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Greeting banner for King Umberto. [Italy, late 19th century?].
Paint on fabric.
A large fabric banner, surrounded by a black frame and inscribed in Hebrew: "For the Righteous and Honorable King Umberto… may angels of mercy greet him…".
King Umberto I (1844-1900) visited the synagogue in Florence in 1887. The banner may have been prepared in his honor.
153X133 cm. Fair condition. Tears and open tears. Unraveling. Stains.
Three Ketubot on parchment. Correggio, 1844; Rome, 1873; Trieste, 1903.
1. A Ketubah recording the marriage of the groom Moshe Avraham Finzi with the bride Mazal Tov Finzi. Correggio, 2nd Nissan 1844.
Signed by the witnesses: Moshe Aharon son of Mazal Tov Refael ibn Yahya and Yaakov Chaim son of Shlomo Aharon Moshe d'Italia. Approx. 27X28 cm. Good condition. Stains and creases.
2. A Ketubah recording the marriage of the groom Yonah Manoach Yosef Netanel della Seta with the bride Laura de Amati. Rome, 10th Adar 1873.
The text is surrounded by a red frame. Signed on the bottom by the witnesses: Mordechai Yaakov Yosef son of Avraham Yitzchak di Capua and Moshe son of Yaakov Yosef. An inscription following the signatures indicates that an additional copy of the Ketubah was prepared for the community's archive. Approx. 25.5X33 cm. Good condition. Stains, creases and folds. Faded text.
3. A Ketubah recording the marriage of the groom Aharon Ettore Canarutto, with the bride Esther Clementina Jarach. Trieste, 12th Sivan 1903.
The text is surrounded by a frame composed of verses inscribed in red ink. The signatures were apparently erased. Approx. 24X35 cm. Good condition. Stains and creases.
The Ketubot are framed and were unexamined out of frame.
Torah, Neviim and Ketuvim translated into Spanish, Biblia en lengua española traduzida palabra por palabra dela verdad Hebrayca por muy excelentes letrados vista y examinada por el officio dela Inquisicion. [Ferrara: Duarte Pinel (Abraham Usque) for Jerónimo de Vargas (Yom Tob ben Levi Atias), 1553]. First edition presenting the Spanish translation of the entire Bible.
Some fine, woodcut, ornamental initials.
Several glosses and inscriptions.
This is the first edition in which the entire Bible was translated to Spanish, known as the Ferrara Bible, after the town where it was printed in 1553. The publishing of this translation was initiated by the Portuguese printer Abraham Usque, and the Spanish publisher Yom Tob Atias, known by their 'Christian' names Duarte Pinel and Jerónimo de Vargas, names adopted due to the threats of the Inquisition. This edition was presumably intended for the use of Marranos and Jews who had fled the Spanish Inquisition.
This edition was printed on high-quality paper, in an impressive folio format, the body of the text was printed in two columns, in semi-Gothic typeface. The size and beauty of this edition is reminiscent of other large and renowned translations of the Bible.
This translation, reprinted in subsequent centuries, is of particular importance for Spanish speaking Jewry, due to the unique way the verses were translated, and it forming an important basis for subsequent translations.
There are several known variants of this edition, featuring differences in the text of the colophon (dedications to various figures, the printers referred to by the Hebrew or 'Christian' names, and the date of printing), as well as the existence of two leaves appearing only in some copies, containing a table of Haftarot, in Spanish. Another noteworthy difference pertains to the translation of the word "Alma" in Yeshayahu, chapter 7 verse 14 (leaf 186, column 2 in this edition): One variant translates it as moça - Spanish for "young woman", one variant (the more common one in extant copies), simply transliterates the Hebrew word - "alma", thereby avoiding having to interpret it, and a third variant - the Christian one, translates it as "virgen" (virgin), following the Christian interpretation of the book of Yeshayahu. This copy belongs to the second category, and the word "alma" was used.
This copy begins in the middle of the first chapter of Shemot, and ends in the middle of chapter 37 of Iyov. Apart from the lacking books, the Five Megillot are also missing, originally appearing after Divrei HaYamim.
Incomplete copy. 26-240, 240-333 leaves. Altogether containing 309 leaves, out of 412 original leaves. Lacking 103 leaves: 33 leaves at the beginning, and 70 leaves at the end, including illustrated title page, introduction leaves, table of Haftarot and colophon leaf. 31 cm. Fair condition. Stains and wear. Many stains, extensive wear and creases to some leaves. Many tears and worming in several places, affecting text. Large open tear to one leaf, with loss of text. Detached gatherings. Without binding.
See enclosed material for more information regarding the printing of this Bible, the text of the translation and the various variants.
Beit Shmuel Mahadura Batra, commentary on Shulchan Aruch Even HaEzer with the Shulchan Aruch text, by R. Shmuel son of Uri Shraga Phoebus of Wodzisław. Fürth, .
Many ownership and other inscriptions on the endpapers.
On the back endpaper, lengthy inscription written in Metz, documenting a ruling issued in 1724 by the rabbi of the city, R. Yaakov Reischer author of Shevut Yaakov, regarding names in divorce documents, and a further documentation of another divorce document which was written following this ruling, in 1753.
On the verso of the same leaf, at the foot of the leaf, an inscription containing the text of the signature of R. Yehonatan Eybeschutz (who also served as rabbi of Metz, between 1741-1750): "Yehonatan son of R. Nata Hamburg residing here". (Presumably not written by R. Yehonatan Eybeschutz).
Another inscription on the same page: "The young man Leib Falk…".
Signature at the top of the title page: "Belongs to me Yosef Guggenheimer" (this may be the signature of R. Yosef Guggenheim, rabbi in Dittenheim in 1805-1832, or the signature of R. Yosef Guggenheimer, rabbi in Alsace, born in the 1820s).
Several brief glosses in Ashkenazic script, from various writers.
5, 5-101, 103-147,  leaves. 32 cm. Fair condition. Stains and wear. Dampstains. Large tears, creases and wear to margins, affecting border of title page. Original leather binding, worn and damaged, front cover detached.
Divorce document (Get), with an official document in Polish, and a confirmation letter from the Kraków Beit Din, signed by its head - R. Yosef Engel:
• Divorce document (handwritten on parchment), recording the divorce of Sala daughter of Tzvi, from her husband Moshe son of Naftali, drawn up in Kuzmir (Kazimierz, Poland) on Monday, 4th Tevet 1906; bound (with a string sealed with wax) with an official document in Polish recording the divorce.
• Letter of confirmation from the Kraków Beit Din, confirming that this woman was divorced from her husband via an agent of the Kraków Beit Din ("as is listed in our divorce registry of that year"). Signed by R. Yosef Engel, and the dayanim of the Beit Din: R. Avraham Moshe HaKohen Rappaport, R. Moshe Shmuel Bleicher; with the Beit Din stamp. Kraków, .
R. Yosef Engel (1859-1919), foremost Torah scholar in Poland and Galicia. Born in Tarnów, he lived in Bendin and from 1906, served as head of the Kraków Beit Din. He authored dozens of compositions, including: Atvan DeOraita, Lekach Tov, Beit HaOtzar, Otzrot Yosef, Tziyunim LaTorah, Gilyonei HaShas and others. His works are renowned in the yeshiva world for their brilliance and foundations of in-depth study (his works were also famous in the world of Lithuanian yeshivot. Reputedly, R. Eliezer Gordon invited him to serve as dean of the Telz yeshiva). Approximately ten of his compositions were published in his lifetime, and another ten after his passing. R. David Morgenstern of Kotzk, grandson of R. Yosef, allegedly took with him on his flight from the Holocaust some one hundred manuscript volumes on Halacha and Aggadah, already arranged for print, of his grandfather's many compositions, yet he was compelled to relinquish most of them on the way.
Divorce document - parchment leaf (26.5 cm) + double leaf - Polish document (34 cm) + letter (23 cm). Varying condition: Parchment leaf and document in fair condition (stains, tears and wear). Letter in good condition (folding marks).
Amudei Gola, known as Sefer Mitzvot HaKatzar, by R. Yitzchak of Corbeil. [Constantinople: Samuel ibn Nachmias, ca. 1510]. First edition.
Several glosses in Oriental script.
Incomplete copy.  leaves, out of  leaves. Lacking  leaves: first 13 leaves and 8 leaves [37-44] in middle of book. Some leaves bound out of sequence (leaf  bound between leaves [140-141]). 19 cm. Fair condition. Stains. First five leaves detached, with open tear to first leaf (slightly affecting text), dampstains and worming. Rest of leaves professionally restored (tears, worming and margins repaired, and leaves bound together as one volume). Without binding.
The Bibliography of the Hebrew Book lists the book as originally comprising  leaves, but Yaari in HaDefus HaIvri BeKushta (no. 36) records only  leaves. Other copies that we checked show the same (the NLI lists an incomplete copy with  leaves). No copy with  leaves is known to us.
Printed postcard concerning Heter Me'ah Rabbanim, containing a request to concur with the ruling of R. Tzvi Hirsch Plato Rabbi of Cologne, allowing a man "whose wife had lost her mind, to marry another woman…". With approx. 7 lines handwritten and signed by R. Chaim Berlin, writing on behalf of his father the Netziv. Volozhin, Sivan .
"…and in so far as my father, the great Torah scholar, rabbi and yeshiva dean of this city, is not home at the moment, and I, his son, am replacing him in the leadership of the city and holy yeshiva, I am therefore signing in his name… so says Chaim son of R. Naftali Tzvi Yehuda Berlin, previously rabbi of Moscow, presently residing in Volozhin".
R. Chaim Berlin (1832-1912, Otzar HaRabbanim 5925), foremost Torah scholar in his generation, was an illustrious Torah figure of Lithuania and Jerusalem. Eldest son of the Netziv of Volozhin. He served as chief rabbi of Moscow, and his Torah influence spread throughout Russia. He served for a while as yeshiva dean and rabbi in Volozhin, in view of the plans of his father, the Netziv, to hand over to him all his responsibilities in leading the yeshiva and as rabbi of the city, but the plans did not come to fruition since a short while later, the yeshiva was shut down by government order, and the Netziv and his son were barred from residing in Volozhin. The Netziv went to Warsaw, and his son R. Chaim Berlin was appointed rabbi of Kobryn. In 1896, he went to serve as rabbi of and Yelisavetgrad (Kropyvnytskyi), and in 1906, he immigrated to Jerusalem, where he soon became recognized as a leading rabbinic authority in the city.
Postcard. Approx. 14X9 cm. Good condition. Light creases.
Brief letter, regarding the Eretz Israel fund and containing blessings for a good year, handwritten and signed by R. Tzvi Hirsch Lehren, president of the Pekidim and Amarkalim, addressed to R. Chaim Avraham Gagin Rabbi of Jerusalem. Amsterdam, 1837.
In the letter, dated 7th Elul 1837, R. Tzvi Hirsch Lehren blesses R. Avraham Chaim Gagin: "May his honor, our beloved friend, the outstanding Torah scholar and kabbalist… R. Chaim Avraham Gagin, be inscribed and sealed immediately in the book of good life…". R. Tzvi Hirsch then requests that R. Avraham Chaim should personally deliver what is enclosed, and signs: "Tzvi Hirschel son of R. Avraham Moshe Lehren".
The letter presumably pertains to charity funds which R. Tzvi Hirsch Lehren, head of the Pekidim and Amarkalim, sent from Amsterdam to Eretz Israel, to the hands of R. Gagin, so that he may distribute them himself to the recipients.
On the verso of the leaf: "To the holy city, Jerusalem, to the hands of R. Chaim Avraham Gagin"
R. Tzvi Hirsch Lehren of Amsterdam (1784-1853) was the founder and head of the Pekidim and Amarkalim society, which centralized the fundraising for Eretz Israel, from the communities of western and central Europe, and transferred the funds to their destination, to benefit the settlement in the Holy Land.
 leaf, 22X17.5 cm. Fair condition. Hole to center of text, with old paper repair and replacement of text. Marginal tears, not affecting text. Stains. Wear. Folding marks.
Leaf of a manuscript, two large pages handwritten and signed by R. Avraham Yitzchak Glick Rabbi of Tolcsva.
A fragment of his responsa notebook (leaf 31), containing the end of section 76 with his signature "Avraham Yitzchak Glick", section 77 with his signature, and the beginning of section 78 (these responsa were numbered 76-78 in the notebook, but in the printed book Responsa Yad Yitzchak, part III, Satmar, 1909, they were numbered 74-76. By comparison of the printed text with this manuscript, it appears that the book was printed based on this manuscript, with a few copying errors and omissions).
R. Avraham Yitzchak Glick, author of Yad Yitzchak (1826-1909), renowned Torah scholar and leading Hungarian posek. He served as rabbi of Tolcsva for over 50 years (from 1858) and was considered one of the foremost Halachic authorities in Hungary. Many rabbis took pride in the semicha they received from him, and in some Hungarian communities, a semicha from him was a precondition for rabbinical appointments. He studied the writings of his grandfather, the Maharam Banet (father of his father-in-law, R. Yeshaya Banet, rabbi of Kalov) extensively, and published his books: Responsa Parashat Mordechai, and others.
 leaf. 33 cm. Two pages of tiny, close handwriting, approx. 130 lines. Fair condition. Wear and stains. Tears, repaired.
Torah finials ornamented with a Star of David. [Iraq?, first decades of the 20th century].
Silver, cast and engraved; granulation.
Conical rhombus-shaped finials, topped with a spherical knop and a Star of David with the word "Zion" within. The finials are decorated with engraved foliate and floral patterns and granulation, and with five chains with bells.
Height: approx. 27 cm. Good condition. Bends. Some fractures.
Sefer HaGilgulim, the Arizal's kabbalistic teachings, by R. Chaim Vital. [Johannisburg (Prussia, present day: Pisz), 1859].
On the title page, inscriptions handwritten and signed by R. Yosef Zundel of Salant (Salantai): "Zundel of Salant"; "Donated by R. Akiva son of R. Gershon of Vilna"; "To Zundel of Salant"; "2 1/2 grush for binding". On the front endpaper: "Donated by Rachel, in the memory of R. Yosef Zundel" and the stamp of a Petach Tikva synagogue.
R. Yosef Zundel of Salant (1787-1866) was a foremost disciple of R. Chaim of Volozhin, and the prime teacher of R. Yisrael of Salant, who cleaved to him in his youth in Salant, and under his directives began studying mussar intensely, and later disseminated the mussar approach to the multitudes. As the teacher of R. Yisrael of Salant, and the one who transmitted to him the teachings of the Gaon of Vilna, R. Yosef Zundel is considered the father of the mussar movement. R. Zundel studied in the Volozhin yeshiva, and was attached to the yeshiva dean, R. Chaim of Volozhin, who recognized his great stature and drew him close as a member of his entourage, transmitting to him all the teachings of his great teacher the Gaon of Vilna, in revealed and hidden realms of the Torah.
R. Zundel considered R. Chaim as his prime teacher and he refers to him in all his writings as "my master and teacher", whilst he quotes the Gaon of Vilna as "the great rabbi". His writings contain numerous excerpts and notes from the teachings and ways of his teachers, of which he was the main transmitter. Parts of his writings were published in the book HaTzadik R. Yosef Zundel MiSalant VeRabbotav (Jerusalem, 1927), which includes his biography, his writings and those of his teachers R. Chaim of Volozhin and the Gaon of Vilna.
, 1-64, 64-82 leaves. 18.5 cm. Darkened and stained leaves. Good condition. Stains. New leather binding.
Or HaGanuz, novellae on the Torah according to allegoric, Kabbalistic and Chassidic approaches, with a second part - VeZot LiYehuda, novellae on Mishnayot "according to allegoric and Kabbalistic approaches, lofty secrets", by R. Yehuda Leib HaKohen of Anipoli (Hannopil). Lviv, 1866. First edition.
The book bears approbations of great Chassidic leaders, including the only approbation to a book ever issued by the Tzemach Tzedek of Lubavitch. Another approbation, by R. Mordechai of Chernobyl (the Maggid of Chernobyl), extols the segulah and protective qualities of the book: "Every person should purchase this holy book for merit and excellent protection for himself and his descendants". His holy sons - R. Aharon of Chernobyl, R. Avraham of Trisk (Turiisk) and R. David of Tolna - also mention in their approbations the segulah for protection that their father described. In the publisher's foreword, the author's grandson likewise cites the protective qualities of the book.
The author, R. Yehuda Leib HaKohen of Anipoli (d. 1807, Encyclopedia L'Chassidut, 2, pp. 33-34), was a disciple of the Maggid of Mezeritch. According to one source, he was previously a disciple of the Vilna Gaon. He was ostensibly one of the four disciples who were at the side of the Maggid at the time of his death (together with R. Avraham HaMalach, the Baal HaTanya and R. Zusha of Anipoli). He and his friend R. Zusha of Anipoli were approached by R. Shneur Zalman of Liadi to grant their approbation to the Tanya. At the time of printing, Or HaGanuz received enthusiastic approbations from prominent Chassidic leaders of the time, including the only book approbation ever given by Rebbe Menachem Mendel of Lubavitch, the Tzemach Tzedek. The book was also accorded approbations by R. Mordechai of Chernobyl and his holy sons - R. Aharon of Chernobyl, R. Avraham of Turiisk and R. David of Tolna, and by his nephew R. Yitzchak Yaakov of Makariv, as well as approbations by R. Chaim of Sanz and R. Yitzchak Meir of Ger, the Chiddushei HaRim.
Owner's signatures: R. "Avraham Chaim Rosenbaum" - R. Avraham Chaim Rosenbaum of Pleshnitz (Pleszczenice; 1840-Kislev 1914), a Chabad rabbi in Czarist Russia and founder of the Chabad community in the United States at the end of the 19th century. In his youth, he studied under the Tzemach Tzedek, Rebbe of Lubavitch, together with the renowned Torah scholar R. Chaim Yaakov Widerwitz. Known as one of the foremost Chassidim of Rebbe Maharash and his son the Rashab. In the 1890s, he was imprisoned several times by the Russian authorities. In 1898, he immigrated to the United States, where he laid down the cornerstones of Chabad settlement in the United States (for his biography, see: R. Shalom Ber Levin, Toldot Avraham Chaim, New York, Tevet 1998; Toldot Chabad B'Russia HaTzarit, New York, 2010, chapters 92-99; Toldot Chabad B'Artzot HaBrit, New York, 1988, pp. 3-4).
Part I: , 12; 84 leaves; Part II (separate title page): 33 leaves. 23 cm. Thin, high-quality paper. Good condition. Stains and wear. Minor worming. Original binding, worn and detached.
Stefansky Chassidut, no. 21.
Kehunat Avraham, poetic commentary to the five books of Tehillim, with Eleh Bnei Ketura - The Song of Creation in rhyming verses, six parts, by R. Avraham son of Shabtai HaKohen of Zante (Zakynthos). Venice, . Seven title pages.
Each of the six parts has its own title page. At the beginning of the book, a general title page for all parts of the book, featuring many illustrations. The title pages of the first five parts are illustrated with trumpet-bearing angels.
Title page of Part I: Signature of R. Ben Tzion Ghirondi, and signatures of his son R. Mordechai Shmuel, who signed with his acronym: "HaGeSheM", and with his full signature: "Mordechai Shmuel son of my father, the wise and sage R. Ben Tzion Ghirondi".
Another ownership inscription on the front endpaper: "For Avraham as possession, Avraham HaKohen of Głogów, Abraham Cohn - Posen" (author of Be'er Avraham, Poznań 1896). The preceding page contains rhyming verses in Italian script.
R. Mordechai Shmuel Ghirondi (1799-1852), Rabbi of Padua, was a kabbalist, bibliographer, teacher in the rabbinical seminary of Padua and researcher of the biographies of Italian rabbis. He served as rabbi of Padua since 1831, for 21 years. He composed several books on Halacha and ethics, yet is renowned primarily for his book Toldot Gedolei Yisrael U’Geonei Italia (Trieste, 1853). One of the leading Torah scholars of his generation praised his eminence in Kabbalah: "I have never seen anyone proficient in Kabbalah like the Kabbalist R. Mordechai Shmuel… Ghirondi". His son, R. Efraim Refael Ghirondi, describes his father: "A father to the poor… humble like Hillel, brought back many from sin… very well-versed in responsa and Halacha, rabbis of his time posed halachic questions to him, and his wise responsa to them are written in his book of responsa named Kevutzat Kesef which remains in manuscript…".
1,  leaves, (lacking leaf  following title page, with author's portrait), 2-8; 49; 40; 30 (lacking 4 leaves in Part IV - leaves 9-12, erroneously replaced with leaves 9-12 of Part V); 26; 64 leaves. General title page (of all six parts of the book) bound after title page of Part I. 20 cm. Good condition. Tear to title page of Part I, repaired. General title page mounted on paper for preservation. Inner margins of first three leaves reinforced with paper. Stains. Worming. Parchment binding.
Letter handwritten and signed by R. Chaim Berlin. [Kobryn, 1895].
Letter requesting to assist R. Gedalia Leib Kreitman, emissary of the Etz Chaim yeshiva in Jerusalem which was under the superintendence of R. Chaim Berlin ("the Etz Chaim yeshiva, founded by leading Torah scholars of Jerusalem, and whose matters are under my supervision for the past thirty years…"), emphasizing the importance of supporting Torah study in Eretz Israel: "…since no Torah study is comparable to that of Eretz Israel, behold it is our duty… to courageously go out… to bolster this great, holy and lofty matter…", with blessings for "longevity in peace and tranquility… he will continue flourishing in his old age… and his prominence will be raised in his community…". The recipient of the letter is R. Shlomo Dov Ber Filstein, posek in Odessa. His name was erased (scratched away) from the opening sentence of the letter.
