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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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 (?).
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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 handwritten and signed by R. Yoel Teitelbaum Rabbi of Satmar. [Satmar (Satu Mare), ca. 1942?].
Addressed to R. Pinchas David Freudiger (Phillip von Freudiger, community leader in Budapest, son-in-law of R. Akiva Sofer Rabbi of Pressburg, the Daat Sofer). The Rebbe writes: "…I was informed that you have a sum of money in my name for the purpose of saving lives, and there are a number of details I need to discuss with you regarding it. If circumstances would have allowed it, I would have travelled in person to Pest for this purpose, but for several reasons, I am absolutely unable to travel at the moment… therefore I have delegated two respected community members, R. Shimon Nemeth and R. Yehoshua Freund, to discuss this topic with you, as if I were speaking to you myself, and may G-d speedily have mercy on the remnants of His people…".
This letter is undated, and does not give clear indication as to which period it was written in and which rescue it is referring to. One can presume that it dates back to the Holocaust, since R. Pinchas David Freudiger was the community leader in Budapest at the beginning of the Holocaust and was very involved in rescue activities.
Rebbe Yoel Teitelbaum of Satmar (1887-1979) was the youngest son of Rebbe Chananya Yom Tov Lipa, the Kedushat Yom Tov (1836-1904), and grandson of Rebbe Yekutiel Yehuda, the Yitav Lev (1808-1883), who both served as rabbis of Sighet (Sighetu Marmației) and were leaders of Chassidic Jewry in the Maramureș region.
He was renowned from his youth as a leading Torah scholar of his generation, for his perspicacity and intellectual capacities, as well as for his holiness and outstanding purity. After his marriage with the daughter of Rebbe Avraham Chaim Horowitz of Polaniec, he settled in Satmar and taught Torah and Chassidut to an elite group of disciples and followers. At a young age, he was appointed rabbi of Irshava. In 1925, he was appointed rabbi of Carei (in place of R. Shaul Brach who went to serve as rabbi of Kashoi), and in 1934, of Satmar (Satu Mare). In all the places he served as rabbi, he also maintained a large yeshiva and Chassidic court.
During the Holocaust, he was rescued through the famous Kastner Train, and after a journey through Bergen-Belsen, Switzerland and Eretz Israel, he reached the United States, where he established the largest Chassidic group in the world - Satmar Chassidut, until today the dominant faction in American Orthodox Jewry. He was one of the founding pillars of Chassidic Jewry after the Holocaust and served as president of the Eda HaCharedit in Jerusalem. He was a leading opponent of Zionism and of the founding of the State of Israel, and zealously led vital battles for the preservation of the unique character of the Jewish people and its holiness, fearful for the honor of the Torah and the future of faithful Jewry. He was renowned as an exceptionally charitable person; his door was open to the poor and his ear attentive to the needy from every stream of the Jewish people. An outstanding Torah scholar, he responded to many halachic queries, and his writings resulted in the publishing of dozens of books: VaYoel Moshe, Responsa Divrei Yoel, Divrei Yoel on the Torah and more.
 double leaf, official stationery. 23.5 cm. Approx. 16 autograph lines and signature. Good condition. Wear, creases and folding marks.
Tehillim with Maamadot. Slavita: [R. Moshe Shapira Rabbi of Slavita and son] R. Shmuel Avraham Shapira, 1827. With approbation by Rebbe Mordechai of Chernobyl.
Title page states: "Printed by the son of the rabbi of Slavita, R. Shmuel Avraham Shapira". However, the three approbations printed at the beginning of the book clearly state that the publisher and printer was the father, R. Moshe Shapira Rabbi of Slavita (founder and owner of the printing press, from its establishment until its closing - introduction to the chapter).
145, -178 leaves. Separate title page for the Maamadot section. Lacking title page and subsequent leaf of approbations (both leaves replaced with professional photocopies). 18 cm. Good-fair condition. Marginal tears to leaves 1-4, 81, 92, 97, some affecting text. Some tears repaired with paper. Worming. Stains. Wear. Early leather binding, damaged and detached, lacking spine.
Leaf from a donors ledger for "Eretz Israel funds" - lists of donations and donors from Munkacs and Beregsaz, with the addition of three lines handwritten, signed and stamped by Rebbe Shlomo Shapiro of Munkacs. Munkacs (Mukachevo) and Beregsaz (Berehove), Tammuz 1887.
At the top of one page, a penciled inscription: "Munkacs", followed by a list of donors and charity collectors in Munkacs, and a letter of blessings and recommendation handwritten and signed by the rabbi of the town, Rebbe Shlomo Shapiro: "Certainly, giving charity is an extremely exalted deed, especially when benefiting the public, as is described in this ledger in the poetic writings by great and righteous men, therefore, I too ask of my brethren, descendants of Avraham the merciful one, to give their generous donations, and the merit of the many is appended to you, and may you be blessed with much good… Thursday, 2nd day of Rosh Chodesh Tammuz 1887, Munkacs - Shlomo Shapiro". With the rabbi's stamp: "Shlomo Shapiro Rabbi of Munkacs and the region". A list of names to be mentioned in prayer, handwritten and signed by the charity gabbai, R. "Chaim Elazar HaKohen son of Sarah Hartstein". At the head of the list of donors is an inscription handwritten by the charity gabbai: "The rabbi gave the sum of…".
The second page contains a list of donors from Beregsaz, ending with an inscription handwritten by the gabbai, with the signature of one of the dayanim of the town: "Eliezer Zucker, posek of this town", his stamp: "Eliezer Zucker, dayan and posek of Beregsaz", and the signature: "Alexander… Weissberger, gabbai of the synagogue and collector of Eretz Israel funds".
Rebbe Shlomo Shapiro Rabbi of Munkacs (1831-1893), first rebbe of the Munkacs dynasty. He was the son of R. Elazar of Lantzut (Łańcut) and grandson of R. Tzvi Elimelech of Dinov (Dynów) author of Bnei Yissaschar. His son was Rebbe Tzvi Hirsh Shapiro Rabbi of Munkacs, author of Darchei Teshuva. His grandson, Rebbe Chaim Elazar Shapiro Rabbi of Munkacs author of Minchat Elazar, describes his exceptional holiness and the wondrous and healing impact of his singing on the hearts of his listeners. He left behind several manuscript compositions on Halacha and Aggadah named Shem Shlomo, yet he commanded in his will not to publish any of them, since he had not completed them and rendered them fit for printing, and for another reason he did not disclose. His teachings were copied in many places in the books of his sons and grandsons. In his will, he instructed to write only the following praise in his epitaph: "Did good in religious matters for the town in general and for individuals".
R. Eliezer Zucker (1858-1920), son-in-law of R. Avraham Yehuda Schwartz author of Kol Aryeh. In his youth, he studied under the Divrei Chaim of Sanz, who greatly cherished him, and he was amongst the elite of his young disciples. In 1884, he was appointed rabbi of Beregsaz. He authored Responsa Damesek Eliezer (Beregsaz, 1932) and Magdanot Eliezer on the Torah (Bratislava, 1921). R. Shlomo Zalman Ehrenreich, a relative, writes in his approbation to his book Damesek Eliezer: "…the profound Torah scholar and prince, pious and holy… we delved together in pilpul and in very many laws, and I was always amazed by the scope of his profound and in-depth study…".
 leaf. 28.5 cm. Written on both sides. Good condition. Dampstains. Small marginal tears, not affecting text.
Tehillim with the Rashi and Metzudot commentaries, Yiddish translation and Seder Maamadot by the Rebbe of Apta. Warsaw: R. Nathan Schriftgisser, 1864.
Separate title page for Seder Maamadot.
This edition, which was published for public benefit, was funded by Rebbe Yitzchak of Neshchiz (Nesukhoyezhe), as stated on the title page of his book Toldot Yitzchak (Warsaw, 1868) and in his biography Zichron Tov (p. 49, new edition p. 84).
This Tehillim is reputed as a Segulah book, and though it was printed at the time in six thousand copies, not many copies are extant today. The book Zichron Tov relates (Regarding his Charitability, section 4) that in 1864, the Rebbe decided to print Tehillim books and sell them at half the cost price, "so that people would choose to buy them and recite Tehillim daily, to benefit the public, and in the honor of King David his ancestor, and he printed some six thousand… and bound them in leather". He originally intended to sell each copy for only two Gulden, yet after a fire destroyed his Beit Midrash, he raised the price to one ruble each, in order to finance its rebuilding. "As each book was sold, the Rebbe would hold it in his hand, granting a blessing to the recipient of the Tehillim, and sometimes kissing the Tehillim before handing it to the buyer". The book further relates of R. Yitzchak of Neshchiz's reticence in public, and how in the last year of his life, he departed from this custom and delivered discourses of his novellae on the weekly portion and of his commentary on Tehillim. When presenting the latter, "the Rebbe would hold… the Tehillim printed in Warsaw, expounding from it his Torah novellae" (ibid, Regarding his Torah Novellae, section 11).
The main title page and the title page of Seder Maamadot state that the Maamadot were compiled "according to the renowned Torah scholar… R. Avraham Yehoshua Heshel of Apta" (the Ohev Yisrael, Rebbe of Apta). The approbation of the Ohev Yisrael's son, R. Yitzchak Meir of Zinkov (from the Medzhybizh 1827 edition), is presented on the verso of the title page of Seder Maamadot.
Rebbe Yitzchak of Neshchiz (1789-1868) was the youngest son of Rebbe Mordechai of Neshchiz. A close disciple of R. Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev, he married his granddaughter and transmitted many Torah thoughts in his name. He was also a disciple of R. Baruch of Medzhybizh and of the Chozeh of Lublin. Appointed Rebbe at a young age, he held this position for over sixty years. He was reputed for his prayers, the wonders he performed, and his Heavenly revelations. He was revered by all sects of Chassidism for his holiness and exceptional piety, and as one "who facilitates the flow of Heavenly bounty to the entire Jewish people" (as stated in a letter by R. Baruch Shapira, prominent Chassid of the Peshischa and Kotsk dynasties). His renowned disciples include: Rebbe Elimelech of Grodzisk, Rebbe Yaakov Tzvi of Parysów and others.
Incomplete copy: 303, , 2-23, 26-31 leaves. Lacking 4 leaves: Title page and subsequent leaf of Tehillim (replaced in photocopy) and leaves 24-25 of Seder Maamadot. 19 cm. Most leaves in good-fair condition. Stains and light wear. Tears. Tears and worming to some leaves (mostly at beginning of book), affecting text, repaired, with professional photocopy replacement. New leather binding.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Lengthy, interesting letter from the renowned Torah scholar R. David Tevele Rabbi of Lissa (Leszno), addressed to the Lissa community leaders prior his arrival to serve as rabbi of the city. Horchov (Horokhiv, Galicia), 17th Tammuz 1774.
This letter was written at the end of his tenure as rabbi of Horchov, and in his signature, he already refers to himself as rabbi of Lissa: "David Tevele of Brody, rabbi of Lissa". R. David Tevele writes of his plans to travel to Lissa before Rosh Hashanah, and of a G-d fearing cantor he wishes to bring with him to Lissa, to lead the prayers during the High Holidays.
Most of the letter is written by a scribe, apart from the five concluding lines, which R. David Tevele wrote himself: "And I do not yet know myself if I will be able to travel to your community for the High Holidays, since a date has not yet been fixed for my son's wedding, nevertheless, hurry to inform me, since perhaps G-d will help and I will succeed in reaching your community in time… David Tevele of Brody, rabbi of Lissa".
On the second leaf of the letter, poetic inscription of the address, handwritten by R. David Tevele.
R. David Tevele, rabbi of Lissa (d. Tevet 1792), a leading Torah scholar in the times of the Noda BiYehuda. He was the son of R. Natan Notte, rabbi of Brody, and one of the ten Brody Torah scholars involved in the Cleves divorce polemic. He served as rabbi of Zaslov (Iziaslav) and Horchov, and in ca. 1774 was appointed rabbi of the great city of Lissa. In reality, he only actually arrived in Lissa some year and a half later, and in Av 1775, he was still held up in Horchov. (See Kedem Auction 63, item 14, letter from Av 1775, in which R. David Tevele describes the various events which delayed his long journey from Horchov to Lissa).
All the leading Torah scholars of the generation accepted his authority, and from all corners of the country, people came to be judged before him and hear his Torah view. R. David Tevele issued approbations to many books, and letters from him and halachic rulings in his name are quoted in various responsa books. He exchanged halachic correspondence with the leading Torah scholars of his generation, especially with the Noda BiYehuda, R. Meshulam Igra, R. Chaim Kohen of Lvov, R. Meir Posner of Schottland author of Beit Meir, R. Meir Weill of Berlin and R. Akiva Eiger (who was his cherished disciple in Lissa in his youth). One of his famous disciples is R. Baruch Fränkel, author of Baruch Taam. (Another important dayan served in his Beit Din in Lissa, also named David Tevele, and their signatures sometimes appear together on one court ruling, with one signing as "David Tevele son of R. M. of Greiditz", and the other - the rabbi of the city, signing "David Tevele of Brody").
He was reputed for the battles he waged against the Haskalah movement, and became famous for his opposition of the 'enlightened' Naftali Herz Wessely and his books (correspondence between him and the Haflaa on this matter was recently published, see Beit Aharon VeYisrael, 46, pp. 147-156, and 44, pp. 114-131; 45, pp. 127-133).
He endeavored to quieten the polemic against the Chassidic movement, his words carrying weight amongst the leaders of his generation. Historic literature of Polish Chassidism includes two stories relating to this: Shem HaGedolim HaChadash (Maarechet Gedolim, Peh, entry R. Pinchas author of Haflaa), records that R. Tzvi Hirsh HaLevi, author of Likutei Tzvi, possessed a letter written by the Haflaa to R. David Tevele of Lissa, requesting the latter speak to R. Yosef of Posnan, to ask his father-in-law, the Noda BiYehuda - rabbi of Prague not to upset the holy R. Michel of Zlotchov, whose intents are solely the sake of Heaven, as R. Shmelke of Nikolsburg testified, therefore he shouldn’t be disrupted from his worship.
A different source recounts that when Noda BiYehuda, opposing the book Toldot Yaakov Yosef, wished to issue a ban commanding the book to be burnt, R. Shmelke and his brother the Haflaa wrote to R. Tevele of Lissa requesting he quieten the polemic, and R. Tevele wrote a letter to the Noda BiYehuda asking him not to quarrel with disciples of the Baal Shem Tov and of the Maggid of Mezeritch, whose ways differ from his, yet they intend for the sake of Heaven. The Noda BiYehuda obeyed him and withdrew (Shem HaTov, Piotrków 1905, p. 94, section 85, quoting the introduction to Nefesh David). In his book Nefesh David on the Torah, printed in Premisla (Przemysl) 1878, R. David Tevele quotes a thought in the name of the Maggid of Mezeritch (Nefesh David, Parashat Vayeira, p. 6a).
 double leaf. Approx. 20 cm. Written by a scribe. 5 concluding lines and 6 lines of the address handwritten and signed by R. David Tevele. Good condition. Stains and folding marks. Minor tears and creases. Wax seal remnants.
Likutei Maharin and Toldot Yitzchak ben Levi, commentary on the Torah and the Five Megillot following deeper and kabbalistic levels of interpretation, by R. Yisrael Rabbi of Pikov (Pykiv), son of R. Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev. Berditchev (Berdychiv), 1811. First edition.
The author: R. Yisrael Rabbi of Pikov (1763-1819) was the eldest son and close disciple of R. Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev. He also frequented the courts of R. Zusha of Anipoli and R. Moshe Leib of Sassov (whom he assisted in redeeming captives). In the early 1790s, he was appointed rabbi of Pikov. After the passing of his father in 1809, he succeeded him as rabbi of Berditchev. In his book Kedushat Levi (Slavita, 1798), R. Levi Yitzchak quotes novellae from his son R. Yisrael, in Halacha and Aggadah. His mechutan, the Baal HaTanya, termed him "pious and ascetic", and the Maggid of Kozhnitz acclaimed him as "A friend of G-d… a holy, godly man". In this book, he quotes his father's teachings dozens of times, with exceptional awe and respect.
, 2-83 leaves. 21 cm. Blueish paper. Good-fair condition. Wear and stains. Minor marginal tears to title page and first two leaves, not affecting text (minor repairs to title page). Various owners' stamps. New leather binding.
Stefansky Chassidut, no. 283.
Letter, approximately 10 lines handwritten and signed by R. Avraham Yeshayahu Karelitz, author of Chazon Ish. [Bnei Brak], Av 1937.
The letter is addressed to one of the Agudist, Shemittah-observant settlements (presumably the initial members of Kibbutz Chafetz Chaim, in Kfar Saba), with the approach of the 1937-1938 Shemittah year. In the letter, he informs them that he received a letter from R. Chaim Ozer, who "hopes to provide you with the sum of … to allow you to observe the Shemittah in accordance with Halacha, and he has already discussed this with R. Y. Rosenheim". The Chazon Ish advises them to set up a committee which will oversee the expenditure of the money. The Chazon Ish recommends that they build a detailed plan for the use of the money, and that they should correspond directly with R. Chaim Ozer in this regard: "…it would be beneficial for you to describe your plan for the usage of the money in your letter, and also promise in your letter to protect your land, to prevent strangers from usurping it during Shemittah".
The Chazon Ish signs the letter with his customary acronym "Ish", and then adds: "Please inform me of the receipt of this letter", as well as the address of R. Chaim Ozer in Vilna.
R. Avraham Yeshayahu Karelitz (1879-1953), author of Chazon Ish, a foremost scholar in Halacha and Jewish philosophy in our generations. A preeminent Torah scholar and hidden righteous man, his first book Chazon Ish was published in 1911 anonymously, and he thereafter became known under that title. He immigrated to Eretz Israel in 1933, where he became recognized as the leading Torah authority, and stood at the helm of the resurrection of the Torah world in our generation. He encouraged and bolstered the observance of Halacha and of the commandments pertaining to the land. He battled fiercely for the observance of Shabbat and Shemittah, and was the only Halachic authority the Orthodox, Shemittah observant agriculturists relied upon for their questions on the laws of Shemittah and other laws pertaining to the land. He authored and published numerous volumes of Chazon Ish, which were written with great toil and in-depth study, covering nearly all Talmudic topics.
Shemittah 1937-1938 was the first Shemittah since the Chazon Ish arrived in Eretz Israel. That year, the Chazon Ish battled staunchly to uphold the Shemittah, fiercely opposing the Heter Mechirah, which in his opinion was dubious. The Chazon Ish supported the few settlements who observed Shemittah that year, in various ways. He delved into researching the Talmudic topics as well as the agricultural aspects, issuing halachic rulings and guiding the Agudist settlements in the intricacies of Shemittah observance, which agricultural activities are prohibited and which are allowed, and providing for the needs of the valiant Shemittah observers.
 leaf. Approx. 13X22 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains and folding marks. Light wear.
Letter (16 lines) handwritten and signed by the Chazon Ish, regarding laws of Shabbat. [Bnei Brak, ca. Kislev 1945].
In this letter, addressed to his beloved disciple R. Binyamin Zilber, the Chazon Ish relates to a halachic article pertaining to the laws of pureeing fruit on Shabbat, which R. Binyamin published in the Tevuna monthly journal, printed in Jerusalem (Tevuna, vol. 6, issue 3 , Kislev 1945, pp. 29-32). The Chazon Ish comments on his essay with affection and esteem, yet vehemently contradicts his halachic ruling: "My dear… whenever I see your words, I greatly rejoice that you have merited to acquire Torah knowledge… and I have just seen your words in Tevuna… but I must tell you that I do not agree with you in practice, and one who mashes a banana with a fork ispossibly required to offer a Chatat, and one must mash with the handle of a fork or of a knife or spoon…".
The Chazon Ish concludes the letter in a friendly tone: "And I will sign with peace, one who seeks his wellbeing, with love, Ish".
This letter was published in Responsa Az Nidberu, part II, Bnei Brak, 1970, section 1. In a footnote, R. Zilber writes that he discussed the matter at length with the Chazon Ish, and they reached the conclusion that in practice, one is not allowed to mash bananas in the normal manner with a fork. This conclusion was publicized in Tevuna (Shevat 1946, issue 5 , pp. 53-54), and so he ruled for practical application in his book Brit Olam on the laws of Shabbat.
R. Avraham Yeshayahu Karelitz (1879-1953), author of the Chazon Ish, a foremost scholar in Halacha and Jewish philosophy in our generations. A preeminent Torah scholar and hidden righteous man, his first book Chazon Ish was published in 1911 anonymously, and he thereafter became known under that title. In his great modesty, he would sign his name with his acronym only: Ish. He immigrated to Eretz Israel in 1933, where he became recognized as the leading Torah authority, and stood at the helm of the resurrection of the Torah world in our generation.
Recipient of the letter: R. Binyamin Yehoshua Zilber (1916-2008), a foremost Torah scholar and halachic authority in our generation, a proponent of the Novardok branch of the mussar movement. He studied in the Novardok yeshivot in Europe and in Bnei Brak, where he drew close to the Chazon Ish who affectionately dubbed him "R. Binyamin the Tzaddik". After his marriage, he studied in the Ohel Torah Beit Midrash in Jerusalem, and after several years, returned to Bnei Brak. He authored and published dozens of books on Halacha and ethics, including: Mekor Halacha and Brit Olam on the laws of Shabbat, Responsa Az Nidberu - 14 parts; Mekor Baruch on Chayei Adam; books on the commandments pertaining to the land and more. In his later years, he lived in Beitar Illit and was a member of the Moetzet Gedolei HaTorah of Agudat Yisrael.
 leaf. Approx. 8X19 cm. Handwritten on both sides (16 long lines) by the Chazon Ish, with his signature. Good-fair condition. Creases and stains.
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.
Likutei Amarim Tanya, Part I - Book of Average Men, Part II - Education of a Minor - Gate of Unity and Faith, Part III - Igeret HaTeshuva, by R. Shneur Zalman of Liadi, the Baal HaTanya. Shklow: Partners Baruch son of R. Eliyahu and Yitzchak son of R. Shmuel, . One of the editions printed in the author's lifetime. First edition printed in Shklow.
Fine copy. Owner's signature on title page: "Zalman son of M.M. Sheinman of Kodeń". Several inscriptions in Italian script.
The Tanya was first published by the author in Slavita, 1796. The first edition did not contain Igeret HaTeshuva. Subsequently, several more editions of the book were printed in Zhovkva, presumably unbeknownst to the author, and those included for the first time the Mahadura Kama version of Igeret HaTeshuva. In this edition, which was published by the author himself, the Mahadura Batra version of Igeret HaTeshuva was printed for the first time, and is in effect a different composition to the Mahadura Kama. At the end of this edition, the author included an essay on prayer entitled HaKol Kol Yaakov (with the running title: "Chatima"). This essay was first published as a preface to the siddur of the Baal HaTanya.
In this edition, an approbation was added, signed by three rabbis. One of them, R. Baruch son of R. Yehuda of Shklow, was a leading opponent to Chassidism (Beit Rebbi, p. 158). This approbation states: "…and for what should we praise this book at length, is it not publicly acknowledged that all his words are the words of the Living G-d".
Conversely, the approbations of R. Zushe of Anipoli and R. Yehuda Leib HaKohen (author of Or HaGanuz) were abbreviated in this edition. The last section of the author's preface was also abridged in this edition. See adjoining article about an interesting omission in the preface of this book.
, 5-95,  leaves; , 2-18 leaves. 16.5 cm. Some blueish-greenish leaves. Most leaves in good condition, several leaves in fair condition. Tears and damage to title page and several other leaves, repaired with paper, with slight damage to text. Stains. Dampstains to several leaves. New leather binding.
This edition has several variants, see: Yehoshua Mondshine, Torat Chabad - Bibliographies, I, Kfar Chabad, 1982, pp. 54-56.
Stefansky Chassidut, no. 626.
Collection of three books - first editions of the three part of Shaar HaTeshuva VehaTefillah, teachings of the second rebbe of the Chabad dynasty R. Dov Ber Schneuri - the Mitteler Rebbe. Printed in the Rebbe's lifetime. Shklow and Kopust (Kopys), [1817-1819].
