The Auction was held on 12/03/19
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Ben Tzion, prayers and kabbalah, piyyutim and poems, by R. Yosef son of R. Elimelech of Turobin. Amsterdam: R. Moshe son of Avraham Avinu, . Illustrated title page with ornamental borders and figures.
Includes the text of LeShem Yichud for many mitzvot, examples of flowery introductory sentences to letters, and plays consisting of dialogs between the Good inclination and the Evil inclination.
The title on p. 2, "Approbations of the three shepherds, prominent Torah scholars… of the Sephardi and Ashkenazi communities in Amsterdam", is followed by an approbation signed by one signatory only, R. Moshe Yehuda son of R. Kalonymus HaKohen, rabbi of the Ashkenazi community in Amsterdam. He describes the author: "The elderly Torah scholar, R. Yosef son of R. Elimelech, resident of Poland, from the community of Turobin".
Signature on the title page of "Feivelmann son of R. Seligmann [Gold---?]". Signature on p. 27b from 1724: "I, Falk son of Shlomo Zalman. 1724".
, 35 leaves. 14.5 cm. Varying condition, fair-good to fair-poor. Wear and stains. Severe worming to approx. half the leaves, with loss of text, professionally repaired with paper. New, cloth binding.
11 Ketubot printed on parchment, filled in by hand by the community scribe and signed by the regular community witnesses. Amsterdam, 1802-1803, 1818-1819, 1856.
Most of the Ketubot were printed by Proops, at the start of the 19th century, apart from the 1856 Ketubah, which was printed by Israel Levison. All the Ketubot are decorated with ornamented borders featuring similar illustrations: a gateway with decorative columns, topped by trumpet-bearing angels flanking a Star of David - emblem of the Ashkenazi community of Amsterdam, inscribed "K.A.A." or "K.Y.H.A.".
11 Ketubot, 30-31 cm. Varying condition, very good to good-fair. Creases and folding marks. Stains and minor tears.
Nachalat Shimon, ethical and Chassidic essays on the Torah Parashiot, by R. Shimon Deutsch Ashkenazi Rabbi of Dobromyl, disciple of R. Elimelech of Lizhensk. [Łaszczów, 1815]. First edition.
This first edition was published by the disciple of the author, R. Shmuel of Premisla (Przemyśl), and does not contain Torah thoughts on Parashat Bereshit. The publisher mentions this fact at the end of the foreword (leaf ) and in the concluding words on p. 20b (of the first pagination), and he surmises that the author's decision not to elaborate on the ten generations between Adam and Noach was based on profound Kabbalistic reasons. (It must be noted that the second edition of the book, Polonne 1821, contains novellae to Parashat Bereshit as well as to other Parashiot which do not appear in the first edition. These additions were included in the Polonne 1821 edition only, whilst subsequent editions, [Lemberg, 1858 edition onwards], follow the first edition and omit the additions). The publisher, disciple of the author further writes: "One must know that the author was trouble stricken his entire life… and whenever his weakness overtook him, … his words were concise rather than expansive".
The author R. Shimon Deutsch Ashkenazi Rabbi of Dobromyl (d. Cheshvan 1801), was a great and holy Torah scholar, a foremost disciple of R. Elimelech of Lizhensk. Held in high esteem by Chassidic leaders, his Torah thoughts are quoted reverently in the writings of great Chassidic masters such as the Bnei Yissaschar, Melo HaRo'im, R. Alexander of Komarno, R. Moshe of Kozhnitz, and others. He exchanged halachic correspondence with leading rabbis of his times, leaving behind many compositions in manuscript form, on the Talmud, Halacha and responsa. After his passing, a fire destroyed all his writings. This composition was written by his disciples who recorded the sermons he delivered every Shabbat. The author did not leave behind any descendants. The book was named Nachalat Shimon by the publisher, since "this is his portion from all his toil, as he did not leave behind any offspring, rather alone he came and alone he left, and this will be his legacy" (publisher's foreword). The Yeshuot Yaakov wrote in his approbation to the book: "When I resided in Jarosław, he was in close proximity to me, and several times he presented before me his insight on a ruling, and all his words are taken as verified". The author quotes in this book ideas from his great teacher from Lizhensk: "and so it says in the book of my teacher the holy R. Elimelech" (p. 13a).
R. Shimon Ashkenazi's gravesite in Dobromyl was until the Holocaust a focal point for prayer, attracting the multitudes. Since he did not merit to have offspring, the synagogue of his community adopted the custom of reciting Aleinu LeShabe'ach following the Shabbat morning prayer, before the Torah reading, with a special Kaddish in his memory (Or Yekarot L'R. Shalom Chaim Porush, IV, p. 379).