R. Chaim Berlin (1832-1912), foremost Torah scholar in his generation, was an illustrious Torah figure of Lithuania and Jerusalem. Eldest son of the Netziv of Volozhin. He served as chief rabbi of Moscow, and his Torah influence spread throughout Russia. He served for a while as yeshiva dean and rabbi in Volozhin, and in the rabbinates of Kobryn and Yelisavetgrad (Kropyvnytskyi). He immigrated to Jerusalem in 1906, where he soon became recognized as a leading rabbinic authority in the city.
Letter,  pages. Approx. 21 cm. Fair condition. Stains. Large tears to margins and folding marks, affecting text, repaired with acidic tape.
Pesher Davar, commentary to the book of Iyov, by "one of the men of the generation" [Zev Wolf of Dessau]. Berlin, .
Handwritten leaves, consisting of novellae on Tractate Chullin, were bound at the end of the book. Cursive Ashkenazic script [Europe, 19th century]. We were unable to identify the author. He may have been a Torah scholar of Prague or the vicinity (on p. 118a, he mentions the siddurim printed in Prague) and he engages in profound pilpul with the teachings of the Rishonim and Acharonim, especially R. Yehonatan Eybeschutz, the Noda BiYehuda and others.
The manuscript is paginated 118-141, and is presumably a part of a larger composition. These leaves contain novellae on Tractate Chullin, folios 87 to 103 (approximately).
Pesher Davar: , 35; 1,  leaves. Manuscript:  leaves. 21 cm. Fair-good condition. Stains and wear. Several tears. New binding.
Letter handwritten and signed by R. Eliezer Deutsch, Bonyhád, [ca. 1900-1910s].
Halachic responsum addressed to the young man, R. Daniel Fuchs son of "the great Torah scholar of Grosswardein (Oradea)" (R. Moshe Hirsch Fuchs Rabbi of Grosswardein). R. Eliezer Deutsch notes that "I already wrote about this at length in a responsum to Deutschland… and I do not wish to go into further detail". Further in the letter, R. Eliezer Deutsch advises him to turn to his father, the great Torah scholar, with his questions: "…and forgive me for not responding in detail, in something which is not so necessary, especially since he has someone whom he can ask - his father, my close friend, R. ---, whose eyes are open in the sea of Talmud and halachic literature…".
R. Eliezer Chaim Deutsch (1850-1915), foremost halachic authority of his generation, a renowned Hungarian Torah scholar. A disciple of R. Yehuda Aszód and of R. Meir Eisenstädter. He authored Responsa Pri HaSadeh, Tevuot HaSadeh, Helkat HaSadeh and more. In 1876, he was appointed rabbi of Hanoshovitz (Hanušovce), and in 1897, went to serve as rabbi of Bonyhád. His son was R. Moshe Deutsch Rabbi of Lemesh (Lemešany) and his son-in-law was R. Yosef HaKohen Schwartz author of VaYelaket Yosef.
 leaf. 20.5 cm. Approx. 18 autograph lines. Good condition. Minor tears to folds, with some repairs to verso.
Ketubah, in neat handwriting (square and Rashi script), recording the marriage of R. Shlomo "son of the late, pious R. Yeshaya" Bardaki, to the bride Chaya, daughter of R. Shmuel Salant Rabbi of Jerusalem. Jerusalem, 1864.
Signed by the witnesses: R. "Yitzchak son of R. Yehuda, beadle of Kollel Prushim" and R. "Yosef son of R. Avraham Binyamin Rivlin". Signature of the groom: "Shlomo son of R. Yeshaya", and additional signatures of these witnesses.
On the verso: Attestation dated 1869 - Tosefet Ketubah, signed by the witnesses R. "Meir son of R. Asher of Aniksht" and R. "Michel HaKohen son of R. Eliezer". With another attestation signed by the husband R. "Shlomo son of R. Yeshaya", and additional signatures of these witnesses.
The groom - R. Shlomo Bardaki was an acknowledged Torah scholar, who served for over forty years as chief chazan of the Churva Synagogue. He bequeathed this position to his grandson R. Yisrael Bardaki (Bar Zakai, 1890-1970), who held this office until the destruction of the Old City in 1948.
The witnesses: R. Yosef Rivlin (1838-1896), a Jerusalem public leader. Grandson of R. Hillel Rivlin, disciple of the Gaon of Vilna. An administrator of the Vaad HaKlali, he founded the first neighborhoods outside the Old City walls, as well as Petach Tikva. Among the first residents of Nachalat Shiva.
R. Meir son of R. Asher Kamaikin of Aniksht (Anykščiai, d. 1885), eminent Torah scholar, a trustee of Jerusalem institutions. Son-in-law of R. Moshe Meshel Luria Rabbi of Krakinova. He immigrated to Jerusalem in 1862 and served as trustee of Kollel Vilna and emissary.
R. Michel son of R. Eliezer HaKohen (1834-1914), immigrated to Eretz Israel as a child in 1845. A talented scribe and printer. He served for many years as scribe and clerk of the Ashkenazi community in Jerusalem. In 1893, he resigned and went to work for the institutions of the Sephardi community, and was among the founders of the Misgav Ladach hospital.
 large leaf. 50X38 cm. Rounded top. Fair condition. Wear. Small tears to folding marks.
Machaneh Efraim, on Rambam's Mishneh Torah, by R. Efraim Navon. Sudylkiv, 1835.
Handwritten inscription on the front endpaper: "This precious Machaneh Efraim belongs to our teacher, the illustrious and world-renowned…R. Yehoshua Izek, rabbi of Slonim". On the same page, signature: "Yaakov Ben Tzion Shapiro" (presumably a descendant of R. Izel Charif).
R. Yehoshua Izek Shapira (1801-1873), known as R. Izel Charif of Slonim, was renowned throughout the Jewish world as a tremendous, brilliant and astute Torah scholar, who mastered the entire Torah. Since his youth, he was proficient in both the Babylonian and the Jerusalem Talmuds. In 1832, he was appointed dean of the Minsk yeshiva. He later served as rabbi of Kalvarija, Kutno, Tiktin (Tykocin) and Slonim in Lithuania. He authored many compositions reputed for their depth and brilliance. The most renowned ones are Emek Yehoshua and Noam Yerushalmi on tractates of the Jerusalem Talmud. R. Izel Charif was also famous for his perspicacity and wit in worldly matters, and many of his riddles and witty comments became widespread amongst the masses, and were even published in special anthologies (attributing to him most folk jokes about the wisdom and wit of rabbis in general).
Ownership stamps of R. "Yosef Ferber director and dean of the Or Yisrael yeshiva, Slabodka-Kovno" - R. Yosef Ferber (d. 1970), later founder and director of the Heichal HaTalmud yeshiva in Tel Aviv. Foremost disciple of the Saba of Slabodka, who even selected him as the groom of his granddaughter Rebbetzin Rivka Leah (daughter of his son-in-law - the brilliant Torah scholar R. Shlomo Yehuda Leib Palchinsky, a rabbi in Dvinsk). R. Y. Ferber's brother-in-law was from the Shapiro family, a descendant of R. Izel Charif. This copy of Machaneh Efraim, previously owned by R. Izel Charif, may have reached R. Y. Ferber through the family of this brother-in-law.
, 65, 67-68; 44 leaves. 37.5 cm. Good condition. Stains and wear. Original binding, damaged. Front cover detached. Leather spine, damaged.
A large decorated vase with a matching plate. Iran, ca. mid-20th century.
Silver (marked), cast, engraved and repouseé.
A gadrooned vase, decorated with symmetric vegetal patterns and medallions. Narrow-waisted, widening towards its rim. The vase is accompanied by a matching scalloped plate, decorated with finely engraved vegetal and symmetric geometric patterns.
Height: 14.5 cm. Diameter of rim: 8.5 cm. Diameter of plate: 16.5 cm. Good condition. Some bends.
Literature: Lights and Shadows, the Story of Iranian Jews (Hebrew). Tel Aviv: The Museum of the Diaspora, Museum of the Jewish People, 2010. P. 195.
Handwritten booklet (8 pages), "Sermon for Shabbat HaGadol 1833" - Sermon consisting of Aggadah and halachic topics, handwritten by R. Bendit Goitein Rabbi of Hidjess (Hőgyész, Hungary). 1833.
R. Bendit Goitein (1770-1841), renowned Torah scholar, rabbi of Hidjess and author of Kesef Nivchar, was a leading rabbi of his times in Hungary. He was born in Kojetín, Moravia, and was a close disciple of R. Moshe Münz, Rabbi of Alt-Ofen (Óbuda). After his marriage, he lived in Yarmit (Balassagyarmat), and received rabbinic ordination from the rabbi of the town, R. Ze'ev Wolf Boskowitz, author of Seder Mishna. After R. Ze'ev Wolf left the city, R. Meir Eisenstädter (Maharam Ash) succeeded him as rabbi, and R. Bendit was appointed dayan in his Beit Din. In ca. 1799-1800, R. Bendit went to serve as rabbi of Hidjess, a position he held for 45 years, establishing there a prominent yeshiva. His book Kesef Nivchar, published in Prague in 1827, earned him world-renown until this day. The book summarizes various Talmudic topics, bringing together all the sources on the topic, starting from the words of the Talmud and including the teachings of foremost Acharonim. This book became a fundamental and essential work in Hungarian yeshivot in subsequent generations (as the Chatam Sofer foresaw in his approbation to the book: "This book will become a guide to Torah students"). After toiling for some ten years on a revised edition of this work, R. Bendit passed away before he succeeded in publishing it, and the manuscripts of the second edition were lost during WWII. Parts of his writings which were preserved by the family were published in Zichron Avot - Baal HaKesef Nivchar VeToldotav (Bnei Brak, 1971), and the beginning of this sermon was printed there (with slight variations), in section 113 (pp. 247-250). The last page and a half of this manuscript were not published, and instead the following note appears at the end of the section: "It appears that the end of this homily is lacking, but we nevertheless decided to print it, since it still contains beautiful thoughts, and also the Midrash quoted at the beginning is more or less elucidated" (this manuscript is also lacking the ending, and p. 8 ends in the middle of a sentence. It is unclear why the editors of Zichron Avot decided to omit the last sections of the sermon, whether because they were not in possession of this original manuscript, or because they did not wish to print thoughts which end abruptly in the middle of a sentence).
4 leaves. 21.5 cm. Thick, high-quality, blueish-greenish paper. Good condition. Light stains.
Ketubah recording the marriage of the groom Eliyahu Chai son of Avraham with the bride Rachel daughter of Mordechai. Cochin, 17th Elul 1927.
A Ketubah on parchment. Verses and blessings typical of Ketubot from Cochin appear at the top: "Beshem Rachman Maleh Rachamim… Matza Isha Matza Tov…". Signed by the groom and by the witnesses Avraham Dandaf and Nechemia Nechemia.
Approx. 44.5X34.5 cm. Good condition. Stains. Creases. Framed, unexamined out of frame.
Sefer HaShorashim, Part II of HaMichlol authored by R. David Kimchi (the Radak). Venice: Daniel Bomberg, 1546.
The title page contains various signatures in cursive and square Sephardic script: "Avraham Rofeh son of R. Chalfon Rofeh"; "Avraham son of R. Chalfon HaRofeh"; "Shlomo Rofeh son of R. Avraham Rofeh"; "Yaakov son of Sonbal"; and other inscriptions and signatures. Handwritten inscriptions in Arabic on the verso of the title page and on the last page.
143,  leaf. 28.5 cm. Fair-good condition. Stains and wear. Damage and worming to the title page and several other leaves. Tears to the first two leaves, repaired with paper. Tears (repaired) and glue stains to the last two leaves. Margins of some leaves trimmed on text border, slightly affecting the verse references in the margins. New, cloth-covered, quarter-leather binding.
Provenance: Collection of Dr. Israel Mehlman.
Siddur Beit Tefillah, prayers for the whole year, according to Sephardi rite. Pisa ("Amsterdam typeface"): Samuel Molcho, .
Miniature volume, with original leather binding.
, 210 leaves. 7.5 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains. Several detached leaves. Early leather binding, with gilt embossed ornaments (owner's initials: R.G.). Damage and tears to binding.
Zohar, Part II, Shemot. Brody: R. Moshe Leib Harmelin, 1873.
On the front endpaper, handwritten signature: "Avraham Yehoshua Heshel son of R. Gedalia of Malyn, residing in Radomyshl", and inscriptions of names for prayer and blessing. On the first page following the title page, stamp of R. "Tzvi Hirsh Rokeach son-in-law of the rabbi of Alesk". A notepaper containing a handwritten inscription of a curative segulah formula was found between the leaves.
Rebbe Avraham Yehoshua Heshel Twersky (d. 1919, Encyclopedia of Chassidut, I, p. 96), eighth generation from the Baal Shem Tov, son of R. Gedalia of Malyn (who was the grandson and disciple of R. Aharon of Chernobyl, and son of R. Yisrael of Breslov, descendant of R. Nachman of Breslov and of the Baal Shem Tov). R. Avraham Yehoshua Heshel's wife was the granddaughter of R. Chanoch Heinich Meyer of Alesk (Olesko), author of Lev Same'ach (she was presumably the daughter of Rebbe Tzvi Hirsh Rokeach son-in-law of the Lev Same'ach, whose stamps appear in this book). R. Avraham Yehoshua Heshel succeeded his father as rebbe of Malyn in Radomyshl. He was murdered together with his son R. Gedalia in the pogrom against Radomyshl's Jews in Iyar 1919. His son and successor was Rebbe Chanoch Heinich Dov Twersky of Lev Same'ach (1886-1971), who was born in Alesk and served as rebbe in place of his father in Malyn. In 1924, he immigrated to the United States, founding the Lev Same'ach community in Chicago, and in 1968, he immigrated to Jerusalem.
His father-in-law [?], Rebbe Tzvi Hirsh Rokeach (Encyclopedia of Chassidut, III, p. 614), son of R. Sender, who was the son of R. Eliezer, eldest son of the Sar Shalom, Rebbe of Belz. R. Tzvi Hirsh was the son-in-law of Rebbe Chanoch Heinich Dov of Alesk, author of Lev Same'ach, who was the son-in-law of the Sar Shalom of Belz.
, 1, 3-280 leaves. 20 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains. Worming. Worming affecting the Rebbe's signature. Original leather binding, damaged.
Ben Tzion, prayers and kabbalah, piyyutim and poems, by R. Yosef son of R. Elimelech of Turobin. Amsterdam: R. Moshe son of Avraham Avinu, . Illustrated title page with ornamental borders and figures.
Includes the text of LeShem Yichud for many mitzvot, examples of flowery introductory sentences to letters, and plays consisting of dialogs between the Good inclination and the Evil inclination.
The title on p. 2, "Approbations of the three shepherds, prominent Torah scholars… of the Sephardi and Ashkenazi communities in Amsterdam", is followed by an approbation signed by one signatory only, R. Moshe Yehuda son of R. Kalonymus HaKohen, rabbi of the Ashkenazi community in Amsterdam. He describes the author: "The elderly Torah scholar, R. Yosef son of R. Elimelech, resident of Poland, from the community of Turobin".
Signature on the title page of "Feivelmann son of R. Seligmann [Gold---?]". Signature on p. 27b from 1724: "I, Falk son of Shlomo Zalman. 1724".
, 35 leaves. 14.5 cm. Varying condition, fair-good to fair-poor. Wear and stains. Severe worming to approx. half the leaves, with loss of text, professionally repaired with paper. New, cloth binding.
11 Ketubot printed on parchment, filled in by hand by the community scribe and signed by the regular community witnesses. Amsterdam, 1802-1803, 1818-1819, 1856.
Most of the Ketubot were printed by Proops, at the start of the 19th century, apart from the 1856 Ketubah, which was printed by Israel Levison. All the Ketubot are decorated with ornamented borders featuring similar illustrations: a gateway with decorative columns, topped by trumpet-bearing angels flanking a Star of David - emblem of the Ashkenazi community of Amsterdam, inscribed "K.A.A." or "K.Y.H.A.".
11 Ketubot, 30-31 cm. Varying condition, very good to good-fair. Creases and folding marks. Stains and minor tears.
Nachalat Shimon, ethical and Chassidic essays on the Torah Parashiot, by R. Shimon Deutsch Ashkenazi Rabbi of Dobromyl, disciple of R. Elimelech of Lizhensk. [Łaszczów, 1815]. First edition.
This first edition was published by the disciple of the author, R. Shmuel of Premisla (Przemyśl), and does not contain Torah thoughts on Parashat Bereshit. The publisher mentions this fact at the end of the foreword (leaf ) and in the concluding words on p. 20b (of the first pagination), and he surmises that the author's decision not to elaborate on the ten generations between Adam and Noach was based on profound Kabbalistic reasons. (It must be noted that the second edition of the book, Polonne 1821, contains novellae to Parashat Bereshit as well as to other Parashiot which do not appear in the first edition. These additions were included in the Polonne 1821 edition only, whilst subsequent editions, [Lemberg, 1858 edition onwards], follow the first edition and omit the additions). The publisher, disciple of the author further writes: "One must know that the author was trouble stricken his entire life… and whenever his weakness overtook him, … his words were concise rather than expansive".
The author R. Shimon Deutsch Ashkenazi Rabbi of Dobromyl (d. Cheshvan 1801), was a great and holy Torah scholar, a foremost disciple of R. Elimelech of Lizhensk. Held in high esteem by Chassidic leaders, his Torah thoughts are quoted reverently in the writings of great Chassidic masters such as the Bnei Yissaschar, Melo HaRo'im, R. Alexander of Komarno, R. Moshe of Kozhnitz, and others. He exchanged halachic correspondence with leading rabbis of his times, leaving behind many compositions in manuscript form, on the Talmud, Halacha and responsa. After his passing, a fire destroyed all his writings. This composition was written by his disciples who recorded the sermons he delivered every Shabbat. The author did not leave behind any descendants. The book was named Nachalat Shimon by the publisher, since "this is his portion from all his toil, as he did not leave behind any offspring, rather alone he came and alone he left, and this will be his legacy" (publisher's foreword). The Yeshuot Yaakov wrote in his approbation to the book: "When I resided in Jarosław, he was in close proximity to me, and several times he presented before me his insight on a ruling, and all his words are taken as verified". The author quotes in this book ideas from his great teacher from Lizhensk: "and so it says in the book of my teacher the holy R. Elimelech" (p. 13a).
R. Shimon Ashkenazi's gravesite in Dobromyl was until the Holocaust a focal point for prayer, attracting the multitudes. Since he did not merit to have offspring, the synagogue of his community adopted the custom of reciting Aleinu LeShabe'ach following the Shabbat morning prayer, before the Torah reading, with a special Kaddish in his memory (Or Yekarot L'R. Shalom Chaim Porush, IV, p. 379).
The Beit Avraham, Rebbe of Slonim would relate (based on an oral tradition) the way the Nachalat Shimon would describe the exalted atmosphere of the Shabbat day which reigned in the home of R. Elimelech of Lizhensk. He reported that the Shabbat holiness was so palpable in the house of his teacher, that every Friday, the kitchen maids would ask forgiveness from one another, similar to the prevailing practice in all Jewish places on Yom Kippur eve, "so that the grievances they bore against each other would not preclude their experiencing the holiness of the Shabbat". R. Shimon of Dobromyl recounted that when he witnessed this, R. Elazar, son of R. Elimelech declared: "See how far-reaching the light of the holy Shabbat of my father is… even the maids can perceive this light" (Beit Avraham, Slonim, p. 67, 259).
, 2-20; 38 leaves, 17.5 cm. Good condition. Stains. Some darkened leaves. New leather binding.
Stefansky Chassidut, no. 390.
LeZecher LeYisrael, on Pirkei Avot and Talmudic novellae, by R. Yechiel Michel son of R. Tzvi Hirsh. Vilna-Horodna: Menachem Mann and Simcha Zimmel, 1833. On the verso of the title page, censorship stamp and handwritten signature in Russian.
Signatures and ownership inscriptions of R. Yitzchak Isek Lifshitz of Neshviz, and of R. "Yehuda… Lifshitz". On the back endpaper, ownership inscriptions of R. Shimshon Zakow of Ruzhany and R. Shmuel Leib Levin.
The author was a disciple of R. Chaim of Volozhin, and he founded his teacher's yeshiva in Volozhin, where he served as lecturer for seven years (R. Hillel of Horodna, son-in-law of R. Chaim, writes that "the yeshiva in Volozhin was founded by him, and he studied there, and taught many disciples before my father-in-law R. Chaim"). He later established a yeshiva in Minsk, which he relates to in the preface to this book.
This copy includes 4 rare leaves, "In Commemoration of the Donors", which were appended to some of the copies only. These four leaves contain: regulations of the Minsk yeshiva; correspondence between the rabbis of Minsk and R. Itzele of Volozhin regarding the Minsk yeshiva; letter of R. Hillel of Horodna, son-in-law of R. Chaim of Volozhin; and yeshiva donors listed according to the various Lithuanian towns.
