Mozowiecka, and participated in the famous expedition of the prominent rabbis who traveled to the US in 1924.
R. Avraham Mordechai Alter (1866-1948), the third Gerrer Rebbe, son of the Sfat Emet, was a holy Torah scholar. Founder of Agudat Yisrael and prominent leader of Orthodox Jewry before the Holocaust, he served as Rebbe to tens of thousands of Ger Chassidim in Poland. The majority of his Chassidim as well as dozens of his descendants perished in the Holocaust, however the Rebbe miraculously survived and immigrated to Jerusalem, where he rebuilt the Ger dynasty and yeshivot. His sons who survived the Holocaust were the Beit Yisrael, Lev Simcha and Pnei Menachem, who all in turn later served as Rebbe of Ger. He was called the Imrei Emet after his book.
R. Yitzchak Meir HaKohen Levin (1893-1971), leader of the World Agudat Yisrael in Poland and Eretz Israel, was the grandson of the Sfat Emet of Ger and son-in-law of his uncle Rebbe Avraham Mordechai, Imrei Emet of Ger. He immigrated to Eretz Israel in 1940, and represented the interests of Orthodox Jewry in the government in the period of the founding of the State, acting as minister in the first governments of the State of Israel.
R. Yaakov Trokenheim (1888-1943) was a Gerrer Chassid. A member of the Warsaw Kehilla council, and from 1926, vice-president and later president of the Kehilla board. He was a member of the Warsaw city council in 1919-1939, of the senate in 1935-1937 and of the Polish Sejm from 1937.
 leaf. 17.5 cm. Good condition. Upper part cut and lacking.
Manuscript, Otzrot Chaim by R. Chaim Vital [Aleppo, second half of the 17th century]. Glosses by Kabbalists from Aleppo and Italy, including glosses of the famed Kabbalist R. Yosef Irgas, with several signatures: "Ot Hi" [alluding to the initials of Yosef Irgas].
Oriental script, with marginalia in various handwritings.
This manuscript had apparently been copied in Aleppo in the 17th century by the scribe of R. Chaim HaCohen, disciple of R. Chaim Vital, author of Tur Bareket. This is an early manuscript of the book Otzrot Chaim. In the manuscript, the scribe integrated the glosses of his teacher, R. Chaim Cohen, on Otzrot Chaim (in "windows"). These glosses have not been found in any other manuscript.
This manuscript was in the possession of several Kabbalists. First in Aleppo, it was in the hands of an unknown Kabbalist named R. Saadia son of R. Baruch Mizrachi. His glosses appear in a number of places in the manuscript, two with his signature (p. 43b: "Sa'adia said" and on p. 46b: "And so it seems in my lowly opinion [acronym] Sa'adia"). Likewise, an inscription in his handwriting with the names of the ten sefirot appears on the front binding.
From Aleppo, evidently this manuscript reached Italy and on its sheets are glosses of several unidentified Kabbalists (one signed: "Zecher Rav [acronym]. These glosses primarily contain copies of notations by R. Natan Shapira (signed: "It seems in my lowly opinion, N. [acronym]"), R. Moshe Zacuto (signed "Kol HaRemez"), and his disciple R. Binyamin HaCohen (signed: "Bach" [acronym]).
This manuscript was also in the possession of the renowned Kabbalist R. Yosef Irgas, author of Shomer Emunim HaKadmon and he added to it, especially to the first leaves, dozens of glosses. Among other notations, R. Yosef also copied glosses of R. Yosef ibn Tabul and glosses of his disciples, R. Yisrael Binyamin (Maharib) and R. Shmuel ben Sid, and copied glosses of his teachers, the Rabach and the Remez. In addition, R. Yosef Irgas wrote his own original glosses and signed them "Ot Hi" [acronym of his name]. The handwriting of these glosses has been identified as belonging to R. Yosef Irgas by comparison to his known handwriting in several other places, particularly in his composition Shomer Emunim in the Moscow manuscript (Ginzburg 354). A piece of paper in R. Yosef's handwriting was bound between Leaves 8 and 9, containing another gloss bearing his signature. On the endpaper (lacking a section), is a remnant of an inscription in his handwriting: "…named Otzrot Chaim because the treasure of life is hidden therein because it explains the sayings of the Zohar called the 'tree of life [chaim]'".