1. Shaar HaTeshuva VehaTefillah, Part I - repentance and prayer, joy and bitterness. With the Shaar HaBechira section, "Discusses matters which subdue a person's heart to complete repentance". Shklow, .
, 84, ; 11,  leaves; 22 leaves. 17.5 cm. Leaves 49-68 bound out of sequence and out of place. Greenish paper. Overall good condition. Wear and stains. Light worming and wear to several leaves (with minor damage, repaired). Tear to leaf  (preceding Shaar HaBechira), affecting text, repaired with paper. Stains. New leather binding.
Stefansky Chassidut, no. 586. The Bibliography of the Hebrew Book quotes the Chabad bibliographer Chaim Lieberman, who contends that the book may have been printed in Kopust and not in Shklow. In the copy listed in the Bibliography of the Hebrew Book, the sections Shaar HaTeshuva and Shaar HaBechira were bound at the beginning of the book, before Shaar HaTefillah. (, 22 leaves; 11,  leaves; 84,  leaves), whilst in this copy, they were bound at the end, in the following order: Shaar HaTefillah, Shaar HaBechira and Shaar HaTeshuva.
2. Shaar HaTeshuvah VehaTefillah, Part II, "regarding repentance and service of the heart". Shklow, . First edition.
, 42, 2, 5-81,  leaves. 15.5 cm. Greenish paper. Overall good condition. Stains. Wear and worming. Slight damage (repaired) to title page and several other leaves. Tears to several leaves, not affecting text, repaired with paper. New leather binding.
Stefansky Chassidut, no. 586. This book has several variants (to page headings of first section).
3. Derech Chaim VeTochachot Mussar Haskel… Part III of Shaar HaTeshuva - "Words of reproach, which subjugate man's heart and bring him closer to his Father in heaven, in complete repentance". Kopust: R. Yisrael Yoffe, eminent disciple of the Baal HaTanya, . First edition.
In his preface to this book, the Mitteler Rebbe mentions how Chabad Chassidim cherish manuscripts, preferring them over printed books.
80, 85-88, 93-178 leaves. 16.5 cm. Greenish paper. Good-fair condition. Tears and worming, repaired with paper. Stains. Front binding detached.
Stefansky Chassidut, no. 138. This book has several variants (differences in pagination).
Rebbe Dov Ber Schneuri, known as the Mitteler Rebbe of Lubavitch (1774-1828) was the son of R. Shneur Zalman of Liadi, the Baal HaTanya. After his father passed away while fleeing the French Invasion of Russia, he began serving as rabbi of Lubavitch (Lyubavichi). In his father's lifetime, he recorded the latter's teachings, and delivered public lectures based on them, even in his presence, with the addition of his own commentaries. He was gifted with brilliant profundity and an unlimited wellspring of Torah thoughts. His Chassidic discourses would extend over many hours. He had an exceptional talent for clear explanations, whether in writing or orally, and was able to clarify and simplify before laymen the most profound and abstract concepts in Kabbalah and Chassidism. He was endowed with a rare ability to concentrate, and was able to contemplate G-dly concepts for hours on end, completely unaware of his surroundings. The Lubavitcher Rebbe retold that on Yom Kippur, he would stand in his place the entire day, in devoted prayer detached from physicality, without budging, with sweat pouring from his Schtreimel. He passed away whilst delivering a Chassidic discourse. He left behind thousands of handwritten leaves, published in recent years in the Maamarei Admor HaEmtza'i series.
In the beginning of his tenure, he published his father's works - Shulchan Aruch, Siddur im Dach and Biurei HaZohar. He later composed and published around ten of his own works, compositions famous for their profundity and clarity of explanation (his great and profound book Imrei Bina, was cherished by the Divrei Chaim of Sanz, who would study it before going to sleep, and quotes it in his book).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Noam Elimelech, Chassidic essays on the Parashiot of the Torah, by Rebbe Elimelech of Lizhensk, with ethical wills by the author (Hanhagot HaAdam), reasons for mitzvot and secrets by the Kabbalist R. Yosef Gikatilla. Polonne, .
Early, faded signature "Pinchas son of R. Shmuel Gold-B[---]". Ownership inscription in Rashi script: "I acquired it with my wealth in honor of my Creator, from the Sephardi R. Moshe Aharon, for its full value 71 Groschen. Belongs to the young Torah scholar Mordechai Meisels". Stamps of R. "Yechiel Tzvi Margolies in Jerusalem (R. Hirsh Kriniker, an elder Karlin Chassid in Jerusalem at the end of the 19th century).
 leaves, 20.5 cm. Blueish-greenish paper. Good-fair condition. Stains. Worming to several leaves. Large tears to inner margins of title page and two subsequent leaves, repaired with paper. Damage to last leaf, affecting text, repaired (several words were replaced with photocopy). New, elegant binding.
Stefansky Chassidut, no. 378.
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.
Or HaChochma, Chassidic and kabbalistic essays on the Torah, by the kabbalist R. Uri Feivel of Krisnipoli (Chervonohgrad) and Dubienka. [Łaszczów, 1815]. First edition. With the approbations of the Chozeh of Lublin and Rebbe Tzvi Aryeh of Olik (Olyka).
The author, the kabbalist R. Uri Feivel of Krisnipoli and Dubienka (d. between 1804-1808), close disciple of R. Kehat of Werish, disciple of the Baal Shem Tov. R. Feivel's son describes his father in his foreword to this book as a prolific author, who also wrote a composition on the Torah consisting of 15 explanations for each verse, as well as compositions on the Five Megillot, Tikunei Zohar, Idrot, Safra DeTzniuta, Sefer Yetzira, "awesome, concealed and impenetrable commentaries", yet all were destroyed in a fire. R. Meir Rabbi of Brody describes the author in his approbation: "He never departed from the tent of Torah, delving into its revealed and hidden realms, and feared G-d out of love, and most of his knowledge and study pertained to Kabbalah.
Particular sanctity is ascribed to this book, R. Moshe Tzvi Landau of Kleinwardein writes in his book "Shulchan Melachim", on the laws pertaining to birthing mothers "and it has already become widespread to place a book wrapped in a sheet beneath the head of the birthing mother as she experiences contractions - and it is customary to place the holy book Noam Elimelech and the holy book Or HaChochma". (His words are quoted in halachic literature). It is also reported that R. Yeshaya Zilberstein of Waitzen, "would send the Or HaChochma book to laboring mothers, so it could be placed beneath their cushion as a segulah for an easy birth".
, 76; 46; , 60, 59-103 leaves. Separate title page for part II (Vayikra-Devarim). Leaves 27-28 of the first pagination, and leaves 17-18 of the second pagination, are included twice. Approx. 22.5 cm. Good-fair condition. Tears and worming to title page and subsequent leaf, not affecting text, repaired with paper. Extensive worming to the book, affecting text, repaired with paper. Stains. New leather binding.
The two title pages state "Korets, 1795", yet these facts are forged (see Bibliography of the Hebrew Book, listing 000202798).
Stefansky Chassidut, no. 23.
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.
Ginzei Yosef, essays of ethics, homily, Chassidism and Kabbalah on the Torah, with novellae on tractates Berachot, Shabbat, Pesachim and Sukkah, by R. Yosef Bloch Rabbi of Alesk (Olesko). Lviv, 1792. First edition. With approbations by R. Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev, R. Zusha of Anipoli, R. Yaakov Shimshon of Shepetovka, R. Avraham Moshe of Pshevorsk and others.
Author of the book: R. Yosef Bloch (1724-1790), a close associate of the Maggid of Mezeritch. Rabbi of Alesk and maggid in Satanov (Sataniv). He was renowned in the Chassidic world for his book Ginzei Yosef, one of the first Chassidic books. His book contains approbations from eminent rabbis who opposed Chassidism, such as R. Tzvi Hirsh Rosanes Rabbi of Lviv who wrote: "He did not depart from the tent of Torah, and rendered nights like days".
Penciled ownership inscription on title page: "R. Yechiel son of R. Yosef Menachem Mendel".
, 98; 24 leaves. Approx. 34 cm. Fair condition. Tears and worming to title page and many leaves, affecting text. All leaves professionally repaired. Stains. New leather binding.
Stefansky Chassidut, no. 110.
Interesting letter, handwritten and signed by R. Yisrael Lifshitz, author of Tiferet Yisrael. Danzig (Gdańsk), Tammuz 1841.
Addressing his son R. Baruch Yitzchak Lifshitz, he recommends that he assists R. Asher, grandson of the Shaagat Aryeh: "I am compelled to ask you to receive him graciously, since he is great in Torah like a segment of pomegranate, and he is a weak person, who needs to travel to hot springs, therefore my dear son, do whatever is in your ability to assist this relative…".
At the beginning of the letter, the father reproaches his son for not writing regularly, at least once a month: "Behold, you have once again failed to fulfill your promise to write every month, and I hereby remind you…".
R. Yisrael Lifshitz (1782-1860) is renowned for his monumental composition Tiferet Yisrael on the six orders of Mishna, which was accepted by the entire Jewish world and has been reprinted in hundreds of editions until this day. He was the son of R. Gedalia Lifshitz, author of Regel Yeshara, and grandson of R. Yisrael Lifshitz, Rabbi of Cleves. An outstanding Torah scholar and a foremost leader of German Jewry, he sat studying Torah the entire day, bedecked in Tallit and Tefillin beneath his outer coat, and was renowned as a holy and G-d fearing man. He served as rabbi for over fifty years, in the communities of Dessau, Danzig and other cities. Apart from Tiferet Yisrael on the Mishna, he composed many other books, of homilies, novellae and Halachic rulings.
His son, recipient of the letter: R. Baruch Yitzchak Lifshitz (1812-1878), author of Misgeret Zahav - addenda to his father's commentary on the Mishna. His numerous glosses within the Tiferet Yisrael commentary begin with the initials A.B.Y. (Amar [said] Baruch Yitzchak). A great Torah scholar, holy and G-d fearing man. Already in his youth he was ordained by his great father and accepted in a rabbinic position (an appointment which was canceled by R. Akiva Eger who fought the phenomenon of appointing young unmarried men to rabbinic positions. See Igrot R. Akiva Eger, Letters 42-49). He served as rabbi of Landsberg and as Chief Rabbi of the state of Mecklenburg. In 1859, he moved to Hamburg where he taught many disciples, his sermons and lectures earning great acclaim.
 leaf. Approx. 19.5 cm. Approx. 14 autograph lines and signature, in neat calligraphic script. Blueish-greenish paper. Fair-good condition. Stains, tears (repaired) and creases.
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.
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.
Kol Aryeh, pilpul, homily and ethics on the Torah, on parts of Neviim and Ketuvim, and on Aggadot, by R. Aryeh Leib Gliener - Reprover of Polonne. Korets, . First edition. With the approbation of R. Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev.
R. Aryeh Leib Gliener - "Reprover of Polonne" (d. 1770, Encyclopedia of Chassidut, I, pp. 325-326), was among the first disciples of the Baal Shem Tov and disseminator of his teachings. A holy wonder-worker. Under his influence, the Toldot Yaakov Yosef and the Maggid of Mezeritch grew attached to the Baal Shem Tov and his doctrine. In his generation, he was renowned as a reputed orator and maggid "who during his lifetime traveled the world and spread the light of his Torah in all Jewish places". He brought back many from sin with the power of his sermons (from the approbations to this book). His Torah thoughts are quoted extensively in Toldot Yaakov Yosef.
Stamps on the title page: "Yeshaya Leib Esthersohn".
, 55 [i.e. 65] leaves. 20 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains, dampstains. Wear in several places. Tears to several leaves, repaired. Upper margins of several leaves trimmed close to heading. New binding.
Stefansky Chassidut, no. 518.
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.
Babylonian Talmud. Amsterdam: Immanuel Benveniste, [1644-1648]. Eight volumes.
Incomplete set with original bindings, wood covered with leather.
The volumes include:
1. Tractate Brachot, Order Zera'im. 1644-1645. 2. Tractates Pesachim, Chagigah, Beitza, Moed Katan. . 3. Tractates Yevamot, Ketubot, Kiddushin. . 4. Tractates Gittin, Nedarim, Sotah, Nazir. . 5. Tractates Makkot, Shevuot, Eduyot, Horayot, Avodah Zarah, Minor Tractates. [1645-1647]. 6. Tractates Zevachim, Chullin. . 7. Tractates Menachot, Bechorot, Arachin, Me'ilah, Tamid, Middot, Keritot, Temurah. . 8. Tractate Niddah, Order Taharot. .
Some of the bindings bear signatures, ownership inscriptions and numerous quill attempts, in Hebrew and German. Several marginal glosses in some volumes.
Several volumes (Makkot, Zevachim-Chullin, Menachot), contain ownership inscriptions and signatures of three generations: R. Shimon Lehmans ("Simon Lehmans"), his son R. Yosef Asher Lehmans Rabbi of The Hague, and his grandson R. Yaakov Lehmans Rabbi of Nijmegen. Inscription on the back endpaper of volume Zevachim-Chullin: "…I, the undersigned, attest that this Gemara belongs to my master R. … Yosef Asher Lemel Rabbi of The Hague and the region. Menachem Mendel Löwenstam". On the front endpaper: "Emanuel Joachim Lowenstam" [R. Menachem Mendel son of R. Chaim Löwenstam (ca. 1807-1845), rabbi of Rotterdam and substitute rabbi of The Hague (after the passing of the aforementioned R. Yosef Asher Lemel). His father R. Chaim (Joachim, son of R. Aryeh Leib Breslau author of Pnei Aryeh and rabbi of Emden and Rotterdam), was the rabbi of Leeuwarden and the province of Friesland].
R. Yosef Asher Lemel (Lehmans, 1766-1842), son of R. Shimon, a leading Torah scholar of his generation, served as rabbi of The Hague for 35 years. His son R. Yaakov Lehmans, rabbi of Nijmegen, was the son-in-law of R. Shmuel Bernstein Rabbi of Amsterdam.
On the endpaper of the volume of Berachot and Zera'im: "The Talmud… as a gift from my father on the day of my wedding… Shalom son of… Moshe Falk of Schwa---, here, Amersfoort".
Eight volumes. Approx. 27 cm. Condition varies. Most volumes in good - good-fair condition. One volume in fair-poor condition, with extensive wear and traces of past dampness. Stains and wear. Tears, affecting text in several places. Original bindings, wood covered with leather, with clasp remnants. Damage and missing parts to bindings.
See: R. N.N. Rabinowitz, Maamar al Hadpasat HaTalmud, Jerusalem 1952, pp. 93-95, regarding this edition of the Talmud.
Biurei HaZohar, commentary to the Zohar, by Rebbe Shneur Zalman of Liadi - the Baal HaTanya. Kopust (Kopys): R. Yisrael Yoffe, foremost disciple of the Baal HaTanya, . First edition.
Bound with Hosafot LeSefer Biurei HaZohar, a booklet of 21 leaves appended to the second edition (Lviv, 1861).
A fundamental book clarifying many concepts of the Arizal's Kabbalah, according to Chassidic teachings. Commentaries to the Zohar, which the Baal HaTanya imparted to his sons and the elite of his disciples, on Shabbat eve, recorded by his son R. Dov Ber, the Mitteler Rebbe of Lubavitch. The Baal HaTanya taught these commentaries from 19th Kislev 1801, until his final years. This book contains only a quarter of his commentaries to the Zohar (as his son writes in the foreword).
The title page states: "…and for the most part these holy writings were reviewed by the Rebbe, and he was very satisfied with them". In the foreword, his son the Mitteler Rebbe - R. Dov Ber (Schneuri) of Lubavitch describes the contents of the commentaries in the book: "…which we heard from his holy mouth, every Shabbat eve, commentaries and explanations of the essays of the Zohar, one leaf from every portion, for several years, and it is plainly visible to all that Divine Inspiration rested upon him as he revealed the light of the secrets of the Torah, in particular in his explanations of the essays, he attained their absolutely true meaning. As I heard directly from him, more than once, that throughout his life, he specifically set Shabbat as the time for studying Zohar … and he attested on himself that he only studies each Shabbat one or two leaves, but in great depth, with great toil, and investigating each word, to reach the true understanding of Kabbalah…".
At the end of the foreword, the Mitteler Rebbe describes the method of writing and arranging the book: "It is known to all those who study my father's teachings, that none of the writings contain anything of my own, except when explaining and clarifying in places where he was concise, and even that was taken from his teachings, when he elaborated further in other places…".
Rebbe Eliezer Tzvi Safrin of Komarna writes in his preface to his commentary Damesek Eliezer on the Zohar, that one of the books which were before him while he composed his commentary was the Biurei HaZohar by R. Dov Ber, son of R. Shneur Zalman.
On the last leaf of the first book (p. 57b of the second pagination), handwritten signature of R. "Shlomo son of Meir Rafaels". Many ownership inscriptions on the front and back endpapers, attesting that the book belonged to R. Shlomo son of R. Meir Rafaels of Vilna.
Additional ownership inscriptions in Lithuanian and Hebrew: "Szalom Meyrowucz" (presumably referring to the above-mentioned R. Shlomo son of R. Meir); "Belongs to the young man Dov Ber son of Shlomo"; "Jicchok Eliesowiz" - several ownership inscriptions of R. Yitzchak Isek son of R. Eli; "Boruchowiz Morduchay"; and others.
R. Shlomo Rafaels-Yoffe (b. 1774) was a prominent Chabad Chassid in Vilna. Together with his father R. Meir Rafaels, he was a renowned figure in Chabad history, and in the polemic in Vilna surrounding Chassidism. His father R. Meir Rafaels-Yoffe was amongst the prominent and well-known disciples of the Baal HaTanya, and founded the Chassidic prayer service in Vilna in the 1790s. R Shlomo himself was a disciple of the first three Chabad rebbes: the Baal HaTanya, his son the Mitteler Rebbe, and his grandson the Tzemach Tzedek of Lubavitch. Beit Rebbi (Berditchev, 1902) relates regarding R. Shlomo Rafaels, that as a prominent Chasid of the Baal HaTanya, during the controversy between Chassidim and their opponents in Vilna, in 1796-1799, he suffered extensive damage, people came to his wine cellar and poured out all his wine, yet G-d replenished his loss swiftly. Sipurim Nora'im (Lemberg 1875), by R. Yaakov Keidner, quotes several wondrous accounts about the Baal HaTanya, as heard from R. Shlomo Rafaels, who witnessed them personally.
, 139; 57 leaves; , 13-20,  leaf. 25 cm. Greenish paper, wide margins. Condition varies, good to good-fair. Tears to title page, affecting text. Stains and wear. Original leather binding, damaged.
Stefansky Chassidut, no. 79.
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".
Torah scroll. [Europe, 16th/17th century].
Neat, Ashkenazic script. This scroll conforms with the tradition of "unusual letters such as the winding Pe and bent letters, as was transmitted from one scribe to another" (Rambam, Laws of Tefillin, Mezuzah and Sefer Torah, 7:8), following the tradition detailed in Sefer Tagin.
This Torah scroll features unusual letters throughout, following the custom of early scribes, such as the Nun with a bent ending, the Lamed in an unusual form, the winding Pe, the Chet with its legs wide apart, etc.
58 lines per column. Slightly thin, though not transparent, parchment. Height of parchment: 73 cm. Fair-good condition. Stains, creases and wear.
Description based on a report (enclosed) by Mr. Shlomo Zucker, expert on Hebrew manuscripts.
Likutei Halachot, Orach Chaim, Part I, laws pertaining to morning rituals - laws of prayers, commentary following the sequence of the Shulchan Aruch sections, based on the teachings of R. Nachman of Breslov, by R. Natan of Breslov (Moharnat), close disciple of R. Nachman. [Iași, 1843]. First edition.
This volume is the only one published in the lifetime of the author, R. Natan of Breslov (1780-1844). The remaining volumes were published after his passing.
R. Natan's writings were arranged for print by his close disciple - R. Nachman Chazan of Tulchyn (1813-1884), who was engaged with extreme dedication in copying the writings of his teacher R. Natan, preparing them for print, and publishing them. R. Nachman's son, R. Avraham of Tulchyn, author of Biur HaLikutim, describes his father's single-minded devotion to the task of preparing the books for print, and attests that he merited to experience Divine light during the course of his work. R. Avraham further describes the difficulties his father encountered while publishing this volume: "He then girded himself to nevertheless print the first volume, Orach Chaim part I, and for this task R. Natan covered a bit of the travel expenses to Iași in Wallachia. And his wife… travelled to Breslov to inform R. Natan that if he does not provide her at least with minimal food, she and her children will die of starvation… and my father himself, throughout the journey endeavored to reduce the expenses, and at the beginning even travelled on foot some of the way, since the printing costs alone were beyond R. Natan's means, due to his extreme poverty and his concealment from humanity" (Kochvei Or, Jerusalem, 2009, pp. 282-283).
Ownership inscriptions and stamps ("Belongs to R. Yosef Tzvi son of R. Z. of Podu Turcului…", and others).
, 117,  leaves. 21 cm. Partly printed on light-blueish paper. Good-fair condition. Stains. Dampstains to several leaves. Tears and wear to several leaves. New 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.
Diverse collection of letters from Hungarian rabbis, members of the Jungreis family of rabbis - descendants of R. Asher Anshel Jungreis rabbi of Csenger (1806-1874). Dozens of his descendants served as rabbis of various Hungarian cities, and in communities in the United States and in Eretz Israel after the Holocaust.
• Letter from R. Asher Anshel HaLevi Jungreis Rabbi of Csenger, Hungary, 1929.
• Letters from R. Yaakov Yosef HaLevi Jungreis Rabbi of Nyírmada, Hungary, 1929-1933.
• Letter from R. Shmuel David HaLevi Jungreis Rabbi of Nyírmeggyes, Hungary, 1929.
• Letter from R. Moshe Natan HaLevi Jungreis, Rabbi of Tokaj, Hungary, 1934.
• Letters from R. Yaakov Shraga HaLevi Jungreis Rabbi of Bercel, Hungary, 1933-1936.
• Letter from R. Asher Anshel HaLevi Jungreis Rabbi of Gyöngyös, Hungary, 1929. • Letter from his son R. Yosef Dov HaLevi, a rabbi of Gyöngyös in 1939. • Letters from his son R. Amram HaLevi Jungreis Rabbi of Gyöngyös after the Holocaust, in 1946-1948 (most of the letters of R. Amram were addressed to the special Beit Din in Budapest dealing with the issue of Agunot after the Holocaust).
• Letter from R. Yaakov Tzvi HaLevi Jungreis Rabbi of Fehérgyarmat, Hungary.
17 letters and postcards, varying size and condition. Most in good condition. Edges of 6 letters singed (damaged by fire).
Letter signed by R. Yosef Shaul Nathansohn, author of Shoel UMeshiv, addressed to R. Yaakov Shlomo Heilprin Rabbi of Premishlan (Peremyshliany). Lviv, Cheshvan 1864.
Halachic responsum regarding the laws of errors in a divorce document, in the spelling of the name of the father of the women getting divorced. Written by a scribe, with the signature of R. "Yosef Shaul HaLevi Nathansohn Rabbi of Lviv and the region".
The letter is addressed to: "R. Yaakov Shlomo, Rabbi of the Premishlan community" (inscribed on the back leaf).
R. Yosef Shaul Natansohn (1808-1875) was a leading Torah scholar in Galicia. Already in his youth, he composed together with his brother-in-law R. Mordechai Zev Ettinger the books Mefarshei HaYam on Bava Kama and Magen Giborim on Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim. He sent responses to thousands of queries, and authored many books: Responsa Shoel UMeshiv - 15 parts; Divrei Shaul on the Torah, Rambam and Shulchan Aruch; Yadot Nedarim and others. From 1857, he served as Chief Rabbi of Lviv, which was the largest and primary Galician community. After his passing, he was eulogized by R. Shlomo Zalman Spitzer (son-in-law of the Chatam Sofer): "A leader of outstanding Torah scholars, master of the entire Jewish people… whom all the leading Torah scholars of our times addressed their questions to on difficult matters… he was holy from birth and was raised in holiness to Torah and worship of G-d… already 40 years ago, my father-in-law the Chatam Sofer praised him effusively and termed him a Gaon…".