, , 36; 10 leaves. 21.5 cm. Good-fair condition. Wide margins. High-quality paper, with stains and worming. Detached leaves. Original binding, damaged and detached, lacking spine.
Regarding the author, see: An Anonymous Yeshiva Dean in Volozhin - R. Yechiel Michel of Neshviz, Y. Rivkind, Sefer Turov, Boston, 1938.
Certificate of accreditation as Orthodox teacher, with the handwritten signature of R. Yosef Leib Bloch, dean of the Telz yeshiva. [Telz (Telšiai)], Kislev 1926.
"As I have heard and as I know for several years… R. Lipman Rakow from Frankfurt, I affirm… that he is fit to be a lecturer and teacher in the Rabbinical seminary in Germany, in all Hebrew and religious subjects…".
At the foot of the leaf, a confirmation, handwritten, signed and stamped by Rabbi Dr. Yaakov Hoffmann, rabbi and yeshiva dean in Frankfurt am Main. December 1926.
R. Yosef Yehuda Leib Bloch (1859-1929), a student of Volozhin and Kelm, a foremost leader of the musar movement and one of its noblest members. He married the daughter of R. Eliezer Gordon of Telz and was appointed lecturer and mashgiach in his yeshiva. After the first musar polemic, he left the yeshiva and went to serve as rabbi in Vorne (Varniai) and Shadova (Šeduva). With his father-in-law's passing in 1910, he returned to Telz and succeeded him as rabbi and yeshiva dean. Under his resolute and wise leadership, the yeshiva flourished with intensive study in accordance with the method he instituted, which is the forerunner of the Telz approach to study and musar. This system is perpetuated until this day, by his sons, grandsons and followers, in Telz yeshivot in Lithuania and the United States. His teachings were published in the books Shiurei Halacha and Shiurei Daat.
Recipient of the certificate: R. Yom Tov Lipman Rakow (1884-1950), native of Lithuania and one of its finest products. From 1920, he lectured in R. Breuer's yeshiva in Frankfurt am Main, and after a year, went to teach in the yeshiva of R. Hoffman in Frankfurt am Main, position he held for close to 20 years (the reason R. Rakow needed this certificate in 1927, after actively serving as teacher and lecturer in the yeshiva in Frankfurt for several years, is not known, R. Rakow was also not a student of the seminary for Orthodox teachers in Telz, established after WWI). At the outbreak of WWII, he moved to London where he continued teaching Torah in yeshivot. His sons were R. Benzion Rakow - dean of the Chayei Olam yeshiva in London, and R. Betzalel Rakow - renowned rabbi of the British Torah town, Gateshead. His biography is recorded in the Orchot Yesharim books (London, 1991-1997).
 leaf, official stationery. 28.5 cm. Good-fair condition. Marginal tears and wear.
Passover Seder plate designed by Ze'ev Raban. Made by Bezalel. Jerusalem, [first decades of the 20th century].
The text of "Ma Nishtana" appears in the center, surrounded by five depressions for the traditional foods of Passover. Five scenes depicting the exodus from Egypt appear on the margins, with small medallions inscribes with captions describing the scenes set between them. On the back of the plate is a soldered plaque, inscribed: "Made in Palestine".
Diameter: 32.5 cm. Good condition. Some bends. Corrosion. A suspension loop on the back.
Provenance: Purchased at the Hammersite auction house. According to the auction house this item is from the estate of Prof. Victor Deutsch, and was purchased at Sotheby's in May 1998 (item no. 36).
Candle lighting supplications, order of blessings over candle lighting for women, with supplications for the High Holidays and Three Festivals, by R. "Yisrael G.b. of Ivnytsia". Zhitomir: [Shapira], 1864. Yiddish and a bit of Hebrew.
The supplications were composed by R. Yisrael Goldberger of Ivnytsia, Zhitomir region, who authored many Yiddish supplications: "Six New Supplications", for reciting on various occasions, were printed under the name Techinat Imrei Shefer (Zhitomir, 1870), and supplications for reciting at the time of Torah reading, a specific supplication for every Shabbat pertaining to that week's portion, entitled Techinah Kriat HaTorah, were printed in Jerusalem, 1885.
36,  pages. 14 cm. Light-greenish paper. Fair-poor condition. Stains and wear. Tears and damage (repaired) significantly affecting text. Several leaves trimmed, affecting text. New binding.
Bibliographically unknown edition.
Manuscript, Et Sofer, texts of marriage, divorce and other documents. El Jadida, Morocco, [20th century?].
Semi-cursive Sephardic script. The first page features a flowery text serving as title page, with the name of the book and place of writing. The book includes the texts of many monetary and marriage related contracts.
Inscription on front cover: "This is my Et Sofer, Señor [word deleted] HaKohen".
, 1-3, 5-62, 64-70 leaves. Lacking leaves 4 and 63. Altogether:  leaves. 18 cm. Good condition. Stains. Several detached leaves. Several places reinforced with tape. Original binding, partially detached, with damage.
Passport of R. Shmuel Greineman, with his photograph and signature.
American passport issued in September 1945, including visas, revenue stamps and border control stamps, from his travels in the 1940s to the United States, Eretz Israel, France, the Netherlands and England.
R. Shmuel Greineman (1889-1957), son-in-law of R. Shemaryahu Yosef Karelitz father of the Chazon Ish. An outstanding Torah scholar and highly accomplished. He was a close associate of the Chafetz Chaim and R. Chaim Ozer, and a confidant of his brother-in-law R. Avraham Yeshayahu Karelitz the Chazon Ish. He arranged and published his brother-in-law's books Chazon Ish, and handled all matters relating to the printing (most of the books were published anonymously, and bear R. Shmuel's address in Bnei Brak for matters pertaining to the book). He authored Chafetz Chaim on the Torah and other books based on the teachings of his master the Chafetz Chaim. The Chazon Ish detected R. Shmuel's aptitude for communal activity while the latter was still a youth studying in Vilna, and he encouraged him to engage in communal work on behalf of Vaad HaYeshivot and Agudat Yisrael. R. Shmuel thereby developed a personal and close connection with R. Chaim Ozer and the Chafetz Chaim, who held him in high esteem. During his stay in the United States, he served as director of the Tiferet Yerushalayim yeshiva of R. Moshe Feinstein. He was one of the founders of the Kollel in Bnei Brak initiated by the Chazon Ish (now named Kollel Chazon Ish), and would travel to the United States to raise funds for the Kollel. During the time R. Shmuel used this passport, he also travelled extensively throughout Europe, operating in matters of rescue and education of Holocaust refugees.
15.5 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains and wear. Passport cancelled with stamps and corners cut off.
Shulchan HaTahor, abridged halachot for the whole year, based on Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim and Yoreh De'ah, by R. David Pardo, with the Rema's additions inserted by R. Tzvi Hirsh son of R. Itzek Premishla. Amsterdam, .
Miniature volume. Title within fine engraved border (depicting a deer at the top in reference to the publisher's name R. Tzvi Hirsch Premishla. At the bottom is an illustration of three men sitting by a table, alluding to the name of the book).
, 92 leaves. 9.5 cm. Good condition. A few stains. Minor marginal damage to title page. Margins of a few leaves trimmed close to text. Worming to endpapers. Original leather binding, with gilt ornaments. Damage and worming to binding.
This edition is listed in the Bibliography of the Hebrew Book according to a copy from a private collection.
Torah Staves. Morocco [probably from the area of Fes, early 20th century].
Carved and painted wood; engraved silver.
The top part of the staves is made of carved wood shaped as a hand holding a wooden shaft. The wrist is surrounded by a frill cuff, above a wide gadrooned band with spiral silver threads. Above the band and below it are narrow silver bands, engraved with vegetal patterns. An inscription is engraved on the top bands (identical in both staves): "Simcha Bat Yosef Attar".
The bottom part of the staves is carved in a stepped design.
Height: 112.5 cm. Fair-good condition. Fractures and defects to wood. Faded color. The top part is detached from the poles.
Meor Einayim, Chassidic essays on the Torah, by Rebbe Menachem Nachum [Twersky] of Chernobyl. Slavita: [R. Moshe Shapira, 1798]. First edition.
Bound with: Yismach Lev (Part II of Meor Einayim), commentary on Aggadot and Midrashim (following the order of the Talmudic tractates), by Rebbe Menachem Nachum [Twersky] of Chernobyl. Slavita: [R. Moshe Shapira, 1798]. First edition.
Meor Einayim is a fundamental work of the Chassidic movement, and one of the first Chassidic compositions presenting the teachings of the Baal Shem Tov and the Maggid of Mezeritch (Mezhirichi). The author, the maggid R. Menachem Nachum of Chernobyl (1730-1798, Encyclopedia of Chassidut III, pp. 168-175), was one of the founders of Chassidism and the progenitor of the Chernobyl dynasty. He studied directly from the Baal Shem Tov and was a close disciple of the Maggid of Mezeritch. He served as maggid in Noryns'k, Prohobitch (Pohrebyshche) and Chernobyl. He acceded to his disciples' entreaties to print his teachings and delegated the task to his disciple R. Eliyahu son of R. Zev Wolf Katz, instructing him to publish his writings in the "fine and exceptional printing press established in Slavita…" (the printing press of R. Moshe Shapira, then in its early years).
The book was allegedly eighteen times longer, but when arranging it for printing, R. Nachum of Chernobyl commanded his disciples to burn many leaves, leaving only the teachings which were divinely inspired. His writings were divided by his disciples into two parts, one part on the Torah, including selections, published under the title Meor Einayim, and a second part pertaining to Talmudic Aggadot, named Yismach Lev. The two parts were printed concurrently in Slavita, the same year. In later editions, the two parts were combined and published together. R. Nachum of Chernobyl passed away during the course of the book's preparation for print.
Chassidic leaders ascribed great importance and holiness to the book, studying it every day and preserving it as a protection. The Chozeh of Lublin and R. Yitzchak of Skvyra (grandson of the author) reputedly said that the book has the power to light up the person's soul, similarly to the Zohar, and R. Yitzchak Eizik of Komarno asserted that Meor Einayim should never depart from before one's eyes, as all the teachings it contains are lofty and holy.
Copy lacking 7 leaves. Meor Einayim: 3-158 leaves. Lacking: Title page, leaves 1-2 and 159-160. Yismach Lev: 1-29, 31-33,  leaves. Lacking: Title page and leaf 30. 19 cm. Fair condition. Stains, worming affecting text. Handwritten inscriptions. All the leaves were professionally cleaned and restored, worming repaired with paper and margins trimmed. Missing leaves replaced with photocopies. Restored binding, with original leather spine.
Mikra Kodesh supplications, supplications for the Blessing of the New Month, with the times of the new moon's appearance for each month. Zhitomir: Shapira Brothers, 1862. Yiddish.
List of Moladot (date and time of the appearance of the new moon) for the years 1862-1867, with the Yiddish text for announcing in the synagogue.
Incomplete copy. 34 pages (lacking pp. 35-45). 16 cm. Blueish paper. Fair-good condition. Stains and wear. Reddish stains. Minor damage to title page and other leaves. Marginal creases and tears to some leaves, mostly the last leaves. New cloth binding.
Rare edition. The copy listed in the NLI catalog is lacking the title page.
Tov VeYafeh, regarding faith and grammar, by R. Yehuda Leib Margolies of Zborov (Zboriv), rabbi of Frankfurt an der Oder. Frankfurt an der Oder, . Only edition. The book is divided into three "gates": Shaar HaMelech - G-d's unity, Shaar HaTorah - grammar, and Shaar HaTefillah - "regarding prayer and its benefit".
Author's dedication in tiny handwriting at the top of the title page: "…the great Torah scholar, astute and erudite… Yehuda Leib Rabbi of Mezeritch… it is a gift sent to you, Yehuda Leib son of R. A.Z. Margolies". The dedication is dated in his handwriting: "Today… first day of Rosh Chodesh Adar, year [---?]. Another signature on the title page: "Moshe son of R. Leib Segal".
R. Yehuda Leib Margolies (1747-1811), one of the renowned and leading Torah scholars of his generation. He served as rabbi of Shebreshin (Szczebrzeszyn), Plotsk (Płock), Leslau (Włocławek) and Frankfurt an der Oder (where he succeeded the Pri Megadim), receiving his rabbinical ordination from the Noda BiYehuda. He exchanged halachic correspondence with R. Yaakov of Lissa and other leading contemporary rabbis. He presented before the Gaon of Vilna a large booklet of novellae he had composed to resolve a difficulty on the words of the Mordechai in tractate Shevuot. The Gaon reviewed his deep words in one instant, and immediately responded that there is no question to begin with, since there is a scribal error in the words of the Mordechai (Aliyot Eliyahu, 31b). He authored: Responsa Pri Tevua, Korban Reshit, Or Olam, Beit Middot, Beit Tefillah, Tal Orot, and more.
The Noda BiYehuda acclaims him in the approbation he accorded to one of his books: "R. Yehuda Leib son of R. Asher Zelig of Zborov… he was here [in Prague] for a few days, and delivered sermons in several synagogues, and on Shabbat, he preached in the Altneuschul, and I noticed that he has straight reasoning and pure intellect, and also in my home he voiced his thoughts several times… and he draws the hearts of his listeners to fear of G-d through words of mussar which are sweeter than honey, as he is proficient in books like Akeda and Ikrim, therefore it is my duty to publicize his praise".
21 leaves. Lacking last leaf. 15.5 cm. Good condition. Stains and wear. Inner margins of title page and last five leaves reinforced with tape. Top of dedication damaged and trimmed. New binding.
Crown for a small Torah scroll. [Eastern Europe - Russia or Poland, 18th century].
Silver (marked), cut and sawn, repoussé and embossed; rivets; gemstones; gilding.
A small-sized Torah 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, gemstones, 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.
Manuscript, sample booklet of a composition, supercommentary to Rashi on the Torah and to Rashi's commentators, by R. Meir son of R. Nachman HaLevi. [Samov (Belarus), ca. 1870].
The booklet begins with the copying of an approbation by R. Yosef Shaul Nathansohn, author of Shoel UMeshiv, written in Lviv, Shevat 1870; and the copying of an approbation by R. Baruch son of R. Sh. Kahana - the rabbi of Yelisavet (Kropyvnytskyi) author of Mekor Baruch VeSefer HaDerushim (R. Baruch Kitaiski of Minsk, a Belarusian rabbi and chassid of the Maharash of Lubavitch). The approbations are followed by a preface and introduction. On the last page: "One Grain as a Sample" of the composition, and at the foot of the page, an inscription disclosing the author's place of residence: "I did not write this in Horki, since I am presently residing in Samov with my son Zalman, and only one booklet is with me here".
The composition, of which this is a sample, was presumably never published. The name of the author is also not known from any other source. The Samov and Horki towns in Belarus (in the Minsk and Mohilev governates), where typically Chabad towns, with a predominance of residents who were Lubavitch chassidim. The Chabad rabbi, R. Meshulam Zalman Neumark (see item 262; and Kedem Auction 63, item 131) served as rabbi of Horki (near Shklow and Lubavitch) between ca. 1850-1862, and in Samov, ca. 1850, R. Eliyahu David son of R. Moshe, who exchanged halachic correspondence with the Tzemach Tzedek, served as posek (see: Indexes to Responsa Tzemach Tzedek, list of rabbis who posed questions, p. 164).
 pages. 17 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains and wear.
Bikurei Chinuch, Verzameling van Stukken in de Hebreeuwsche en Nederduitsche Talen dienende tot Proeve van Opvoedingsgeschriften en Schoolboeken, book for Jewish youths, for learning Hebrew, the fundamentals of Jewish faith and correct conduct. Amsterdam, 1809. Hebrew and Dutch.
Textbook for adolescents, published by Chevrat Chanoch LaNaar Al Pi Darko. Includes a Hebrew-Dutch glossary, letters and various reading passages on the fundamentals of faith and significant events in the history of the Jewish people. Hebrew (vocalized), with Dutch translation - on facing pages.
The book was printed as a response to the impact of emancipation on Dutch Jewry, and the Jews' adoption of the local language and culture.
The book opens with an interesting foreword, in which the publisher Yaakov Kohen Belinfante describes the tolerance of the Dutch ruler, King Louis Napoleon Bonaparte (in Dutch: Lodewijk Bonaparte, 1778-1846; brother of Napoleon Bonaparte), who proclaimed as he acceded to the throne: "The faculty of actions and science will in my kingdom raise its head, and there is no difference between the various faiths". He also discusses the "the edict regarding the Jews", which discloses Louis Napoleon's desire to 'rectify' the language, culture and education of the Jews. The publisher further describes the difficult state of Jewish education in the Netherlands: "Only one in a thousand children… can read by the time he graduates. The majority attend school for eight or nine years and then graduate aged fourteen not able to translate even one verse of the Torah…".
Original blue printed covers, with a list of books by the same publisher, and their prices. A piece of paper is pasted inside the front cover, containing a notice in Dutch from the printer and publisher. This notice is mentioned in the publisher's foreword ("and behold, the number of sheets printed… how much they will cost… and the price… are mentioned in the adjoined notice in Dutch…").
, VI, , XVI, 55,  pages. Good condition. Stains. Stamps. Front wrapper mounted on paper for strengthening. Minor damage to wrappers. Old binding.
Not listed in the Bibliography of the Hebrew Book.
Tirat Kesef, homily on the Torah and eulogies, by R. Chaim Avraham Gattegno. Salonika, . Only edition.
Calligraphic signature at the top of the title page: "The young David Farhi". Alongside the signature, R. David Farhi added an inscription recording the locations of his glosses in the book: "I will say all that is noted in the margins, p. 244b, p. 262a, p. 226a". Indeed, handwritten glosses appear on pp. 244b and 262a. A particularly lengthy gloss on leaf 244, beginning with: "These are the words of David…". The lower margin of leaf 226, where the gloss was presumably inscribed, was trimmed (perhaps due to him retracting his words).
We were not able to ascertain the identity of this R. David Farhi, signer and writer of these glosses. He may have been a member of the noted Farhi family from Damascus (whom R. Chaim Farhi belonged to), or perhaps a Torah scholar of Izmir or Salonica. He may have been the father-in-law of R. Moshe Israel of Rhodes, who quotes his father-in-law's responsa in his book Moshe Yedaber (Salonika, 1815).
Other ownership inscriptions on the title page: "Acquired from the wealthy philanthropist R. Binyamin Mosseri"; "And I acquired it, I the young Shlomo Suchami"; "The young Bechor Matzliach Taconi".
, 320 leaves. 30.5 cm. Fair condition. Stains and dampstains. Worming, affecting text. Tear to title page, repaired, and tears to several other leaves. Library stamps. Non-original binding.
Three letters handwritten and signed by Rebbe Baruch Hager of Seret-Vizhnitz and Haifa:
• Letter of recommendation to assist a man wishing to live near Haifa. The Rebbe implores on behalf of this person, as if it were for himself: "…and you are literally doing me a personal favor. He is an elevated and G-d fearing person. I hope you will do whatever you are able. Your friend Baruch". Haifa, Adar I 1951.
• Letter to the Gaon of Turda R. Yosef Adler - congratulations for his daughter's wedding: "…may his honor merit to see from her and from all his descendants blessed, upright and learned generations, as is fitting for his honor and his holy ancestors, and may we all merit to rejoice upon the holy land with the coming of the true redeemer, to hear and inform only good tidings… Baruch son of R. Y.". Haifa, Tammuz 1953.
• Letter of Torah thoughts, addressed to R. Naftali HaKohen. The Rebbe concludes the letter with blessings: "May G-d lengthen his years in good health, to serve G-d in contentment and tranquility. His friend… who awaits Heavenly mercy. Baruch son of R. Y.". Ramat Vizhnitz, Haifa, Tevet 1957.
Rebbe Baruch Hager of Seret-Vizhnitz (1895-1963) was the fourth son of the Ahavat Yisrael of Vizhnitz. He was granted rabbinical ordination by R. Meir Arik and R. Avraham Menachem Steinberg of Brody, and served in the rabbinate from 1923. In 1936, he was appointed Rebbe in Seret (Siret). In 1947, he immigrated to Haifa, where he reestablished his Beit Midrash and community institutions, which exist until this day in Haifa and other cities. Over the years, he formed the Ramat Vizhnitz neighborhood in Haifa. A member of the Moetzet Gedolei HaTorah of Agudat Yisrael.
Three letters, official stationery. 22-18.5 cm. Varying condition, good to good-fair. Creases, ink stains and traces of past dampness.
Lengthy letter (2 pages), handwritten and signed by R. Bendit Goitein. Hidjess (Hőgyész, Hungary), Shevat 1828.
Halachic responsum pertaining to laws of Mikvaot (ritual baths), addressed to R. Yehuda Leib. The responsum begins with an analysis of the ell and fingerbreadth measurements, which concern the volume of water required for a Mikveh. He concludes the responsum: "These are the words of his friend, who is prepared to be of assistance to him and to all those who seek wisdom, Bendit Goitein, who resides here, Hidjess".