The Kabbalist R. Yosef Irgas (1685-1730) was a notable Italian kabbalist, author of Shomer Emunim HaKadmon, disciple of Kabbalist R. Binyamin HaCohen, the Rabach. Rabbi of Pisa, he established the Neve Shalom Yeshiva before moving to officiate as Rabbi of Livorno (where he was born). R. Malachi HaCohen, author of Yad Malachi was among his leading disciples. His renowned composition Shomer Emunim (first printed in Amsterdam 1738) became a basic text of Kabbalistic wisdom. Besides that composition, he wrote other books as well. In his struggle against the Sabbatean Nechemia Hayun, he wrote the polemic composition Tochachat Megula V'Hatzad Nachash. After R. Aharon Roth wrote a book similarly titled Shomer Emunim, R. Irgas' book was customarily dubbed HaKadmon to differentiate between the two.
97 leaves. 20 cm. Fair condition. Stains. Frequent worming, affecting text. Detached leaves. Early leather binding, detached and damaged.
Written according to an expert's report, enclosed.
Letters of recommendation for hachnasat kalla (supplying a dowry for a bride), handwritten and signed by dozens of Moroccan sages and rabbis, including a letter of recommendation (three lines) handwritten and signed by R. Yisrael Abuchatzira (the Baba Sali). Bound together.
7 leaves, glued and bound together, containing handwritten and signed recommendations by Moroccan sages and rabbis from 1922-1936. Written in Moroccan cities: Fez, Meknes, Rabat, Tlemcen, Sefrou, Safi, Essaouira and El-Jadida. All the recommendations were written for "Moshe Ochana", some mentioning his wish to settle in Eretz Israel.
Below is a list of the letters of recommendation and some of the names of the rabbis who signed them:
· Page  – Recommendation of "…R. Ya'akov Abuchatzira…". Fez, 1935. Handwritten additions and signatures of members of the society appear on the margins.
· Page  – Letter of recommendation by the Rashbi society. Fez, 1932. Many signatures of members of the society, including the signature "Yitzchak Abuchatzira".
· Page  – Recommendation signed by the Beit Din in Rabat. 1923. Signatures of R. Refael Ankawa (Encouau) [HaMalach Refael], R. Yekutiel Birdugo, R. Yosef Chaim ibn Attar.
This recommendation is accompanied by another handwritten recommendation signed by R. Chaim Refael Attie, a Rabbi in Rabat and by another handwritten recommendation.
· Page  – Recommendation of the Fez Beit Din – Signatures of R. "Shlomo ---", R. "Matitya Siriro" and R. "Aharon Butbul". Fez, Tishrei 1922.
Three handwritten lines of recommendation signed by R. "Yisrael Abuchatzira", the Baba Sali, appear alongside this recommendation.
Recommendation handwritten and signed by R. Abba Elbaz, "Posek in the city of Sefrou".
Recommendation handwritten and signed by R. Yehoshua Birdugo – Meknes.
Recommendation handwritten and signed R. Shlomo ibn Shitrit – "Dayan and posek in Meknes".
Recommendation handwritten and signed by R. David Tzabach – Rabat.
Recommendation signed by Rabbis of Essaouira (Mogador) – Ra'avad R. Avraham ibn Sussan, R. David Knafo and R. Moshe ibn Simhon.
· Page  – Recommendation of the society "Called after… Rabbi Ish HaTzorfati…". Fez, 1923. With many signatures.
· Page  – Recommendation by Rabbis of the Fez Beit Din, 1933. Signed by R. Matitya Siroro, R. Aharon Butbul and R. Moshe ibn Denan.
Under these signatures are two more recommendations, one handwritten and signed by R. David Tzabach "Posek in El-Jadida" and the other handwritten and signed by R. Avner Tzorfati "Posek in Safi".
· Page  – Recommendation from societies in Fez, 1923: Recommendation from a society named after R. Shimon Bar Yochai, with signatures of its members, including the following: R. Shmuel ibn Denan, R. Sa'adia ibn Denan. Recommendation from Chevrat Eliyahu HaNavi, with signatures of its members.
Recommendation handwritten and signed by R. Refael Tzorfati, Oujda.
Recommendation handwritten and signed by R. Masud Aviktzitz.
Recommendation handwritten and signed by R. Yosef Mashash [author of Otzar HaMichtavim] – Tlemcen, 1936.
 leaves, glued and bound together. 36 cm. Fair condition. Dark stains, wear and tears, worming in several places. Traces of dampness. Repairs with paper. Folk fabric binding.