The recipient of the letter: R. Yaakov Shlomo Heilprin (1827-1895), rabbi of Dunayev and Premishlan, was the son of R. Dov Berish Heilprin Rabbi of Premishlan. He maintained close ties with R. Yosef Shaul Natansohn, and judging by the large number of responsa addressed to him contained in Responsa Shoel UMeshiv, it appears that he was one of his confidants. He composed the booklet Yefeh Anaf on the history of the Heilprin family.
 double leaf. 21 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains. Large tears to the right margin of the leaf, slightly affecting text.
Based on our search, it appears that this responsum was not published in Responsa Shoel UMeshiv, though there is a responsum addressed to a different rabbi on the same topic (in Mahadura Tinyana, section 159). It is possible that this responsum was not published since the main points were addressed at length in the other responsum.
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.
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).
Lengthy letter handwritten and signed by R. Chaim Ozer Grodzinski, addressed to R. Yitzchak Unna Rabbi of Mannheim, regarding the ban on Shechita (ritual slaughter) in Germany. Vilna, 1932.
R. Chaim Ozer writes: "Regarding the decree on Shechita … which those who hate us intensely, are using to defame us, and their sole intention is to harass and harm us… and the words 'those who slaughter man kiss the calves' has already been used in reference to them, since they are not trying to minimize the suffering of animals, but rather to cause pain to human beings…". R. Chaim Ozer responds to R. Unna regarding the proposal of stunning animals before slaughter, which was suggested as a solution to the decree, and explains the difficulty involved. He further writes that the rabbis and activists must unite with self-sacrifice to prevent this decree (this letter was published in Igrot R. Chaim Ozer, Part I, Letter 409, p. 447).
In Europe of the interwar years, restrictions were imposed on ritual slaughter, by various antisemitic organizations acting under the guise of prevention of cruelty to animals. One of the rabbis who was very active in the battle against the shechita ban was R. Chaim Ozer Grodzinski of Vilna, who dispatched letters on the topic to many European rabbis, and did his utmost to forestall the ban (see: Munk, Edut Neemana - Responsa on the Shechita Battle in Europe, Jerusalem 1975). The way R. Chaim Ozer applied the words "those who slaughter man kiss the calves" (Hoshe'a 13:2) in his letters regarding the decree, is reputed, and proved to have been prophetic foresight, when this wave of antisemitism which attacked the Jews under the pretext of preventing animal cruelty revealed its true colors several years later, during the Holocaust, in the form of the Nazis.
 leaf, official stationery. 25 cm. Good condition. Stains. Folding marks, a bit of wear.
Shaar HaShamayim - German rite, year-round siddur with commentaries, laws and customs, by R. Yeshaya HaLevi Horowitz, author of the Shelah. Amsterdam, . Second edition.
Handwritten Kabbalistic glosses from the 19th/20th century, on pp. 68a; 68b; 224b; 254a; and more (glosses slightly trimmed).
Explanation of the prayers by the Shelah, mostly according to Kabbalah (based on various books, especially the Arizal's writings which he had in manuscript), with an anthology of laws and customs which the publisher, his grandson, compiled from Shnei Luchot HaBrit. The Shelah wrote his siddur with the intention of printing and distributing it, as he wrote in his will to his sons: "I thought to compose this holy work, in order that it be printed and distributed throughout the Jewish world, so that I may have a merit and share in all the prayers of the Jewish people". Praying from this siddur bears the special Segulah of the prayer being accepted and not going unanswered. As the Bach wrote in his approbation to the siddur (in the first edition): "We have no doubt that when it becomes widespread amongst the Jewish people, whoever prays from it will not have his prayer rejected". R. Avraham Yaakov, first Rebbe of Sadigura, mentions this Segulah in his approbation to the third edition of the siddur (Warsaw, 1882): "Siddur Shaar HaShamayim by the holy Shelah, as the renowned Torah scholar, the holy Bach, testified… there is no doubt that whoever prays from it, his prayer will not be rejected". The holy kabbalist R. Naftali Katz, author of Semichat Chachamim, ascribes this Segulah to the author himself, the Shelah, as he writes: "…order of prayers… from the beginning of the year until the end of the year, arranged and composed by R. Yeshaya Segal author of Shnei Luchot HaBrit, and he was very attached to this siddur, and directed his descendants to publish it, to give the public the privilege of praying in this order, with these Kavanot, and pledged that whoever prays with all his might in this order with these Kavanot, his prayers will not go unanswered. Go out and see how people practice, and the approbations of the great Torah scholars of that generation… R. Yoel Sirkis author of Bayit Chadash, and R. Yaakov Rabbi of Lublin… R. Yom Tov Lipman Heller author of Tosfot Yom Tov… and they all concur that whoever prays with these Kavanot, his prayer will not be rejected".
28, 528 leaves. 15.5 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains, minor tears and wear. Minor tears and damage to approx. ten leaves, repaired with acidic tape, affecting text (title page; leaves 76-80, 113, 134-136, and more). New binding.
From leaf 365 onwards (gathering 92), the word "Ashkenaz" is printed at the foot of the first leaf of each gathering. Another edition was printed concurrently, identical until leaf 364 (apart from the title page), with Polish-rite piyyutim. In that edition, from leaf 365 onwards, the word "Polish" was printed at the beginning of each gathering.
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.
Lengthy letter from R. Eliezer Gordon, addressed to Baron Naftali Herz (Horace) Günzburg. [Telz (Telšiai), 1901].
The head of the letter bears the stamp of R. Eliezer Gordon "yeshiva dean and rabbi of Telz". The letter was written by a scribe, with a concluding line handwritten and signed by R. Eliezer Gordon: "Who respects him for his great stature, Eliezer Gordon who resides here".
In his letter, R. Eliezer Gordon describes to Baron Günzburg the evolution of the Telz yeshiva under his leadership: "… and with the help of G-d, it's excellent reputation has already spread… throughout our country. From the ends of the earth exceptional boys are flocking here… supremely talented… and whoever comes here has grown, succeeded and borne fruit in Torah, wisdom, fear of G-d and refined character…". R. Eliezer then turns to the Baron, soliciting his assistance in financially supporting the yeshiva with its increasingly burdensome expenses, since it has already fallen into heavy debt.
R. Eliezer Gordon (1841-1910) was the founder and dean of the Telz yeshiva. He served as rabbi of Slabodka, Kelm and Telz. A close disciple of R. Yisrael of Salant, he lectured for a time in the latter's yeshiva in Kovno, and was later appointed rabbi of Slabodka. From 1874, he served as rabbi of Kelm, where he established a yeshiva, and in 1884, he went to officiate as rabbi of Telz, were he also stood at the helm of the Telz yeshiva. Under his influence, it developed into one of the largest yeshivot in the world, earning Telz the title of the largest Torah center in Lithuania for over fifty years.
R. Eliezer was an outstanding and profound Torah scholar, who left his mark on the yeshiva by instituting the logical method as the basis of its Torah study. He selected R. Shimon Shkop, and later R. Chaim Rabinowitz, as lecturers in the yeshiva. His renowned disciples include R. Elchanan Wasserman and R. Yosef Shlomo Kahaneman - the Rav of Ponovezh. R. Eliezer was one of the eminent rabbis of the generation and a foremost leader of Orthodox Jewry. A leading rabbi in various rabbinical conventions, he was the driving force in forming the first public organization which resulted in the founding of the Agudat Yisrael movement. In 1910, the yeshiva encountered a financial crisis, which compelled R. Eliezer to travel to England for fund-raising. He passed away there suddenly in Adar 1910, and was buried in the London cemetery.
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, (2 pages). 28 cm. Good condition. Folding marks. Minor marginal tear.
An interesting familial letter, handwritten and signed by R. Yaakov Yukev Ettlinger, author of Aruch LaNer, to his father-in-law, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law through his first wife. Below is another letter by his eldest daughter "Rella Ettlinger". Altona, 12th Av 1843. Yiddish.
The letter opens with family matters, and is followed by the Aruch LaNer's expressions of sorrow over a recent Pale of Settlement edict decreed by Tsar Nicholas. This decree called for the expulsion of all Jews residing in the strip of fifty versts (a Russian unit of length, equal to approximately 1.1 km) along the Prussian and Austrian border, to the inner regions. The Aruch LaNer writes that since the time of the Spanish expulsion, an edict of such a large scope had never been decreed. The Tsar's edict would uproot the lives of over 100,000 Jewish families living in the areas included in his order. The decree would obliterate large communities such as Kalisz (in the end, the decree was not executed due to technical difficulties).
R. Ettlinger recounts that in his Shabbat sermon in the synagogue, he spoke at length about the decree and roused the hearts of the Jewish people to pray that the calamity about to befall their brethren should be averted. He adds that in his opinion, this decree is retribution for the canceling of a prayer (part of the Tachanun prayer) calling upon G-d to retract his wrath and withdraw the evil which befalls his nation. The Reform cancelled this plea, claiming that the Jewish people no longer live in exile (this was one of the first amendments to the prayer texts which the reformers initiated. See: HaYeshiva HaRama BeFiurda, Part II, p. 361, section 19).
Further in the letter, the Aruch LaNer writes about the Reform. He relates that he received a printed circular letter signed by leading Frankfurt Torah scholars - R. Ber Adler and R. Aharon Fuld, in the name of R. Zalman Trier, rabbi of Frankfurt, with a request to express his opinion on the society of the "wicked of Frankfurt who wish to eradicate religion and breach the covenant". He expresses pain over the necessity to write about such things, a situation which had not occurred since the time "of idol worshipers in the First Temple era". (The Aruch LaNer's response to the Frankfurt rabbis from 24th Av 1843 was published by R. Zalman Trier together with replies from other rabbis, in a German composition titled Rabbinische Gutachten über die Beschneidung, opposing the abolishment of circumcision, Frankfurt am Main, 1844, see: Kedem Auction 57, item 341).
The Aruch LaNer signs his letter: "Your faithful son-in-law and brother-in-law, Yukev son of R. Aharon Ettlinger".
The letter of the Aruch LaNer is followed by a letter from his daughter, Rella. She ends her letter with a request to send regards to all her uncles and aunts, and mentions her aunts Regina and Hannchen.
R. Yaakov Yukev Ettlinger (1789-1872), Chief Rabbi of Altona and the region, was a foremost leader of German Jewry and a fierce opponent of the Reform movement. In his youth, he taught in the yeshiva of his father, R. Aharon Ettlinger, in Karlsruhe, and was a primary disciple of R. Asher Wallerstein, rabbi of Karlsruhe, son of the Shaagat Aryeh. He also studied in the Würzburg yeshiva headed by R. Avraham Bing and was a colleague of Chacham Yitzchak Bernays of Hamburg and of R. Elazar Bergman of Jerusalem.
Around 1828, he was appointed yeshiva dean and rabbi of the Mannheim Kloiz, and in 1836, began his tenure as rabbi of the Three Communities (Altona, Hamburg and Wandsbek), where he established a prominent yeshiva. R. Yaakov Ettlinger dedicated his life to disseminating Torah and his disciples included leading German rabbis. Among them are R. Samson Refael Hirsch; R. Azriel Hildesheimer; R. Tzvi Binyamin Auerbach, Rabbi of Halberstadt and author of Nachal Eshkol; R. Getsch Schlesinger, dayan in Hamburg; R. Eliyahu Munk, dayan in Altona, and his son R. Yehuda Munk, Rabbi of Marburg; R. Ze'ev Yitzchak HaLevi Dunner of Köln, author of Lichvod Amudei HaTorah; R. Moshe Weisskopf, Rabbi of Paris; and other renowned disciples who were the glory of German communities of that generation.
He authored the following books: Aruch LaNer on Talmudic tractates, Bikurei Yaakov, Responsa Binyan Zion, Minchat Ani on the Torah, and others, and was the founder and author of the Orthodox periodical Shomer Tzion HaNe'eman. Until this day, his books are studied in Torah study halls and his teachings are extensively cited in halachic literature. Already in his days, he was considered a leading Halachic authority and halachic questions were sent to him from Jerusalem and from all over the world. In several dispensations for agunot, R. Yosef Shaul Nathansohn wrote that he agrees to permit their remarriage, only if the "Altona Gaon" will concur with his decision (Shoel UMeshiv, Telitaa, Part II, 216; Part III, 87). He was the supreme authority among German rabbis, and even the great Torah scholar from Würzburg, R. Yitzchak Dov Bamberger, wrote that he presented all difficult issues before the leading Torah authorities of his time, R. Mendel Kargau and his mechutan R. Yaakov Ettlinger (Responsa Yad HaLevi, Jerusalem 1988, p. 60). After his passing and the death of the Ktav Sofer that same year, Rebbe Menachem Mendel of Deyzh wrote that they were "the righteous men of that generation" (Maaglei Tzedek, I, Parashat VaEra).
The recipient of this letter is his father-in-law, R. Meshulam Kaufmann Durlach Wormser of Karlsruhe, who was also his uncle. R. Ettlinger's first wife, Mrs. Genendel (Nannette), died (after the birth of her daughter Sarah, who is mentioned in Rella's letter: "Our little Sarah…") on 16th Tevet 1842 (about half a year before this letter was written).
Rella, who wrote the second letter, also called Relina, was the eldest child of the Aruch LaNer. She later wed R. Meshulam Zalman HaKohen (1822-1902), Rabbi of Schwerin, grandson of R. Meshulam Zalman HaKohen Rabbi of Fürth, and disciple of the Chatam Sofer, of his father-in-law R. Ettlinger and of the Ktav Sofer (see: Kinstlicher, HaChatam Sofer V'Talmidav, p. 380).
 leaf. Written on both sides, approx. 28 lines handwritten and signed by the Aruch LaNer. 26.5 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains. Holes in several places from ink erosion, slightly affecting text. Folding marks.
Toldot Adam VeChava, and Sefer Mesharim, laws, by Rabbenu Yerucham of Provence. [Constantinople, 1516]. First edition.
Colophon on the last leaf: "And this book was completed on 15th Av 1516, and was printed in Constantinople, under the rule of His Majesty, our master the king, Sultan Selim …".
The title page and colophon feature a lion rampant - device of printer Yehuda Sasson, who printed books in the printing press of the Nachmias brothers in Constantinople (see: Yaari, Diglei HaMadpisim HaIvriim, Jerusalem 1944, no. 8, p. 7 and p. 126).
This book was not published as a complete book, rather in booklets which were distributed to buyers every Shabbat in the synagogues, following the prevailing practice in Constantinople at that time (see: Yaari, HaDfus HaIvri BeKushta, Jerusalem 1967, p. 103, no. 145. A halachic debate arose amongst the Constantinople rabbis who opposed this practice). It is therefore rare to find complete copies.
Signature in the lower part of the title page: "Yisrael Luli". On the verso of the last leaf, a leaf containing a lengthy monetary legal document executed in Salonika is pasted (against "Yom Tov"), slightly trimmed.
272, ; 122 leaves. 24.5 cm. Most leaves in good condition. Stains, dampstains. Worming, slightly affecting text on several leaves. Margins of title page trimmed, with tears affecting text on verso, repaired. Title page repaired with paper on all its margins up to the border. Leaves 18, 23, 57 and 64 of the first pagination bound out of sequence. Tears to last five leaves, some affecting text, repaired. Detached sections. Front cover with title page detached, without spine.
Manuscript, booklet (6 pages) of novellae on the topic of depositing leavened goods in tractate Pesachim, handwritten by the Steipler, who signed on the last page: "Yaakov Yisrael Kanievsky, yeshiva dean in Bnei Brak". [Bnei Brak, ca. 1946].
Author's autograph with deletions and additions. This booklet was presumably sent to his teacher R. Avraham Yoffen in the United States, for publication in the Ohel Yosef Torah anthology by Novardok alumni, which first appeared in Poland 1939, and its publication resumed in the United States in 1946. Ultimately, this essay was not published, but a section on this topic (a later version) was printed in his book Kehillot Yaakov Part VI (Jerusalem, 1947, section 4). He discusses the words of Responsa Achiezer Part III (Vilna, Sivan 1939 - this booklet was presumably written ca. 1945-1946). The Steipler would toil extensively over editing and correcting his books. He added to and enhanced his writings over and over again, editing the contents and wording, leaving not one sentence or topic unclear. This is a preliminary edition of his writings, and is different in many ways from the words eventually printed in his book in 1947.
Kedem Auction 59 (item 297) featured a letter which the Steipler sent in 1945 to New York, to his teacher R. Avraham Yoffen - dean of the Novardok yeshiva - in response to the latter's request to send some of his novellae to by published in the Ohel Yosef anthology, whose publication resumed after the Holocaust. The Steipler wrote there that he was enclosing with the letter a booklet of his novellae (possibly this booklet, which was not published in the end, or a booklet on a different topic, which was published in Ohel Yosef, New York, Nissan 1946). In that letter, the Steipler wrote that at first, he experienced difficulty in selecting an appropriate piece: "While examining what to send, I did not find something to my satisfaction, this is too simple, and this is too intricate, this is dubious, and this has already been published…".
R. Yaakov Yisrael Kanievsky (1899-1985), an extraordinary Torah leader of the past generation. He was known as the Steipler, appellation derived from his hometown Hornostaipil, Ukraine. A foremost student of the Novardok yeshivot in Ukraine and Poland, he was reputed as one of the most diligent and scholarly students in the yeshiva world. Following his wedding to the sister of the Chazon Ish, he was appointed dean of the Novardok yeshiva in Pinsk, and in 1934, he immigrated to Eretz Israel to serve as dean of the Beit Yosef - Novardok yeshiva in Bnei Brak. For many years, he lived in Bnei Brak in the same house as his brother-in-law, the Chazon Ish. After the yeshiva shut down, he resumed his studies in Kollel Chazon Ish and in his home, and authored the Kehillot Yaakov series on most Talmudic topics and tractates. His writings were first published (between 1936-1956) in ten parts consisting of novellae on Talmudic topics from various tractates, and were later reorganized as a series of books following the sequence of Talmudic tractates. He was known as a wonder-worker who benefitted from divine inspiration, and many sought his blessings and counsel.
3 leaves (6 written pages). Approx. 19.5 cm. Good condition. Creases and light stains.
Enclosed is an old envelope from the Unites States with the handwritten inscription: "Letter of Steipler".
Letter handwritten, signed and stamped by R. "Yosef Rosen" - "the Rogatchover". Dvinsk (Daugavpils), Tammuz 1906.
Addressed to R. Moshe Chaskin Rabbi of Krakinova (Krekenava). The letter pertains to profound Talmudic topics in Tractate Shabbat and to laws of impurity. The letter concludes with his full signature: "…Yosef Rosen Rabbi of this place". Our research did not uncover any printed form of this responsum, and presumably it is hitherto unknown.
R. Yosef Rosen (1858-1936) - known as the Rogatchover (after his birthtown Rogatchov [Rahachow]), was a Chabad-Kopust follower. In his youth, he was a disciple of R. Yosef Dov Ber Soloveitchik, author of Beit HaLevi, together with the latter's son R. Chaim of Brisk. From 1889, he served as rabbi of the Chabad Chassidic community in Dvinsk, Latvia alongside the rabbi of the city, the Or Same'ach, position he held for 40 years. A remarkable figure renowned for his tremendous sharpness and genius, he was proficient in all areas of the Torah, down to its finest details, producing profound definitions, hypotheses and original methods of Torah study. Tales of his genius and indescribable diligence abound. His legendary brilliance was also highly regarded by the secular world in his days and Bialik reputedly said that "two Einsteins could be carved out from the mind of the Rogatchover". The Rogatchover dealt extensively in explaining the teachings of the Rambam and wrote numerous halachic responsa. His responsa and novellae were published in his Tzofnat Pane'ach series. His printed books are a small part of the incessant flow of the inexhaustible fountain of his Torah. Due to the profundity of his teachings and his concise, cryptic style of writing, several projects have risen in recent generations to decipher and explain his teachings, resulting in the publishing of annotated editions of his works.
Recipient of the letter: R. Moshe Chaskin (1872-1950, Otzar HaRabbanim 14708), a close disciple and associate of R. Yitzchak Elchanan Spektor (introduced to him by the Chafetz Chaim, who admired him). He served for 15 years as rabbi of Krakinova, where he headed a preparatory yeshiva to the Slabodka yeshiva. During WWI, he went to serve as rabbi of Pryluky. He immigrated to Eretz Israel in 1933. He authored many important books, primarily pertaining to the laws of Eretz Israel.
Postcard. 9X14 cm. Over 18 autograph lines of close handwriting. Good condition. Postmarks and the Rogatchover's stamps from his tenure as rabbi of Dvinsk.
Babylonian Talmud with commentaries. Amsterdam: Immanuel Benveniste, [1644-1648]. Complete set in sixteen volumes (apart from several missing leaves).
Sixteen volumes printed in 1644-1648, some volumes comprise several tractates, as follows: • Berachot, with Order Zera'im. • Shabbat, Eiruvin. • Pesachim, Chagigah, Beitza, Moed Katan. • Rosh Hashanah, Taanit, Yuma, Sukkah, Shekalim (Yerushalmi), Megillah. • Yevamot, Ketubot. • Gittin, Nedarim, Sotah, Nazir. • Kiddushin. • Bava Kama (lacking title page), Bava Metzia. • Bava Batra. • Sanhedrin. • Makkot, Shevuot, Minor Tractates, Horayot, Eduyot, Avodah Zara. • Zevachim. • Menachot. • Chullin (lacking 3 leaves of Kitzur Piskei HaRosh at the end of the volume). • Arachin, Me'ilah, Keritot, Temurah, Bechorot, Tamid, Middot, Kinnim. • Niddah, with Order Taharot.
Early ownership inscriptions and signatures. In the volume of Tractates Shabbat and Eiruvin - many glosses in Ashkenazic script. Early owner's signature on title page: "Yechiel Michel… son of R. Moshe Shapiro". On the front endpaper, inscription mentioning: "Our master and teacher R. Naftali HaLevi…". On the title page of Tractates Gittin and Nedarim: "Belongs to the great community leader R. Wolf son of Gavriel". On p. 2a of tractate Gittin: "This book belongs to the great Torah scholar R. Lieberlein…". In the Tractate Zevachim volume - glosses in Sephardic script. Calligraphic signature on the verso of the title page: "Mine, I, the young Yaakov son of Chaim Maimra". On the title page of Tractate Zevachim - ownership inscriptions: "G-d granted me this Gemara, so says Yehuda son of Naftali of Vienna"; "Yitzchak of Gunzenhausen".
16 volumes. 25-27 cm. Condition varies. A few volumes in good-fair condition. Most volumes in fair condition, a few in fair-poor condition. Stains and wear. Dampstains and traces of past dampness. Worming. Severe worming and extensive wear to some volumes. Open tears affecting text, repaired in part. Detached leaves. Old bindings, worn, not uniform, some detached. Several volumes without binding. Bookplates in several volumes.
See: R. N.N. Rabinowitz, Maamar al Hadpasat HaTalmud, Jerusalem 1952, pp. 93-95, regarding this edition of the Talmud.
Babylonian Talmud, set composed of the Amsterdam 1715-1717 edition and the Frankfurt am Main 1720-1721 edition, (incomplete).
Talmud previously owned by R. Nechemia Reischer dayan in Metz and rabbi of the Lothringen (Lorraine) region in ca. 1737-1765. The volumes of this set of Talmud bear his signatures and other ownership inscriptions (many written by his son R. Yaakov Reischer).
On the title pages of Tractates Yevamot and Rosh Hashanah, signature of "Nechemia son of the great R. Sh…". On the title page of Tractate Bava Kama: "Nechemia son of R. Sh.". On the endpapers of Tractate Bava Metzia, signatures: "Yaakov Reischer of Metz", "This Gemara belongs to my father R… Nechemia… 1749, Yaakov Reischer of Metz" (the inscription was deleted). On the title page of Tractate Chullin: "This Gemara belongs to my father, the prominent, renowned and outstanding R. Nechemia, today, Sunday [--] 1777" and other inscriptions.
The set includes 16 volumes, assembled from two editions - Amsterdam and Frankfurt, and bound in identical bindings, with the initials of R. Nechemia Reischer embossed on the spines: "N. B. M. Sh." (Hebrew letters - Nechemia ben Morenu Shimon), "N. S. R." (Nechemia Simon Reischer).