R. Bendit Goitein (1770-1841), renowned Torah scholar, rabbi of Hidjess and author of Kesef Nivchar, was a leading rabbi of his times in Hungary. He was born in Kojetín, Moravia, and was a close disciple of R. Moshe Münz, Rabbi of Alt-Ofen (Óbuda). After his marriage, he lived in Yarmit (Balassagyarmat), and received rabbinic ordination from the rabbi of the town, R. Ze'ev Wolf Boskowitz, author of Seder Mishna. After R. Ze'ev Wolf left the city, R. Meir Eisenstädter (Maharam Ash) succeeded him as rabbi, and R. Bendit was appointed dayan in his Beit Din. In ca. 1799-1800, R. Bendit went to serve as rabbi of Hidjess, a position he held for 45 years, establishing there a prominent yeshiva. His book Kesef Nivchar, published in Prague in 1827, earned him world renown until this day. The book summarizes various Talmudic topics, bringing together all the sources on the topic, starting from the words of the Talmud and including the teachings of foremost Acharonim. This book became a fundamental and essential work in Hungarian yeshivot in subsequent generations (as the Chatam Sofer foresaw in his approbation to the book: "This book will become a guide to Torah students"). After toiling for some ten years on a revised edition of this work, R. Bendit passed away before he succeeded in publishing it, and the manuscripts of the second edition were lost during WWII. Parts of his writings which were preserved by the family were published in Zichron Avot (Bnei Brak, 1971), including this responsum which was printed (with slight variations) in section 31.
 leaf. 24 cm. Written on both sides, approx. 42 autograph lines and signature. Good-fair condition. Creases and stains.
Pair of Torah Finials. Vienna (Alt Wien), 1846.
Silver (marked), cast, embossed and engraved.
Round base. Shafts, bases and body of finials are decorated with bands of floral and foliate patterns. The finials are surmounted by crowns, topped in turn with bud-like foliate knops. Six decorated chains are suspended from each finial, each consisting of a flower-shaped elongated link between two round links and ending with small medallions embossed with flowers (four medallions on one finial were replaced with 19th-century Persian coins). A Hebrew dedication is engraved on the base of one finial: "Eliezer [with his spouse] / Gittel Gestetner".
Height: 37 cm. Good overall condition. Some bends and cracks to crowns. Loose knop. Soldering repairs to one finial. Missing bells (?).
Letter handwritten and signed by R. Chaim Nathansohn Rabbi of Wreshna (Września), addressed to R. Eliyahu Guttmacher Rabbi of Greiditz (Grodzisk Wielkopolski). Wreshna, Elul 1855.
In the letter, R. Chaim relates that the fundraising for Kollel Warsaw (Kollel Polin) in his region is under his responsibility, and ends the letter with blessings for a good year "…for him and his household for posterity, they should be inscribed for good life in the book of the absolute righteous on the upcoming Rosh Hashana". At the beginning of the letter, R. Chaim Nathansohn mentions his mourning over his eldest son "who passed away before his time… in the city of Toruń from cholera… and still today, my heart is not with me since solace is concealed from my eyes…".
R. Chaim Nathansohn (1814-1878), a disciple of R. Akiva Eger Rabbi of Posen (Poznań). A son-in-law of R. David Weisskopf Rabbi of the principality of Wallerstein. A leading rabbi in north-western Poland (region of Posen and the vicinity, then known as Greater Poland, later under German rulership). In 1858, he left the rabbinate in favor of studying in the Kloiz of R. Leib son of R. Shaul in Hamburg (the men studying in the Hamburg Kloiz were leading Torah scholars, including illustrious rabbis who quit their rabbinic position and moved to Hamburg to delve in Torah and worship of G-d, and were supported by a monthly stipend provided from the endowments of the wealthy founder of the Kloiz, R. Leib son of R. Shaul). In 1872, he published Avoda Tama against the initiative of R. Kalischer to renew the offering up of sacrifices in present times. In his preface to this book, he mentions and blesses his only son, R. Avraham. This letter discloses that he once had another son, who passed away at a young age in 1855. His book Even HaTo'im on the laws of cooking on Shabbat was published in 1890.
 double leaf. 21 cm. Good condition. Folding marks. Address inscribed on the back leaf.
Printed Tena'im, Jerusalem: Sh. Weingarten. Filled in by hand, for the betrothal of the groom R. Aryeh Leib Finkel son of R. Chaim Zev Finkel, to the bride Esther Gittel daughter of R. Shmuel Aharon Yudelevitch. Jerusalem, Shevat 1953.
Signed by the witnesses: R. "Zalman Rotberg" (later dean of the Beit Meir yeshiva, and member of the Moetzet Gedolei HaTorah) and R. "Moshe Mordechai Tz---?". The Tena'im was filled-in in the beautiful handwriting of the bride's grandfather R. Aryeh Levin (the Tzadik of Jerusalem, father-in-law of R. Shmuel Aharon Yudelevitch). The guarantors listed in the Tena'im are R. Chaim Leib (Shmuelevitz, uncle of the groom) and R. Aharon Jacobovitz (uncle of the bride, son-in-law of R. Aryeh Levin).
The groom R. Aryeh Leib Finkel (1931-2016), later served as a dean of the Mir yeshiva in Jerusalem and Modiin Illit (Mir-Brachfeld). A member of the Moetzet Gedolei HaTorah of Degel HaTorah. He was renowned for his righteousness and erudition, for his profound lectures and moving discourses. He greeted one and all with a hearty smile, and showed concern for his fellow Jew with exceptional friendliness and warmth. Many would turn to him in quest of blessings and salvation, and to merit to gaze upon his glowing countenance. He was a member of the directorate of reputed charity organizations and participated in the prayer journeys they arranged to the gravesites of great rabbis in Europe. Since its founding by a group of his disciples, he also served as president of the international youth organization Avot UBanim (where fathers and sons learn together on Shabbat and festivals).
 leaf. 41 cm. Good condition. Folding marks and filing holes.
Meir Einei Chachamim, profound and inspiring Chassidic essays on the holiness of Chanukah and the commandment of lighting the Chanukah lights, by R. Meir Rabbi of Korostyshiv and Chodorkov (Khodorkiv). Sde Lavan (Bila Tserkva, presently: Ukraine), . First edition. With approbations of R. Mordechai of Chernobyl, R. Avraham Dov of Ovruch author of Bat Ayin and others. Title page printed in red and black.
Contents of the book: "Explanation of the commandment of lighting the Chanukah lights, arranging them, inserting the wicks, lighting with olive oil, the location of the lighting and the time of lighting… and adequate commentary for all the laws which are practiced during the eight days of Chanukah… we also added a homily for Parashat Shekalim and Parashat Zachor, homilies for Purim, for weddings and for Pidyon HaBen". R. Mordechai of Chernobyl writes in his approbation: "I am convinced that whoever studies his holy words, will find serenity for his soul, and they will light up his eyes and enthuse his heart to worship G-d… words emanating from the pure and holy heart of the author".
The author, R. Meir was the close disciple of R. Zev Wolf of Zhitomir author of Or HaMeir, who was the inspiration for this book, as Chassidic tradition relates: "…This R. Meir once came to his teacher R. Zev Wolf of Zhitomir on Chanukah eve, and saw his holy teacher standing with his face aglow, cleaning the Chanukah lamp, for several hours, and he sensed the Kavanot that his teacher was concentrating on at that time. When R. Meir returned home, he composed this book on Chanukah, beautiful homilies according to various levels of interpretation… and he was a great wonder-worker and kabbalist" (Emunat Tzadikim).
The book bears several stamps: R. "Pinchas Rabinowitz" - Rebbe Pinchas Rabinowitz of Kontikoziva (1861-1926, Otzar HaRabbanim 16957), Rebbe of Kontikoziva (Pribuzhany, Kherson region). He succeeded his father R. Yitzchak Yoel Rebbe of Linitz (Illintsi). He is described as "an outstanding scholar in the revealed realms of the Torah". His composition Avodat Yitzchak on the Torah remained in manuscript. His sons include: R. Yaakov Yisrael, Rebbe of Kherson and R. Menachem Nachum Rabinowitz Rabbi of Haifa. His sons-in-law include: Rebbe Moshe of Stolin and Rebbe Yitzchak of Skver. (See: Encyclopedia of Chassidut, III, p. 539).
, 1-2, , 7-111 leaves. 19.5 cm. Greenish paper. Varying condition, good-fair to fair. Worming and severe stains to title page and several more leaves (first and last). Marginal paper repairs to some of these leaves. Rest of leaves in good-fair condition. New leather binding.
Stefansky Chassidut no. 28.
Less than five Hebrew titles were ever printed in Sde Lavan.
The true name of town - Bila Tserkva, means "White Church". The Jews nicknamed it Sde Lavan (White Field), and it was sometimes euphemistically referred to in Yiddish as "Schwartze Tumme".
Or Torah, Kabbalistic and Chassidic essays on the Torah, by the Maggid R. Dov Ber of Mezeritch. [Korets, 1804]. First edition.
The teachings of the Maggid of Mezeritch were first published in Korets, 1781, in the book Maggid Devarav LeYaakov - Likutei Amarim, by his disciple R. Shlomo of Lutsk; but the contents were not organized in a specific order. In Or Torah, the teachings were arranged following the order of the Torah, Shir HaShirim, Tehillim and Aggadot (this copy is lacking the essays on Shir HaShirim, Tehillim and Aggadot). This book was printed based on a manuscript found in the home of R. Yeshaya of Dinovitz, Rabbi of Janów, a disciple of the Maggid of Mezeritch and R. Pinchas of Korets. Most of the essays are nonetheless identical to those contained in Maggid Devarav LeYaakov, apart from several textual variations between the two books.
Incomplete copy.  leaves, out of the original  leaves. Lacking: title page and subsequent leaf (replaced in handwriting), a leaf from Parashat Re'eh, and the last 76 leaves (with commentaries to Shir HaShirim, Tehillim and Aggadot). Altogether lacking: 79 leaves. 17 cm. Fair-good condition. Stains. Tears and wear, primarily to margins (leaves unevenly trimmed). New binding.
Stefansky Chassidut, no. 33.
Two manuscripts of Torah thoughts, handwritten by Hungarian rabbis in the 19th century:
• Letter handwritten and signed by R. Shaul Friedenthal head of the Bonyhád Beit Din, addressed to R. Eliyahu Menachem Goitein Rabbi of Hőgyész. At the foot of the letter, a draft of the reply letter appears, handwritten and signed by R. Eliyahu Menachem Goitein. Bonyhád and Hőgyész, Adar I 1867.
• Official stationery paper of R. Eliyahu Menachem Goitein Rabbi of Hőgyész - four pages of Torah novellae in his handwriting.
R. Eliyahu Menachem Goitein (1839-1902. Otzar HaRabbanim 2287), son and successor of R. Tzvi Hirsh Goitein Rabbi of Hőgyész (d. 1859. Otzar HaRabbanim 17220), and grandson of R. Bendit Goitein Rabbi of Hőgyész, author of Kesef Nivchar (1770-1841. Otzar HaRabbanim 4191). The Torah novellae of these three generation of Hőgyész rabbis were published in the book Zichron Avot (The Kesef Nivchar and his Descendants, Bnei Brak, 1971). These manuscripts were not included in the book (section 71 contains a lengthy correspondence between R. Shaul Friedenthal, other rabbis and R. Eliyahu Menachem, on the topic discussed in these letters. The published letters are from the dates: Rosh Chodesh Adar I Eve 1867, 2nd Adar I, 14th Adar I, 20th Adar II - yet this letter from R. Friedenthal dated 8th Adar I 1867 was not included).
R. Shaul Friedenthal (d. 1883. Otzar HaRabbanim 17986) was the head of the Bonyhád Beit Din, a position he held for 50 years (since 1833). Son of R. Yehuda Leib Lisa Rabbi of Rechnitz (Otzar HaRabbanim 7326), and son-in-law of R. Shmelke Meisels Rabbi of Jelšovce (1781-1855. Otzar HaRabbanim 19656). In 1856, he published Geviat Shmuel - ethical will of his father-in-law R. Shmelke Meisels and eulogies.
2 items, 5 written pages. Varying size, good condition. Stains.
Machzor LeMoadei HaShem (The Festival Prayers), for the Three Festivals and High Holidays, according to Polish-rite, with English translation. London, 1860. Hebrew and English. Six volumes.
Complete set of six volumes. Pagination varies. 17.5 cm. Good condition. Stains. Gilt edges. Original leather bindings and gilt clasps. Damage and wear to bindings.
Beit Hillel, Parts I and II, on Shulchan Aruch Yoreh De'ah and Even HaEzer, by R. Hillel Hertz. Dyhernfurth: R. Shabtai Meshorer Bass author of the Siftei Chachamim super commentary to Rashi on the Torah, . First edition. Bound with: Knesset HaGedola, on Shulchan Aruch Choshen Mishpat, by R. Chaim Benveniste. Fürth, . Second edition.
On the title page of Beit Hillel, several ownership inscriptions (partially trimmed and deleted): "Acquisition of my money… Zelig Bielfel[d], 17th Adar 1714…"; "…Binyamin son of R. Hirsch Nieder---"; "Presented to me as a gift --- son of R. Zalman ---"; stamp of Baron Wilhelm Carl von Rothschild's collection (from Frankfurt); and more. Signature on the title page of Knesset HaGedola: "Zelig Bielfeld".
R. Binyamin Niederhofheim (1810-1855), owner of this book, was a merchant and outstanding Torah scholar, a renowned and expert Mohel (who circumcised 7,110 babies!). A prominent member of the Frankfurt am Main community in the time of R. Shimshon Refael Hirsch (he even merited to have R. Shimshon Refael Hirsch buried near him). He authored Dinei Milah - a composition printed in R. Moshe Brück's Sefer HaBrit (Frankfurt am Main, 1841). He hosted in his home the minyam (prayer quorum) perpetuating the distinctive customs of R. Natan Adler of Frankfurt am Main, teacher of the Chatam Sofer. R. Natan Adler had originally established a private minyan in his home, which prayed following the Sephardi rite. After his passing, his disciple R. Leib Emmerich upheld this minyan, and in 1818, it was transferred to the home of the son-in-law of his son-in-law, R. Binyamin Niederhofheim, where it continued being held until the Holocaust, and was known as the "Niederhofheim'sche Shul". R. Binyamin owned a large private library, which also included rare manuscripts.
Two books in one volume. , 134; , 49; 196 leaves. 29.5 cm. Several darkened leaves. Most leaves in good condition. Stains. Marginal worming to title page and several subsequent leaves. Ink stain to foot of title page, with tears from ink erosion. Old binding, with damage.
Letter of halachic queries pertaining to laws of divorce, signed by the rabbi of the city R. Mordechai Michael Yoffe (a disciple of R. Akiva Eiger) and the dayanim in his Beit Din: R. "Yisrael Frenkel" and R. "Yehuda Leib son of… [Yoffe?]". Fordon, Cheshvan 1846.
Halachic queries addressed to the rabbi of Posen (Poznań) R. Shlomo Eiger, regarding a divorce which was not delivered in accordance with Halacha, and the ban of Rabbenu Gershom prohibiting polygamy and divorcing a woman against her will. Parts of this question were analyzed at length in his responsa book (Responsa of R. M. Yoffe, Hamburg, 1852, section 4). This letter discloses details of the account and halachic aspects which are only mentioned briefly and alluded to in the book. In sections 5-10 of the book, more responsa letters regarding this same affair are quoted, including R. Shlomo Eiger's response to this letter.
R. Mordechai Michael Yoffe (1803-1868, Otzar HaRabbanim 14219), was a foremost disciple of R. Akiva Eiger, who's yeshiva he studied in for some eight years, earning the title of "the Rebbi's Bachur" for the latter's great fondness of him. After his wedding with the daughter of R. David of Krotoszyn, his birthplace, he sat studying Torah, adamantly refusing to assume a rabbinic position, until all his possessions were destroyed in the great fire which struck Krotoszyn in 1827. He then began serving as rabbi of nearby Zduny, and later of Schneidemühl (Piła) in the Poznań area. In ca. 1845-1846, he went to serve as rabbi of Fordon (Bydgoszcz, northern Poland-Prussia), leaving the rabbinate in 1849 in favor of studying Torah in the famous Hamburg Kloiz, where he disseminated Torah for 18 years. He exchanged extensive Halachic correspondence with his teacher R. Akiva Eiger and the latter's son R. Shlomo Eiger. See for instance in Teshuvot Chadashot by R. Akiva Eiger (Jerusalem 1978, Even HaEzer, section 1) a responsum from R. Akiva Eiger to his disciple R. Mordechai Michael Yoffe, where he expresses his amazement at the latter addressing him with additional honorific titles apart from "rabbi". In 1834, he published his first book Beit Menachem (Krotoszyn, 1834). In 1852, he published in Hamburg his second composition named Responsa of R. M. Yoffe, consisting of Halachic rulings and correspondence he exchanged with the rabbis of his generation, including his teacher R. Akiva Eiger and his son R. Shlomo Eiger. He edited Responsa Maharach Or Zarua from an early manuscript, inserting sources and notes (published in Leipzig, 1860), together with his colleague from the Kloiz R. Elyakim Getschlik Schlesinger (the holy R. Getsch). A small number of his novellae were printed in the Shomer Tzion HaNe'eman periodical, published in Altona by the Aruch LaNer. Four of the Aruch LaNer's responsa to R. Mordechai Michael Yoffe were published in Responsa Binyan Tzion in 1860. His novellae and glosses to different books were published in various forums: his glosses to Responsa Chacham Tzvi were printed in Likutei He'arot of the Dovev Mesharim institute edition (Jerusalem, 1998) and in Moriah - Sefer Zikaron L'Rabbi Moshe Swift (Jerusalem, 1996); his glosses to Mor UKetzia were printed in the Machon Yerushalayim edition (Jerusalem, 1996); his glosses to Responsa Panim Me'irot were published in Moriah (issues 277-278, Tamuz, 2011).
 folded leaf:  written pages +  page with address and postmarks. 21 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains and tears. Folding marks. Tears to p. , with loss of text.
Hanukkah lamp decorated with a Star of David. London, 1925.
Silver (hallmarks indicating location, date and manufacturer, most probably Morris [Moses?] Salkind), turned and soldered.
Upright Hanukkah lamp on a round base with plain arms, decorated with a Star of David on top of the middle arm.
Height: approx. 35.5 cm. Good condition. Some bends.
Biur Milot HaHigayon by the Rambam, with the commentary of "R. Moshe of Dessau author of Netivot HaShalom" (Moshe Mendelssohn). Berlin, 1784.
Copy of R. Binyamin Wolf Hamburg of Fürth. On the title page, subsequent leaf and last leaf, ownership inscriptions and signatures in his handwriting: "I acquired it with my wealth in honor of my Creator, Wolf Hamburger here, Fürth", "I acquired it with my wealth in honor of my Rock and Creator, Wolf Hamburger son of R. Lipman Hamburger, residing here - Fürth".
R. Avraham Binyamin Zev Wolf Hamburg (1770-1850) was a leading German rabbi in his generation. A close disciple of the Maharzach, author of Bigdei Kehuna, and his successor as rabbi and yeshiva dean of Fürth. An outstanding Torah scholar and leader of German Jewry, he was also a wealthy figure. He authored Shaar HaZekenim (two parts), Simlat Binyamin and others. A native of Fürth, he was raised and continued elevating himself there, later replacing his teacher the Maharzach in various functions, and after the latter's passing, succeeding him in all his positions, as rabbi and yeshiva dean. He battled against the Reform movement, and during his tenure, the yeshiva was shut down due to his refusal to introduce secular subjects and transform it into a modern seminary for rabbinical training. He expended almost all his wealth on this battle. He edified many disciples, including R. Yaakov Yukev Ettlinger, the Aruch LaNer. The Chatam Sofer in his letters to him addresses him as "The outstanding and renowned Torah scholar… a double-edged sword… first to speak up in every place…". The Ketav Sofer eulogized him: "The prominent Torah scholar, erudite and sharp… who served as yeshiva dean for many years in Fürth, he was the leading Torah scholar of the generation and a righteous man, pillar of the world, stood in the breach to stave off destructive forces, he gave up his life for Torah and fulfilled the commandment of loving G-d with all one's being and possessions - even if He takes one's life and wealth" (see: Kinstlicher, Ishim UTeshuvot Chatam Sofer, pp. 39-40; see Hamburger, HaYeshiva HaRama BeFiurda, vol. III, pp. 35-144 for a detailed biography of R. Wolf Hamburg).
, 30 leaves. 20 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains and wear. Binding damaged, lacking back cover.
Letter handwritten and signed by R. Moshe Freund-Grieshaber. [Gyönk, 1868].
Addressed to his friend R. Eliyahu Menachem Goitein Rabbi of Hőgyész. Lengthy letter, mostly consisting of Torah thoughts. He mentions in passing a thought he heard from his teacher the Chatam Sofer, who remarked that pilpul is considered the crown of the Torah.
At the end of the letter, he writes in a somewhat enigmatic way, about buying copies of "the renowned book which is a great necessity for upholding Torah observance". He writes that he agreed together with R. Avraham Pollak to purchase ten copies of the book, and is willing to absorb the cost if he does not succeed in selling them. It is unclear which book he is referring to. This letter was published in Zichron Avot, 1971 (section 81), together with a letter which R. Eliyahu Menachem had sent earlier to R. Moshe Freund. That letter also mentions the book only in elusive terms, yet it appears that R. Azriel Hildesheimer, close friend of R. Eliyahu Menachem, was also involved in this matter.