Letter from Rebbe Yitzchak Meir of Apta-Zinkov – Son of the Ohev Yisrael of Apta – Invitation to the Wedding of his Granddaughter with Rebbe Yitzchak Yoel of Linitz – The Last Wedding in the Court of Rabbi Yitzchak Meir of Zinkov
A handwritten wedding invitation letter, with two lines of conclusion and signature handwritten by Rebbe Yitzchak Meir of Zinkov (Zinkiv), son of R. Avraham Yehoshua Heschel, the Apter Rav. Zinkov, Kislev .
Invitation to the wedding of his granddaughter, daughter of R. Meshulam Zusia of Zinkov, with the groom R. Yitzchak Yoel, son of Rebbe Gedalia Aharon of Linitz (Illintsi), on Thursday, Kislev 9, 1854. This was the last wedding which took place in the court of R. Yitzchak Meir of Zinkov, who passed away that year.
The invitation, written at his behest by a scribe, reads: "…to the leaders of the community… of Morachwa (Staraya Murafa)… I said, can I hide from my beloved ones, who are attached to me with an ancestral covenant of powerful love, therefore I wish to inform them of the day of my celebration, so that they can rejoice on it, and please G-d, on the day of your celebration when you wed your children, my heart will rejoice and my soul will exult". The Rebbe then signs in his own handwriting: "So are the words of one who seeks the wellbeing and the good of our Jewish brethren…, Yitzchak Meir son of the Rabbi of Apta".
R. Yitzchak Meir of Apta-Zinkov (1776-1855), a leading Rebbe of his generation, was the eldest son of R. Avraham Yehoshua Heshel, the Ohev Yisrael of Apta (Opatów). His descendants married the children of great Chassidic leaders and he was the progenitor of many Chassidic dynasties. After his father's passing, thousands of Chassidim followed him, and he transferred his court from Medzhybizh to Zinkov. Just like his father, he was reputed for his love of his fellow Jew, and drew many Jews closer to their father in Heaven. His long life was replete with acts of charity and kindness, and he would pray and effect salvations for each and every member of the Jewish people who turned to him. He was the beloved mechutan of leading Chassidic leaders of his generation (R. Yisrael of Kozhnitz, R. Yisrael of Ruzhin, R. Moshe Tzvi Savran and others) and many of the great men of his generation sought his advice on all their matters. One of his granddaughters married Rebbe Yehoshua of Belz, who was very close to his illustrious grandfather. Many important dynasties of Rebbes and rabbis descended from his offspring.
The groom was Rebbe Yitzchak Yoel Rabinowitz, the Rebbe of Linitz-Kontikoziva (1840-1885). In 1868, he succeeded his father, in the latter's lifetime, as rabbi and maggid in Linitz. Exiled by the Russian government who persecuted Chassidic leaders, he settled in Kontikoziva (Prybuzhany, Kherson province). His sons were Rebbe Yehoshua Heshel of Monistritch and Rebbe Pinchas of Kontikoziva (father of Rebbe Yaakov Yisrael of Kherson and R. Menachem Nachum of Kherson-Haifa) and R. Meshulam Zusia of Arel.
The following interesting account regarding scheduling the date for the wedding is brought in Shemu'ot VeSipurim, at the end of Machshevet Nachum, (p. 238) - At the beginning of the year, R. Yitzchak Meir sent a letter to his mechutan R. Gedalia Aharon of Linitz, the Chen Aharon, writing that if the latter wishes to enable his own presence at the wedding, the date of the wedding, originally scheduled for Elul 1885, will have to be brought forward to Kislev, which is what they did. Several months later, on Rosh Chodesh Adar 1855, R. Yitzchak Meir passed away, as he had foreseen.
 leaf. approx. 18.5 cm. Fair condition. Tears and wear. Old repairs, with adhesive tape to the verso of the leaf.
This invitation was copied from this manuscript (with minor copying errors) in the book Igrot HaOhev Yisrael, Jerusalem 2000, letter 66b, p. 140.
Large handwritten parchment leaf, copying of letters of recommendation written by rabbis for Pidyon Shvuyim (Redemption of Captives), bearing recommendations of rabbis of Poland and Germany, Holland and London. [London? 1750].
Large format parchment leaf, written in two columns. Contains letters of recommendation for three brothers: Moshe, Ya'akov and Yitzchak, sons of R. Moshe HaCohen of Macedonia, Jewish traders who fell into a serious financial crisis after their ship, loaded with merchandise (their own and others' as well), sunk into the sea casting them into heavy debt. They, together with their wives and children were imprisoned. They themselves succeeded in fleeing but their wives and children remained in prison. After they fled, they were forced to travel trying to collect funds necessary for paying ransom to redeem themselves and their families.