The volumes contain:
1. Tractate Shabbat. Amsterdam, . 2. Tractates Rosh Hashanah, Taanit, Megillah, Chagigah, Shekalim. Amsterdam, [1716-1717]. 3. Tractate Yevamot. Amsterdam, . 4. Tractates Ketubot. Amsterdam, . 5. Tractates Nedarim, Nazir, Sotah. Frankfurt am Main, . 6. Tractates Gittin, Kiddushin. Frankfurt am Main, . 7. Tractate Bava Kama. Frankfurt am Main, . 8. Tractate Bava Metzia. Frankfurt am Main . 9. Tractate Bava Batra. Frankfurt am Main. . 10. Tractates Sanhedrin, Makkot, Avot, Minor Tractates. Frankfurt am Main, . 11. Tractate Shevuot, Avodah Zarah, Horayot, Eduyot. Frankfurt am Main, . 12. Tractate Zevachim. Frankfurt am Main, . Lacking leaf  at the beginning, with "texts and corrections from accurate books". 13. Tractates Menachot, Bechorot. Frankfurt am Main, . 14. Tractate Chullin. Frankfurt am Main, . 15. Tractates Arachin, Temurah, Keritot, Me'ilah, Kinnim, Tamid, Middot. Frankfurt am Main, . 16. Tractate Niddah, Order Taharot. Frankfurt am Main, .
R. Nechemia Reischer, grandson of R. Yaakov Reischer author of Shevut Yaakov. His father, R. Shimon (son of the Shevut Yaakov), passed away at a young age, and R. Nechemia was raised by his illustrious grandfather, who entrusted his manuscripts with him, so that he could select which to publish. R. Nechemia was first appointed as posek and dayan in the Beit Din of his grandfather in Metz. In this position, he served alongside the Pnei Yehoshua, who was the rabbi of Metz after the passing of the Shevut Yaakov. In 1737, R. Nechemia was also appointed as first rabbi of the Duchy of Lothringen (Lorraine), a position he held for almost 30 years. He was a relative of R. Yehonatan Eybeschutz, at first being fond of him and supporting his candidacy as rabbi of Metz, yet later becoming one of his primary opponents, together with R. Yaakov Emden, in the polemic accusing R. Yehonatan Eybeschutz of Sabbateanism.
16 volumes. Approx. 36 cm. Overall good-fair condition. Stains and wear. Tears in several places. Detached leaves. Original leather bindings, with gilt embossed ornaments (faded) to spine, damage and wear to bindings.
Lengthy letter (2 pages, approx. 54 lines), handwritten by R. Yechezkel Banet and signed "Yechezkel son of R. Yaakov Banet". Nitra, Sivan 1842.
The letter is addressed to his son R. Yerachmiel Ber. Most of the letter is a halachic discussion regarding laws of mixtures, in response to his son's letter. The responsum was published in Zichron Avot (Bnei Brak, 1971, section 49d, pp. 83-84), with the omission of the familial passages in this letter.
R. Yechezkel Banet Rabbi of Nitra (1777-Tevet 1854), son of R. Yaakov Banet, a dayan of Alt-Ofen (Budapest). He was a disciple of R. Moshe Münz, rabbi of his home town, and of his relative R. Mordechai Banet Rabbi of Nikolsburg. In 1806, he was appointed rabbi of Szécsény, in place of his brother R. Moshe Mordechai Banet who went to serve as rabbi of Stompfa. After ten years in the rabbinate, he left his position and went to live in Balassagyarmat. In 1824, he was appointed rabbi of Paks, and in 1832, of Nitra, a position he held for over twenty years. He was renowned as one of the leading pious men of the generation in Hungary, and people turned to him for advice and salvation. The Ktav Sofer wrote about him in his eulogy: "An elder Torah scholar… did not cease studying, attaining the true meaning of Torah… a wise man is preferable to a prophet and people benefited from his advice and resourcefulness…" (Ishim BiTeshuvot HaChatam Sofer, p. 175, based on Drashot Ktav Sofer, 1972 edition, p. 203).
 leaf (2 pages, approx. 54 lines). 22.5 cm. High-quality greenish paper. Good condition. Light foxing to margins. Minor marginal tear.
Lengthy letter (3 pages), handwritten and signed by R. "Meir Dan son of R. Ch.Y." Plotzky. The first letter is immediately followed by a second letter handwritten and signed by R. Meir Dan, addressed to the brother-in-law of the recipient of the first letter. [Dvohrt (Warta)], Elul 1903.
The letter is addressed to R. Yosef (presumably R. Yosef Yoskovich of Łódź, author of Zichron Yosef), and begins with good year wishes: "Much peace and all the best, a good inscription and sealing in the book of the perfectly righteous, immediately for a good life". The letter contains Torah novellae on the topic of sitting in the Sukka and more (these novellae were printed based on this manuscript, in Kli Chemda - Festivals, published by R. D.A. Mandelbaum, Bnei Brak, 2001, pp. 301-302, section 101).
On the second half of the third page, additional letter handwritten and signed by R. "Meir Dan son of R. Ch.Y.", addressed to R. Leibel Widislavsky of Łódź (brother-in-law of the recipient of the first letter). The second letter contains instructions regarding the publishing of an article by R. Meir Dan - a biography of the Rema of Fano, which R. Leibel was printing at the time as part of the Rema of Fano's book Maamar HaNefesh (Piotrków, 1903). R. Meir Dan instructs him to publish the article in its entirety: "…do not change even one letter… and if you wish me to expand upon it, send me the galley proofs of the biography and I will add as much as you wish".
R. Meir Dan Plotzky (1866-1926), author of Kli Chemda, foremost Polish Torah scholar and rabbi, disciple of the Nefesh Chaya, the Gaon of Kutno and the Avnei Nezer. He served as rabbi of Dvohrt (Warta) and Ostrów-Mozowiecka, and participated in the famous expedition of prominent rabbis who traveled to the US in 1924, together with the Devar Avraham Rabbi of Kovno, R. Moshe Mordechai Epstein and R. Avraham Yitzchak Kook.
 double leaf (3 written pages), official stationery. 22 cm. Good condition. Wear and minor tears.
Tehillim with the Metzudot commentaries. Separate title page for the Maamadot. Zhitomir: Shapira Brothers - R. Chanina Lipa, R. Aryeh Leib and R. Yehoshua Heshel, 1858.
15-144; 25 leaves. 23 cm. Lacking title page and the following 15 leaves as well as 6 leaves at the end (since the book is bibliographically unlisted, it is unclear whether there were originally more leaves). Separate title page for the Maamadot. The title page and most of the missing leaves were replaced with photocopies. Stains, damage and wear. Tears to many leaves, professionally restored. New leather binding.
This edition is not listed in the Bibliography of the Hebrew Book, nor does it appear in the NLI catalogue.
Letter (approx. 14 lines) handwritten and signed by R. Elchanan Wasserman, written during his journey to the United States. Chicago, [after 1935].
Addressed to the community leaders in Tel Aviv. Recommendation for R. Shmuel Weitzel of Baranovich (Baranavichy), in favor of his appointment as rabbi of one of the Tel Aviv neighborhoods:
"…Being that I have known this rabbi for many years, I thought to introduce him in a place where he is not known, since he is very dear and exalted, pleasing to G-d and to man, and it is a great deed to help him as much as possible, to support him from the public fund, so that he can learn and teach, as befits a Torah scholar of his stature… Blessing him… with a life of happiness, blessing and ultimate good… Elchanan Bunem Wasserman".
R. Elchanan Wasserman (1875-1941), a renowned Torah scholar, and foremost yeshiva dean in Lithuania. He was a disciple of R. Shimon Shkop in the Telshe yeshiva and prominent disciple of the Chafetz Chaim. He served as lecturer and dean in the Brisk (Brest) yeshiva and other places. During WWI, at the behest of the Chafetz Chaim, he established a yeshiva in Smilavichy (Minsk province, today Belarus). After the war, R. Elchanan founded Yeshivat Ohel Torah in Baranovich.
He represented the Chafetz Chaim and R. Chaim Ozer Grodzinski in the Moetzet Gedolei HaTorah of Agudat Yisrael. He composed many essays on Jewish ideology which were later published in his book Ikveta DeMeshicha, in which he expressed the Torah stance of his teacher the Chafetz Chaim on Zionist nationalism and the spiritual state of the Jewish people. During the Holocaust, he was deported to the Kovno (Kaunas) ghetto, and was murdered in the Seventh Fort, while studying the laws of Kiddush HaShem. His teachings and lectures were published in the following books: Kovetz Shiurim, Kovetz He'arot, Kovetz Inyanim, Kovetz Igrot HaGaon R. Elchanan Wasserman and others. His approach in learning and his books serve until this day as the basis of intensive yeshiva study in the Torah world.
Beneficiary of the letter: R. Shmuel Weitzel (1905-1978), son of R. David Weitzel Rabbi of Baranovich (1875-1957), and son-in-law of R. Shalom Yitzchak Segal, rabbi of Tryškiai (1872-1936). A prominent student of the Beit Yosef - Novardok yeshiva in Białystok and a childhood friend of the Steipler. He also studied in the Radin and Baranovich yeshivot under R. Elchanan Wasserman and his uncle R. Y.Y. Lubchansky. He immigrated to Eretz Israel in 1935 and served as rabbi of Tel Aviv neighborhoods (first of Yaavetz HaTavor and later of the Brenner neighborhood, position he held for several decades).
 leaf, official stationery (with a picture of the yeshiva building). 28 cm. Good condition. Creases and filing holes.
One volume comprising six books of Hebrew grammar. Venice: Daniel Bomberg, 1546.
1-4. Dikdukim, four books on Hebrew grammar printed together (each with a separate title page): Mahalach Shvilei Hadaat by R. Moshe Kimchi, with the commentary of R. Eliyahu Bachur; Petach Devarai by R. Eliyahu Bachur; Tzachut BeDikduk by R. Avraham ibn Ezra; Moznei Lashon HaKodesh by R. Avraham ibn Ezra. Venice: Daniel Bomberg, 1546.
5. Sefer HaHarkava by R. Eliyahu Bachur, including Pirkei Eliyahu by the same author - appended to the book with a separate title page, from leaf 45 until the end. Venice: Daniel Bomberg, 1546.
6. Marpeh Lashon by R. Moshe ibn Habib. Venice: Daniel Bomberg, .
All books are bound in one volume. Four grammar books: , 9-49, , 53-236 leaves. Lacking 9 leaves in the middle (leaves 1-8 and leaf 50). Large tear to leaf 49 (with no loss). HaHarkava: 83,  leaves. Marpeh Lashon:  leaves. Lacking one leaf in the middle, and last leaf. All missing leaves were replaced in manuscript (neat Italian script). 15.5 cm. Fair-good condition. Stains and wear. Dampstains. A few tears and some damage. Early leather binding, worn.
Imrei Shefer, super commentary to Rashi on the Torah, by R. Natan Shapiro Rabbi of Horodna. [Kraków -]Lublin: Kalonymus son of Mordechai Jaffe, -1597. First edition.
Copy previously owned by the great Torah scholar and kabbalist, R. Natan Adler of Frankfurt. Many ownership inscriptions attesting that the book belonged to R. Natan Adler Katz son of R. [Yaakov] Shimon, on the front endpapers, title page, pp. 150b and 151a (in Hebrew and German).
On p. 150a, ownership inscription in early Ashkenazic script: "Yitzchak son of Aharon".
At the end of the book of Bereshit, on p. 85b, familial inscription: "In the memory of the passing of my mother Zis, who passed away on Wednesday, 22nd Adar 1732… in Winternheim…".
R. Natan HaKohen Adler Katz (1742-1800), was born in Frankfurt am Main to R. Yaakov Shimon Adler. He was an outstanding Torah scholar and eminent kabbalist. He headed the yeshiva he established in his home in Frankfurt, and was the prime teacher of R. Moshe Sofer - the Chatam Sofer, who mentions him extensively in his books in matters of Halacha and Kabbalah, referring to him as "My prime teacher, the renowned and pious Torah scholar, the great eagle" (alluding to the name Adler, German for eagle), and other similar titles. He suffered much persecution from the residents of his city, who even forbade him from holding prayers services in his Beit Midrash conforming with his singular kabbalistic customs. He served for a while as rabbi of Boskowitz (Boskovice), yet later returned to his home and Beit Midrash in Frankfurt.
, 259 leaves. Lacking last leaf. 31.5 cm. Condition varies, most leaves in good-fair condition. Title page incomplete, with loss primarily to margins, affecting bottom border. The remaining part was mounted on an old leaf (dating from R. Natan Adler's ownership of the book, as one inscription was written on this leaf), resulting in concealment of preface (printed on verso of title page). Stains and wear, dampstains. Tears to several leaves, repaired with paper. Old binding, with leather spine, damaged.
The first part of the book was printed by the author's son in Kraków, 1591. He was then summoned to serve as rabbi and yeshiva dean in Lublin, where, in 1597, he completed the printing of the book, starting from Vayikra onwards, including the title page. The Bibliography of the Hebrew Book list a copy (181325), in which leaves 139-150 were also reprinted in Lublin. In this copy, leaves 1-96 and 103-138 were printed in Kraków, while leaves 97-102 in addition to the last part of the book, were printed in Lublin.
30 wimpels (Torah binders). Germany and Switzerland, Tishrei 1861 - Tevet 1987 (most are from late 19th century through mid-20th century).
Linen, ink and paint; embroidery.
30 illustrated wimpels (except for two late machine-embroidered wimpels), some home-made and some made by artisans. Decorated with wedding canopies, Torah scrolls and Torah crowns, vegetal motifs, animals, and images representing the child and his family - an ewer and a basin for washing hands for a Levy, hands raised for priestly benediction for a Cohen, and a bull for a child born under the zodiac sign Taurus.
Added on some of the wimpels are inscriptions in German and French with the name of the child and his date of birth according to the Gregorian calendar.
Approx. 2.55 to 4 meters. Good-fair overall condition. Some are in fair-poor condition. One lacks a sheet. Tears, stains, unravelling.
Letter handwritten and signed by the Netziv of Volozhin, granting power of attorney to the bearer of this letter - R. "Eliezer son of Aryeh from here, community of Volozhin" - to transfer Eretz Israel monies received by the Netziv to the Vaad HaKlali fund in Jerusalem. [Volozhin], 1885.
The Netziv, who would customarily sign "I, who is laden with work", signed this letter with a longer, flowery text: "I, who is laden with much work, who sits and awaits the future redemption, and there may we merit to disseminate Torah, Naftali Tzvi Yehuda Berlin.
R. Naftali Tzvi Yehuda Berlin - the Netziv of Volozhin (1817-1893), a foremost and outstanding Torah scholar of his generation, was the son-in-law of R. Yitzchak of Volozhin and his successor as dean of the yeshiva for decades. His father, R. Yaakov Berlin of Mir (1794-1868), immigrated to Jerusalem in 1854 and was one of the leaders of the Prushim community in Jerusalem.
Known for his great diligence and brilliance, the Netziv led the Volozhin yeshiva with devotion and love for many years, until the yeshiva became the main breeding ground for Torah leaders who were the glory of Lithuanian, Russian and Polish Jewry. With his noble personality and profound, thorough erudition, he produced generations of eminent Torah scholars, yeshiva deans, dayanim and rabbis. He was also engaged in public leadership and his opinion was conclusive on all community matters in Russia and Lithuania. He responded to halachic queries which many rabbis sent to him, customarily signing his letters in those years as "he who is laden with work". He composed many books, including HaEmek She'ela - novellae on She'iltot; HaEmek Davar on the Torah; Responsa Meishiv Davar; Talmudic novellae and commentaries on Halachic midrashim: Mechilta, Sifri and Sifra.
 leaf. 13 cm. Good condition. Folding marks, stains. Large cut to the lower-right hand corner of the leaf.
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.
Torah scroll. [Yemen, 19th century].
Ink on Gevil (soft texture, dark reddish-brown hue). Yemenite scribal script.
Some of the membranes were replaced and are written in a later script, ca. early 20th century.
Height of membranes: approx. 48 cm. Fair condition. Stains, tears and wear.
Shaarei Avodah, foundations of worship of G-d according to Kabbalah and Chabad Chassidic teachings, by Rebbe Aharon HaLevi Segal Horowitz of Starosel'ye. Shklow, . First edition.
Title page states: "Shaarei Avoda, named the Worship of Average Men - composed and established by the Rebbe… Aharon HaLevi… based on the foundations of worship which he received from his teacher… R. Shneur Zalman… and based on golden foundations of the Zohar and the writings of the Arizal". The book endeavors to explain the fundamentals of Chabad's approach to worship of G-d, based on the principles of the Arizal's doctrine, as the author absorbed and understood from the teachings of his prime teacher, the Baal HaTanya.
Rebbe Aharon HaLevi Segal Horowitz (1766?-1829), G-dly kabbalist, outstanding and profound Torah scholar. A leading and close disciple of the Baal HaTanya. From the age of 17, he did not part from his teacher, and became his confidant and close attendant. During most of his teacher's tenure as rebbe, he was the close friend of the Rebbe's son, R. Dov Ber, the Mitteler Rebbe of Lubavitch. They together offered guidance in worship of G-d to the young men who frequented the Rebbe's court, and both wrote letters to the Chassidim in matters of service of G-d. When the Baal HaTanya moved to Liadi in 1802, he followed him there, to remain close to his teacher. The conflict between him and the Mitteler Rebbe began ca. 1809, for various reasons, together with a certain tension between him and his teacher, the Baal HaTanya, which caused him to return to his hometown Osweya. His teacher was deeply sorrowed by his departure, exclaiming "One of my eyes was excised". After the passing of the Baal HaTanya in 1813, a fierce controversy erupted between R. Aharon and the Mitteler Rebbe, regarding the spiritual heritage of the Baal HaTanya, an intellectual debate in profound topics of service of G-d according to the Chabad doctrine. Letters, booklets and books were written and printed on both sides, in which each one exposes his method and approach, and criticizes the opponent's approach. Thus, two courts following the teachings of the Baal HaTanya developed. R. Aharon served as rebbe in Starosel'ye, whilst the Mitteler Rebbe served as Rebbe in Lubavitch (Lyubavichi). Several of the Baal HaTanya's foremost disciples adopted the path of R. Aharon, headed by R. Avraham Sheiness, son-in-law of the Baal HaTanya.
In 1820, R. Aharon published in Shklow his first composition - Shaarei HaYichud VehaEmunah, in which he explains the Arizal's doctrine based on the teachings of the Baal HaTanya. That book begins with an important preface, which served as a basis for investigating the nature of the Baal HaTanya's school of thought. This book, Shaarei Avoda, is the second book published in his lifetime, and consists of explanations of the fundamentals of worship of G-d according to teachings of the Arizal and the Baal HaTanya, as he understood them. In his preface to this book, he contests the approach of the Mitteler Rebbe. After his passing, his books Avodat HaLevi on the Torah and Festivals were published, including in-depth halachic esponse he replied to queries sent to him.
Signature in Oriental script on title page: "The young Yisrael Basso". A few glosses in Oriental script.
, 12, 17-49; 52; 70; 60; 22 leaves. 16.5 cm. Greenish paper. Good-fair condition. Stains and worming, wear to first and last leaves (with minor repairs). Minor tears to upper margin of some leaves, not affecting text. New leather binding.
Stefansky Chassidut, no. 589.
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.
Responsa Or Olam - Meir Netivim, two parts, Halachic responsa, and pilpul on the Torah, by R. Meir Margolies Rabbi of Lviv and Ostroh. Polonne, [1791-1792]. First edition.
The author, R. Meir Margolies (ca. 1707?-1790), was a leading disciple of the Baal Shem Tov, and one of the first to cleave to him, even prior the Baal Shem Tov becoming famous. R. Meir is considered a "colleague-disciple" of the Baal Shem Tov and mentions him in several places as "my teacher" and "my friend". In his book Sod Yachin UBoaz (Ostroh, 1794), he writes of "my teachers, prominent in Torah and Chassidism, headed by my friend the pious R. Yisrael Baal Shem Tov… and from my youth, when I attached myself with bonds of love to my teacher and friend R. Yisrael Baal Shem Tov… I knew with absolute certainty that his conduct was in holiness and purity, piety and ascetism… occult matters were revealed to him…".
R. Meir Margolies served as rabbi of Horodenka, Lviv (from 1754) and Ostroh (from 1777), and was a leading and prominent rabbi in his times. In 1776, he received an official nomination from the King of Poland, Stanisław August Poniatowski, notifying the rabbis of those provinces of R. Meir's appointment by the royal court, retroactively from 1766, as Chief Rabbi of Ukraine (the rabbinical appointment, in gilt letters, is preserved until this day in the Dubnow archives in New York).
The Meir Netivim was a prolific author in both revealed and esoteric realms of the Torah, in Halacha and in homily. After his passing, his writings were arranged and published by his sons. The series of books was entitled Or Olam. This book, Meir Netivim in two parts, was the first book to be published. The book bears enthusiastic approbations by Chassidic leaders, including R. Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev, R. Zusha of Anipoli and the Ohev Yisrael of Apta.
The preface contains novellae by R. Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev on Tractate Pesachim. The last eight leaves of the book are comprised of novellae on Tractate Berachot by the brother of the author, R. Yitzchak Dov Ber Margolies, Rabbi of Yazlowitz, a close disciple of the Baal Shem Tov.
Incomplete and damaged copy. 3-30, 33-97, , 3-56 leaves. Lacking first two leaves - title page of part I and subsequent leaf with approbations. 33.5 cm. Fair-poor condition. Stains and dampstains. Worming affecting text. Wear and tears. Tears affecting text to leaf 6 of the first pagination, and to last 6 leaves (with old paper repairs). Non-acidic adhesive tape to several leaves. Old binding.
Stefansky Chassidut, no. 313.
Lengthy and interesting letter, handwritten and signed by R. Yehoshua Buxbaum. "Ujhely" (Sátoraljaújhely), 1906.
Letter from his younger years (while still being supported by his father-in-law), addressed to his close friend in Jerusalem R. Noach Tzvi Kalfus, requesting he pray for him and mention him in prayer at holy sites. In this letter, R. Yehoshua expresses his passion for worship of G-d, and his lofty aspirations to reach ever higher levels of holiness.
He concludes the letter with his signature: "Yoshia son of Malka Buxbaum", adding the names of his children, father-in-law and mother-in-law to be mentioned in prayer: "My wife Miriam bat Rivka. My son Yechiel Yosef. My son Avraham Yitzchak. My father-in-law who supports me Meir Chaim ben Miriam - we should all be blessed".
R. Yehoshua (Yoshia) Buxbaum - rabbi of Galanta (1878-perished in the Holocaust 1944). Foremost Hungarian yeshiva dean. Close disciple of R. Moshe Yosef Hoffman, dayan of Pápa, and of R. Shmuel Rosenberg Rabbi of Unsdorf (who acclaimed him: "Perhaps he is the most elite of all the disciples I have in this world, and I am convinced that he will become a leader of the Jewish people"). During his youth, upon the advice of his teacher, rabbi of Unsdorf, he attached himself to Rebbe Yechezkel Shraga of Shinova - who drew him especially close, and imparted to him the ways of Torah and Chassidism. In later years, he continued frequenting the courts of the rebbes of his generation, who spoke with great amazement of the lofty levels he reached. Rebbe Yissachar Dov of Belz praised him "he elevated himself on his own, and is a lofty and exalted power". Rebbe Yisrael of Vizhnitz termed him a pure righteous man. The Tchebiner Rav related that he met him numerous times in Marienbad and that "he appeared to be like a divine angel" (Introduction to Nachal Yehoshua, quoting the book BeTzilo Chimadti).
After his marriage in 1902 with the daughter of R. Meir Chaim Bloch of Ujhel, he remained there to study Torah, until 1910 when he accepted the position of rabbi of Magendorf (Veľký Meder) at the directive of his teacher the Be'er Shmuel, and established there a prominent yeshiva. The place quickly became too small to contain the hundreds of students who came to absorb his teachings, and he was compelled to relocate to Galanta (in 1922), where he succeeded R. Yosef Tzvi Dushinsky (who had gone to serve as rabbi of Khust). He edified thousands of G-d fearing and erudite disciples, and ignited them with the passion for love of G-d and His worship. After the Holocaust, his remaining disciples founded Hitachdut HaTalmidim (Union of Disciples), establishing study halls in his memory, and publishing the books Or Pnei Yehoshua and Nachal Yehoshua of his Torah thoughts. These books contain dozens of his letters, yet this letter does not appear there, and was presumably hitherto unknown.
 leaf. Approx. 29 cm. Fair-poor condition. Severe stains. Tears and wear, affecting text. Leaf torn at the folds, affecting a whole line of text in middle of leaf (repaired with tape).