R. Moshe Freund-Grieshaber (also known as R. Moshe Paks, 1797-1873), leading disciple of the Chatam Sofer. Son of R. Yitzchak Itzek Grieshaber-Freund Rabbi of Paks. After his marriage in 1815 to the daughter of a wealthy man from Gyönk, he settled there, delving in Torah and worship of G-d without needing to serve as rabbi. Several of the Chatam Sofer's responsa are addressed to him (see: Kinstlicher, HaChatam Sofer VeTalmidav, pp. 358-360).
The recipient of the letter, R. Eliyahu Menachem Goitein (1838-1902), was the son of R. Tzvi Hirsch Goitein and grandson of R. Baruch Bendit Goitein author of Kesef Nivchar. He was a disciple of the Ketav Sofer. Like his father and grandfather, he served as rabbi of Hőgyész. See previous item.
 double leaf. 21 cm. Fair-poor condition. Thin paper, dark ink showing through to verso, tears from ink erosion, affecting text.
Four letters related to R. Pinchas Shlomo HaLevi Reisels, who served as a shochet and bodek in the town of Slisht (Sosnove). These include three letters of protest by rabbis of Zvhil (Novohrad-Volynskyi) and Rivne, which were sent to the rabbi of Slisht upon his dismissal as shochet and bodek, and a lithograph letter by Rebbe Moshe Mordechai Twersky of Makariv sent to R. Pinchas Shlomo.
1-2. Two large leaves, a letter from R. Moshe Shmuel Sde-Lavan Rabbi of Zvhil (author of Nachalat Avot, Jerusalem 1926), to R. Mordechai Merkil Rabbi of Slisht. Zvhil, 1900. Protest against the dismissal of R. Pinchas Shlomo HaLevi Reisels from his position.
On the verso of the same leaf, after the end of R. Moshe Shmuel's letter, is the beginning of another letter from R. Yitzchak Shlomo Yoel Sherman Rabbi of Rivne. Rabbi Sherman's letter continues on another leaf. This letter, too, is addressed to R. Mordechai Merkil Rabbi of Slisht, protesting his dismissal.
3. Letter by R. Shmuel Rothenberg, dayan and posek in Rivne, to R. Mordechai Merkil Rabbi of Slisht concerning the same issue.
4. Lithograph of a handwritten letter, by Rebbe Moshe Mordechai Twersky of Makariv, containing a request to give a donation to his emissary "R. Chaim Ze'ev Shapira". Sent to "R. Pinchas Shlomo shochet and bodek" (the aforementioned R. Pinchas Shlomo Reisels). The names of the recipient and of the emissary are filled in by hand (apparently, in the Rebbe's handwriting).
Rebbe Moshe Mordechai Twersky of Makariv (1845-1920, Encyclopedia of Chasidut, III, pp. 363-364), son of Rebbe Yaakov Yitzchak of Makariv, descended from the Chernobyl dynasty. Son-in-law of Rebbe Yehoshua of Belz. In 1892 he was appointed Rebbe in Makariv, and in 1910 relocated to Berdychiv.
4 documents. Size varies. Fair condition. Stains, tears and wear.
These letters have been published with an extensive introduction by R. Moshe Shochet, in the Bet Aharon V'Yisrael anthology, Year 33, Issue 1 (193), Tishrei-Cheshvan 5778, pp. 28-36.
Avodat Yisrael, Israelitish Prayer Book, for all the public services of the year, edited by M. [Marcus] Jastrow. Philadelphia, 1885. Hebrew and English. Two volumes.
Non-traditional siddur and machzor, based on Ashkenazi-rite. Hebrew with English translation, on facing pages. Stereotyped from the 1873 Philadelphia edition.
Separate title page: Songs and prayers and meditations for Divine services of Israelites. Compiled by B. [Benjamin] Szold. This part contains poems and prayers in English, translated from German by Marcus Jastrow.
Five parts in two volumes. Vol. I: VIII, 124, , 530-590, , 104, IV pages. Vol. II: , 128-526 pages. 18 cm. Overall good condition. Stains. Several detached leaves. Original binding, with minor damage.
Singerman 2399 (mentioned there in a note). Not listed in Goldman.
Manuscript, pizmonim (songs) for Yom Kippur night. [Casale Monferrato, Italy, ca. second half of 18th century].
Square Italian script, vocalized. The main part of the manuscript consists of "Pizmonim for Tehillim on Yom Kippur night", to be recited after the first four Psalms and at the end of each of the five books of Tehillim. Followed by the prayers: "Hashem Aseh Lemaan…" and "Elokeinu ShebaShamayim…".
After the prayers, the following instruction appears: "Then they should read in a pleasant voice the Order of Kodashim, Zevachim, Menachot, Tammid and Middot, Shabbat, Yoma, and other tractates if time allows, and then they should recite Keter Malchut by Gabirol and the Lecha Keli Teshukati pizmon, as well as Et Shaarei Ratzon…". The full text of the Et Shaarei Ratzon piyyut is then presented. On the last page, the following concluding words are inscribed: "Until here are the pizmonim recited on Yom Kippur night, and the service according to the custom of the Casale community, and there are communities who have the custom to then recite the book Kenaf Renanim…".
 leaves (and several more empty leaves). 19.5 cm. Good condition. Stains. Original binding, with minor damage.
Letter handwritten and signed by R. Amram Tzvi Grünwald, "writing at the behest of the Rebbe", regarding fundraising. Addressed to "The great Torah scholar… rabbi of Shotz (Suceava)". [No place and date indicated, presumably Visheve, ca. 1935].
R. Amram Tzvi Grünwald (1907-1951), was a renowned and righteous Torah scholar. Grandson of R. Moshe Grünwald Rabbi of Khust author of Arugat HaBosem, and son of R. Yekutiel Yehuda Grünwald Rabbi of Yara (Yaruha). He was the disciple of his uncle R. Avraham Yosef Grünwald Rabbi of Ungvar author of Avnei Shoham, and of his great-uncle R. Eliezer David Grünwald Rabbi of Satmar author of Keren LeDavid. Following his wedding, he settled in Oyber-Visheve (Vişeu de Sus), and after several years, was appointed maggid and posek of the city. In ca. 1935, the rabbi of the city Rebbe Menachem Mendel Hager travelled to the United States, and appointed R. Amram Tzvi to replace him as head of the yeshiva (it is unclear on behalf of which Rebbe this letter was written: whether on behalf of Rebbe Menachem Mendel Rabbi of Visheve, in whose yeshiva R. Amram Tzvi served as lecturer, or perhaps in the name of his teacher, his great-uncle R. Eliezer David Grünwald, while studying under him in the Satmar yeshiva, in his youth in the 1920s]. Following the Holocaust, in which he lost his wife and entire family, he remarried and served as rabbi in the Föhrenwald DP camp. In 1949, he reached the United States, yet shortly later passed away suddenly at the age of 45. His surviving novellae where published in Zichron Amram Tzvi (Brooklyn N.Y., 2010).
 leaf. 14.5X11.5 cm. Good condition. Stains.
Lengthy letter (3 pages) with the full signature of R. "Yisrael Meir HaKohen, author of Chafetz Chaim and Mishna Berura". Hrodna (Grodno), Elul 1924.
Written by a scribe, with the line of the signature handwritten by the Chafetz Chaim. The letter was sent to the World Rabbinical Conference taking place at that time in Kraków. The Chafetz Chaim writes that due to his weakness and old age, he is unable to make this long journey to Kraków, "I am unable to come participate in your esteemed conference. I am hereby sending my words via the rabbis, bearers of this letter, regarding one critical matter…". The Chafetz Chaim arouses to devise a plan of action to save the yeshivot, which were in dire straits due to financial crises. He mentions the objective of his presence in Hrodna - to participate in a meeting for saving the yeshivot (and to found Vaad HaYeshivot), and he writes that two meetings on the matter had already taken place: "…the first one in Vilna and now in Hrodna, and it has been decided to impose on whoever has the means, to contribute a dollar semiannually for the support of the yeshivot… This regulation has so far been instituted in the regions of Vilna and Hrodna, but this small amount is not enough to provide for all the needs of the yeshivot… I therefore take the liberty to request that at the conference, it should be resolved to assign a respectable sum of money from the Keren HaTorah fund, for our yeshivot - Torah centers, to rescue this surviving ember, since at the moment their survival is entirely contingent upon miracles…".
The Chafetz Chaim concludes the letter by blessing the participants with a good year: "And all those who have gathered for the honor of G-d and His Torah, should be blessed with a good year, a year of raising the prestige of the Torah and its learners. So is the plea of the one who honors and respects you… who blesses you with a good inscription and sealing, who awaits bountiful Divine mercy - Yisrael Meir HaKohen, author of Chafetz Chaim and Mishna Berura".
The Rabbinical Conference in Kraków for strengthening Judaism was initiated by R. Alter Chaim Levinson of Reisha (Rzeszów; author of Tikun Olam. A disciple of R. Tzadok HaKohen of Lublin). In this conference, all the rabbis and rebbes from throughout Poland, Galicia, Austria and other European countries came together for the sake of Heaven, to institute regulations for the strengthening of religious observance in the aftermath of WWI, to bolster the observance of Shabbat, Kashrut, Taharah, and the education of children to Torah and fear of G-d. This blessed venture followed, and was inspired by, the success of the first world Knessia Gedolah which convened in Vienna in Elul 1923, which still merited the participation of the Chafetz Chaim. It must be noted that the conference in Kraków had the exclusive objective of reinforcing Shabbat observance and religion in general (and did not have any political agenda of organizing the Orthodox communities), therefore it received the support of many rebbes and rabbis who did not endorse Agudat Yisrael (such as the Rebbe of Belz and other Galician and Polish rabbis).
R. Yisrael Meir HaKohen of Radin (1837-1933), leader of the Jewish people, was widely known by the name of his first book, the Chafetz Chaim. He founded the Radin yeshiva and authored many halachic and ethical works: Mishna Berura, Shemirat HaLashon, Ahavat Chessed and dozens more. This letter was written in his later years, at the age of about 87. Despite his advanced age, he travelled to Hrodna to take part in this meeting for saving the yeshivot, and from there, sent this letter via his representatives to the large conference in Kraków.
 double leaf (3 written pages). 20.5 cm. Good-fair condition. Folding marks, wear and minor tears. Stains.
To the best of our knowledge, this letter was hitherto unknow and never published.
Two books printed in Karlsruhe, bearing signatures of R. Meir (Marcus) Lehmann, Rabbi of Mainz, foremost Orthodox rabbi and author in 19th century Germany.
• Yaarot Devash, homilies by R. Yehonatan Eybeschutz. Part I. Karlsruhe, . First edition. Signature on title page: "Meir Lehmann", and other handwritten inscriptions.
, 116 leaves. 20.5 cm. Good-fair condition. Wear and stains. Detached leaves. Original binding, torn and damaged.
• Shemot BaAretz. Novellae on Tractates Rosh Hashanah, Yoma and Sukkah, by R. Moshe ibn Chaviv, author of Get Pashut. Karlsruhe, . Second edition. Signature on title page: "Meir Lehmann"; early ownership inscription signed "…Yaakov Schwab" and other handwritten inscriptions.
, 16; 30; 41 leaves. 33.5 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains and wear. Original, quarter-leather binding, slightly damaged.
R. Meir (Marcus) Lehmann (1831-1890), Rabbi of Mainz, was a foremost German rabbi, editor of Der Israelit and champion of Jewish Orthodoxy in Germany. He composed many books, including commentaries to Pirkei Avot and to the Bible, books of Jewish thought and philosophy, in addition to dozens of story books written with the purpose of drawing Jewish youth to fear of G-d and moral conduct.
Neviim Acharonim and Ketuvim. Venice: Daniel Bomberg, .
Part of a Bible edition, identical to the previous edition published by Bomberg, in 1517, with the exception of the book of Tehillim, which in this edition was printed with a different typographic layout: two narrow columns per page.
Divisional title pages. This volume contains the title pages of "Arbaa Neviim Acharonim" and "Ketuvim".
Colophon on the last leaf: "Printed a second time with much scrutiny by the brothers, sons of Baruch Adelkind, in the month of Elul, 1521, for Daniel Bomberg and in his printing press". The colophon further mentions the Bomberg Talmud edition and the Rif edition being published at that time: "Likewise, may G-d grant us the merit of completing the entire Talmud and the large book of Alfasi, in accordance with the wishes of our master Daniel, for until this day we have printed twenty-five tractates of the Talmud and twelve sections of the Rav Alfas book".
This volume belonged to a Christian scholar who annotated it with lengthy glosses and many inscriptions in Latin, Greek and Hebrew, including lengthy inscriptions on the divisional title pages. In many places, he added the verse numbers. On the last page, following the colophon, and on the blank leaves at the end of the book - lengthy Latin inscriptions, with tables of the alphabet in various languages, numerical values of the Hebrew letters, the names of the Hebrew months and the corresponding months in the Christian calendar, and more.
A French ownership inscription, recording the presentation of the book to the writer's son by his brother-in-law the priest, in 1762, is followed by an additional inscription documenting the finding of the book in the Froideville castle, and it being bound in its present binding.
Signatures at the beginning of the volume: "Model son of Mr. Kashel Segal", "Model Segal".
277-528,  leaves. Leaf 407 bound after leaf 408, and leaf 413 after leaf 414. 21 cm. Varying condition. Most leaves in good condition, several leaves in fair condition. Dark stains, wear and tears to several leaves. Early leather binding, damaged.
Darchei Noam, responsa on the four parts of Shulchan Aruch by R. Mordechai HaLevi Rabbi of Egypt, with Milchemet Mitzva, by R. Avraham HaLevi, son of the author (with separate title page). Venice: Bragadin Brothers, 1697. First edition. On the verso of the title page, an illustrated map of the Temple.
Ownership inscriptions and various signatures on the main title page: "Eliezer Papo"; "…Binyamin Pinto"; "Eliyahu HaKohen". Some marginal glosses in Sephardic script, one of them signed "says Shimon Pesach" (p. 182b). Most of the other notes were presumably written by this same author.
R. Eliezer Papo (1786-1827), author of Peleh Yoetz, a great and holy Torah scholar, was a foremost Sephardi rabbi in the Balkans. Born in Sarajevo (Bosnia), he was a leading Torah scholar of the city. He served as rabbi of Silistra (Bulgaria) and for a time of the Sephardi community in Bucharest (Romania). He authored many books: ethics and homily books, prayer and piyyutim books, books of Halacha and novellae on Shulchan Aruch, responsa and novellae on the Talmud. He is particularly renowned for his book Peleh Yoetz, which until this day is one of the basic ethics books studied by the entire Jewish people (the Chatam Sofer would regularly precede his lectures on Talmudic topics with the study of a section of Peleh Yoetz with his disciples. R. Tzvi Hirsh Michel Shapira of Jerusalem was particularly fond of the book and would keep it constantly on hand. R. Yaakov Yisrael Kanievsky - the Steipler would instruct teachers and parents to study Orchot Tzadikim and Peleh Yoetz with their children. The kabbalist R. Mordechai Sharabi would advise those who turned to him to study Reshit Chochma and Peleh Yoetz).
R. Eliezer Papo was known for his great piety, living his entire life with outstanding asceticism and great devotion in his worship of G-d. Already in his lifetime, he earnt the reputation of a wonder worker. The ledger of the Silistra Jewish community reports miraculous stories about him, of journeys being shortened and other wonders. He passed away prematurely during a Cholera epidemic, reputedly declaring before his death that his passing would arrest the epidemic, and promising his community that whoever would pray at his gravesite with a broken heart after immersing in a Mikvah would have his prayer accepted and would merit a redemption (see Melitzei Aish, part VII in the addenda, p. 89a, based on the Silistra community ledger). Until this day, people come from around the world to pray at his gravesite in Silistra, and many stories of salvations were publicized in recent years by people who travelled there to pray.
R. Moshe Shimon Pesach (1869-1955) was the rabbi of Volos (Greece). After the German invasion of Greece during WWII, the elderly rabbi endeavored to save his community from the Nazis, and succeeded in smuggling the Jewish residents to mountain villages. After the war, he was appointed Chief Rabbi of Greece.
, 2-282 leaves; , 2-41 leaves. 28 cm. High-quality paper. Good-fair condition. Dampstains and wear. Minor tears. Early binding, with leather spine, worn. In the endpapers, leaf fragments from a printed book on grammar principles.
Enclosed is a report from an expert on rabbinic manuscripts, authenticating the handwriting of the Peleh Yoetz.
Two leaves (four written pages - over 162 lines) handwritten by R. Moshe Sofer, author of Chatam Sofer. Novellae on tractate Bava Metzia, folios 67-69.
Two medium-size leaves, filled on both sides with the handwriting of the Chatam Sofer. The headings of the pages read: "With the help of G-d, Chapter of Ribbit…".
Near the top of the first leaf, line 5, the Chatam Sofer writes: "And I saw that all the Acharonim write differently, and though their little finger is thicker than my loins, I nevertheless wrote what appears to me, and the one who studies it will judge". At the foot of the page, a gloss was added in the handwriting of the Chatam Sofer: "And my disciple R. Zalman Bonnhard argued in a different way… and it is correct".
On the verso of that same leaf, the Chatam Sofer writes: "And the words I am writing here in answer, really parallel the words of the Nekudat HaKesef, and I am fortunate that my thoughts corresponded with his esteemed opinion, and since every Beit Midrash contributes something new, I did not refrain from writing my thoughts…".
These novellae were published in Chiddushei HaChatam Sofer on Tractate Bava Metzia, Jerusalem 1991, pp. 87-90.
2 leaves (4 written pages). Over 162 autograph lines. 32 cm. Good condition. Stains.
Letter signed by Rebbe Aharon of Chernobyl, addressed to the philanthropist R. Yehuda Shmuel.
Written during a fundraising campaign for an important cause, the Rebbe mandates him to donate the sum of twenty-five silver ruble to charity. Written by a scribe with the handwritten signature of the Rebbe: "So says Aharon son of the renowned R. Mordechai". The sum "twenty-five silver ruble" was also handwritten by the Rebbe.
Rebbe Aharon Twersky of Chernobyl (1787-1871) was a foremost and elder rebbe in his generation and prominent leader of the Jewish and Chassidic world in the mid-19th century. He was the eldest son of Rebbe Mordechai of Chernobyl and his ancestors' successor as rebbe of Chernobyl. He received his education from his grandfather Rebbe Menachem Nachum of Chernobyl, the Meor Einayim. Already during his father's lifetime, he occupied a central position in the Chassidic world, and his father wrote of him that he shields the generation by the scope of his holiness. After his father's passing in 1838, the latter's eight sons began serving as rebbes in various cities, yet the eldest son R. Aharon acceded to his father's position in Chernobyl. His brothers all treated him with great deference and recognized his supremacy even in private matters. Rebbe Aharon himself was aware of the authority he held and would address the public in resolute and unyielding terms. This letter discloses the Rebbe's firmness also in relating to wealthy people and philanthropists, as he warns the philanthropist to realize the donation in full as he was commanded, and thereby merit blessings for all the good and success.
 double leaf. 21 cm. Good condition. Creases and folding marks. Light stains.
Gevurot HaShem, Passover and the Exodus from Egypt, with a commentary to the Passover Haggadah by R. Yehuda Loew - the Maharal of Prague. Kraków: Isaac ben Aaron Prostitz, 1582. First edition, published anonymously in the Maharal's lifetime.
In the margins: Over twenty corrections in early Ashkenazic script (from the period of the printing).
Early signature on the title page, in Ashkenazic script: "Shlomo son of R. Moshe Yissachar".
93,  leaves. 29 cm. Thick, high-quality paper. Good-fair condition. Stains. Open tears to inner margins of title page and other leaves, not affecting text, repaired. Light worming (repaired). New leather binding.
Yaari 23. Otzar HaHaggadot 29.
Letter signed by Rebbe Yaakov Shimshon of Kosov. [Kosov (Kosiv)], 1875.
The letter includes the following: "May G-d grant blessing upon the Jewish people for abundance and success, and the deed of righteousness shall be peace". Written by a scribe, with the signature of Rebbe "Yaakov Shimshon son of the righteous rabbi of Kosiv".
Rebbe Yaakov Shimshon Hager (1814-1880), was the eldest son and successor of Rebbe Chaim of Kosov, and brother of the first Rebbe of Vizhnitz R. Menachem Mendel Hager, the Tzemach Tzaddik. In 1854, he succeeded his father as Rebbe in Kosov, and his two younger brothers were appointed rebbes in Vizhnitz and Radovitz (Rădăuți). He was renowned as a wise man, benefitting from Divine Inspiration. The righteous men of his generation held him in high esteem, in particular the Divrei Chaim of Sanz who would praise him in effusive terms (see Responsa Divrei Chaim, Part II, Even HaEzer, 30; see also Teshuvot Nosafot, 30). He delivered few Torah discourses and conducted himself with exceptional modesty and humility. He refused to publish his writings, maintaining that his father had not commanded him to publicize them. At the end of his life, he assumed utter silence, and when his brother R. Menachem Mendel of Vizhnitz queried his motives, he called him to the window and pointed to the cemetery. His only son and successor was Rebbe Moshe Hager of Kosov (1860-1925).
 leaf. 20.5 cm. Good condition. Thin, slightly worn paper. Creases and folding marks.
Siddur with the commentary of R. Yaakov Emden, Part I - Amudei Shamayim (prayers for weekdays and Shabbat) and Part II - Shaarei Shamayim (prayers for festivals and more), Ashkenazi rite. Altona: [Printed in the home of the author R. Yaakov Rabbi of Emden - the Yaavetz], [1745-1747]. First edition.