In the top right part of the first page is a recommendation by the rabbis and dignitaries of the Sephardi community of Khotyn (today Ukraine). A copying of 14 letters of recommendation "Written and signed by famous rabbi of Poland and Ashkenaz (Germany)" appears in the left column and on the right column of the second page. These recommendations were written by Polish (Podolia) and German rabbis and they include the recommendation of R. Yechezkel Landau, author of Noda BiYehuda during his tenure as Rabbi of Yampil. In the right column of the first page are recommendations given to the brothers in Holland, Amsterdam and Hague and in the left column of the second page is a recommendation written on their behalf in London.
The recommendation from Khotyn and those written by Polish and German rabbis were copied in square letters (so that Ashkenazi Jews could understand them as well) but the recommendations by the rabbis of the Sephardi communities of Amsterdam and London were copied in semi-cursive Sephardi script. Portuguese inscriptions were added to the Sephardi recommendations, detailing the amounts of the donations.
Study of this manuscript reveals the route taken by the brothers to collect funds. The recommendation of the Khotyn Sephardi community was written in Tishrei 1748. At the end of that same year, they made rounds in Podolia. On the 26th of Elul they were in Zhvanets and received a letter from the "Sephardi wealthy dignitaries", also signed by the local rabbi (Yehuda Leib Maskal), addressed to the Noda BiYehuda requesting his recommendation on behalf of the brothers to enable them to collect donations in Ashkenazi communities. Afterward, they visited Yampil, apparently, on Erev Sukkot 1750. At that time, the Noda BiYehuda officiated as Rabbi of the city and he gave them a recommendation. The next date entered is Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan, which found the brothers in Horokhiv, the 6th of Cheshvan in Volodymyr-Volynskyi, the 15th of Cheshvan in Zamość and that same day, they also visited Szczebrzeszyn, on the 26th of Cheshvan – Kraśnik, on the 24th of Cheshvan – Apta, on Erev Rosh Chodesh Kislev – Khmilnyk and on Rosh Chodesh Kislev – Pińczów. In each of these places, they received letters of recommendation from local rabbis. From Poland, they travelled to Germany: On the 3rd of Tevet they arrived in Frankfurt am Main, on the 13th of Tevet in Berlin, on Rosh Chodesh Shevat in Halberstadt, on the 12th of Shevat in Hanover. In all these cities too, they received recommendations from the local rabbis. From Germany, they moved on to Holland: On the 28th of Adar Bet they arrived in Amsterdam and received a letter from R. Yitzchak Chaim ibn Dana de Brito. On the 26th of Iyar, they were in Hague and received a recommendation from R. Daniel HaCohen Rodriguez. At the end of the month of Iyar, they returned to Amsterdam and received letters of recommendation from two Eretz Israel emissaries, R. Masud Bonan, emissary of Tiberias, and R. Meir Sigora of Safed.
The last letter of recommendation which appears on this leaf was written in London in the month of Tamuz 1750 by the rabbi of the Portuguese-Sephardi community in the city, R. Moshe Gomes de Mesquita (See item 161). R. Moshe writes that after the brothers' failure to collect the required funds, they decided to part and two brothers travelled to the new settlements of Portuguese Jews in Central America: "They were compelled to part ways, two brothers travelled to the islands, first to Curaçao and then to Barbados and to Jamaica to expedite the Pidyon Shvuyim, and I have found Moshe, the great man here in our city…".
The style of writing tends to identify the writer as a scribe of a Portuguese-Sephardi community in Holland or in London. Since the last letter was written in London, this copy was presumably written there as well.
A copying of these letters of recommendation, from a different source, was published by Prof. Meir Benayahu. He cited the letters from a handwritten notebook from Ferrara, containing copyings of the letters written by the community scribe, apparently, R Yitzchak Lampronti (that manuscript is preserved in the collection of Yeshaya Zana in Ben-Zvi Institute, no. 4054). Prof. Benayahu cites other letters as well, from further travels of the brother named Moshe to Algeria and to Italian cities. See: M. Benayahu, The relations between Greek Jews and Italian Jews, Tel Aviv 1980, pp. 22-23, 266-278.
Large parchment leaf. Height: 58 cm. Width: 51.5 cm. Stains. Two natural holes. Folding marks.
Crown for a small Torah scroll. [Eastern Europe – Russia or Poland, 18th century].
Silver (marked), cut and soldered, repoussé and embossed; rivets; gemstones; gilding.