Lengthy letter (approx. 48 lines) handwritten and signed by R. Yaakov Yisrael Kanievsky (the Steipler). Bnei Brak, 1960.
Addressed to R. Efraim Greenblatt (author of Rivevot Efraim) in the United States. Includes responsa on Talmudic topics, with enlightening contents and fascinating expressions of modesty. The Steipler begins the letter by apologizing for not answering a letter he had sent him regarding laws of mikvaot, explaining that "…since my books have become widespread, numerous letters and booklets arrive weekly, and what can I do. I contemplated to adopt silence, and the sender may infer that the letter wasn't received…". At the foot of the letter, he adds: "Now as well I am very busy with arranging and printing my book on Gittin, may G-d grant me the merit of completing it successfully, and I am not able to delve into other topics…".
Passages from this letter were published in Kitvei Kehillot Yaakov HaChadashim (Part I, Bnei Brak 1998, section 103 on Tractate Pesachim, pp. 215-216; section 138 on Tractate Yoma, p. 269), other sections of it were published in Karyana D'Igarta (1990 edition, Part II, Letter 247, pp. 253-254).
Aerogram. 28 cm. Written on both sides. Address also handwritten by the Steipler. Good-fair condition. Folding marks, wear and minor tears.
Letter, approximately six lines handwritten and signed by Rebbe Avraham Mordechai Alter. [Ger (Góra Kalwaria), Tevet 1938].
The subject of the letter is somewhat enigmatic, and was presumably only understood by the recipient of the letter: "To my beloved, dear friend Mr. Yosef Yoskovich. I am pleased with what you wrote you would send every week to Jerusalem, though I request you inform me of this as well, and I hereby bless you with success. Your friend, who seeks your wellbeing, Avraham Mordechai Alter".
The elder Rebbe of Ger - R. Avraham Mordechai Alter, author of Imrei Emet (1865-1948), third Rebbe of the Ger dynasty. Son of the Sefat Emet, he was a holy and outstanding Torah scholar. A founder of Agudat Yisrael and prominent leader of Orthodox Jewry before the Holocaust, he served as rebbe to tens of thousands of Ger Chassidim in Poland. During the Holocaust, most his Chassidim and dozens of his descendants perished, yet the Rebbe miraculously survived and immigrated to Jerusalem, where he rebuilt the Ger Chassidic dynasty and its yeshivot. His surviving sons all in turn served as rebbes: the Beit Yisrael, the Lev Simcha and the Pnei Menachem. He was named the Imrei Emet after his book.
 leaf. 13X10 cm. Good-fair condition. Folding marks. Wear and stains. Strip of paper pasted to verso.
Manuscript, prayers for the Ten Days of Repentance and Psalms with individualized prayers based on the names of the writer "Moshe son of Rachel" and his children "Perel Nesel daughter of Esther" and "Shmuel son of Esther". Ashkenazic Stam script, on parchment. [Europe, ca. 19th century].
The manuscript includes: Psalms 22, 121, 20; verses from Psalm 119 spelling out the name "Moshe son of Rachel"; a prayer requesting G-d's assistance for repentance; verses from Psalm 119 beginning with the letters of the names "Perel Nesel daughter of Esther" and "Shmuel son of Esther"; prayer requesting that G-d grant him children who will live a long life without sin prayer for Yom Kippur eve (similar to the Tefilla Zaka prayer), and another prayer requesting that his prayers be accepted.
 parchment leaves. Approx. 17 cm. Good condition. Stains and wear. Early leather binding, with restored spine.
Important Letter from Rebbe Zelig Morgenstern of Sokołów – Upon a Printed Invitation to his Daughter’s Wedding – Sokołów, 1930 – Interesting Anecdote Regarding the Chatam Sofer and the 1910 Rabbinical Congress in St Petersburg
Lengthy letter (approx. 33 lines) handwritten and signed by Rebbe Yitzchak Zelig Morgenstern Rabbi of Sokołów. Sokołów, . Written on the second leaf of the printed invitation to the wedding of his daughter, Sarah, with R. Binyamin Morgenstern son of R. Yaakov Aryeh Rabbi of Wyszków.
Letter with particularly significant and noteworthy content, addressed to R. Tzvi Hirsch Farber, a foremost London rabbi. The Rebbe writes against the government's initiative to entrust the authority over ritual slaughter and Kashrut to the Chief Rabbi of the British Empire. The letter also reveals an interesting insight imparted by the Chatam Sofer. The Rebbe begins with enjoining R. Tzvi Hirsch and the rabbinical council to express their vehement protest on this matter, to the point of instructing the Orthodox rabbis who are members of the Chief Rabbinate, not to collaborate with this scheme, as they are required to have foresight. The grounds for the objection are firstly, the unfeasibility of governing the Kashrut of the entire country, and mainly, since there is no guarantee as to what kind of rabbis and Chief Rabbi will later be instated. He relates that the government bade the Chatam Sofer to become the chief rabbi of Hungary, with authority over the rabbinate and all religious matters, yet the Chatam Sofer categorically refused to accept this position, contending that he did not know who his successors would be.
The Rebbe later in the letter relates of a similar issue which was raised in the famous Rabbinical Congress in St. Petersburg in 1910, in which the Rebbe participated as a representative of Poland, together with other leading Polish rabbis. On that occasion, all the rabbis unanimously ruled against delegating all religious affairs to a special committee of rabbis, arguing that one cannot foresee who would later succeed them. They recalled the controversy which arose in France, when the government wished to give the Chief Rabbinate the power to liberate Jewish women from their marital status, just like priests in other faiths are authorized to release women from their husbands. The Rebbe then mentions how the Orthodox rabbis in Kovno are campaigning against the institution of a chief rabbinate controlling all religious affairs. Consequently, the London community, who already have a Chief Rabbinate and can see for themselves the power they hold, must endeavor to dissuade the government from assigning the Chief Rabbinate the Kashrut institute, upon which the holiness of the Jewish people rests. "Surely, your government, which upholds religious freedom, will not force upon you this unnecessary institution, and may G-d be with your mouths… One who writes for the sake of truth and religion - Yitzchak Zelig Morgenstern Rabbi of Sokołów".
R. Yitzchak Zelig Morgenstern (1865-1940, Encyclopedia of Chasidut, II, pp. 402-404), a foremost rebbe and rabbi of Poland and leader of European Orthodox Jewry. A grandson of R. Mendele of Kotzk and son of the Rebbe of Pulav (Puławy). He served as rabbi of Sokołów since 1899. One of the initiators of the Rabbinical Association of Poland and its vice president, a founder of "Agudat Yisrael" and representative of the Gerrer Rebbe in the "Moetzet Gedolei HaTorah". From 1904, he served as Rebbe in Sokołów and Otwock, establishing a yeshivah which he headed. Thousands of Chasidim flocked to his court for guidance and encouragement, advice and assistance. Amongst his descendants were dynasties of Rebbes (Novominsk and others). Remnants of his novellae were published in the book She'erit Yitzchak (Tel Aviv, 1989).
 folded leaf. 22 cm. Good condition. Filing holes to the invitation leaf, slightly affecting the text of the invitation.
Likutim Yekarim, anthology of Chassidic essays from the founders of Chassidism, R. Yisrael Baal Shem Tov, and his disciples: R. Dov Ber Maggid of Mezeritch, R. Menachem Mendel of Premishlan and R. Yechiel Michel Maggid of Zlotchov. Lemberg (Lviv): R. Shlomo Yarish Rappoport, .
The vast majority of the book comprises selections of the teachings of the Maggid of Mezeritch.
Signatures (in Oriental script) on the title page: "Yechezkel Avraham Matzliach", "the young Abdall[ah] Fredj [---]", "the one who trusts in G-d, Shmuel Chaim Abdall[ah] Fredj Yechezkel" (members of the renowned Matzliach family, of Baghdad and Calcutta).
, 40 leaves. Approx. 20.5 cm. Fair condition. Stains and wear. Worming and open tears to title page and approx. five subsequent leaves, affecting text in some places, professionally restored with paper and photocopy. Damage and tears to other leaves, repaired.
Stefansky Chassidut, no. 301.
The printing press of R. Shlomo Yarish Rappoport also notably published the holy book Noam Elimelech in 1788, and its workers were reputedly holy men of the 36 hidden righteous people of the generation (see: R. B. Landau, R. Elimelech MiLizhensk, Jerusalem, 1963, p. 311, who quotes an oral tradition [in the name of R. Moshe Halberstam], on the unique qualities of R. Shlomo Yarish's edition of the Noam Elimelech, which "was printed by G-d fearing workers, who worked in sanctity and purity, and some were of the 36 hidden righteous ones upon whom the world stands").
Lengthy letter (4 pages) handwritten and signed by R. Meir Arik Rabbi of Tarnów. Tarnów, 1924.
Halachic responsum pertaining to laws of loans with interest and other topics. Following the signature, R. Meir adds some familial news: "My daughter came this Sunday from Lviv, escaping great danger. Praise G-d for His great kindness to us. The wedding of my granddaughter Reizel was set for Friday, 5th Shevat…".
R. Meir Arik (1855-1925), a leading Galician Torah scholar, served as rabbi of Yazlovets, Buchach and Tarnów. He was a disciple of R. Yaakov of Rimalov (Hrymailiv) and of the Maharsham. From 1885, he served as rabbi of Yazlovets, in place of his teacher the Maharsham who moved to Berezhany. From 1912, he served as rabbi of Buchach. During WWI, he fled to Vienna, studying Torah there with his friend R. Yosef Engel. Following the war, he returned to Galicia and was appointed rabbi of Tarnów. Many of Poland's leading Torah scholars were his disciples, the most renowned ones include R. Meir Shapiro of Lublin, R. Aryeh Tzvi Frumer - the Gaon of Koziegłowy, R. David Sperber Gaon of Brașov, R. Yehuda Horowitz - Rebbe of Dzikov, R. Meshulam Roth author of Kol Mevaser, R. Reuven Margolies and R. Yehoshua Erenberg Rabbi of Tel Aviv.
He published many books, yet most of his manuscripts were lost during his escape to Vienna during WWI, including five large volumes of halachic responsa. His books: Sheyarei Tahara on Mishnayot Order Taharot (Kolomyia, 1890); Minchat Kenaot on Tractate Sota (Lviv, 1894); Minchat Pitim on Shulchan Aruch Yoreh De'ah and Even HaEzer (Munkacs, 1898-1908); Tal Torah (Vienna, 1921); Responsa Imrei Yosher part I (Munkacs, 1913), part II (Kraków-Tarnów, 1925); and other books containing selections of his Torah thought and letters: Minchat Aharon - Me'irat Einayim (Brooklyn, 1978) and Imrei Yosher HaChadash - Tal Torah HaChadash (Jerusalem, 1997). This responsum was not printed in the books of R. Meir Arik, and presumably was never published.
 double leaf (4 pages). Approx. 22 cm. Good condition. Folding marks and minor stains.
Letter from R. Baruch Ber Leibowitz, dean of the Knesset Beit Yitzchak yeshiva in Kamenitz (Kamyenyets). [Kamenitz], Elul 1937.
Lengthy letter (in Yiddish) from the Kamenitz yeshiva, with blessings for a good year, addressed to a family of philanthropists in Philadelphia, United States. The letter, mostly typewritten, concludes with 6 lines handwritten and signed by R. Baruch Ber Leibowitz, the yeshiva dean, with warm and hearty blessings in Yiddish and Hebrew: "I second the blessings… may you be written and sealed in the book of absolute pious men, immediately for a good and advanced life, for a good and blessed year, with all the blessings, success and satisfaction, wealth and happiness, a year in which our Messiah will come. The words of one who blesses him with a good inscribing and sealing… Baruch Dov Leibovitz dean of the Beit Yitzchak yeshiva".
R. Baruch Dov (Ber) Leibowitz (1864-1940), author of Birkat Shmuel, taught many disciples. Disciple of R. Chaim of Brisk in the Volozhin Yeshiva, son-in-law of R. Avraham Yitzchak Zimmerman Rabbi of Hlusk. After his father-in-law relocated to the Kremenchuk rabbinate, he succeeded him in the Hlusk rabbinate and established a yeshiva. After a 13-year tenure, he was asked to head the Knesset Beit Yitzchak Yeshiva in Slobodka. During WWI, he wandered with the yeshiva to Minsk, Kremenchuk and Vilna, finally settling in Kamenets. Author of Birkat Shmuel on Talmudic treatises. His writings are basic works of deep yeshiva Torah study.
2 leaves, official stationery. Good condition.
Oil-painting by the Kabbalist Rabbi Yehuda Leon Patilon.
Oil on canvas. Signed: "Patilon".
The painting depicts camels and palm trees on the background of a lake.
Kabbalist Rabbi Yehuda Leon Patilon (d. Heshvan 1974) was known as a miracle worker. He made a living as a painter, earning the nickname "The Holy Painter". Rabbi Yehuda Patilon belonged to a a group of kabbalists who clandestinely studied together and were named after their professions: "The Shoemaker" - Rabbi Moshe Ya'akov Ravikov, "the Milkman" - Rabbi Chaim Ezra Cohen, "the Floorlayer" - Rabbi Avraham Fish and "the Street Cleaner" - Rabbi Yosef Waltoch.
40X77.5 cm. Framed: 46.5X94 cm. Fair-good condition. Significant foxing. Tears at margins of canvas. Canvas is detached from the wooden frame in a number of places.
Moshia Chosim, "by the young Avraham dei Galicchi Yagel of Monselice - a short homily including a cure for the plague using the secret of the three worlds, with Pitum HaKetoret, as arranged by the kabbalist R. Yehosef [son of Shraga] of Argenta". Venice: Zuan (Giovanni) di Gara, 1587. Only edition.
This is the first published composition of R. Avraham Yagel (dei Galicchi; 1553-1622, Otzar HaRabbanim 459), Italian physician, philosopher and kabbalist, author of the autobiographical-philosophical-kabbalistic composition Gei Chizayon and other books.
This book was composed in the wake of the plague that raged in Mantua in 1576. It concludes with the kabbalistic order of Pitum HaKetoret for arresting plagues, by the kabbalist R. Yehosef son of Shraga of Argenta - his only published work. The composition begins and ends with poems in praise of the book.
35 leaves. 14 cm. Fair-good condition. Stains. Ex-libris stamps. Worming. Tears to last leaf. Owners' signatures and inscriptions. New binding.
Letter handwritten and signed by R. Shimon Yehuda HaKohen Shkop, dean of the Grodno yeshiva. New York, Lag BaOmer, Iyar 1929.
Addressed to R. Avraham Eber HaLevi Kroizer, son of R. Chaim Yaakov Kroizer of Dolyna, author of Be'er Yaakov on Shulchan Aruch: "…I would like to express my appreciation for the book Be'er Yaakov which you presented me with. Due to my numerous occupations, I did not find the opportune time to study it properly, but the small part I saw testifies on the whole, which is built on a reliable base of Halacha, and the rulings are correct, and it will be a great merit for him if he endeavors to publish all the parts of this book until completion, it will bring satisfaction and elevation to the soul of his illustrious father, and will benefit those who study the book for practical application… One who speaks for the honor of the Torah – Shimon Yehuda HaKohen Shkop, yeshiva dean in Grodno.
R. Shimon Yehuda Shkop (1860-1939) was as disciple of R. Chaim Soloveitchik in the Volozhin yeshiva, who instructed him on intricate and profound methodology of Torah study. At the age of 24, he was appointed dean of the Telshe yeshiva (founded by his uncle R. Eliezer Gordon), where he gave over to the many students his innovative method of logical study - approach adopted by the entire Torah world until this day. One of his foremost disciples from that period was R. Elchanan Wasserman. In 1920, he was called to head the Shaar HaTorah yeshiva in Grodno. His works include: Shaarei Yosher, Maarechet HaKinyanim and Chiddushei R. Shimon Yehuda HaKohen.
 leaf, official stationery. 28 cm. 8 autograph lines and signature. Good condition. Folding marks.
Torah finials in the style of the Grana community (Livornese Jews). Tunisia, [first half of the 20th century].
Silver (Marked with Tunisian hallmarks), cast, repouseé and engraved.
The finials combine local influences with motifs from Italian sources: the lower part is inverted pear-shaped and decorated with engraved foliate and floral patterns in a style typical to North Africa. The upper part, inspired by Italian finials, consists of a six-faceted prism in vegetal patterns, with decorative plaques shaped as urns, hands pouring water, Tablets of the Law and more. Fixed on the edges are six stylized hooks with long chains ending with bells. On the shaft of one finial appears an engraved dedication in Hebrew: "For the rest of Maima Zribi, may she rest in peace."
A Jewish community of Livornese Jews, descendants of Jews expelled from Spain and Portugal, started growing in Tunisia in the 17th century. This community, named "Grana" (or "Gorni"), maintained close ties with its mother-community, and imported many Italian influences. Such Torah finials were created both in North Africa and in Italy.
Height: 38 cm. Good-fair condition. Numerous bends. Slight fractures. Hook, chains and bells are missing. Some of the bells are not original.
Melechet Machshevet, on the Five Books of the Torah, based upon natural sciences and philosophy, by R. Moshe Chefetz. Venice: Bragadin, . First edition.
Complete wide-margined copy on high-quality paper. Includes an engraved frontispiece, a leaf with an engraved portrait of the author, and a leaf with geometric diagrams. Another diagram on leaf 57.
The following caption appears beneath the portrait, alluding to the age of the author at the time of the printing: "Moshe Chefetz here in the picture, in 1710, at the age of me'ah" - at the age of 46 (numeric value of me'ah), though some misunderstood it to mean one hundred years of age (see below).
R. Moshe Chefetz (1664-1711, Otzar HaRabbanim 14709), Italian rabbi, researcher and philosopher. Born in Trieste, he was raised in Venice, where he later disseminated Torah. He possessed wide ranging knowledge of Torah, G-d and nature, as is portrayed in this book - Melechet Machshevet. He composed this book to find solace for the untimely passing of his son R. Gershom, author of Yad Charuzim. R. Moshe died at the young age of 48 on 30th Cheshvan 1711 (R. Chananel Nepi in his book, printed as part of Toldot Gedolei Yisrael of R. M.Sh. Ghirondi, Trieste 1853, p. 239). Samuel David Luzzatto (Shadal) quotes a tradition transmitted by Italian Torah scholars, which maintains that the sages of his generation, upon hearing of the text of the caption R. Moshe intended to place beneath his portrait in his book, tried to dissuade him from doing so, warning him that it is not something one can make jest of. He did not heed their warning, and passed away within that year (Igrot Shadal, VII, p. 1013).
Signature on the frontispiece: "Wolf son of R. Yaakov Tzvi…". Another signature (trimmed) at the top of the title page: "17th MarCheshvan 1795, Wolf ---".
, 98 leaves. 30.5 cm. Light-colored, high-quality paper. Good-fair condition. Stains. Worming (partly repaired), affecting text, and slightly affecting the portrait and engraved frontispiece. New binding.
Letter from R. Refael Shapiro dean of the Volozhin yeshiva. Volozhin (Valozhyn), Tevet 1899.
Addressed to the Jewish Baron Naftali Herz (Horace) Günzburg, the letter contains R. Refael's announcement of the reopening of the Volozhin yeshiva, and his request for the Baron's financial support. Written by a scribe, with the handwritten signature of R. "Refael Shapiro son-in-law of the Netziv of Volozhin".
"Behold it is known to all that the Volozhin yeshiva, which illuminated the face of the earth, producing light - the light of Torah to the Jewish people, and raising leading Torah scholars, and it has earnt fame! And after it has been closed for several years, its doors have opened, those doors of the study hall which were locked, and those who study Torah have gathered there in a very large group, large in quantity and quality, of the most exceptional young Torah scholars, and of the sharpest and most proficient young students… who study diligently day and night…".
R. Refael asks the Baron to assist him in bearing the load of "the Torah worship in Volozhin" which rests on his shoulder, and blesses the Baron with "great wealth and happiness, and the fulfillment of all his heart's desires for the good and for blessing". In the letter, he mentions his representative, the emissary R. Shmuel Ben Zion Shapiro.
The Volozhin yeshiva was shut down by the Russian authorities in 1892, in the lifetime of its illustrious dean, the Netziv of Volozhin. After several years, following the passing of the Netziv and with much lobbying (by the trustees from Vilna and Minsk, and with the local authorities turning a blind eye), they succeeded in reopening the doors of the Beit Midrash. In 1899, the yeshiva was reestablished under the leadership of R. Refael Shapiro, and it operated until the Holocaust under the guidance of his son R. Yaakov Shapiro. This letter was written in the first year of the reopening of the yeshiva.
R. Refael Shapiro, rabbi and dean of Volozhin (1837-1921), was the son of R. Aryeh Leib Rabbi of Kovno and son-in-law of the Netziv of Volozhin. He was renowned for his genius and diligence. In the years 1865-1881, he served as dean of the Volozhin yeshiva alongside his father-in-law the Netziv. He then went to serve as rabbi of Babruysk and other places. In 1899, when the yeshiva was reopened, he returned to Volozhin and was appointed rabbi and dean. During WWI, he fled to Minsk, where he taught Torah for some five years until his passing. His novellae and responsa were published in the three parts of his book Torat Refael. His son-in-law was R. Chaim HaLevi Soloveitchik, rabbi of Brisk, author of Chiddushei Rabbenu Chaim HaLevi.
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.
Certificate of recommendation for the young man "Ze'ev Wolf Schlesinger son of the late R. Zalman Schlesinger, called R. Zalman Yoffe", signed by prominent members of the Ujhel community, headed by R. Pinchas Aryeh Kahana Rappaport. Ujhel (Satoraljaujhely), 1796.
Other signatures: "Aharon Yoffe of Ujhel" and "Avraham Engel? of Ujhel". The seal of "K'hal Adat Yeshurun of Ujhel" appears alongside the signatures.
R. Pinchas Aryeh Kahana-Rappaport of Somotor (d. 1843), was an elder of the Ujhel-Sighet Chassidism. A tzaddik and outstanding Torah scholar, he served as shofar blower of the Rebbe, author of Yismach Moshe, in Ujhel. His grandson, R. Avraham Abele HaKohen, in his preface to the book Shalshelet HaZahav (biography of R. Naftali HaKohen, author of Semichat Chachamim, Mukachevo 1931), writes about his grandfather: "He was famous for his piety and for his Torah proficiency to the point that tales were told about him reminiscent of stories related about the disciples of the Baal Shem Tov…".
The Sighet Rebbe, author of Yitav Lev (grandson of the Yismach Moshe), cites Torah teachings in the name of R. Pinchas Aryeh in his book Yitav Panim: "I heard its explanation from R. Pinchas Somotor at the time he completed the Mishnayot by heart…" (Part I, p. 92b; he also mentions him in Part II, p. 6b).
 leaf. 19 cm. Good condition. Folding mark.
A case and a pair of finials for a Torah scroll. Iraq, [first half of the 20th century].
Cloth covered wood; alpaca sheet and copper sheet, repouseé, cast and engraved; no parchment; silver plate.
The case is covered with sheet metal decorated with a repetitive geometric and vegetal pattern and red tacks. The dome is made of alternating copper and alpaca strips, while the pear-shaped ornament on top is entirely covered with copper and decorated with chains and bells. The dome is surrounded by a coronet consisting of a repeating bud motif and decorated with red beads.
Two dedicatory text-strips appear on top and on the bottom of the case: "this case…for the late…Baruch son of Israel… wherever the owners of the Torah scroll wish to take and place it, they are allowed to do so…".
Enclosed are two silver-plated finials, in a typical Iraqi style. On each finial are seven loops for chains with bells suspended at the ends of the chains (some chains and bells lacking).
Height: 89 cm. Diameter: 26 cm. Fair-good condition. Fractures. Bends. Corrosion. Lacking parts from the metal cover and from the dedication. Dedicatory plates which generally appear inside the case are lacking. Torn chain; chains and bells lack from the ornament on top of the dome. Lacking beads. The tacks are faded and peeling. Finials in good-fair condition. Bends, corrosion, lacking chains and bells.