Two parts out of three of the siddur with R. Yaakov Emden's commentaries, based on revealed parts of the Torah and on Kabbalah - following the teachings of the Arizal. The first edition of this siddur is renowned for its great precision. R. Yaakov Emden expended great effort in establishing the exact text of the siddur, in the vocalization and accuracy of the words. This siddur was reprinted in many editions and was named by later printers "the Beit Yaakov siddur". In the siddur's later editions (Lviv and Warsaw), modifications and errors affected the text of the prayers, and all that remains of R. Yaakov Emden's corrections and precisions are his comments, integrated in his commentary printed in the margins.
R. Yaakov Emden's siddur became widely accepted in the Chassidic world, and its second edition was printed in Korets in 1818, at the initiative and with the approbation of great Chassidic leaders: the rabbi of Apta and R. Mordechai of Chernobyl. The latter describes in his approbation the rarity of the first edition - the teachings of the Yaavetz are so cherished that "the siddurim have already become worn out, and there is not one to be found in the whole city". The Korets edition included only parts I and II, and in 1835, the third part was printed in Berditchev at the initiative and with the approbation of R. Mordechai of Chernobyl and R. Yisrael of Ruzhin (who praised the siddur in his approbation: "It was established and originates from golden foundations, in order to indicate the correct path with pure intellect on the topic of prayer"). The Imrei Yosef of Spinka wrote in the name of the sons of the Divrei Chaim of Sanz, who heard from their father who had a tradition that the Baal Shem Tov one told R. Efraim, brother of the Yaavetz: "Your brother the Yaavetz was connected to the Upper spheres all day" (approbation of R. Moshe Halberstam to the Eshkol edition of the siddur, Jerusalem 1993). Tzror HaChaim (by R. Ch. Liebersohn, Biłgoraj 1913, p. 22), quotes in the name of the Baal Shem Tov: "Chacham Tzvi had five sons, whom the Baal Shem Tov attested all merited Divine Inspiration, yet he offered especially effusive praise on one of them, without disclosing which one, but his friends confirmed that he was referring to the Yaavetz". The Yeshuot Moshe of Vizhnitz writes in his approbation to that same edition: "…This siddur did not depart from the tables of our teachers and ancestors, who utilized it constantly, especially while leading the Seder on Passover night". Rebbe Menachem Mendel of Lubavitch quoted precisions and practices from this siddur several times in his discourses, and once remarked "R. Yaakov Emden exercised ultimate precision in every way, to the point of being meticulous even regarding the letters etc." (BeTzel HaChochma, p. 265).
Title page of Part I: "Palatin Bet El, resting upon seven Amudei Shamayim, also called Ohr Shivat HaYamim". On the verso of the title page, approbation by R. Yechezkel Katzenellenbogen Rabbi of Altona-Hamburg-Wandsbek, extolling the virtues of the siddur. He relates in his approbation of cantors who are not meticulous to follow the rules of grammar "and sometimes upon hearing such mistakes, I berated them…".
Title page of Part II: "The palace of the city of G-d, is open to 14 gates… Shaarei Shamayim… for the days and months of the year". The approbation of R. Aryeh Leibush Rabbi and yeshiva dean of Amsterdam, brother-in-law of the author and outstanding Torah scholar, is presented on p. 159b, followed by the author's apology for printing the approbation at the end of the siddur (rather than at the beginning, as is customary), explaining that it was received only at the end of the printing: "…and it is already known that the position does not bring honor to the person, and we find that the last one is the most cherished, and the Torah does not follow chronological order...".
Two parts in two volumes. Vol. I: , 356, 354-385, 389-415, 417-418 leaves. Vol. II: 159 leaves. 16.5 cm. Slightly darkened leaves. Good condition. Stains. Minor damage to title page of Part I. Owners' signatures to title pages: "Natan Elbe". New leather bindings.
Letter from R. Chaim HaLevi Soloveitchik Rabbi of Brisk. [Volozhin (Valozhyn)], Tevet 1899.
Addressed to the Jewish Baron Naftali Herz (Horace) Günzburg, regarding the reopening of the Volozhin yeshiva. From this letter, it appears that the reestablishment of the yeshiva took the form of an independent organization of Torah learners who gathered together, and later summoned R. Refael Shapiro to come stand at their helm. (This form of reopening the yeshiva, through an independent gathering of Torah learners, is echoed in the letter of his father-in-law R. Refael Shapiro to Baron Günzburg, see previous item. The two letters were written under the same circumstances and on the same date, and contain parallel terms):
"Behold, the prestige and holiness of the illustrious Volozhin yeshiva is already recognized by the entire Jewish people, as it illuminated the face of the earth and produced light - the light of Torah for the Jewish people… and now, a very large group of people have gathered there… and are diligently investing all their strength in Torah study, many of them are exceptional Torah scholars, perspicacious, erudite and witty students… And behold, the great and renowned Torah scholar… R. Refael Rabbi of Babruysk appeared in his glory at the gates of Volozhin, and accepted the position of yeshiva dean and rabbi of Volozhin, and the yeshiva of Volozhin has reclaimed its previous stature, once again illuminating the world, and the Torah has returned to its lodgings". R. Chaim further writes of the journey of the emissary R. Shmuel Ben Zion Shapiro, who is travelling "to establish and increase sources of income, in view of the finances of the yeshiva and its great expenses".
R. Chaim HaLevi Soloveitchik (1853-1918), rabbi of Brisk (Brest, Belarus), was a foremost Torah scholar in Lithuania and one of the leaders of his generation. He is considered the initiator of the learning method in Lithuanian yeshivot. Son of R. Yosef Dov Soloveitchik, the Beit HaLevi, and son-in-law of R. Refael Shapiro, dean of the Volozhin yeshiva and son-in-law of the Netziv. After his marriage, he began serving as the third dean of the Volozhin yeshiva. (The disciples of R. Chaim from that period include: R. Baruch Ber Leibowitz, R. Shimon Yehuda Shkop and R. Chaim Ozer Grodzinski), and with R. Refael's move in 1881 to Babruysk, R. Chaim was appointed second yeshiva dean in his place. After the passing of his father the Beit HaLevi in 1894, he succeeded him as rabbi of Brisk, and continued teaching Torah to a small group of elite students who gathered to absorb his teachings, and who later disseminated his study method in all Lithuanian yeshivot, orally and in writing. Many novellae circulated orally in his name within Lithuanian yeshivot, transmitted and copied by many writers (some were later printed in the mimeographed edition of Chiddushei HaGrach, published in Eretz Israel ca. the 1950s).
In 1899, his father-in-law R. Refael Shapiro left the rabbinate of the great city of Babruysk, and returned to serve as rabbi of the small town of Volozhin, and to head the yeshiva, restoring it to its former glory (according to several sources, R. Refael was the one who initiated the reopening of the yeshiva, though M. Tzinovitz in his book Etz Chaim - History of the Volozhin Yeshiva (chapter 27, pp. 353-355) writes that when R. Refael reached Volozhin, some two hundred men had already gathered to study there. In the HaMelitz journal of 1899, an article was published from Babruysk, describing the rabbi's departure for Volozhin, due to an initiative by some Minsk philanthropists to reopen the yeshiva. The present letter also insinuates that R. Refael came to Volozhin after the students had gathered anew, "and he accepted the position of yeshiva dean and rabbi of Volozhin").
The Baron Naftali Herz (Horace) Günzburg (1833-1909), banker and wealthy businessman, philanthropist and public activist. Bearer of a title of nobility, and general-consul in Russia. The bank he headed was one of the largest banks in the Russian empire. He utilized his connections and stature to assist his Jewish brethren in Tsarist Russia, defending them from decrees and improving their financial situation.
 leaf. 28 cm. Very good condition. Folding marks.
Manuscript of the book Kitzur Likutei Amarim - Mahadura Kama of the Tanya, fundamentals in worship of G-d, by the Admor HaZaken R. Shneur Zalman of Liadi - the Baal HaTanya. Particularly neat Rashi script [Eastern Europe? Ca. 1792-1796].
This manuscript is a copying of the first 42 chapters of the Tanya, based on the Mahadura Kama version of the book (and not on the text and format of the printed book). The Tanya was first printed in 1797. Up until then, it was circulated through handwritten copies which the Baal HaTanya distributed from the summer of 1792. The Mahadura Kama manuscripts can be classified into two categories, some consisting of 42 chapters (presumably earlier editions), such as this copy, and some containing 51 chapters. The printed edition of the Tanya is comprised of 53 chapters, as well as 12 chapters of Shaar HaYichud VehaEmuna.
On many pages, the copyist inserted additions in the margins, whether single words or entire sentences. Some additions consist of words omitted during the copying, and appear in the original Mahadura Kama, and others are later additions, based on the text of the printed Mahadura Batra. Three lengthy additions were copied on the first page preceding the body of the work, based on the printed text of the Mahadura Batra.
The Mahadura Kama version of the Tanya was printed for the first time in 1982 in Brooklyn, at the behest of the Rebbe of Lubavitch, and entitled Likutei Amarim Mahadura Kama (from manuscript). This book contains marginal notes documenting the thousands of textual variations found between nine different manuscripts known to the publishers of the book, as well as explanations of the differences between the texts of Mahadura Kama and Mahadura Batra. This present manuscript was however not known to the publishers, and contains several textual variations which do not appear in any other manuscripts of Mahadura Kama, and are not mentioned in the book.
The Rebbe of Lubavitch explained in one of his discourses the significance of Mahadura Kama, noting that in the Talmud and in the Arizal's writings, importance is given to earlier versions. Similarly, studying the differences between Mahadura Kama and Mahadura Batra can afford us a new depth of understanding in the teachings of the Baal HaTanya. The Rebbe himself analyzed the variations between the two versions on several occasions (see: Torat Menachem, 1982, I, p. 482).
Background of the writing of the Tanya: In the 1790s, the Baal HaTanya (1748/9-1812) was the only Chassidic leader in Belarus, which in those days, according to Russian government census, was home to tens of thousands of Chassidim. In that period, a mighty stream of followers flocked to his court to receive his advice on topics of service of G-d, which stole a lot of his time. People were sometimes compelled to wait for weeks to be allowed to consult with the Rebbe in a private audience, much to the Rebbe's displeasure. The Rebbe wrote three letters during the course of those years, instructing entrance to be restricted for those who had already had an audience with him, so that those who had not as yet consulted with him could enter with greater ease. The Rebbe consequently proceeded to compose booklets of guidance to Chassidim on topics of worship of G-d, as a substitute for private sessions. He handed over the booklets for copying ca. the summer of 1792, and thereafter periodically supplemented, corrected and updated them. These booklets resulted in the book Tanya. In a letter to his followers (which later became the preface to the Tanya), the Baal HaTanya wrote that the booklets, name Likutei Amarim, consist of responses to many requests for guidance in worship of G-d posed by fellow Jews of the country. As he is unable to respond to each question individually, he is writing all the answers to recurrent questions, so that each and every one can find the answer and advice appropriate to his difficulty in his service of G-d, without having to press forth to receive a private audience with the Rebbe._x000B_After inaccurate copies began to circulate, the Baal HaTanya decided at the end of the summer of 1796 to have the booklets published in Slavita. To that end, he edited and rearranged the booklets, adding new chapters, such as chapters 30-32, which do not appear in the Mahadura Kama booklets, and inserting sentences and paragraphs into existing chapters. He likewise changed the division of the chapters. Conversely, some sentences and passages where removed for the printed version, thus each edition includes some exclusive content lacking in the other.
At the end of the preface to the printed edition, the author added a passage describing the circulation of the booklets and the reasons which impelled him to print them: "After these booklets (of the Mahadura Kama) became widespread amongst our people in many copyings realized by all kinds of scribes, the multiplicity of copies resulted in numerous scribal errors, they therefore offered… to bring these booklets to print, cleansed from any error and thoroughly edited". R. Zusha of Anipoli in his approbation likewise writes of the extensive distribution of Mahadura Kama booklets, and of the numerous errors which compelled the author to bring them to print, contrary to his original intention.
Ownership inscription on the front endpaper of: "the rabbi, outstanding in Torah and fear of G-d… R. Yisrael Tzvi"; "Belongs to R. … Avraham son of R. Yehuda"; recent stamp: "Consecrated to the Sephardi Community of Sarajevo, from the property of the late R. Asher son of R. Yehuda Finci".
 leaves. 58 written pages. 16 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains and wear. Original leather binding, damaged and partly detached.
Leaf, two handwritten pages, novellae and thoughts on the verses of Birkat Kohanim (Priestly Blessing). Handwritten by Rabbenu Yosef Chaim of Baghdad, author of Ben Ish Chai. [Baghdad], 1866.
Leaf handwritten on both sides by the Ben Ish Chai, including several novellae (complete passages). The leaf is dated: "For Friday, 1866".
The first section (covering the first page) relates to the explanation of the word Viychuneka (and favor you), and the interpretation of the Midrash "Viychuneka - will grant you sons". The Ben Ish Chai inserted an additional point on the topic in the upper margin, culminating with a blessing: "May G-d grant us His assistance, guard us and help us always".
The second page comprises several novellae, beginning with a short section on the third verse of the Priestly Blessing: "May G-d raise His countenance toward you and grant you peace", which closes with the same blessing: "May G-d grant us His assistance, guard us and help us always". This is followed by a long section containing three novellae, which the Ben Ish Chai concludes again with the same blessing.
R. Yosef Chaim of Baghdad (1833-1909), author of Ben Ish Chai and dozens of other important books. He was the son of R. Eliyahu Chaim son of R. Moshe Chaim Rabbi of Baghdad, and the disciple of R. Abdallah Somech. After the passing of his father in 1859, at the age of 26, he succeeded him as preacher in the Great Synagogue of Baghdad, sustaining this practice every Shabbat for the next fifty years. His supremacy in the revealed and hidden realms of the Torah was recognized worldwide, and he was reputed for his great holiness. His works include: Rav Pe'alim, Torah Lishma, Ben Ish Chai, Ben Ish Chayil, Ben Yehoyada, Od Yosef Chai, Lashon Chachamim, Aderet Eliyahu, Chasdei Avot and more.
Autograph manuscripts of the Ben Ish Chai are renowned for their segulah qualities of success and protection. This manuscript is particularly significant, as it is replete with verses and sayings of the sages which relate to blessing and protection, and with blessings, all handwritten by R. Yosef Chaim himself.
Leaf (2 pages). 15 cm. Approx. 50 autograph lines. Good-fair condition. Dampstains.
Torat Kohanim (Sifra), Halachic Midrash on the book of Vayikra, with the Korban Aharon commentary, by R. Aharon ibn Chaim. Venice, 1609-. First edition.
On the title page: "Acquired with the money which G-d granted me, I his servant Gavriel […], may G-d grant me the merit of studying it, annotating it and producing novellae […]". Part of the signature is deleted. Inscriptions in Hebrew and Italian on the preceding leaf: "Pontremoli".
An early sticker is attached to the spine of the book, inscribed: "Midot Aharon and Korban Aharon, with marginalia by R. Gavriel Pontremoli in his actual handwriting, on Torat Kohanim and the Thirteen Rules".
Hundreds of scholarly glosses in Italian script, mostly lengthy, in the handwriting of R. Gavriel Pontremoli, Rabbi of Turin. The glosses predominantly consider and analyze the words of the Korban Aharon commentary.
The glosses quote Torah thoughts heard from Italian Torah scholars and Kabbalists, such as the Remez (p. 199a) and R. Yosef Ravenna (p. 266a). Most of the glosses pertain to Halacha, yet several relate to Midrash and Aggada.
The amount and scope of the glosses present before us a complete, hitherto unpublished composition on the Torat Kohanim and on the Korban Aharon commentary.
R. Gavriel Pontremoli was a foremost Italian rabbi and Kabbalist in the early 18th century. He taught Torah for many years in Casale Monferrato, where he served as preacher and Rosh Yeshiva, "to teach and impart understanding of the Talmud and Halachic texts to upright disciples and attentive colleagues, and he composed novellae on the Talmud" (Toldot Gedolei Yisrael by R. Mordechai Shmuel Ghirondi). In 1714, he was appointed rabbi of Turin. His rulings and responsa are quoted in Responsa of the Rabach, Responsa Shemesh Tzedaka, Pachad Yitzchak and other books. He was a leading opponent of the Sabbatean Nechemia Hayyun.
Ownership inscription in Italian script on the front endpaper, signed L.A.: "I acquired this book in 1843 with other books, from my friend R. Elya HaLevi son of Meir, through the Torah scholar R. Eliezer Ashkenazi Polacco of Tunis, while he was passing through our town. Whose name is L.A.[?]". Other ownership inscriptions on the title page, some deleted.
139; 110, 113-302,  leaves. Lacking leaves 111-112 of the second sequence, as well as pp. 278b, 281a (omitted due to a printing error). Altogether lacking 2 leaves and 2 pages. The missing leaves and pages were completed by hand (the text of Torat Kohanim in square script, and the Korban Aharon commentary in Italian script), presumably in the handwriting of R. Gavriel Pontremoli himself. 29 cm. Overall good condition. Stains, dampstains. Wear. Margins of title page and first leaves reinforced with paper. Original leather binding, damaged.
Letter (approx. 15 lines) handwritten and signed by Rebbe Moshe Yitzchak (R. Itzikel) Gewirtzman of Pshevorsk. Antwerp, .
The letter is addressed to "the pious, astute and renowned rabbi, of holy descent, R. Efraim Yosef Dov, attendant" - R. Efraim Yosef Dov Ashkenazi, assistant and confidant of Rebbe Yoel Teitelbaum of Satmar. In his letter, Rebbe Itzikel requests he be mentioned for blessing before the Rebbe of Satmar, since he suffers from an illness in his foot, and he extends his blessings to the Rebbe and his attendant for a good year and other blessings. The Rebbe of Pshevorsk signs his name at the end of the letter as in a kvittel, with the name of his mother: "Moshe Yitzchak son of Chana Breindel, grandson of the leader of the entire Jewish people R. Elimelech, may his merit protect us and the entire Jewish nation".
R. Moshe Yitzchak Gewirtzman - known as R. Itzikel of Pshevorsk (1882 - Yom Kippur 1975), descendant of R. Elimelech of Lizhensk (fifth generation), a staunch follower of Rebbe Yechezkel of Shineva and his son the Divrei Simcha of Cieszanów. He served as Rebbe in Pshevorsk (Przeworsk), and after the Holocaust which he spent exiled in Siberia, he returned through Poland and France and settled in Antwerp, Belgium. He was renowned for his awe-inspiring holiness, practicing exceptional asceticism and self-denial (for decades, he never rested his feet on his bed, sleeping in a sitting position). He followed the ways of his ancestor the Noam Elimelech, who combined his attachment to G-d with lovingkindness for his fellow Jews, procuring charity and salvation for one and all. Thousands would flock to his court in quest of his counsel, or for his prayers on behalf of members of the Jewish people enduring illness or other misfortunes. He was also renowned for the acts of kindness he engaged in personally, distributing donations to destitute Jews throughout the world.
The recipient of the letter, R. Efraim Yosef Dov Ashkenazi (1914-2002), close attendant and household member of the Rebbe of Satmar for some sixty years and his prime assistant in all matters. R. Yosef Ashkenazi was himself a holy man, eminent in Chassidut and fear of G-d, and an outstanding Torah scholar. He edited and published the Satmar Rebbe's books on Halacha and Aggada. R. Yosef accompanied the Rebbe on his escape in the famous Kastner Train which was diverted to Bergen-Belsen, wandering with the Rebbe through Switzerland and Italy following their release from the camp, before finally reaching the United States with him.
Official postcard of the Rebbe. 15 cm. Good condition. Folding mark to top of postcard.
Collection of six handwritten letters and documents, signed by the elderly rabbi of Jerusalem R. Shmuel Salant. Some of the items also bear signatures of other rabbis and noted figures: the Aderet, R. Chaim Yaakov Shapiro of Kovno head of the Jerusalem Beit Din, R. Shaul Chaim HaLevi Horowitz Rabbi of Dubrovna, R. Yoel Moshe Salomon, R. Yosef Rivlin and others. Jerusalem, 1895-1902.
• Letter of recommendation for the Shochet R. Yaakov Shochet son of R. Shabtai of Kovno, signed by R. Shmuel Salant: "…he has been practicing ritual slaughter here in Jerusalem for the last twenty years, and for the past year, he has been coming to my house every other day to slaughter a chicken for me, and he is an expert, and now that he is travelling abroad, I thought to introduce him to others, and confirm that I also eat his products, and may G-d help him and bring him back in peace to the city of peace… Shmuel Salant. Tammuz 1897.
• Letter signed by R. Shmuel Salant, addressed to R. Naftali Herz HaLevi Rabbi of Jaffa, regarding funds received for "the support of laborers who refrain from working during the Shemittah year". Av 1896.
• Document regarding the loan which the Talmud Torah located in the courtyard of R. Yehuda HaChasid (the Etz Chaim boys' school) borrowed from Kollel Vilna, signed by R. Shmuel Salant and R. Eliyahu David Rabinowitz-Teomim (the Aderet). Av 1902.
• Beit Din ruling regarding a dispute between the widow of R. Avraham Eisenstein and her son, R. Yerachmiel Eisenstein. Signed by R. "Chaim Yaakov of Kovno" (R. Chaim Yaakov Shapiro head of the Kovno and Jerusalem Beit Din), and R. "Shmuel Salant". Kislev 1895.