A small-sized crown intended for a small Torah scroll. The crown's base is made of silver openwork attached with rivets to a silver loop and decorated with vegetal and geometric patterns and three pairs of heraldic animals [a pair of lions, langued, a pair of oxen (?) and a pair of wolves (?)]. Six arms extend upwards from the crown's base, topped by another, small and gilt crown decorated with tiny flowers, precious stones, globular silver beads of various sizes and silver threads. The crown's arms are decorated with vegetal patterns and rocaille. Between the arms are six (identical) decorations that combine rocaille and large birds (each of the decorations has two holes, apparently intended for bells or other missing decorations).
Height: 19 cm, base diameter: 13 cm. Good overall condition. Slightly bent. Some of the bells are marked with English stamps. Missing bells. Decorations missing from upper crown and from the rocaille-and-bird pattern.
Responsa of the Maharik, by R. Yosef Colon. Warsaw, 1884.
The front endpaper contains ownership inscriptions indicating that the book belonged to R. Yisrael Meir HaKohen of Radin, the Chafetz Chaim: "This book belongs to the preeminent scholar R. Yisrael Meir son of R. Aryeh Zev HaKohen of Radin, Vilna province, author of Chafetz Chaim"; "This book belongs to R. Yisrael Meir HaKohen of Radin, who acquired it from a person who wishes to remain unnamed. So says his friend who seeks his wellbeing Yitzchak Koshoner".
This book came from the inheritance of R. Tzvi Yehuda Eidelstein, son of R. Yerachmiel Gershon Eidelstein Rabbi of Shumyachi and author of Chiddushei Ben Aryeh (1862-1919), who received it from the Chafetz Chaim himself. This transpired during WWI, when the Chafetz Chaim fled together with the Radin Yeshiva to Shumyachi, Minsk province, where they remained for some two and a half years. During that period, the rabbi of the town, R. Yerachmiel Gershon, became very close to the Chafetz Chaim. In his book Chiddushei Ben Aryeh Part II, several responsa appear concerning Mikvaot and Agunah, questions posed to the Chafetz Chaim who requested from R. Yerachmiel Gershon to respond to them with the applicable Halacha (the Chafetz Chaim also reputedly said about him that he was a disciple of R. Chaim of Brisk not only in Torah but also in his righteousness).
, 2-116,  leaves. 32.5 cm. Dry paper. Fair-good condition. Worming. Wear and mold stains. Endpaper containing ownership inscriptions is professionally restored. Elaborate leather binding.
An authentication letter by R. Yitzchak Yeshaya Weiss is enclosed, confirming that "this book comes from the library of R. Yaakov Eidelstein, son of R. Tzvi Yehuda Rabbi of Shumyachi in whose home the Chafetz Chaim stayed during WWI, leaving the book there when the war ended".
About 1500 aerial photographs of Palestine, photographed by the Royal Air Force aircrafts, in the framework of the mapping project of Palestine, 1944-1945.
These photographs were taken, most probably, as part of the mapping project performed by the British Mandate administration – the first project of its kind –photographing Palestine from the air.
Towards the end of World War II, in the years 1944-1945, numerous aircrafts of the British Army were parking in Palestine and made it possible to carry out the extensive aerial photography operation. The result – thousands of photographs of Palestine, which were used for the first mapping project of Israel. The collection includes an interesting documentation of the country prior to the Independence War: villages and settlements which were destroyed during the war, newly established Jewish towns and settlements, main roads, non-populated landscapes, airports, army camps and more.
The photographs show the northern part of Palestine, and depict, among others, the settlements Kfar Tabor; Kfar Giladi, Ein Shemer; Gan HaShomron; Pardes Hannah; Karkur; Al Malkiya (present day Kibutz Malkiya); the Arab villages Balida, Nuris, Al-Mazar, Lajun, and other locations. On the bottom margins of each photograph appear the height of flight, date, serial number of the photograph, and other technical data (in the plate, written by hand).
In addition – some markings with color crayons appear on some of the photographs, marking lands and agricultural areas, divided by kind of soil and development options. The photographs are placed in six filing folders, with various titles, written by hand, on the spine: "Center for study of rural construction"; "Settlement and Development", "regional planning", and other titles, and served most probably an entity engaged in settlement or in research.
On the back of most photographs appears an ink-stamp: "Aerial photography department, Israel Air Force" (first name of IDF aerial photographs deciphering unit, founded in 1948), and on some appear handwritten inscriptions: names of villages, settlements and datum points.
About 1500 photographs, approx. 24 X 24 cm (some photographs are larger or smaller). Condition varies. Good-fair overall condition. Creases, stains and damages (mostly at margins and on the back). A number of photographs are in fair-poor condition, with tears and open tears.