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.
Letter handwritten and signed by the kabbalist R. Yitzchak Isak Weiss, head of the Munkacs Beit Din, author of Beit Yitzchak. Munkacs (Mukachevo), Elul 1887.
Addressed to R. Yisrael Berger Rabbi of Probizhna (later head of the Bucharest Beit Din. Author of many books of selections from Chassidic masters: Zechut Yisrael, Eser Tzachtzachot and others). The letter mainly relates to the sale of R. Yisrael Berger's books, and concludes with blessings for a good year and a good life: "…And as the sound of the Shofar rises, may he and all his family members be inscribed in the book for good life…" - "Yitzchak Isak Weiss".
R. Yitzchak Isak Weiss (1824-1894), Rabbi of Svaliava and later head of the Munkacs Beit Din, author of Beit Yitzchak. He was the prime teacher of his nephew, R. Yosef Meir Weiss, first Rebbe of Spinka, author of Imrei Yosef. Born in Munkacs to R. Avraham Weiss (who was considered as a son to R. Yitzchak Isak of Kaliv).
R. Yitzchak Isak was a progenitor of Chassidism in Transylvania in the mid-19th century, and the disciple of foremost Rebbes: R. Tzvi Elimelech of Dinov author of Bnei Yissaschar, R. Yehuda Tzvi of Rozdil author of Daat Kedoshim (book compiled by his disciple R. Yitzchak Isak Weiss), R. Shalom of Belz, R. Yitzchak Isak of Ziditchov (who acclaimed him as one of the sixty mighty men surrounding him, and relied upon him to edit his writings in Chassidut and Kabbalah). After the passing of the Rebbe of Ziditchov, he frequented the courts of the Divrei Chaim of Sanz, R. Yisrael of Sadigura, R. Chaim of Kosov, R. Tzvi Hirsh of Rimanov and R. Meir of Premishlan. His son-in-law was Rebbe Elimelech Lowy, son of the first Rebbe of Tosh R. Meshulam Feish Lowy.
The Maharshag, R. Shimon Grünfeld Rabbi of Smihaly described R. Yitzchak Isak: "and I knew that he was a great Kabbalist, almost unique in the country in this wisdom" (Responsa Maharshag, part I, Orach Chaim section 30). From his large collection of writings, only the following were published: Toldot Yitzchak on the Torah, Divrei Yitzchak, and Beit Yitzchak on Tractate Megillah.
 leaf. 19.5 cm. Fair-poor condition. Stains and wear. Marginal damage to letter, with loss of text to right and left edges of the lines.
Certificate of "Chaver" ordination, handwritten and signed by R. Aryeh Leib Kahana Rappaport Rabbi of Hätzfeld. Written for his son-in-law and nephew R. Simcha Bunim Kahana Rappaport Rabbi of Bonn. Hätzfeld (Heidingsfeld, Würzburg district, Germany). Tishrei, .
R. Aryeh Leib Kahana Rappaort (ca. 1693-1780), son of the renowned Torah scholar, R. Baruch Kahana Rappaport. He served as rabbi of Schnaittach, and from 1741, of Hätzfeld. In his approbation to Chiddushei Hilchot Rashbatz (Fürth, 1779), he is termed "the rabbi, renowned Torah scholar… rabbi of Franconia". The Chida in Shem HaGedolim (Maarechet Gedolim, II, Mem) describes his meeting with R. Aryeh Leib, when he reached Hätzfeld during the course of his mission, and relates that he heard from him some novellae in the name of his father R. Baruch.
Recipient of the ordination - R. Simcha Bunim Kahana Rappaport (1730s-1816) was the son of R. Tzvi Hirsch Kahana, brother of R. Aryeh Leib. In his first marriage, R. Simcha Bunim was the son-in-law of his uncle R. Aryeh Leib, yet shortly after his wedding, his wife passed away. After he remarried, he was compelled to deal in trade, but after he went bankrupt, he served as rabbi of several German communities: Hätzfeld, Markbreit, Wallerstein and Bonn. In 1779, he published his book Chiddushei Hilchot Rashbatz (acronym of his name Simcha Bunim ben Tzvi) on tractates Ketubot and Gittin. His uncle and former father-in-law, R. Aryeh Leib, praises him in his approbation to the book and writes that he is dear to him like a son. He also authored Parperet Rashbatz (Fürth 1807) - commentary to Tractate Avot and Psalm 119 of Tehillim.
 leaf. Approx. 16.5 cm. Fair-poor condition. Stains. Wear and tears affecting text, repaired with adhesive tape on verso. Large open tear to margins (not affecting text).
Letter handwritten and signed by R. "Yeshaya S.Sh. [Silberstein]", addressed to one of the dayanim of Waitzen (Vác). [Budapest, ca. 1916-1918].
R. Yeshaya writes that he was compelled to travel to Pest (Budapest), and asks the dayan to convene the Beit Din to arrange a Chalitza, recommending that any halachic difficulty which may arise be referred to the rabbi of Radomishla (who was at that time residing in Waitzen).
R. Yeshaya Silberstein (1857-1930), Rabbi of Waitzen (Vác, Hungary), author of Maasai LeMelech. A foremost rabbi in Hungary (in that generation, people would say that there were three leading rabbis in Hungary: R. Yeshaya Silberstein of Waitzen, R. Shimon Grunfeld - the Maharshag of Bűdszentmihály, and R. Mordechai Winkler of Mád author of Levushei Mordechai). R. Yeshaya was born in Senta to R. David Yehuda Leib Silberstein (1820-1884) who served as rabbi of the city. In his infancy, his family immigrated to Eretz Israel and resided there for eight years. As a child in Jerusalem, he studied in the Etz Chaim Talmud Torah. With the family's return to Hungary, he studied in the Pressburg yeshiva under the Ketav Sofer. He was the disciple of R. Chaim Tzvi Mannheimer who accorded him a rabbinic ordination. In 1896, he was appointed rabbi of Waitzen in place of his father, establishing there a large yeshiva numbering hundreds of students. Many of his disciples later held rabbinic and Torah positions.
R. Shmuel Engel, Rabbi of Radomishla (Radomyśl Wielki) (1853-1935) - mentioned in the letter - was one of the foremost Galician Torah scholars, who during WWI fled to Waitzen, Hungary, where he entertained a close relationship with the rabbi of the city, R. Yeshaya Silberstein. In 1918, R. Shmuel Engel continued his wanderings, reaching Kashoy (Košice), where he was appointed head of the Beit Din.
 double leaf, 21 cm. Approx. 16 autograph lines and signature. Good condition. Minor stains and folding marks.
Two letters in Yiddish from the deans of the Baranovich yeshiva, addressed to the philanthropist Mrs. Pesha Miller-Feigin. One letter is handwritten and signed by R. "Tzvi Hirsh Gutman, mashgiach and director of the yeshiva", on behalf of the yeshiva dean R. Elchanan Wasserman, and the second letter, also handwritten by R. Tzvi Hirsh, is signed by R. "Elchanan Bunem Wasserman". Baranovich (Baranavichy), Tishrei 1933/Av 1936.
R. Elchanan Wasserman (1875-1941), a renowned Torah scholar, and foremost yeshiva dean in Lithuania. He was a disciple of R. Shimon Shkop in the Telshe yeshiva and a prominent disciple of the Chafetz Chaim. He served as lecturer and dean in the Brisk (Brest) yeshiva and other places. During WWI, at the behest of the Chafetz Chaim, he established a yeshiva in Smilavichy (Minsk province, today Belarus). After the war, R. Elchanan founded Yeshivat Ohel Torah in Baranovich.
He represented the Chafetz Chaim and R. Chaim Ozer Grodzinski in the Moetzet Gedolei HaTorah of Agudat Yisrael. He composed many essays on Jewish ideology which were later published in his book Ikveta DeMeshicha, in which he expressed the Torah stance of his teacher the Chafetz Chaim on Zionist nationalism and the spiritual state of the Jewish people. During the Holocaust, he was deported to the Kovno (Kaunas) ghetto, and was murdered in the Seventh Fort, while studying the laws of Kiddush HaShem. His teachings and lectures were published in the following books: Kovetz Shiurim, Kovetz He'arot, Kovetz Inyanim, Kovetz Igrot HaGaon R. Elchanan Wasserman and others. His approach in learning and his books serve until this day as the basis of intensive yeshiva study in the Torah world.
R. Tzvi Hirsh Gutman (perished in the Holocaust), mashgiach and director of the Ohel Torah yeshiva in Baranovich. He was R. Elchanan's close attendant in the management of the yeshiva. He served as spiritual director, responsible for the spiritual level of the yeshiva students, as well as material director, devotedly providing for all the needs of the students. He was an outstanding Torah scholar and an exalted figure. He sometimes even delivered lectures in the yeshiva, in place of one of the lecturers. He led the prayers services during the High Holidays, and was the driving force behind the students' growth.
 leaves, official stationery. Approx. 14.5X22 cm. Good condition.
Tzemach Tzadik, wisdom and ethics, by R. Yehuda Aryeh de Modena. [Venice: Daniel Zanetti, 1600]. First edition.
The composition deals with the refinement of character traits (based on teachings of our sages and of non-Jewish sages), with a chapter dedicated to each trait. Each chapter begins with a woodcut illustration, related to the chapter's topic. This book is one of the only early Hebrew books printed with illustrations. The book was printed anonymously, though the name of the author is alluded to at the beginning of the preface: "Renowned in Yehuda… the lion (Aryeh) roared", and with an acronym in the colophon at the end of the book.
These are two incomplete copies of two variants of the same edition, with differences in the illustrations between the two copies: on p. 13b, each copy features a different illustration. On p. 15b, the illustration was printed upside-down in one copy.
Copy 1: 2-11, 13-40 leaves (originally 40 leaves. Lacking title page and leaf 12. Leaf 2 was bound back-to-front). 13.5 cm. Fair condition. Stains, tears and wear, affecting text in several places. Paper repairs to several leaves. New binding.
Copy 2: 2-7, 9-32, 34-40 leaves (originally 40 leaves. Lacking title page, leaves 8 and 33. Leaf 40 is torn and half-missing, repaired with paper; with handwritten replacement of missing text. Title page and most of the missing pages were replaced with photocopies). 14 cm. Fair condition. Stains, tears and wear, affecting text in several places. Dampstains. Worming. New binding.
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.
"Ansicht unseres heiligen Landes…", a printed leaf with drawings of the holy sites and graves of the righteous. Printed by "the sage… R. Binyamin HaKohen Yehoram of the Sunbal Beit Midrash". Altona, 1859.
A large leaf, with a decorated frame. At the top of the leaf appears the Hebrew caption "Account of the genealogy of the holy tzaddikim…", with captions in French, English and German. Moses is seen on the right and Aaron is seen on the left. In the center are drawings of the holy sites: a large drawing of the site of the Holy Temple - "Midrash Shlomo", drawing of Jerusalem from the north, drawing of Jerusalem from the south, the Tower of David, the Tomb of Zechariah the Prophet and the Tomb of Rachel. Printed below is a long text detailing the holy sites and in particular the graves of the righteous in and around the holy cities.
At the bottom of the leaf appear the verse "If I forget thee Jerusalem", a Menorah with the "LaMenatze'ach" verses, two medallions containing illustrations of Miriam's well and hands in priestly benediction; also printed is a caption indicating the origin of the leaf: "…found in the handwriting of… R. Chaim Abulafia Rabbi of Jerusalem".
56.5X44.5 cm. Good condition. Minor stains. Tears and small open tears, repaired, along folding marks. Mounted on thin, acid-free, paper. Library stamp in margin.
Letter signed by R. "Yaakov Yosef - HaRav HaKolel". Point Pleasant (Mason County, West Virginia), Av 1894.
Letter sent to Jerusalem, to the heads of the Vaad HaKlali and R. Shmuel Salant, recommending the appointment of R. Shlomo Yosef Eliach of Jerusalem as emissary, chief administrator and supervisor in the United States of the collection of funds for Eretz Israel. The lengthy letter (3 pages) was written by a scribe, with the handwritten signature of R. Yaakov Yosef. The letter describes the necessity to improve the state of the Vaad HaKlali fundraising - "particularly in this time, when many adversaries arise against it, and now that the Sephardi emissaries exploit every opportunity to harm the Vaad HaKlali, apart from the fact that even in times of peace such a person is needed here in New York and the surroundings, since the charity collectors here are so preoccupied with local matters, they are unable to properly oversee the Rabbi Meir Baal HaNes funds…". He commends R. Shlomo Yosef Eliach, as "talented for this position… since he is a man of action who is absolutely faithful, apart from his honorable reputation, and all our leading brethren here will draw him close and revere him. It is necessary for you to grant him the power and authority from your part so that he may have the ability to reform many things here…".
The illustrious R. Yaakov Yosef (1841-1902), a leading Lithuanian Torah scholar, appointed in his later years as Chief Rabbi in NY (the first and last rabbi to serve as chief rabbi of New York and the United States). A prominent disciple of R. Yisrael of Salant, due to his exceptional Torah genius he was dubbed R. Yakli Charif (the sharp). He served in the rabbinates of Velon (Veliuona), Yurburg (Jurbarkas) and Žagarė (New). In the summer of 1883, he was appointed orator and head posek of Vilna. His sermons, which incorporated the mussar of his teacher R. Yisrael Salant, were widely acclaimed and many thronged to hear him speak. L'Beit Yaakov, his book of homilies, was printed in his lifetime in several editions. In 1888, he was appointed chief rabbi of New York by the Agudat HaKehillot who sought an illustrious personage to bolster Torah observance in the US. Upon his arrival in the United States, R. Yaakov Yosef established and consolidated all religious requirements of the Jewish community: Kashrut and Shechita, Batei Din and rabbinates, Torah education and the founding of the first yeshiva in the United States. He fell ill following fierce struggles with owners of meat plants who did not look favorably upon his activities in the area of Kashrut. He died in 1902 and was greatly honored by tens of thousands of Jews attending his funeral, the largest Jewish funeral to take place in the USA of those times.
His gravesite in the Union Field Cemetery, NY, is until this day a prayer site, with thousands of Jews from all sects of Orthodox Judaism in America visiting his grave on the anniversary of his passing. Many stories circulate of salvations attained after praying at his gravesite, whether for health, livelihood or finding a spouse (R. Yoel Teitelbaum of Satmar encouraged people to pray at R. Yaakov Yosef's gravesite and he would customarily recount of people who merited a salvation after visiting this holy site). Many biographic articles and compositions were written about R. Yaakov Yosef, the most renowned work being the English book (translated from Yiddish) "The Rav HaKolel and his Generation".
 pages, 18 cm. Fair condition. Dampstains. Ink on first page faded and difficult to decipher.
Letter handwritten and signed by R. Yitzchak Elchanan Spektor Rabbi of Kovno (Kaunas), addressed to Dr. Isaac Rülf. Kovno, 1883.
Letter of good year wishes, with many blessings: "I hereby bless him with a good and happy year, may the year with its curses end, and may the year with its blessings begin, and may G-d bless him with a year of life, peace, happiness and success, and may he reap much satisfaction from all our Jewish brethren, and may G-d fulfill all his wishes for the good in these forthcoming holy days…".
R. Yitzchak Elchanan Spektor (1817-1896), a leading rabbi of his times, was prominent for his Torah genius, diligence and great piety. He was considered the supreme halachic authority of his times, and lead Lithuanian and Russian Jewry for many years with wisdom and compassion. He served as rabbi from the young age of 20. In 1864, he was appointed rabbi of Kovno, and his fame spread throughout the world as a foremost halachic authority. His responsa and novellae are printed in his series of books: Be'er Yitzchak, Nachal Yitzchak and Ein Yitzchak.
The recipient of the letter, Dr. Isaac Rülf, was a respected Jew, an energetic communal worker, resident of Memel, who acted tirelessly on behalf of Russian Jewry for many years. To that end, he was in continuous contact with R. Yitzchak Elchanan, who enjoyed his assistance in his many endeavors on behalf of the Jews. Among others, he helped R. Yitzchak Elchanan raise public awareness in Western countries against the Russian government during the Sufot BaNegev ("Storms in the South" ) 1881-1882 pogroms (see enclosed material).
 leaf. 21 cm. Good condition. Stains. Folding marks.
Two familial letters, signed by Rebbe Yosef Yungerleib of Radvil (Radyvyliv), including letters handwritten by his sons Rebbe Eliezer of Radvil and Rebbe Alexander Shmuel of Vishnevets, and his son-in-law Rebbe Mordechai Lerner of Shumsk. Addressed to their son-in-law/brother-in-law R. Yitzchak Wertheim Rabbi of Bender. Radvil, [1864-1868].
• Letter from Rebbe Yosef of Radvil, addressed to his son-in-law R. Yitzchak of Bender, dated "Wednesday, 5th Shevat 1864". Written by a scribe and signed by the Rebbe, with an addition handwritten by his son-in-law Rebbe Mordechai Lerner of Shumsk.
The Rebbe writes to his son-in-law upon being informed that his daughter is pregnant. He requests of his son-in-law and daughter to fulfill their promise and come stay with him until after the birth. Since the letter was written at the height of the snowy Ukrainian winter, and considering that the distance between Bender in Moldova and Radvil in Volhyn (Volhynia, Ukraine) is some 600 kilometers, the Rebbe asks his son-in-law and daughter to travel by sleigh, and offers to sponsor the travel expenses, 50 silver rubles.
The Rebbe signs at the end of the letter "Yosef son of the rabbi". Rebbe Mordechai Lerner of Shumsk, son-in-law of Rebbe Yosef and brother-in-law of R. Yitzchak, added two handwritten lines on the side of the letter, sending regards to his brother-in-law R. Yitzchak, and signing "Mordechai son of the rabbi".
 leaf. Approx. 20 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains and wear. Filing holes. Folding marks.
• Letter from Rebbe Yosef of Radvil addressed to his son-in-law R. Yitzchak of Bender, dated "Tuesday of Pinchas 1868, Radvil". Written by a scribe and signed by the Rebbe. At the foot of the leaf, three letters were added, handwritten by his sons Rebbe Eliezer of Radvil and R. Alexander Shmuel Rabbi of Vishnevets, and by his son-in-law R. Mordechai Lerner of Shumsk.
The Rebbe writes to his son-in-law affectionately, describing how much he enjoyed receiving their letter with regards from his young grandson, and extends many heartfelt blessings. The letter is signed at the end in the Rebbe's own handwriting: "Yosef son of the rabbi".
At the foot of the letter, Rebbe Eliezer of Radvil-Ustila, son of R. Yosef and brother-in-law of R. Yitzchak, added several handwritten lines, sending regards and blessings to his brother-in-law R. Yitzchak, and signing "Eliezer…" (the signature is partially torn).
On the side of the letter, Rebbe Mordechai Lerner of Shumsk and R. Alexander Shmuel Rabbi of Vishnevets added several handwritten lines, inquiring of R. Yitzchak's welfare, and signing: "Mordechai" and "Alexander Shmuel son of the rabbi".
 leaf. Approx. 30 cm. Fair condition. Stains and wear. Filing holes. Large tears affecting text (including the signatures). Folding marks.
Rebbe Yosef Yungerleib of Radvil (1818/1820-1875, Encyclopedia of Chassidut, II, pp. 100-101) was a descendant of the Maggid R. Yechiel Michel of Zlotchov. He was reputed for his holiness and purity, his asceticism and fasts. He would immerse himself in a mikveh dozens of times every day. In Volhyn, he earnt the reputation of a wonder-worker benefitting from Divine Inspiration, and effecting salvations. He was close to R. Yisrael of Ruzhin, who attested that he possessed a lofty soul, and that his conception and birth were in holiness, even predicting that he would later perform salvations for the Jewish people. Reputedly, when Rebbe Nechemia of Bichov (son of the Yehudi HaKadosh of Peshischa) heard this, he gave R. Yosef a kvittel with his name, asking him to mention him in prayer. At the age of 18, R. Yosef was appointed Rebbe of Lanovitz (Lanivtsi), and in 1847, he moved to Radvil, upon the advice of his teacher R. Yisrael of Ruzhin. At the end of 1868, he moved to Vishnevets. His son-in-law and disciple, R. Yitzchak Rabbi of Bender, wrote a biography on his father-in-law named Kisei David, in which he quotes his teachings and holy practices.
His son and successor - Rebbe Eliezer of Radvil-Ustila (1843-1893, Encyclopedia of Chassidut, I, p. 249), was rabbinically ordained by R. Shlomo Kluger. He served as rabbi of Radvil and Ustila (Ustyluh). Rebbe Avraham of Trisk described him as "one who effects salvations like myself".
His son - R. Alexander Shmuel served as rabbi of Vishnevets (d. 1898. Encyclopedia of Chassidut, III, p. 511).
His son-in-law, Rebbe Mordechai Lerner of Shumsk, led a large following of Chassidim throughout Volhyn (d. 1904. Encyclopedia of Chassidut, III, p. 212).
Recipient of the letters - R. Yitzchak Wertheim Rabbi of Bender (d. 1911. Encyclopedia of Chassidut, II, p. 337), son-in-law of R. Yosef of Radvil and a descendant of the Baal Shem Tov. He left behind many writings, some of which were later published. As mentioned, one of his manuscript compositions was entitled Kisei David, regarding the life story of his father-in-law R. Yosef, his exalted holiness and stature.
Letters and signatures from Rebbe Yosef of Radvil are extremely scarce! Immediately after his passing, his son R. Eliezer of Ustila searched for signatures of his father but to no avail. R. Yitzchak Landau (close attendant of Rebbe Yitzchak of Neshchiz) writes in Zichron Tov, Piotrkow 1892, in the letters section, following letter 16: "and recently, his son [of R. Yosef], R. Eliezer [of Radvil-Ustila]… and pleaded me exceedingly that I should give him that letter [letter sent from R. Yosef to R. Yitzchak of Neshchiz - letter 16], saying that he does not have a single signature of his father, since the few letters he signed were sent to those they were addressed to, and it was not common for him to sign at all, only in a very few instances, and even then with extensive preparations". (R. Eliezer requested the letter his father sent to R. Yitzchak of Neshchiz from the attendant, since R. Yitzchak passed away childless, and all the letters he had received from leading Rebbes were given over to the attendant, who published them).
To the best of our knowledge, these letters were never published.
Large collection of 23 printed documents (Amsterdam, early 19th century), regarding various monetary contracts written and signed at weddings, in 1802-1803 and 1818-1819.
The contracts were printed in Ashkenazic cursive script (round script), entitled: "Tena'im Acharonim", "Shtar Tosefet Ketubah", "Shtar Bitachon al Chalitza", "Shtar Chalitza", "Shtar Chatzi Chelek Zachar", "Shtar Shalem Zachar". Most contracts bear the logo of the Ashkenazi community in Amsterdam in the heading (a Star of David with the letters: "K.A.A." - Kehillat Ashkenazim Amsterdam). The contracts were filled in by hand and signed by the secretaries and trustees of the community, and by the parties.
The Tena'im Acharonim contract - drawn on the wedding day, is an early custom mentioned in the Sema (Choshen Mishpat, section 245) and in Responsa of R. Y. Weil (section 143). The text of the contract is based on the book Nachalat Shiva. This contract customarily also includes a Chalitza document - a guarantee to perform Chalitza, should the bride later be widowed without bearing sons. The commitment includes a clause of a monetary fine, should the husband's brothers refuse the Chalitza, thereby rendering the woman an agunah, since she is proscribed from remarriage until she performs Chalitza on the husband's brothers.
"Shtar Chatzi Zachar" - also drawn up on the wedding day, based on an early regulation, for the purpose of ensuring that in due course, the daughter receives a share of the inheritance together with her brothers, even though according to Torah law, a daughter has no part in the inheritance if there are brothers. This contract was generally written as part of the dowry the father provided his daughter for her marriage, granting her half the inheritance rights of her brothers. "Shtar Shalem Zachar" - in the event the father committed to give his daughter a full share of the inheritance, equal to the sons.
23 printed documents. 30-33 cm. Varying condition, very good to good. Stains, wear and folding marks.
Enclosed: Two other marriage-related documents from Amsterdam, 1856 and 1950.