• Agreement regarding the division of the estate of the late "Ploni Almoni" between various Torah and charity institutions in Jerusalem, with the signatures of: R. "Shmuel Salant", R. "Shaul Chaim HaLevi" (founder and dean of the Me'a She'arim yeshiva, rabbi of Dubrovna), R. "Yoel Moshe Salomon", R. "Aryeh Leib son of R. E.D. H." (R. Leib Dayan - son of R. Elimelech Dov Herschler of Karlin), and R. "Yosef Epstein". Tammuz 1899.
• Letter sent to the United States. Signed by R. Shmuel Salant, R. Shimon Elazar Kahana and R. "Yosef Rivlin". Adar 1895.
Six leaves. Varying sizes. Good condition. Two on official stationery.
Letter from Rebbe Yitzchak Yeshaya Halberstam, with concluding line in his handwriting and with his signature. Kraków, Nisan 1930.
Written on an official postcard from the Rebbe's court in Kraków, the letter confirms receipt of donation and extends many blessings: "… and I hereby beseech on his behalf that G-d grant him success in all his endeavors, for the good and for blessing, and may he reap much satisfaction from all his descendants, and celebrate the upcoming festival in accordance with Halacha and with joy".
Written by a scribe, with the addition of one and a half lines handwritten and signed by the Rebbe: "The words of one who entreats on his behalf, Yitzchak Yeshaya son of the pious rabbi from Sanz".
Rebbe Yitzchak Yeshaya Halberstam of Chechiav (1864-1943, perished in the Holocaust, Encyclopedia of Chassidut II, pp. 412-413) was the youngest son of Rebbe Chaim Halberstam, the Divrei Chaim of Sanz. Son-in-law of R. Yechiel Heshel of Krilovitz (Murovani Kurylivtsi), and in his second marriage, of R. Yaakov Tzvi of Parysów. His father, R. Chaim of Sanz, attested that he possesses a holy soul. He absorbed Chassidism from his older brothers: R. Yechezkel Shraga of Shinova (Sieniawa), R. Baruch of Gorlitz (Gorlice) and R. David of Kshanow (Chrzanów). After his marriage, he settled in Belz and learnt Torah from his wife's grandfather, Rebbe Yehoshua of Belz. At the age of nineteen, he was appointed rabbi of Chechiav (Czchów) and was since referred to as R. Yeshayale Chechiaver. He later moved to Satmar, ultimately establishing his court in Kraków. He earnt the reputation of a righteous and pious miracle worker, with thousands of followers flocking to his court. Upon the German invasion of Kraków, he was confined to a ghetto. After escaping to Lviv, he wandered from place to place before settling in Bochnia. The Germans searched for him, eventually locating the bunker he was hiding in and murdering all its inhabitants. According to another version, he was murdered together with R. Meir of Vielipoli (Wielopole Skrzyńskie) in the town square, both wrapped in their prayer shawls.
Official postcard with printed letterhead: "Yitzchak Yeshaya Halberstam, Kraków"; the Rebbe's name and address are printed in Polish on the verso.
14.5X9.5 cm. Very good condition. Postage stamp removed.
Five letters handwritten and signed by R. Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler. England and Eretz Israel, 1946-1952.
The letters are all addressed to his friend R. Hillel Medalie, who was appointed at that time as rabbi of Leeds (England). The letters contain: congratulations and advice upon his new appointment, acknowledgement and gratitude for his assistance in fundraising for the Gateshead Kollel, and other topics.
In the letter dated Cheshvan 1947, R. Dessler congratulates R. Medalie upon the celebration of his appointment as rabbi of Leeds, and wishes him to merit to toil in Torah, disseminate Torah to the public, educate the youth and repair the breaches and vices. He writes: "…Behold, one who has such aspirations, will certainly receive Heavenly assistance, and honor and prominence will also pursue him and reach him; for truly great actions, they ultimately bring close, whilst half-actions and compromises, invite contempt, even from those who were originally fervent supporters".
In a different letter dated the day after Yom Kippur 1952, R. Dessler addresses him as "my dear friend R. Hillel", and continues with thought-provoking words of humility: "I thought, perhaps he will follow my ways and cease according titles of honor to a lowly person like myself, therefore I refrained this time from writing some to him as well, perhaps he will learn, and we will together renounce the ugly path of writing honorific titles in this orphan generation…".
R. Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler (1892-1953), a pious Torah scholar, was one of the leading producers of Musar literature in our generation, and a descendant of R. Yisrael of Salant, founder of the Musar movement. A product of the Kelm yeshiva, he was the son-in-law of Nachum Ze'ev Ziv of Kelm. He arrived in England in 1927 and served as rabbi of Dalston, London. Among the founders of the Gateshead Kollel and of Torah institutes throughout England. In his later years, he served as mashgiach of the Ponevezh yeshiva in Bnei Brak. His profound lectures constructed upon the fundamentals of ethics, Kabbalah and Chassidism were published by his disciples in the book Sichot U'Ma'amarim, in the five volumes of Michtav Me'Eliyahu and in Sefer Zikaron Michtav Me'Eliyahu, which have become the basis for profound study of Musar in this generation.
5 letters, including a postcard and aerogram. Size and condition vary.
Arbaa Turim, with Beit Yosef, Darchei Moshe and glosses by R. Leib Chanales. Slavita: R. Dov Ber son of R. Yisrael and R. Dov Ber son of R. Pesach, [1801-1802]. With approbations by R. Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev and R. Yaakov Shimshon of Shepetivka. Complete set in four volumes.
In 1800-1801, R. Shneur Zalman of Liadi - the Baal HaTanya, initiated the printing of Arbaa Turim and of the Talmud in Slavita, investing his money in the publishing of these books, aided by his partners and faithful agents, his brother R. Mordechai, and his son-in-law R. Shalom Shachna (father of the Tzemach Tzedek). The names of these two agents are mentioned only in the approbation of R. Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev (mechutan of the Baal HaTanya): "… the outstanding R. Mordechai son of R. Baruch of Irshava, together with the outstanding R. Shalom Shachna son of R. Noach of Stolin, brought to the printing press of Slavita, the best and most superior printing press in our country, the Babylonian Talmud… and the books of R. Yaakov Baal HaTurim…". This approbation, like the rest of the approbations featured in this book, was printed both in the Tur and in the Talmud.
In the Baal HaTanya's letters to the renowned printer, R. Moshe Shapira Rabbi of Slavita, from the years 1800-1807 (published in Igrot Kodesh of the Admor HaZaken, Brooklyn, 2012, pp. 249-252, 351-353), he writes explicitly that the publisher of this edition of Arbaa Turim was the Baal HaTanya, and that the printer was none other than R. Moshe Shapira himself (see enclosed material).
Ownership inscription on the title page: "Belongs to R. Moshe Yehoshua Kahana son of R. Avraham Kahana, who was the rabbi here in Oshmina" (the father, R. Avraham Kahana of Horodna, served in the rabbinate of Oshmina [Ashmyany], and taught Torah to young boys. Amongst his disciples was Nachum, who studied under him in 1831, later the renowned R. Nachumke of Horodna). Brief glosses in the Orach Chaim volume, pp. 86b and 88a.
Censors' stamps and signatures on all four volumes.
Vol. I (Orach Chaim): , 298,  leaves. Leaf 62 bound after leaf 63. Vol. II (Yoreh De'ah): , 291 [i.e. 292] leaves. Leaf 107 bound after leaf 108. Tears to leaves 223-224, affecting text. Vol. III (Even HaEzer); , 172 [i.e. 173] leaves. Vol. IV (Choshen Mishpat): , 115; 7 leaves.
Four volumes. Approx. 41 cm. Darkened (and stained) paper. Condition varies. Overall good-fair condition. Wear and stains. Worming to some leaves. Several leaves, including title pages, with many tears affecting text. Repairs. Old, non-original bindings.
Responsa Givat Pinchas by the Haflaa – Lemberg, 1837 – First Edition – Copy of Rebbe Tzvi Hirsh Shapiro Rabbi of Munkacs, Author of Darchei Teshuva, and of his Son Rebbe Chaim Elazar Shapiro Rabbi of Munkacs, Author of Minchat Elazar
Responsa Givat Pinchas, by R. Pinchas HaLevi Horowitz Rabbi of Frankfurt, author of the Haflaa. Lemberg (Lviv), . First edition.
Copy previously owned by Rebbes of the Munkacs (Mukachevo) Chassidic dynasty. Many stamps of R. "Tzvi Hirsh Shapiro" and of his son R. "Chaim Elazar Shapiro Rabbi of Munkacs".
Rebbe Tzvi Hirsh Shapiro author of Darchei Teshuva (1845-1914, Encyclopedia of Chassidut III, 618-620). Son of R. Shlomo Shapiro Rabbi of Munkacs author of Shem Shlomo, who was the son of R. Elazar of Lantzut (Łańcut), son of R. Tzvi Elimelech of Dinov author of Bnei Yissaschar. He was an outstanding Torah scholar, halachic authority and kabbalist. A leading Torah scholar and rebbe of his generation, he succeeded his father as rabbi of Munkacs. He established the Munkacs Chassidic dynasty, which numbered thousands of Chassidim. A founder of Kollel Munkacs, he was titled "Nesi Eretz Israel". He authored: Darchei Teshuva, Be'er LaChai Ro'i, Tzvi Tiferet and more.
His son, Rebbe Chaim Elazar Shapiro Rabbi of Munkacs (1872-1937, Otzar HaRabbanim 6243) was a leading Torah scholar, halachic authority, rebbe and kabbalist in his generation. He battled to preserve the sanctity of the Jewish people, and his teachings in Halacha and Kabbalah were disseminated throughout the Jewish world. His books include: Responsa Minchat Elazar, Shaar Yissachar, Nimukei Orach Chaim, Divrei Torah - 9 parts, and more. (See: Darkei Chaim VeShalom).
, 47 leaves. 37 cm. Fine copy, with particularly wide margins. Very good condition. Minor stains. New binding.
Stefansky Chassidut, no. 109.
Jerusalem Talmud. All four parts in one volume. With Perush (commentary) by R. David Darshan son of R. Menashe. [Kraków: Isaac son of Aaron Prostitz, 1609]. Second edition of the Jerusalem Talmud, printed based on the Venice (1523-1524) edition. In this edition, a brief commentary, authored by R. David Darshan of Kraków, was inserted in the margins.
Thousands of handwritten glosses and notes, in closely written Ashkenazic script (typical of the mid-19th century): textual corrections, references, commentaries (in several instances, difficult words which the commentators did not explain, are compared to similar words in ancient Greek, including the spelling of the words in Greek characters). In tractate Pe'ah (p. 18a) and tractate Demai (p. 23a), the writer mentions "the text of R. E.V. in his glosses to the Babylonian" (R. E.V = R. Eliyahu Vilner - the glosses of the Gaon of Vilna on the Talmud and on Mishayot Zera'im, first printed in part and with errors in the Vienna 1806 edition of the Talmud, by the printer Anton Schmidt, who purchased a copy of these glosses and the rights to print them from the heirs of the Vilna Gaon).
The thousands of glosses were presumably authored by an outstanding Torah scholar, who was deeply engaged in the study of the Jerusalem Talmud (the writer may have been a member of the study hall of the disciples of the Gaon of Vilna, or of R. David Luria - the Radal [1798-1855, Otzar HaRabbanim 4890], who edited and arranged the glosses of the Gaon of Vilna on Order Zera'im of the Jerusalem Talmud, printed in Königsberg in 1858).
Ownership inscription on the final leaf in a different hand (ca. 18th century): "Belongs to the great and renowned Torah scholar… R. David, author of the commentary on the Jerusalem Talmud, I, the one who is writing, youngest of his disciples, Zev Wolf son of the community leader R. Eli. of Hollesch[au]". The "R. David" owner of this book, may have been R. David Fränkel Rabbi of Berlin (1703-1762, Otzar HaRabbanim 4986), author of the Korban HaEdah and Sheyarei Korban commentaries on the Jerusalem Talmud.
2-65,  blank leaf; 83,  blank leaf; 56,  blank leaves, 57-66; 51 leaves. Lacking first title page, divisional title pages present. Approx. 33 cm. Fair-poor condition. Stains and extensive wear. Marginal tears to many leaves, affecting text and handwritten glosses. Detached leaves and gatherings. Without binding.
Passover Haggadah service, "with a beautiful commentary and fine illustrations of the signs and wonders G-d did for our ancestors", with the commentary of R. Yitzchak Abarbanel and a map of Eretz Israel. Amsterdam, . Two title pages, the first one illustrated with copper engravings.
This Haggadah, illustrated by the artist Avraham HaGer (German priest from Rhineland who converted to Judaism in Amsterdam), was the first Haggadah to be illustrated with copper engravings, and one of the first Hebrew books to be illustrated with this printing method, which, as the second title page asserts, is infinitely superior to previously used woodcuts. This edition served as a prototype for many subsequent Haggadot, whether by including the map or by copying the illustrations it contains (see article by Cecil Roth, HaHaggadah HaMetzuyeret ShebiDfus, Areshet, III, 1961, pp. 22-25).
Owner's signature on title page: "Esther B---" (?). Brief handwritten glosses and corrections.
, 26 leaves,  folded map. 30 cm. Fair condition. Stains. Large tears to some leaves, professionally restored, including text replacement (repairs to inner margins of map and entire book. Damage to text of first leaves and to edges of title page engraving, with handwritten replacements). The map is complete apart from damage to right edge (repaired, at attachment to book). New, fine leather binding.
Noam Megadim UKavod HaTorah, homily, in-depth studies, ethics and Chassidut on the Parashiot of the Torah, by R. Eliezer HaLevi Horowitz, rabbi of Tarnogród. Lemberg, . First edition. With approbations by foremost Chassidic leaders, the Maggid of Kozhnitz, the Chozeh of Lublin, the Ohev Yisrael of Apta and the Yismach Moshe.
R. Eliezer HaLevi Horowitz Rabbi of Tarnogród, a holy and eminent Torah scholar, was a disciple of R. Elimelech of Lizhensk and the Maggid of Zlotchov. In this book, he quotes numerous Torah thoughts from foremost and early Chassidic masters. The book bears 11 approbations by leaders of that generation, highlighting the holiness and asceticism of the author. The Chozeh of Lublin acclaims him in his approbation: "…all his ways were for the sake of Heaven, and to generate pleasure to G-d, and he was outstanding without equal, whether in Halacha or Aggada, and he was an exceptional orator…". The Maggid of Kozhnitz writes in his approbation: "and all the teachings in this book were established to instruct on the way of acquiring holiness and true humility".
, 102; 76,  leaves. 20 cm. Good condition. Lower margin of title page trimmed, affecting text on verso. Stains. Wear and holes to title page, not affecting text. Minor worming to several leaves. Inner margins of first few leaves reinforced with paper. Ownership inscriptions and stamps on title page and last leaf. New, elegant leather binding.
Stefansky Chassidut, no. 382.
Or Pnei Moshe, homily, ethics and Chassidic teachings on the Torah and Five Megillot, by R. Moshe Sofer Stam of Pshevorsk (Przeworsk). Mezeritch (Mezhirichi), . First edition.
The author was a great Chassidic leader, in the generation of R. Elimelech of Lizhensk and his brother R. Zusha of Anipoli, who held him in high esteem. The book bears many approbations from great Chassidic leaders, who extol the great holiness of the book and its author, including: R. Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev, the Maggid of Kozhnitz, the Chozeh of Lublin, R. Menachem Mendel of Rimanov, the Ohev Yisrael of Apta and the Be'er Mayim Chaim.
The Chozeh of Lublin writes in his approbation: "…as a child, I subjected myself to his authority, and drank from his faithful waters, and I knew that all his matters were for the sake of Heaven only, to give satisfaction to G-d, and he was so elevated, that R. Moshe Alshech would appear to him…". Indeed, Or Pnei Moshe is based upon the teachings of R. Moshe Alshech, and he quotes him extensively, expounding upon his words. The sons of R. Zusha of Anipoli relate in their approbation (not included in this copy) a testimony from their great father, who described to them how the author composed this book, having observed him while he was studying, "and his appearance resembled that of a heavenly angel, and while he was writing his holy book, a tongue of flame would rise from his holy written words".
R. Moshe of Pshevorsk (1720?-1806) was renowned amongst the great Chassidic leaders as a supremely holy and pure Torah scribe. Tefillin and Mezuzot he wrote were deemed exceptionally holy, and some were preserved from generation to generation with particular care. Reputedly, R. Elimelech of Lizhensk attested that he saw King David standing beside R. Moshe, and they thereafter became acquainted (Encyclopedia of Chassidut, III, p. 303). In a letter from R. Moshe to R. Menachem Mendel of Rimanov, he writes to him that the price of his Tefillin is one red-gulden, yet he is unable to keep up with the demand. Many traditions and legends were preserved regarding this matter.
Signature on the title page: "Chaim Shmuel Katz".
, 240 leaves. 21 cm. Fair-good condition. Tears and small holes to title page and subsequent leaf, affecting text. Tears to lower margins of last dozens of leaves, mostly not affecting text, repaired with paper. Dampstains. New leather binding.
Stefansky Chassidut no. 32. Without the additional two leaves of approbations (printed in smaller typeface, and added to some copies after the printing).
Letter (9 lines) handwritten and signed by Rebbe Chaim Elazar Shapiro Rabbi of Munkacs, author of Minchat Elazar. Munkacs (Mukachevo), 6th Tevet 1933.
Letter of acknowledgement to a friend who had assisted him in the sale of his books, and sent him money received from the sales. The Rebbe thanks him for his letter: "…and many blessings for his dear letter full of friendship, and I hope for his wellbeing and success in all areas, and to hear good tidings… until we hear speedily in our times the voice heralding salvation and complete redemption. His friend, who seeks his wellbeing and good, with much eternal love, Chaim Elazar Shapiro".
Rebbe Chaim Elazar Shapiro Rabbi of Munkacs (1872-1937, Otzar HaRabbanim 6243) was a leading Torah scholar, halachic authority, rebbe and kabbalist in his generation. He was the son of R. Tzvi Hirsh Rabbi of Munkacs author of Darchei Teshuva, and grandson of R. Shlomo Shapiro Rabbi of Munkacs author of Shem Shlomo. A scion of the illustrious lineage of R. Tzvi Elimelech of Dynów author of Bnei Yissaschar. He battled to preserve the sanctity of the Jewish people, and his teachings in Halacha and Kabbalah were disseminated throughout the Jewish world. His books include: Responsa Minchat Elazar, Shaar Yissachar, Nimukei Orach Chaim, Divrei Torah - 9 parts, and more. His great yearning for the redemption and the speedy coming of Mashiach are apparent in all his letters, just like in this letter.
Postcard. Approx. 10.5X14.5 cm. Good condition. Postage stamps and postmarks on the verso from Mukachevo, dated 4th January 1933.
Letter signed by Rebbe Yisrael Hager of Vizhnitz, author of Ahavat Yisrael. [Grosswardein (Oradea)?, Tevet 1929].
Appeal on behalf of the Beit Talmud Torah in the Holy Land (presumably in Tiberias or Safed), which was in danger of closure due to financial difficulties, to the point it did not have the means to pay its teachers' salaries. The Rebbe requests that a society of Talmud Torah supporters be formed, in which each member would "generously and willingly extend assistance and support to the Beit Talmud Torah. And in the merit of the Torah study of the schoolchildren, the Jewish Nation should be redeemed, our scattered ones should be gathered and the prestige of the Jewish people should be raised speedily… Yisrael son of R. Baruch".
R. Yisrael Hager (1860-1936. Encyclopedia Galicia, II, pp. 49-53; Encyclopedia of Chassidut, II, pp. 538-541) was a prominent Chassidic leader, son of R. Baruch Hager of Vizhnitz (Vyzhnytsia) and Kosov. He served as Rebbe of Vizhnitz from 1893. During WWI, he fled to Grosswardein, establishing his court there. Under his leadership, Vizhnitz became the largest Chassidic court in Hungary, Maramureș and Galicia. The rebbe dedicated his life to establishing yeshivot and boys' schools, and drawing Jewish youth to Torah study and worship of G-d. He was known for his fervent, soulful prayers. He was very engaged in charitable undertakings, and in managing the Eretz Israel charity fund. He was extremely fond of residents of Eretz Israel, and would greatly honor anyone traveling to Eretz Israel, escorting them until the door. He is named after his book Ahavat Yisrael.
His sons served as rebbes and rabbis in Romania and in Eretz Israel and continued his holy work of disseminating Torah and Chassidism: R. Menachem Mendel of Visheve; R. Chaim Meir of Vizhnitz - the Imrei Chaim, who succeeded his father as rebbe in Grosswardein and after the Holocaust established his Beit Midrash in Bnei Brak; R. Eliezer - the Damesek Eliezer; R. Baruch of Seret and Haifa - the Mekor Baruch.
 leaf. 22 cm. Written by a scribe, with the Rebbe's handwritten signature. Fair condition. Stains. Tears, professionally repaired. Minor damage to the text of the signature.
Manuscript, Tiklal siddur - prayers and piyyutim for the year-round and festivals, with commentaries and laws. [Yemen, ca. 1648]. Hebrew, Aramaic, and Judeo-Arabic.
Large format volume. Yemenite script, partially vocalized (supralinear vocalization, and in several passages, sublinear). In the margins and "windows" in the text, many additions were inserted, consisting of commentaries and midrashim, laws and reasons, according to Halacha and Kabbalah. Some of the commentaries are not known from other sources, and some are selected from printed and manuscript books. The commentaries include Torah thoughts in the name of Yemenite Torah scholars of the 16th/17th century (R. Yochanan Mizrachi, R. David Hamdi and others).
The manuscript includes: prayers for weekdays (lacking the beginning) and Shabbat - including Pirkei Avot; piyyutim for Saturday night; prayers for Rosh Chodesh and the festivals: Pesach - including the Passover Haggadah ("Seder HaAsia BeLeilei HaPesach") with Judeo-Arabic and Hebrew commentaries; Shavuot - including the Azharot piyyutim by R. Shlomo ibn Gabirol (not generally found in Yemenite siddurim of the 17th century, see M. Gavra's article in "Mechkarim B'Siddurei Teiman", pp. 295-296); prayers and lamentations for Tisha B'Av - including Megillat Eicha with the Arabic Tafsir; Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur - including "Sod HaTekiot" (with symbols for the various types of Shofar blasts); Sukkot and Simchat Torah - including "Seder Lulav V'Etrog V'Arava" and Hoshanot; Chanukah - including "Megillat Bnei Chashmonai" in Aramaic with the Tafsir by R. Saadia Gaon in Judeo-Arabic; Purim - including many piyyutim and Megillat Esther; service for funerals; "Seder Selichot L'Leilei Ashmurot" - including the Kel Melech piyyutim and Maranot piyyutim (piyyutim beginning with the word "Maran"); "Seder Avoda"; the texts of various blessings - including Birkat HaMazon; calendar of Moladot and Tekufot for the years 1648-1712; texts of marriage and other contracts; "Tochachot UBakashot" - various piyyutim.
Another manuscript (from a slightly later period) is bound at the end of this manuscript, containing the Keter Malchut piyyutim by R. Shlomo ibn Gabirol and Selichot by R. Saadia Gaon.
 leaves. Approx. 28.5 cm. Fair condition. Extensive wear and stains. Tears. Open tears to margins and center of many leaves. Leaves professionally restored with paper. New cloth binding.
Letter handwritten and signed by Rebbe Menachem Mendel Paneth. Deyzh (Dej), Elul 1875.
Addressed to his nephew R. Asher Shmuel Paneth, son of his brother R. Chaim Betzalel Paneth Rabbi of Toshnad (Tășnad). The letter begins with blessings for a good year: "May he be inscribed immediately in the book of righteous men, for good and proper life… my beloved one, my nephew, the erudite and astute rabbi…". He blesses him among others that he should be successful in finding a rabbinic position shortly, indicating that it appears that he will be offered the position of rabbi of Toshnad. The letter is signed: "So are the words of his uncle, who seeks his wellbeing, Menachem Mendel Paneth".
R. Menachem Mendel Paneth, Rabbi of Deyzh (1818-1885) was the son of Rebbe Yechezkel author of Mareh Yechezkel (disciple of R. Mendel of Rymanów, served as Rabbi of Carlsburg [Alba Iulia] and of Siebenburgen [Transylvania]). In 1837, he studied in the yeshiva of the Chatam Sofer and was the only young man in the Pressburg Yeshiva who donned a Chassidic silk robe on Shabbat. His teacher, the Chatam Sofer, was very fond of him and used to stroll while conversing with him every Shabbat eve (he would dub him "the golden one"). While studying in the yeshiva of the Chatam Sofer, he merited a revelation of Eliyahu HaNavi who greeted him in the Beit Midrash, in the disguise of a poor person. In 1842, he was appointed rabbi of Urişor, and in 1858, of Deyzh. From ca. 1855, he served as Chief Rabbi of Transylvania. He authored Maaglei Tzedek on the Torah and a series of responsa books Avnei Tzedek, Shaarei Tzedek and Mishpat Tzedek. See previous item.
Recipient of the letter: R. Asher Shmuel Paneth (1835-1909), son of R. Chaim Betzalel Paneth Rabbi of Toshnad. Following his father's passing in Nissan 1874, he was appointed to succeed him as rabbi of Toshnad in 1876, yet quarrel-makers stirred-up a dispute against him, and in 1881, he went to serve as rabbi of Hidalmas (Hida), position he held for 28 years. He cleaved to the righteous men of his generation, the Divrei Chaim of Sanz and his uncle and teacher, the Maaglei Tzedek of Deyzh.
 double leaf. 22 cm. 10 autograph lines. Good-fair condition. Marginal wear and tears (not affecting text). Wear and folding marks. A colored printed sticker is enclosed, bearing the Rebbe's stamp (originally affixed to verso of letter).
VeTziva HaKohen, Chassidism, ethics and novellae on Aggadot, by R. Aharon Shmuel HaKohen. Sde Lavan (Bila Tserkva, present day Ukraine), . First edition. Title page printed in red and black.
The beginning of the book consists of the Likutei Milei D'Aggadta section - Torah thoughts the author heard from his teachers, foremost Chassidic leaders, R. Pinchas of Koritz and the Maggid of Mezeritch, from his father R. Naftali Hertz HaKohen, and more. This book is an important basis for the study of the Chassidic doctrine, as it records many teachings heard firsthand from early Chassidic leaders.
The main part of the book is comprised of 29 chapters, and is an ethical will written by the author R. Aharon Shmuel to his son R. Chaim Moshe. The book contains advice on living a correct life of joyful worship of G-d. He also deals extensively with Segulot for longevity, due to the family tradition which traced their lineage to the sons of Eli, who were destined to pass away at a young age (see chapter 13 onwards). The author quotes Chassidic teachings he heard in the name of the Baal Shem Tov and other Chassidic leaders. He also records his biography and various episodes which occurred in his lifetime. This book was extremely rare for many years, and was first reprinted only in 1953, in Jerusalem.
R. Aharon Shmuel son of R. Naftali Hertz HaKohen (1740-1814, Encyclopedia of Chassidut, I, pp. 198-200), a disciple of the Maggid of Mezeritch and R. Pinchas of Koritz. He was first appointed to succeed his father-in-law as rabbi of Stepan, and then served in the famous Kloiz in Ostroh. He later served as rabbi of Yampol (position held by the Noda BiYehuda before he moved to serve as rabbi of Prague), and at the end of his life, he moved to Sde Lavan, where his father had served as rabbi. He relates several times in his book of his frequenting the courts of his teachers, the Maggid of Mezeritch and R. Pinchas of Koritz. R. Aharon Shmuel authored other books, but most were burned in fires in his home towns.
Many signatures and inscriptions on the title page ("Chaim Yechiel Landau of Berditchov" and others). Censorship stamp. Ownership inscription on the verso of the title page and on the approbation leaf: "Belongs to the philanthropist R. Tzvi son of R. Yoel Maklier of Berditchov".
, 16, 20-47, 47-74, 76-77 leaves. 20.5 cm. Mostly printed on light-blueish paper. Good-fair condition. Large tears to inner margins of title page and subsequent leaf, repaired with paper. Stains and wear. Dampstains in several places. Worming. New binding.
Stefansky Chassidut, no. 193.
The Bibliography of the Hebrew Book records  leaves at the beginning of the book, yet in the copies known to us there are only  leaves at the beginning of the book (as listed in the catalog of the NLI, as well as in the Otzar HaChochma copy). Otzar HaSefer HaIvri of Vinograd-Rosenfeld also only lists  leaves at the beginning, and so it appears from Beit Eked Sefarim by Friedberg. A count of the gatherings shows no lacking leaves.
Less than five Hebrew titles were ever printed in Sde Lavan.
The true name of the town - Bila Tserkva, means "White Church". The Jews nicknamed it Sde Lavan (White Field), and it was sometimes euphemistically referred to in Yiddish as "Schwartze Tumme".
Collection of handwritten leaves, novellae on Tractate Bava Metzia - Folios 8-9. Manuscript of 13 pages, handwritten by R. Nachum Weisfish of Shadik (Szadek). Jerusalem, [ca. 1850s-1860s].
R. Nachum (Weisfish) Rabbi of Shadik (1813-1868), outstanding Polish Torah scholar, was the son of R. Moshe Avraham Loew-Weisfish and disciple of the Chemdat Shlomo, who granted him rabbinical ordination at the age of 18. He served as rabbi of Shadik, Poland for a few years, and immigrated to Eretz Israel in 1843 together with his two brothers, R. Asher Lemel Rabbi of Gołyń and R. Yaakov Yehuda Leib, following a dream they all three dreamt separately, instructing them to immigrate to Eretz Israel. In Jerusalem, he would sit for the main part of the day bedecked with Tallit and Tefillin, learning with great diligence. He founded Yeshivat HaRan, where he delivered scholarly lectures to the leading young Torah scholars of Jerusalem. He studied Kabbalah together with R. Yosef Zundel of Salant from the kabbalist R. Yehuda HaKohen. He passed away in a Cholera epidemic in 1868 and his epitaph on the Mount of Olives reads: "A holy and pure man, at the age of eight he began searching for G-d and devoted his whole life to Torah, fasts and ascetism. He studied Torah without respite, day and night. He merited to learn and teach, and edified many disciples… A pious and modest man…".
This work was presumably composed whilst learning with his disciples in Yeshivat HaRan, where he taught the tractates Ketubot and Bava Metzia only for approximately ten years. The novellae were published based on a manuscript, in his book Avnei Kodesh (Jerusalem 1971; Jerusalem 2012).
7 leaves, written on both sides - 13 autograph pages. Approx. 24 cm. Thick, light-colored paper. Good-fair condition. Detached leaves. Stains. Minor tears and wear, slightly affecting text.
The Kennicott Bible. Elaborate facsimile published by Facsimile Editions. Including a commentary volume. London, . AP (Ad Personam) copy, out of 50 AP copies identical to the regular copies (altogether 550 copies were produced).
A facsimile of the Kennicott Bible, illuminated Spanish manuscript from 1476. The manuscript is named after Benjamin Kennicot (1718-1783), an English clergyman and Hebraist, who acquired the manuscript for the Radcliffe Library in England.
The manuscript was commissioned by Don Solomon de Braga, about twenty years before the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492. It was designed and written by Moses ibn Zabara and illuminated by Yosef ibn Haim, in a fashion inspired by Islamic art. The manuscript contains the complete Bible, with the Radak commentary and Sefer HaMichlol.
An exceptionally beautiful facsimile, which was published after five and a half years of preparation. Printed on paper of excellent quality, specially created to reproduce the appearance of the parchment upon which the original Bible was written. The gilding was done by hand, by seven artists who worked continuously for four months. Bound in an ornamented leather box-binding.
Facsimile:  leaves. 30 cm. Commentary volume: 97 pages. Very good condition. Both volumes are placed in a fine case.
A Torah ark curtain, commemorating the wedding of a Jewish couple in San Francisco during the early years of the Jewish community in the city. Breslau, Prussia (present day: Poland), 1853. / A valance with a dedication from 1831.
Velvet and cotton; metal-thread embroidery on cardboard; sequins.
The curtain is made of floral fabric and green velvet. A dedication embroidered with silver-grey metal threads appears in the center, on antique-pink background, indicating that the curtain was donated in honor of a wedding held in San Francisco, California, in 1853, to a synagogue in Breslau following the Leszno rite. A Torah Crown is embroidered in metal thread and sequins above the frame.
Until 1848 San Francisco was a remote fishing village on the west coast of the United States. When the Gold-Rush began, in January 1848, hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world, including many Jews, started to flow into the town. During the High Holidays of the year 1849, more than 100 Jews were in the town, and in 1850 two Jewish congregations were founded, Emanu-El, where most members were American and German Jews, and She'erit Israel, where most members were immigrants from Poland and England. The synagogues of these two congregations were inaugurated concurrently in 1854. Lack of pre-existing order and social hierarchy permitted Jews to achieve key positions in the city and the Jewish congregation flourished. In 1870 San Francisco was an advanced city with more than 150,000 inhabitants, among them over 15,000 Jews.
The valance is made of green velvet in a similar shade to that of the curtain and of a wine-colored floral fabric, decorated with ribbons, flowers and fringes, and an inscription from 1831.
Curtain: 198X174 cm. Fair-poor condition. The fabric on the background of the dedication is falling apart. Unraveling and tears. Lacking decorations. Large patch. Most suspension rings are lacking.
Valance: 39X158 cm. Fair-good condition. Lacking decorations. Unraveling and wear. Lacking suspension rings.
Lengthy letter (3 pages) handwritten and signed by R. Chaim Ozer Grodzinski. Vilna, Nisan 1920.
The letter is addressed to the Central Relief Committee in New York - an aid committee of United States Jews which provided support for Torah institutions, rabbis and communities in Eastern Europe, following the ravages of WWI.
R. Chaim Ozer writes with satisfaction of their decision to send a donation of ten thousand dollars "for the needs of the religious institutions and leading Torah scholars", and expresses his hope that this assistance will become regular. He describes the council of members of "The Aid Committee for Religious Institutions and Lithuanian Rabbis" which convened at the beginning of Adar, and of their decisions for the rebuilding of Torah institutions in Lithuania: "To organize the boys' schools in all the communities of the Vilna region, Vilna, Horodna and Vitebsk governates, to support the ancient yeshivot, and establish preparatory yeshivot in each province, to found a Kollel for outstanding young Torah scholars to grow in Torah and fear of G-d, such as the former Kovno Kollel, to support them and help in providing for their family during their years of study, to restore Torah to its lodging". R. Chaim Ozer requests financial help for "close to four hundred rabbis who require assistance and support" and for "maintaining the yeshivot, building Mikvaot and study halls which were destroyed and burnt…". He concludes his letter with passionate praises of the merit and significance of reestablishing and resurrecting the beautiful Torah world of Lithuania: "…with your assistance we will rebuild the ruins, and through you we will infuse a breath of life into the dry bones, the strength of Torah and Yiddishkeit in Lithuania and Zamut (Žemaitija), which disseminated Torah and light throughout the Diaspora…".
On the third page, following his signature, R. Chaim Ozer lists the names of the rabbis, members of the "Aid Committee for Religious Institutions and Lithuanian Rabbis", including: "R. Meir Simcha Rabbi of Dvinsk (author of Or Same'ach and Meshech Chochma), R. Yitzchak Zev Soloveitchik Rabbi of Brisk", "R. Shimon Shkop Rabbi and lecturer in Brańsk (from Telz)", "R. Moshe Shatzkes Rabbi of Iwye", R. Chizkiyahu Yosef Alter Mishkovsky (son-in-law of R. Yitzchak Blazer) Rabbi of Żołudek", "R. Chanoch Henoch Eigis (author of Marcheshet) and others.
R. Chaim Ozer Grodzinski (1863-1940) was a foremost rabbi of his generation and leader of the entire European Jewry. At the age of 11, he entered the Volozhin yeshiva and became a disciple of R. Chaim of Brisk. At the age of 24, he was appointed rabbi and posek of Vilna. He assumed the yoke of public leadership from a young age, and his opinion was conclusive on all communal matters which arose in the Diaspora for close to fifty years. After WWI, he undertook together with the Chafetz Chaim to save the yeshivot from their difficult predicament, and they together founded the Vaad HaYeshivot. Apart from his spiritual leadership and responding to halachic questions addressed to him from throughout the world, he worked ceaselessly and extensively to rehabilitate the yeshivot and improve the situation of the rabbis in Lithuania and the surroundings. His responsa were published in the four parts of his responsa series Achiezer.
 double leaf (3 written pages), official stationery. 21 cm. Good condition. Folding marks. Minute tears.
Large bowl, decorated with biblical scenes and with one of the wedding blessings. Iran, [mid-20th century].
Silver (marked) engraved and repouseé.
Large footed bowl. The bowl is decorated with delicate vegetal patterns and biblical scenes, among them the daughter of Pharaoh saving Moses from the water, Moses receiving the Tablets of the Law, the spies carrying a cluster of grapes, and more. The symbols of the Twelve Tribes are engraved on the base of the bowl. A blessing in Hebrew is engraved on the rim of the bowl: "….Sasson veSimcha, Chatan veKalah…".
Height: 33 cm. Diameter: 34.5 cm. Good condition. Some bends. Weight: 2.160 Kg.
Sefer Yuchasin, history of Jewish sages and the transmission of the Torah, from the time of Moshe Rabbenu until the times of the author, by R. Avraham Zacuto. Part I and II. Zhovkva, .
Copy of R. Yeshaya'le Kerestirer. On the verso of the title page, his personal stamp (slightly faded): "Yeshaya Steiner - Isaje Steiner Bodrog-Kerestur". Handwritten inscription on the fly-leaf: "… Yeshaya Steiner" (possibly in his handwriting). Other signatures and ownership inscriptions: "Yitzchak Yaakov --- Rabbi --- "; "Avraham Berger"; and other signatures.
R. Yeshaya Steiner of Kerestir (Bodrogkeresztúr; 1852-1922) was the disciple and successor of Rebbe Tzvi Hirsh of Liska (Olaszliszka), author of Ach Pri Tevua. He was orphaned from his father at the age of three and was raised in the home of R. Tzvi Hirsh of Liska from the age of twelve. Drawn to Chassidism, he frequented the courts of Rebbe Chaim Halberstam of Sanz and Rebbe Mordechai of Nadvorna. However, his primary rebbe and mentor remained Rebbe Tzvi Hirsh of Liska, and he eventually became his close attendant (even when R. Yeshaya already served as rebbe, with throngs flocking to his court from all over Hungary, he would still sign with his stamp and on his letters: "…who attended the righteous Rebbe of Liska"). Rebbe Yeshaya was revered by the leading rebbes of his day, including Rebbe Chaim of Sanz and Rebbe Yissachar Dov of Belz (who stated that the "key to sustenance" is in the hands of R. Yeshaya of Kerestir). He performed thousands of charitable deeds, personally engaging in hospitality, and was considered one of the pillars of kindness and prayer in his times. He was renowned as a holy man, and thousands of Jews (as well as non-Jews) from all over Hungary would travel to his court to seek his advice. He was also renowned as a wonder-worker and for providing amulets. Until this day, his portrait is hung in homes as a segulah against mice. The story behind this custom is related in his biography, Mei Be'er Yeshayahu.
, 105,  leaves; , 2-64 leaves. 18.5 cm. Condition varies, good to fair. Wear and stains. Marginal open tears to the title page of Part I and first four leaves. Marginal singeing to leaf 93. Early binding with leather spine, worn.
Esther scroll, handwritten on parchment (Ashkenazic scribal script, 19th/20th century). Placed in a silver case made by Vincenz Czokally (marked). [Vienna, last quarter of the 19th century (inscription from 1892)].
Ink on parchment; silver (marked), parcel-gilt, cast, turned, repouseé and engraved.
Cylindrical case with engraved decorations. In the center is an oval medallion, with the initials "J.R." and the year 5652 (1892) within it. On top of the case is a crown composed of leaves, topped by a flower-like disc and a silver ball.
15 lines per column. Height of parchment: 15.5 cm. Fair condition. The first membrane is in poor condition, with fire damage and loss of text. Height of case: approx. 38 cm. Good condition. Some bends. Scratches. Stains and some corrosion. The thumb-piece was replaced.
Imrei Bina, novellae on Talmudic topics of the orders Moed and Nashim, by R. Meir Eisenstadt Rabbi of Ungvar (Uzhhorod). Ungvar, 1866. First edition.
Copy previously owned by R. Moshe Grünwald author of Arugat HaBosem. The title page bears his handwritten signature: "Moshe son of R. Amram Grünwald". With his stamp: "Moshe Grünwald Rabbi of Khust and the region". Another signature on the title page: "Amram Grünwald" (perhaps the signature of his father, R. Amram Grünwald). Signature of his son on the last page of the book: "Avraham Yosef Grünwald". Another signature: "Yisrael Meir…".
The name of a sick person with the name of his mother is inscribed on the leaf preceding the title page, to be mentioned in prayer "for a healthy body and mind". Handwritten gloss on p. 45b (apparently not in the handwriting of the Arugat HaBosem).
R. Moshe son of R. Amram Grünwald (1853-1910, HaChatam Sofer VeTalmidav p. 521), leading rabbi and yeshiva dean in Hungary. A disciple of R. Menachem Katz Prostitz of Tzeilem and of the Ketav Sofer in Pressburg. Already in his youth, he directed a yeshiva in his birthplace Charna (Csorna), later serving as rabbi of several Hungarian communities and from 1893, of Khust. Though he was a product of the Chatam Sofer's yeshiva, he cleaved to Chassidism and would frequent the courts of the rebbes of Belz and Sighet. In Khust, he set up his glorious court and expanded his yeshiva, which became one of the largest yeshivot in Hungary. Students from throughout the country and beyond flocked to his yeshiva, and many Hungarian rabbis were his disciples. He was renowned for his compositions on Halacha and Aggadah named Arugat HaBosem. His son was R. Yaakov Yechizkiya Grünwald Rabbi and Rebbe of Pupa (Pápa), and his grandson was Rebbe Yosef Grünwald of Pupa, who established the Pupa Chassidic dynasty in the United States after the Holocaust.
His son R. Avraham Yosef Grünwald (d. 1928) served as rabbi of Makava (Makó), Khust and Ungvar.
, 6-148 leaves. 31 cm. Good condition. Stains. Wear. New leather binding.