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.
Lengthy letter (4 large pages) handwritten and signed by R. Amram Blum. Berettyóújfalu, 1885.
Responsum pertaining to the laws of defects in an animal firstborn, addressed to R. Asher Shmuel Paneth Rabbi of Hidalmás (Hida; published in Responsa Beit She'arim, Yoreh De'ah part II, section 398).
R. Amram Blum (1834-1907) was a leading halachic authority in Hungary. Grandson of R. Amram Chasida (Rosenbaum) Rabbi of Mád and Safed. Close disciple of R. Meir Perles Rabbi of Karoly (Carei), and disciple of the Ketav Sofer and of the Machaneh Chaim. He earnt the reputation of an outstanding Torah scholar already in his youth, and in 1858, he was appointed rabbi of Álmosd at the age of 22. In 1864, he went to serve as rabbi of Mád (where his grandfather R. Amram Chasida had previously served as rabbi). From 1881, he was the rabbi of Khust and from 1883, of Berettyóújfalu, position he held for over 25 years. His books Responsa Beit She'arim contain over 1000 halachic responsa on all four parts of Shulchan Aruch. His books were reprinted by his nephew R. Menashe Klein, rabbi of the Ungvar community in the United States and Jerusalem, who also founded in his memory the Beit She'arim yeshiva.
Recipient of the letter: R. Asher Shmuel Paneth Rabbi of Tășnad and Hidalmás (1835-1909), son of R. Chaim Betzalel Rabbi of Tășnad. Close disciple of his uncle Rebbe Menachem Mendel Paneth of Deyzh author of Maaglei Tzedek. He was attached to the righteous men of the generation, and would frequent the court of the Divrei Chaim of Sanz.
 leaves (4 written page), approx. 212 autograph lines. 34 cm. Fair condition. Wear and tears (repaired).
Letters from Galician Rabbis and Rebbes of the Dzikov Dynasty for Fundraising on Behalf of Eretz Israel – Rabbi Shmuel Engel, Rabbi Avraham Simcha Horowitz of Baranov, Rabbi Alter Horowitz of Dembitz and Others
Leaf from a donors ledger of Eretz Israel funds, with lists of donations and donors, including letters of recommendation signed by the rabbis of the cities and the gabbaim of the funds in Galicia. Iyar-Sivan 1887.
List of donors from the Baranov (Baranów Sandomierski) community, with a letter of recommendation (approx. 6 lines) handwritten, stamped and signed by the rabbi of the city, R. "Avraham Simcha Horowitz". At the foot of the leaf, another letter - 3 lines handwritten and signed by R. "Ben Tzion Horowitz Rabbi of Madin".
On the verso, lists of donors from Dembitz (Dębica) and Radomyshl. Letter handwritten, stamped and signed by R. "Alter Horowitz" Rabbi of Dembitz. Letter of recommendation, approx. 3 lines handwritten and signed by R. "Shmuel Engel" Rabbi of Radomyshl.
Rebbe Avraham Simcha Horowitz, rabbi of Baranov (1846-1916), son of R. Yisrael of Baranov and grandson of Rebbe Eliezer Horowitz of Dzikov (who was the son of Rebbe Naftali Horowitz of Ropshitz). An outstanding Torah scholar and devout Chassid, he would frequent the courts of the Divrei Chaim of Sanz, Rebbe Yehoshua of Belz and his uncles, the Rebbes of Dzikov and Rozvadov. In 1909, he immigrated to Jerusalem, where Ropshitz and Sanz chassidim gathered around him, regarding him as their rabbi and leader. He entertained friendly ties with Rebbe David'l of Lelov and the kabbalist R. Chaim Shaul Dweck - HaRav HaSadeh.
Rebbe Ben Tzion Horowitz (1865-1940) Rabbi of Madin (Majdan Królewski), grandson of Rebbe Meir Horowitz of Dzikov. He was orphaned at a young age of his father R. Tuvia Horowitz Rabbi of Madin, and was raised by his uncle Rebbe Yehoshua of Dzikov.
Rebbe Alter Yeshaya Horowitz Rabbi of Dembitz (1847-1895), eldest son and successor of Rebbe Reuven Horowitz Rabbi of Dembitz, who was the youngest son of Rebbe Elazar of Dzikov-Ropshitz.
The renowned R. Shmuel Engel, rabbi of Radomyshl (1853-1935), a leading Galician Torah scholar and foremost halachic authority of his generation. A prime disciple of the Divrei Chaim of Sanz and of his son R. Yechezkel Halberstam of Shinova. at the young age of 18, he was appointed rabbi of Biłgoraj (Poland). In 1879, he was compelled to leave Poland, and resided for a couple of years in Rudnik (Galicia) at the home of his friend R. Baruch Halberstam of Gorlitz and together they studied Torah, Halacha and Kabbalah. In 1881, he was appointed Rabbi of Dukla (Galicia) and in ca.1887, of Radomyshl (Galicia). During WWI, he exiled to Waitzen (Vác, Hungary) and in 1918, he wandered further and settled in Kashoi (Košice), were he was appointed head of the Beit Din, remaining there until his passing. His son R. Chaim Engel succeeded him in the Radomyshl rabbinate. R Shmuel Engel authored the eight-book Responsa Maharash series, Chiddushei Maharash on the Talmud, Siftei Maharash on the Torah and more. His biography is printed in the book Shem MiShmuel (Munkacs, 1940).
 leaf. 29 cm. Written on both sides. Good-fair condition. Stains. Marginal wear and tears.
Letter handwritten by R. Eliyahu Guttmacher, with his full signature. [Greiditz (Grodzisk Wielkopolski)], Elul 1861.
The letter begins with wishes for a good year: "Blessings for a good inscription and sealing, finding grace and favor in the eyes of G-d and man, to my honorable and diligent disciple Yosef". At the end of the letter, his full signature appears: "Eliah son of R. Sh[lomo], residing in Greiditz".
In the letter, R. Eliyahu Guttmacher relates to his disciple (who had travelled to Berlin), that he has made efforts on his behalf and written letters to Mr. Hoff of Berlin and to others "that they should employ you to teach Talmud to their sons, and I described to them your superiority in learning and how much this will contribute to their sons' success". He later writes that he has relayed to Mr. Hoff "all the motives which brought you to Berlin", and mentions the assistance of R. Yusel Hirsh of Halberstadt, brother-in-law of the rabbi of Eisenstadt (R. Azriel Hildesheimer), who would ensure that he receive a scholarship.
R. Eliyahu Guttmacher Rabbi of Greiditz (1796-1875), disciple of R. Akiva Eger, served as rabbi of Pleschen (Pleszew) until 1841, thereafter moving to serve in the Greiditz rabbinate. His eldest son, R. Tzvi Hirsh, succeeded him as rabbi of Pleschen. Famed as a holy kabbalist, in his senior years his name spread throughout the Jewish world as a wonder-worker, with amazing stories circulating of the great miracles and deliverance attained through the blessings of "der Greiditzer Tzaddik" (the Tzaddik of Greiditz).
After his son, R. Tzvi Hirsh, died in his lifetime (in 1871) childless, he published his son's books Nachalat Tzvi and Ken Meforeshet (Lviv, 1873). In the introduction to Ken Meforeshet, R. Eliyahu promises: "If someone seeks deliverance from G-d… he should study a Mishna with the Rav (Bartenura), Tosafot Yom Tov and my son's commentary and then stand to pray in any language he is comfortable in… detailing his request so he will be answered…".
 leaf. 22.5 cm. 12 autograph lines. Good condition. Folding marks.
232. מכתב רבי חיים נתנזון אב"ד וורעשנא - אל רבי אליהו גוטמכר "הצדיק מגריידיץ" - ברכת שנה טובה
מכתב בכתב-ידו וחתימתו של הגאון רבי חיים נתנזון אב"ד וורעשנא, אל הגאון רבי אליהו גוטמכר אב"ד גריידיץ. וורעשנא, אלול תרט"ו .
במכתב מספר רבי חיים על אחריותו לאיסוף כספים במחוזו, עבור כולל וורשא (כולל פולין), בסיום המכתב ברכות שנה טובה "לכבוד גאונו, לו ולביתו עד העולם, לחיים טובים יוחקו בספרן של צדיקים גמורים ביום הכסא הבע"ל". בתחילת המכתב כותב רבי חיים נתנזון על אבלו בפטירת בנו הבכור ש"נאסף בלא עתו... בעיר טאהרען בחלי רע... וגם היום לבי בל עמי כי נוחם יסתר מעיני...".
הגאון רבי חיים נתנזון (תקע"ד-תרל"ח), תלמיד הגאון רבי עקיבא איגר אב"ד פוזנא. חתן רבי דוד וייסקופף אב"ד מדינת וולרשטיין. מגדולי הרבנים בצפון-מערב פולין [מחוז פוזנא והאזור, שהיה נקרא בעבר "פולין גדול", ואח"כ עבר לשליטת גרמניה]. בשנת תרי"ח עזב את הרבנות ועבר להמבורג, ללמוד ב"קלויז ר' ליב ב"ר שאול" בעיר [לומדי הקלויז בהמבורג היו גדולי תורה. בין חברי הקלויז היו רבנים גדולים שעזבו את משרת הרבנות ועברו להמבורג לשבת שם על התורה ועל עבודת השם, ולפרנסתם קיבלו מלגה חודשית מקרנות מייסד הקלויז, הגביר ר' ליב ב"ר שאול]. בשנת תרל"ב הדפיס ספר "עבודה תמה" נגד יזמת הרב קאלישר לחדש את עבודת הקרבנות בזמן הזה. בהקדמתו לספר זה הוא מזכיר ומברך את בנו יחידו רבי אברהם. במכתב שלפנינו מתגלה כי היה לו בן נוסף, שנפטר בגיל צעיר בשנת תרט"ו. בשנת תר"נ נדפס ספרו "אבן הטועים" על הלכות בישול בשבת.
דף כפול 21 ס"מ. מצב טוב. סימני קיפול. רישום כתובת בדף האחורי.
Leaf bearing signatures of many foremost rabbis, Torah scholars and prominent members of the Lviv community and the vicinity. [Lviv (Lemberg), Galicia, ca. 1800s-1820s].
The signatories include renowned rabbis and outstanding Torah scholars, associated with the large Jewish community of Lviv, in ca. 1800s-1820s. This leaf is the surviving part of a document (the nature of which is unknown to us - perhaps a rabbinic appointment, public regulation, or a Heter Me'ah Rabbanim).
Some prominent signatories: R. Aharon Sternkler Rabbi of Chodorov (Khodoriv), disciple of R. Elimelech of Lizhensk and grandfather of the Yitav Lev Rebbe of Sighet; R. Yehuda Landau Rabbi of Włodawa - grandson of the Noda BiYehuda and author of Beit Yehuda; R. Shmuel Shmelke Ish Horowitz - grandson of the Haflaa; R. Ziskind Balaban - a signatory on the declaration against Chassidim in Lviv, 1794; and others.
Below is a list of the signatories as they appear on the document:
Heading the list is R. "Yehuda Landau Rabbi of Włodawa" - son of R. Yosef of Posen (Poznań) and grandson of the Noda BiYehuda. He served as rabbi of Włodawa. After the passing of his first wife, he moved to Lviv, and bequeathed the rabbinate to his son R. Yitzchak Landau. His book Beit Yehuda was published in 1831, after his passing.
The signature of R. Yehuda Landau is followed by the signatures of twelve Torah scholars and notables of the Lviv community and the vicinity:
• "[--?] Fischel Meizish" - R. Efraim Fischel Meizish, a notable of the Lviv community during the time of the Yeshuot Yaakov, and his mechutan. • "Shmuel Shmelke HaLevi Ish Horowitz" - R. Shmuel Shmelke Horowitz, grandson of the Haflaah and son of the Machaneh Levi, published the book Panim Yafot. Passed away in 1841. Father of R. Meir HaLevi Horowitz of Lubartów. • "Yosef Tzvi [son of --?] Rappaport". • "Avraham Leib Yalisch" - a notable of the community in the time of the Yeshuot Yaakov. His name is mentioned in various sources between 1800-1810. • "Moshe David Chacham Ovitz" (=Chachamovitch) - a descendant of Chacham Tzvi and cousin of R. Yaakov of Lissa the Netivot HaMishpat. He passed away ca. 1849. His son R. Naftali Tzvi Hirsh Chachamovitz published the books of the Netivot - Imrei Yosher in Dyhernfurth, 1815, and Nachalat Yaakov in Breslau, 1849. • "Naftali Hertz Kohen Rappaport" - R. Naftali Hertz Rappaport, a Lviv Torah scholar, father of R. Tzvi Hirsh Rappaport of Dubno who authored the Ezrat Kohanim commentary on Torat Kohanim. At the end of Part I of Ezrat Kohanim (Vilna, 1845), the son published a booklet of novellae from his late father R. Naftali Hertz (this booklet was omitted in later reprints. See: Moriah, 99-100, Kislev 1980, p. 86). • "Süsskind Balaban" - a community leader in Lviv, signatory on a declaration against Chassidim from 1794 (see: Mordechai Wilensky, Chassidim UMitnagdim, Vol. I, p. 179). • "Sender Shmelke of Lviv". • "Avraham Loiter Stein". • "Aryeh Leib Blomen HaLevi" - son of R. Naftali Hertz HaLevi Rabbi of Tarnogród. Nephew of the aforementioned R. Yehuda Landau, and uncle of the Yeshuot Yaakov. • "Aharon Stern Kler Rabbi of Chodorov" - Rabbi Aharon Sternkler, rabbi of Chodorov, disciple of R. Elimelech of Lizhensk the Noam Elimelech. Ancestor of the rebbes of Sighet and Satmar. Grandfather of the Yitav Lev of Sighet (he was the father-in-law of R. Elazar Nissan Teitelbaum, son of the Yismach Moshe). • "Moshe Mordechai Segal Ettinger" - R. Moshe Mordechai HaLevi Etting, a Lviv Torah scholar. Torah thoughts are quoted in his name at the end of Bigdei HaKodesh (Lviv, 1806), referring to him as "my cousin, the perspicacious and sharp R. Moshe Mordechai son of the late R. Eliezer Lipman HaLevi Ettinger Rabbi of Sanok".
See enclosed material for more about the signatories.
 leaf. 38 cm. Thin, high-quality paper. Good-fair condition. Wear and minor tears to folds. Light stains.
Maaleh Bet Chorin, Passover Haggadah, with commentaries (Maharal, Alshech, Abarbanel, and others) and illustrations. Amsterdam: Proops widow, 1810. Two title pages (the first one illustrated with copper engravings). Many engraved illustrations.
At the end of the book, a map of Eretz Israel is enclosed, showing the travels of the Jewish people in the desert and the division of the Land amongst the tribes. The map and copper engravings are after the illustrations of Avraham HaGer in the Amsterdam Haggadah, 1712.
, 9, 50 leaves + folded map (detached from the book). 26 cm. Good condition. Dampstains. Map in fair-good condition, dampstains, tears to right margin of the map, affecting illustration. Original ornamented leather binding, rubbed, with marbled endpapers.
The enclosed map is detached, and may originate from one of the earlier editions of the Haggadah, printed between 1712 and 1781.
Lengthy letter handwritten by R. Elazar Moshe HaLevi Horowitz Rabbi of Pinsk, with his full signature. Monastyrshchina, .
Letter of rabbinic ordination for R. Meshulam Zalman Neumark, rabbi of the Chabad town Horki, with R. Moshe Elazar's views regarding the dispute surrounding the appointment of the aforementioned rabbi.
Background of the letter: In Horki (Mogilev region, Belarus. Near Shklow and Lubavitch, most its residents were Chabad chassidim), R. Meshulam Zalman Neumark, son-in-law of the previous rabbi - R. Yehoshua Eliyahu, served as rabbi between ca. 1855-1862. Some of the Horki community leaders were opposed to him serving as rabbi on his own, and wished to appoint an additional, adjunct posek by the name of R. Dov Ber. R. Meshulam refused, and the matter extended for many years in disputes and arbitrations, until in Elul 1855, a special Beit Din convened in Lubavitch (in the court of the Rebbe, the Tzemach Tzedek) to settle this matter. See Kedem Auction 63 (item 131) - a ruling from this Beit Din, with the signatures of the three sons of the Tzemach Tzedek endorsing the ruling. (Another letter, dated 1860, regarding R. Meshulam Zalman and the Horki rabbinate, from the three sons of the Tzemach Tzedek, was published in Igrot Kodesh of the Tzemach Tzedek, 2013 edition, p. 203).
The present letter was addressed to the community leaders, at the beginning of this affair, and its contents disclose that they had sent the young rabbi to be tested by R. Elazar Moshe, a foremost rabbi in the region. R. Elazar Moshe writes about him: "When this man presented before me your letter requesting I assess him, to testify if he is worthy of issuing halachic rulings, though I have no past experience in testifying about a person I have no prior knowledge of, and indeed, it is appropriate to refrain from issuing a faithful testimony on all details connected to this great topic… but for the sake of the prayers of the public which do not go unanswered, I was required to discuss with him some halachic topics in depth, and some practical halachic questions, and I found him to be of wise heart and pure intellect in line with the truth of Torah…". He further writes, that he saw a responsum of R. Neumark on the halachic topic of Terefot, including some objections leveled against it, yet declares that the words of the opponent "are insubstantial and do not deserve to be refuted". Further in the letter, R. Elazar Moshe cites the responsum of his ancestor R. Shaul son of R. Heschel Rabbi of Kraków (printed at the end of Responsa of the Rema), which states: "that the son-in-law of the first rabbi has precedence over anyone else", adding "…in this matter, it appears that there is hope that the honor of the latter will be greater etc. - therefore accept him for the sake of Heaven, and may G-d set peace among you, and may you all concur with the truth and the just…". He concludes the letter with his full signature: "So says Elazar Moshe son of R. Tzvi Hirsh".
R. Elazar Moshe HaLevi Horowitz (1818-1890), a leading Torah scholar of Lithuania in his generation. Grandson of R. Aryeh Leibush Horowitz Rabbi of Stanislav, descendant of R. Itzikel Horowitz Rabbi of Hamburg and R. Shaul Rabbi of Amsterdam. A close disciple of R. Aryeh Leib Shapiro Rabbi of Kovno. He was renowned for his profound and original study method, and already in his youth, he earnt the reputation of one of the leading rabbis and scholars in his generation. Issues of Agunot and other weighty questions were addressed to him from throughout the country, and he would respond swiftly with unprecedented sources from the Talmud and teachings of the Rishonim. His rabbinical career began in his hometown Monastyrshchina (Smolensk region, Western Russia), and in 1860, he was appointed rabbi of Pinsk. His novellae on the Talmud were published in the Vilna edition of the Talmud, and in his books Ohel Moshe (Part I, Warsaw, 1889; Part II, Jerusalem, 1970).
The Chazon Ish reputedly held R. Elazar Moshe in the highest regard. He was once informed of the saying of R. Chaim Brisk regarding the leading Torah scholars of his generation, which affirmed that there were three Torah giants in that generation who would have been considered foremost Torah scholars even if they had lived in the times of the Rema: R. Yisrael of Salant, R. Yehoshua Leib Diskin, and his father the Beit HaLevi; with R. Chaim adding "and if you want, also R. Elazar Moshe of Pinsk…". To which the Chazon Ish retorted: "And I want…" (Maaseh Ish, part IV, p. 91). According to a different source, the Chazon Ish then declared that in his opinion, R. Elazar Moshe Horowitz was the greatest of all, even attesting that R. Elazar Moshe's assumptions were close to Divine Inspiration (see: Uvdot VeHanhagot L'Beit Brisk, part IV, p. 91). Maaseh Ish, biography of the Chazon Ish (part I, p. 20) relates that the Chazon Ish told his nephews of the holiness of R. Elazar Moshe of Pinsk, recounting that local peasants would ensure the rabbi would walk through their fields and tread on their land, as it was common knowledge that any ground he stepped on would be blessed.
 leaf. 22 cm. 21 autograph lines and signature. Good-fair condition, stains and wear to the folds.
Be'er Mayim Chaim, homily concerning character traits and ethics, by R. Chaim Ozer HaKohen of Brody; with Asara LeMe'ah - homilies regarding ethics and character traits, by R. Tzvi Hirsh Maggid of Wodzisław (father of Rebbe Simcha Bunim of Peshischa). [Lviv, 1821]. Only edition of Be'er Mayim Chaim, and fourth edition of Asara LeMe'ah.
The author, R. Chaim Ozer HaKohen (1760? - ca. 1820-1830, Encyclopedia of Chassidut, I, p. 615), a Brody Torah scholar and member of the Brody Kloiz - the Beit Midrash of R. Chaim Sanzer. He lectured and preached in the synagogues and study halls of Brody for decades. Apart from this book, he composed: Nachal Eshkol and Mekor HaChochma. Encyclopedia of Galician Sages (M. Wunder, II, p. 1057) portrays him: "From his books, it is apparent that he had an excellent command of a wide range of literature, be it homily, ethics, Kabbalah or research, from his times and from previous generations. He also quotes Torah thoughts from dozens of contemporary Torah scholars and maggidim, some of which are not known from other sources… he drew from the wellsprings of Chassidic leaders, and he was undoubtedly one of the prominent members of the group. Altogether, the leading rabbis of his times had full faith in him". R. Moshe of Kolbuszowa, brother-in-law of R. Moshe Leib of Sassov, writes in his approbation to Nachal Eshkol (Dubno, 1809): "And if my pious brother-in-law (R. Moshe Leib Sassov, also a resident of Brody) had still been alive, he too would have accorded his approbation to this book".
Appended to the end of the book is Asara LeMe'ah, homilies regarding ethics and character traits, by R. Tzvi Hirsch Maggid of Wodzisław (1720-1791?), father of Rebbe Simcha Bunim of Peshischa. This book contains dozens of homilies, arranged in the form of questions and answers between a father and son, pertaining to faith and providence, prayer and livelihood, and other topics of worship of G-d. R. Chaim Ozer HaKohen relates in his preface that he saw the book Asara LeMe'ah for the first time in Vilna (first printed in Berlin, 1801). He took great pleasure in it, and since then wished to print it for public benefit.
46 leaves. 21.5 cm. Good condition. Tears to title page, repaired with paper. Repairs to many leaves. Worming, some repaired. Stains. Wear. New leather binding.
Stefansky Chassidut, no. 73.
Letter handwritten and signed by R. Yehuda Grünwald Rabbi of Satmar (Satu Mare), addressed to his disciple R. Eliezer Bollag. Satmar, Cheshvan 1914.
Letter of recommendation and "Morenu" certificate, accorded to a student of his yeshiva, Eliezer son of Yisrael Bollag. The letter concludes: "Satmar, 13th Cheshvan 1914, Yehuda Grünwald". A faded stamp appears alongside the signature: "Yehuda Grünwald Rabbi of Satmar and the region".
R. Yehuda Grünwald (1848-1920), author of Zichron Yehuda, a leading rabbi and yeshiva dean in Hungary. An outstanding Torah scholar, renowned since his youth as a holy, G-d fearing man. A disciple of the Ketav Sofer, and son-in-law of the latter's brother R. Yozpa Sofer son of the Chatam Sofer (his teacher the Ketav Sofer acclaimed him at his wedding as "Holy of Holies"). Already as a student, he was a close friend of his fellow students R. Chaim Sonnenfeld (later rabbi of Jerusalem) and R. Moshe Grünwald (later rabbi of Khust, author of Arugat HaBosem), and maintained close ties with them throughout his life. He served as rabbi of Sobotište and Bonyhád, and in 1898, was appointed rabbi of Satmar. Wherever he served as rabbi he also maintained a large yeshiva, which in Satmar numbered hundreds of students, many of whom later served as rabbis and dayanim in Hungary and Romania (his renowned disciples include: R. Yosef Nechemia Kornitzer Rabbi of Selish and Kraków; R. Shemaya Löw Rabbi of Kerestir; R. Chaim Betzalel Paneth Rabbi of Reteag; R. Moshe David Ostreicher Rabbi of Cimpa; R. Naftali Herztke Hönig Rabbi of Sharmash [Sărmaşu]; and others).
During his tenure as rabbi of Satmar, the community seceded from the Neologs, with the Orthodox faction maintaining control over the existing community institutions, while the Neologs instituted their independent community. This transformed Satmar into the stronghold of Orthodox Jewry in the region, headed by R. Yehuda Grünwald, who was renowned from his youth as a staunch defender of faithful Orthodox Judaism. The young Torah scholar R. Yoel Teitelbaum, who had recently settled in Satmar following his marriage, was held in high esteem by R. Yehuda Grünwald, who drew him close and supported him financially. When slanderers tried to contend that R. Yoel is not in reality needy, since he distributes much money for charity, R. Yehuda was moved, and exclaimed that in such a case, he is even more needy, and he thereafter increased his regular support. Years later, when R. Yoel served as rabbi of Satmar, he was very careful not to alter the halachic customs of the Shechita in the city, which were based on the holy instructions of the Zichron Yehuda.
 double leaf, official stationery. 23.5 cm. Good-fair condition. Tears to folding marks, not affecting text. Ink stains.
Letter from Rebbe Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn - the Rayatz of Lubavitch, addressed to R. Shlomo Zalman Havlin of Hebron. [Rostov], 8th Tevet 1923.
Most of the letter is written by a scribe, and it concludes with a line handwritten and signed by Rebbe Rayatz.
Lengthy and interesting letter regarding various matters related to communal activity. The first part of the letter is encoded in enigmatic terms (for fear of the authorities), and pertains to assistance from Jews abroad for Russian Jewry. Part of the letter relates to his opposition to Agudat Yisrael: "…in truth, it would be correct for him to know the details of the debate which I held (in writing) with the heads of Agudat Yisrael and the Rebbe of Ger [the Imrei Emet], and especially that Dr. Cohen (director of the Agudah) wrote to me that in Eretz Israel, my letters against the Agudah were published, and he demanded that I instruct not to combat them, and to this I responded openly that I do oppose them and their ways, and then they invited me to participate in the congress on the past 4th Elul in Vienna [the Knessia Gedolah which took place in Vienna in Elul 1923], and I wrote them a long letter of protest on the bad they are doing…".
The letter concludes with a line handwritten and signed by the Rebbe, blessing: "Be blessed and in peace, as is his wish and the wish of his friend who seeks his wellbeing and blesses him, Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn".
The letter was published in its entirety in HaMashpia (Jerusalem, 1982, pp. 289-290), and from there was copied to Igrot Kodesh (Vol. I, pp. 349-351), with the omission of the passage relating to Agudat Yisrael and with a mistaken date.
 folded leaf (3 written pages). 21 cm. Good condition. Stains. Folding marks.
Two printed wedding invitations, containing letters with the handwritten signatures of Rebbe Chaim Meir Hager - the Imrei Chaim of Vizhnitz, and his son R. Moshe Yehoshua Hager - the Yeshuot Moshe. Bnei Brak, 1959-1963. Both invitations were addressed to Rebbe Mordechai Shlomo Friedman of Boyan.
• Invitation to the wedding of Rebbe David Twersky of Skver, with the daughter of Rebbe Moshe Yehoshua Hager, on 15th Av 1959. Letter written by a scribe and signed by the grandfather of the bride, Rebbe "Chaim Meir son of R. Y.". Letter handwritten and signed by the father of the bride "Moshe Yehoshua son of the pious rabbi". On the verso: letter in Yiddish to Rebbetzin Chaya Sara of Boyan, handwritten and signed by the grandmother of the bride, Rebbetzin "Margalit" Hager, royal mother of the Vizhnitz Chassidic dynasty, a relative of the Rebbetzin of Boyan.
 double leaf. 22 cm. Good condition. Folding marks.
• Invitation to the wedding of Rebbe Yisrael Hager of Vizhnitz, with the daughter of Rebbe Meshulam Zusia Twersky of Chernobyl, on 10th Sivan 1963. On the verso, handwritten invitation letters: letter written by a scribe, signed by the grandfather of the groom Rebbe "Chaim Meir", and letter handwritten and signed by the father of the groom "Moshe Yehoshua son of the pious rabbi".
 double leaf. 22 cm. Good-fair condition. Open marginal tears. Stains and folding marks.
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.
Four letters from Rebbe Shaul Yedidia Elazar Taub of Modzitz (Dęblin), three handwritten and signed by the rebbe, and one typewritten, with the rebbe's signature. Tel Aviv, Otvosk (Otwock), Brooklyn, 1935-1946.
All the letters were addressed to R. David Perkowitz of Jerusalem, on the Rebbe's official stationery. Three of the letters were written in pre-Holocaust Poland, and the fourth one was written in the United States in 1946, after the Holocaust. The letter dated 1936 was published in Nachlat Tzvi (issue 12, p. 153). The other three letters were presumably never printed.
In his letter from Aseret Yemei Teshuva, 1938, the Rebbe blesses: "And I hereby bless you with a good final sealing, and a good and sweet year…". In his letter from 1936, the Rebbe relates to the events which took place that year in Eretz Israel: "After hearing of the riots and disturbances, may G-d allow us to hear from you good tidings and salvations…". Further in the letter, the Rebbe writes that the revolt is a "sign of the imminent redemption… life should result from the resistance, as the Zohar says, that this is a hint of the redemption…".
In his letter dated 1935, the Rebbe instructs to establish a Shtiebel for Modzitz Chassidim in Jerusalem, which would unite all those who feel connected to the Chassidic dynasty, in strengthening one another and blessing G-d in congregation.
Rebbe Shaul Yedidia Elazar Taub of Modzitz (1886-1947) was the son of Rebbe Yisrael of Modzitz author of Divrei Yisrael. An outstanding and erudite Torah scholar. Renowned for his great musical talent, he composed between one thousand five hundred and two thousand melodies, many of which became widespread throughout the Jewish world. He served as rabbi of Raków and Karczew, and in 1929, moved to Otvosk where he established a large yeshiva. He was rescued from the Holocaust by escaping to Vilna, and from there to New York. During his stay in Vilna, he succeeded in extracting from the Russian authorities exit permits for the yeshivot which had gathered in Vilna (following his passing, the Chazon Ish mentioned his merit in aiding the rescue of the yeshiva students in Vilna from annihilation). He passed away in Jerusalem on 16th Kislev 1947, and was the last person to be buried on the Mount of Olives until its liberation. His Torah thoughts were published in his books Imrei Shaul and Yisa Bracha.
4 letters, consisting of 5 written pages. Size and condition vary. Three letters in overall good condition. Letter from 1936 in fair condition - torn at the fold and repaired with tape, slightly affecting text.
Six parchment and paper amulets. [Eretz Israel and the Near East, 19th or 20th century].
Among the amulets: • A fine amulet, exceptionally long and detailed, on a paper scroll; written for a "Refuah Shelemah" (complete recovery) for a woman named Kurda bat Soni, "remove from her all types of illness… danger and affliction, and send her very soon a complete recovery". With illustrations of angels, a palm, Star of David, grids containing letters and more. • "Ilan Sefirot" amulet on parchment, "a segulah for everything - pleasing, success, evil eye, difficult labor, pregnancy and plague […] - this amulet has to be placed in a silver case". Meticulously drawn, minute handwriting. • Parchment amulet, for success and against evil eye. "Order your angels […] to come to the house of Abba Shalom son of Rivka and to go with him, to bring success in his trade and in everything that he is doing". • And more.
Six amulets (two are written on paper). Size and condition vary. Overall good to fair-poor condition. Worming damage to paper amulets. Two amulets are placed in a leather case.
Letter handwritten and signed by R. Yaakov Yechizkiyahu Grünwald Rabbi of Tzeilem (Deutschkreutz) and Pupa (Pápa). Tzeilem, 1914.
In this letter addressed to R. Reuven HaKohen, community leader of Lackenbach, R. Yaakov Yechizkiyahu requests his assistance in some secret matter, and bids him to receive the person sent to him and aid him in that matter. The letter is signed: "Yaakov Yechizkiya Grünwald".
R. Yaakov Yechizkiya Grünwald, author of Vayaged Yaakov (1882-1941), rabbi of Tzeilem and Pupa. Son and close disciple of R. Moshe Grünwald author of Arugat HaBosem Rabbi of Khust. He frequented the courts of Rebbe Yechezkel Shraga Halberstam Rabbi of Shinova, Rebbe Yissachar Dov Rokeach Rabbi of Belz and his son R. Aharon Rokeach Rabbi of Belz. He was the son-in-law of his uncle R. Yisrael Menachem Braun Rabbi of Brezovice. He was appointed rabbi of Lukovo (near Irshava, Zakarpattia) at a young age. In 1912, went to serve as rabbi of Tzeilem, where he established a prestigious yeshiva, and was reputed as one of the preeminent Hungarian rabbis. In 1923, he was appointed rabbi of Bánffyhunyad (Huedin), and in 1929, of the Orthodox community in Pupa. His yeshiva at that time numbered several hundred disciples.
After his passing, he was succeeded by his son R. Yosef Grünwald, who settled in the United States following the Holocaust, and reestablished the Kehilat Yaakov - Pupa community, becoming one of the leading rabbis and rebbes in the United States.
 double leaf. 21.5 cm. Official stationery. Very good condition. Stains. Folding marks.
Letter signed and stamped by Rebbe Shalom Halberstam. Košice, Elul 1932.
Written by a scribe, with the handwritten signature of R. "Shalom Halberstam". The letter is replete with blessings: "A good inscribing and sealing… and may G-d fulfill all his heart's wishes for the good… may he be rescued in all matters and live a life of tranquility together with his descendants, now and for posterity".
Rebbe (Avraham) Shalom Halberstam (1855-1940), the Divrei Shalom, cherished son of Rebbe Yechezkel Shraga Halberstam of Shineva-Sanz, the Divrei Yechezkel (eldest son of the Divrei Chaim of Sanz), who would acclaim him for "his very holy and supremely lofty soul". He served as rabbi and rebbe of Stropkov, and was the first rebbe of the Stropkov Chassidic dynasty. His court was always teeming with Chassidim and thousands came to seek his blessings. He was reputed for the wonders he performed.
Postcard. 10.5X15 cm. Fair condition. Tears and cracks. Large open tear in place of postage stamp. Stains. Rebbe's stamps in Hebrew and Polish.
Portrait of R. Shaul Lowenstam, rabbi of the Ashkenazi community in Amsterdam. Engraving by Christian Friedrich Fritzsch, after G. Pinhas, 1780. Partially hand-colored. Mounted on the cover of an old book.
"This is the portrait of the outstanding R. Shaul… author of Beit Ariel, rabbi and yeshiva dean of the community of Ashkenazim in Amsterdam - This is the image of Shaul, angel of G-d…".
R. Shaul Lowenstam Rabbi of Amsterdam (1717-1790), a leading rabbi in his times - the generation of the Noda BiYehuda and R. Yitzchak of Hamburg. He was the grandson of the Chacham Tzvi, and son of R. Aryeh Leib Rabbi of Głogów and Amsterdam (son of R. Shaul son of R. Heschel of Kraków). He served as rabbi of Dubno, succeeding his father-in-law R. Avraham Kahana Rabbi of Dubno, and in 1755, was appointed rabbi of Amsterdam in place of his father R. Aryeh Leib. His home resembled a royal palace, and the Chida, who visited him in Amsterdam, describes in his book the honor and glory the Amsterdam community accorded their illustrious rabbi. In Shem HaGedolim, the Chida seldom refers to the rabbis of his generation and their books, yet R. Shaul is mentioned in awe: "and I, the poor one, merited to greet the Shechina in 1778, whenever I passed by on a mission, and I merited to enjoy his Torah, modesty and perfection" (Maarechet Sefarim, Bet, 98, Binyan Ariel). In the Cleves Get controversy which encompassed all European countries, the opinion of R. Shaul was conclusive. His book Binyan Ariel (Amsterdam, 1778) contains novellae on the Talmud and on the Torah. In this portrait, his book is referred to as Beit Ariel.
 leaf. 29 cm. Fair condition. Minor tears. Marginal wear. Mounted on cover of an old book, 31.5 cm. Slightly damaged.
Portrait of R. Meyer Neufeld of Posen (Poznań), lithograph by S. Rabat. Berlin: L. Sachse & Co., [19th century, ca. 1860-1880].
Captioned in Hebrew: "The portrait of an active and accomplished man, Torah scholar and exceptionally diligent, who day and night without respite benefited the unfortunate, assisted the poor and advocated for the downtrodden, the renowned and pious R. Meyer Neufeld".
R. Meyer Neufeld (died apparently in the winter of 1859), was a famed Torah scholar and pious man in his times, a community leader in Posen and among its wealthy residents during the days of R. Akiva Eger and his son, R. Shlomo Eger. He established a bakery of machine matzot in Posen, which was cited as proof of the halachic acceptability of machine matzot during the ensuing polemic on this subject. The Shoel U'Meshiv cites "R. Meyer Neufeld, a leading Torah scholar of Germany and Prussia", as one who knows the advantages of machine baking (Shenot Dor VaDor, I, pp. 462-464). R. Yosef Chaim Kara writes (in his letter to the Chiddushei HaRim from Nissan 1859, Shenot Dor VaDor, I, pp. 468-478): "…Already about 15 years ago, this device was brought to Posen, because there lived an exceptionally G-d fearing man, a leading Torah scholar and pious man… R. Meyer Neufeld". In an article printed in HaMaggid, Tevet 1858, R. Yosef Chaim Kara writes: "…who has heard the renown of the pious man, prominent Torah scholar R. Meyer Neufeld of Posen, who himself was the first… to establish there a matzah bakery with a large, wonderful machine…" (see the article by R. Y. Mondschein, Zechor L'Avraham, 2003, pp. 849-854). R. Meyer Neufeld exchanged halachic responsa with R. Moshe Yehuda Leib Rabbi of Kutno, author of Zayit Raanan (Zayit Raanan, Part II, section 7, features a "responsum to a famous rabbi", and R. Chaim Yaakov Naftali Silberberg, the author's grandson, attests that this responsum was sent to R. Meyer Neufeld). R. Eliyahu Guttmacher Rabbi of Greiditz, who was his mechutan, cites stories and practices in the name of R. Meyer, referring to him as "my mechutan, the rabbi and pious man".
 leaf, thick paper. 30 cm. Good condition. Light foxing. Minor marginal tears. Stamp in Polish from Łódź on the verso.
Likutei Yosef, novellae on Talmudic topics, by R. Yosef Yoske HaLevi of Rovne (Rivne). Minkovitz (Mynkivtsi), . First edition.
R. Yosef Yosek HaLevi of Rovne (d. 1800, Encyclopedia of Chassidut, II, pp. 149-150), a holy kabbalist, disciple of the Maggid of Mezeritch and of R. Michel of Zlotshov. R. Yosef was amongst the elite and initial disciples of the Maggid, R. Dov Ber of Mezeritch, while the latter still served as maggid in Rovne, and he was the one who brought him from Tortchin (Torchyn) to Rovne, with the assistance of his father-in-law R. Aharon Rabbi of Rovne, to serve as maggid. He also composed the kabbalistic book Yesod Yosef. He did not leave behind any descendants.
In a letter R. Zusha of Anipoli sent the Chozeh of Lublin in praise of R. Yosef, he wrote: "…regarding the renowned, righteous man, who is astute and erudite, the outstanding Torah scholar R. Yosef… he was already asked to serve as rabbi in several communities, yet he refused… since it would cause him to take away time from his Torah study and prayers. And I know him, that he is accustomed to sit in seclusion, delving in Torah, prayer, Chassidism and asceticism. My brother, the holy R. Elimelech, cherished him greatly, and he also told me… that in the Higher spheres, he saw him clothed in white…".
, 26 leaves. 19.5 cm. Coarse paper of varying thickness. Good condition. Stains. Worming. Dampstains to title page. New binding.
Stefansky Chassidut, no. 280.
Letter handwritten and signed by R. Shalom Mordechai Schwadron (the Maharsham). Berzhan (Berezhany, Galicia), 1908.
Halachic responsum regarding laws of Mikvah (ritual bath), the status of dentures and dental fillings as Chatzitza, and laws of Hashaka. Addressed to "the rabbi outstanding in Torah, R. Mordechai Schreib[t]afel".
The Maharsham - R. Shalom Mordechai HaKohen Schwadron (1835-1911), was the supreme Halachic authority in his generation, foremost posek in Galicia and beyond. From all over Russia-Poland and Hungary, difficult questions were addressed to him for his ruling. He composed dozens of compositions in Halacha as well as in homily. He served as rabbi of Zolotyi Potik, Yazlovets and Berezhany. A chassid, he was close to the Rebbes of Belz, Zidichov, Stretin and Chortkov. As a young boy, he received personal guidance from Rebbe Meir of Premishlan.
Since his childhood, he toiled in Torah with outstanding diligence, and attached himself with utter devotion to the ways of Torah and Chassidism. In the period following his wedding, he opened a store, yet just whilst sitting there he managed to review the four parts of Shulchan Aruch four hundred times (!). After a while, he began serving in the rabbinate, and R. Shlomo Kluger accorded him an effusive ordination, writing: "… although I am not accustomed to accord rabbinic ordinations for undisclosed considerations, this rabbi does not need my sanction, and he may issue Torah rulings just like renowned, leading Torah scholars, and be relied upon in any matter…". The Minchat Chinuch also wrote him an interesting approbation: "The young author exhibits exceptional prowess and proficiency in Torah learning, and we have already aged…".
Although he was primarily renowned for his eminence in Torah and Halacha, the foreword to his book Techelet Mordechai on the Torah relates many wondrous accounts of Heavenly revelations he was privy to, and of salvations and recoveries he engendered.
 leaf. 14.5 cm. Good condition. A few stains. Folding marks. Several tears.
Shiltei HaGiborim, comprehensive composition pertaining to the Beit HaMikdash, the Kohanim and Leviim, the Temple vessels, musical instruments and more, by R. Avraham HaRofeh Portaleone. Venice: "Avraham MiShaar Aryeh" (Avraham from Lion Gate [Portaleone] - the book was printed in the author's home), . First edition. Four title pages.
Two ownership inscriptions in Oriental script appear on the first title page: "This is my book, the young Chaim Yosef Mercado HaKohen Kutina"; "Acquired with my money to serve my Creator, the young Avraham HaKohen". The endpapers contain various lists of names of people and books. An acrostic poem (spelling out the name "Asher"), in praise of the book and its author, is inscribed in Ashkenazic script on p. 2a.
The principal part of the book is composed of the first 90 chapters, in which the author comprehensively describes the Beit HaMikdash, its vessels and all the Temple services. His research is based on the Bible and Chazal, at the same time deriving information from ancient Jewish, Arabic and Christian traditions as well as contemporary science. The composition contains much scientific data, such as botanic names of the components of the incense and of the anointment oil, identification of the gems of the High Priest's breastplate (choshen) and their remedial qualities, a detailed study of the music in the Beit HaMikdash, including much information on musical instruments and various musical styles, expansive knowledge of engineering and architecture, medicine, chemistry, etc. Moreover, the book deals with linguistic analysis of words in the Holy Tongue, derived from the author's command of ten European and Semitic languages, especially Greek and Latin.
, 2-12, 103 leaves (lacking the blank leaf following leaf 103); , 106-124 leaves; , 126-130 leaves; , 132-186 leaves. 28.5 cm. High-quality paper. Good-fair condition. Stains. Dampstains to title page and other leaves. Worming, slightly affecting text. Early leather binding with embossed ornamentation, damaged. Embossed on the binding: "Yeoshua ibn Lahmiach".
Letter from Rebbe Sinai Halberstam, Rabbi of Zhmigrod. "Wysowa - Medicinal Spa" (Wysowa-Zdrój, Poland), [ca. 1935].
The letter is addressed to a young man who requested a blessing for his father's recovery, and later sent a message that his father's condition was improving. The Rebbe blesses the father with a "complete recovery amongst other sick Jewish people, may he shortly be able to inform me of his good health, and I request of his dear son… not to delay in sending me good tidings". The letter was written by a scribe, but the last five lines were handwritten by the Rebbe, with his signature: "One who seeks his wellbeing wholeheartedly and with great love, and beseechs G-d for his speedy recovery and salvation, Sinai Halberstam".
Rebbe Sinai Halberstam of Zhmigrod (1871-1941), son of Rebbe Baruch of Gorlitz (Gorlice) and grandson of R. Chaim of Sanz (Nowy Sącz), was named Sinai at the behest of his grandfather the Divrei Chaim (see sources quoted below for the reasons behind this name). Renowned as holy from birth, he conducted himself with extreme holiness, would awaken every night at midnight to study Zohar until the morning prayers, and earned the reputation of a wonder-worker. He served as rabbi of Gorlitz, Koloshitz (Kołaczyce) and Zhmigrod (Nowy Żmigród). From 1904, he became the Rebbe of Zhmigrod. A foremost Rebbe of the Sanz dynasty, he was a diligent Torah scholar and preacher, a pious man reputed for the scope of his prayers. Near the end of his life, he relocated to Kraków.
His grandson R. Moshe Halberstam - later one of the rabbis of the Eidah HaChareidit Beit Din - travelled in his youth from Jerusalem to Kraków, to lay Tefillin in honor of his Bar-mitzva beside his grandfather, though unfortunately just then, WWII broke out. The grandson miraculously succeeded in returning to Eretz Israel, while the elderly grandfather escaped the Nazis to the Omsk forest, where he died of starvation. The family miraculously obtained a white cloth for his burial and even succeeded in laying a tombstone on his grave, but his writings were lost during the Holocaust. (Rabbeinu HaKadosh MiTzanz, II, p. 369; Meorei Galicia, II, p. 528).
Postcard. 10.5X15 cm. Fair condition. Tears (repaired with acid-free tape). Open tears to corners. Postage stamps removed. Stamps of the Rebbe in Hebrew and Polish.
Small format Torah scroll. [Poland, 19th century]. Placed in a Bukharian style Torah case, covered with colorful velvet. [Israel, second half of the 20th century].
Velvet-covered wood; parchment.
The case is covered with colorful velvet, in a style typical of Bukharian Torah cases, attached with a row of stylized tacks to the edges of the case. A dedicatory plaque made of thick paper is attached to the case, inscribed: "…This Torah scroll belongs to Yosef Chaim bar Manzel, his wife Zara bat Uzbek and their children…".
Height of case: 31 cm. Diameter: 24.5 cm. Good condition. Damage to velvet. Stains to dedicatory plaque. Height of parchment: 25.5 cm. Overall good-fair condition.
Letter handwritten and signed by Rebbe Meir Shalom Rabinowitz of Kałuszyn. [Kałuszyn], 10th Kislev 1896.
Recommendation to assist a widow and her orphaned son, daughter of his brother R. Aryeh Mordechai of Jerusalem: "To our Jewish brethren, compassionate ones, sons of compassionate ones, charitable… I hereby request… for the widow, daughter of my brother R. A.M. of Jerusalem, please have pity on her since she is in dire straits… and is compelled to trek through various towns in Europe to seek sustenance for herself and her dear son, the orphan… have mercy and compassion… your generous donation in a respectable fashion, since the cloak of shame enveloping her is very great, and whoever has mercy on people will be dealt with mercy, and the merit of the good deed will stand for us to obtain salvation… he who awaits G-d's salvation and entreats you for the sake of this good deed - Meir Shalom of Kałuszyn".
Rebbe Meir Shalom Rabinowitz of Kałuszyn (d. 1903), grandson of the Yehudi HaKadosh, was the son of Rebbe Yehoshua Asher Rabinowitz of Parysów and son-in-law of his brother R. Yaakov Tzvi of Parysów. A disciple of R. Yitzchak of Neshchiz and R. Yechezkel Shraga of Shinova. He served as rabbi of Parysów, Garwolin and Kałuszyn, and in 1889, was appointed Rebbe as well, with thousands of Chassidim frequenting his court. He was renowned primarily for his wonders, and for his perception of the occult with Divine Inspiration (he himself would relate of wondrous revelations he merited already as a young man). He authored Nahar Shalom on the Torah. His biography and practices are recorded in Derech Tzadikim (Pietrokov, 1812).
 leaf. Approx. 10X8 cm. 10 autograph lines and signature. Fair-poor condition. Many tears. Stains and wear. Paper repairs on recto and verso. Inscription in blue ink: "The Rebbe of Kałuszyn, R. Meir Shalom Rabinowitz".