The Beit Avraham, Rebbe of Slonim would relate (based on an oral tradition) the way the Nachalat Shimon would describe the exalted atmosphere of the Shabbat day which reigned in the home of R. Elimelech of Lizhensk. He reported that the Shabbat holiness was so palpable in the house of his teacher, that every Friday, the kitchen maids would ask forgiveness from one another, similar to the prevailing practice in all Jewish places on Yom Kippur eve, "so that the grievances they bore against each other would not preclude their experiencing the holiness of the Shabbat". R. Shimon of Dobromyl recounted that when he witnessed this, R. Elazar, son of R. Elimelech declared: "See how far-reaching the light of the holy Shabbat of my father is… even the maids can perceive this light" (Beit Avraham, Slonim, p. 67, 259).
, 2-20; 38 leaves, 17.5 cm. Good condition. Stains. Some darkened leaves. New leather binding.
Stefansky Chassidut, no. 390.
LeZecher LeYisrael, on Pirkei Avot and Talmudic novellae, by R. Yechiel Michel son of R. Tzvi Hirsh. Vilna-Horodna: Menachem Mann and Simcha Zimmel, 1833. On the verso of the title page, censorship stamp and handwritten signature in Russian.
Signatures and ownership inscriptions of R. Yitzchak Isek Lifshitz of Neshviz, and of R. "Yehuda… Lifshitz". On the back endpaper, ownership inscriptions of R. Shimshon Zakow of Ruzhany and R. Shmuel Leib Levin.
The author was a disciple of R. Chaim of Volozhin, and he founded his teacher's yeshiva in Volozhin, where he served as lecturer for seven years (R. Hillel of Horodna, son-in-law of R. Chaim, writes that "the yeshiva in Volozhin was founded by him, and he studied there, and taught many disciples before my father-in-law R. Chaim"). He later established a yeshiva in Minsk, which he relates to in the preface to this book.
This copy includes 4 rare leaves, "In Commemoration of the Donors", which were appended to some of the copies only. These four leaves contain: regulations of the Minsk yeshiva; correspondence between the rabbis of Minsk and R. Itzele of Volozhin regarding the Minsk yeshiva; letter of R. Hillel of Horodna, son-in-law of R. Chaim of Volozhin; and yeshiva donors listed according to the various Lithuanian towns.
, , 36; 10 leaves. 21.5 cm. Good-fair condition. Wide margins. High-quality paper, with stains and worming. Detached leaves. Original binding, damaged and detached, lacking spine.
Regarding the author, see: An Anonymous Yeshiva Dean in Volozhin - R. Yechiel Michel of Neshviz, Y. Rivkind, Sefer Turov, Boston, 1938.
Certificate of accreditation as Orthodox teacher, with the handwritten signature of R. Yosef Leib Bloch, dean of the Telz yeshiva. [Telz (Telšiai)], Kislev 1926.
"As I have heard and as I know for several years… R. Lipman Rakow from Frankfurt, I affirm… that he is fit to be a lecturer and teacher in the Rabbinical seminary in Germany, in all Hebrew and religious subjects…".
At the foot of the leaf, a confirmation, handwritten, signed and stamped by Rabbi Dr. Yaakov Hoffmann, rabbi and yeshiva dean in Frankfurt am Main. December 1926.
R. Yosef Yehuda Leib Bloch (1859-1929), a student of Volozhin and Kelm, a foremost leader of the musar movement and one of its noblest members. He married the daughter of R. Eliezer Gordon of Telz and was appointed lecturer and mashgiach in his yeshiva. After the first musar polemic, he left the yeshiva and went to serve as rabbi in Vorne (Varniai) and Shadova (Šeduva). With his father-in-law's passing in 1910, he returned to Telz and succeeded him as rabbi and yeshiva dean. Under his resolute and wise leadership, the yeshiva flourished with intensive study in accordance with the method he instituted, which is the forerunner of the Telz approach to study and musar. This system is perpetuated until this day, by his sons, grandsons and followers, in Telz yeshivot in Lithuania and the United States. His teachings were published in the books Shiurei Halacha and Shiurei Daat.
Recipient of the certificate: R. Yom Tov Lipman Rakow (1884-1950), native of Lithuania and one of its finest products. From 1920, he lectured in R. Breuer's yeshiva in Frankfurt am Main, and after a year, went to teach in the yeshiva of R. Hoffman in Frankfurt am Main, position he held for close to 20 years (the reason R. Rakow needed this certificate in 1927, after actively serving as teacher and lecturer in the yeshiva in Frankfurt for several years, is not known, R. Rakow was also not a student of the seminary for Orthodox teachers in Telz, established after WWI). At the outbreak of WWII, he moved to London where he continued teaching Torah in yeshivot. His sons were R. Benzion Rakow - dean of the Chayei Olam yeshiva in London, and R. Betzalel Rakow - renowned rabbi of the British Torah town, Gateshead. His biography is recorded in the Orchot Yesharim books (London, 1991-1997).
 leaf, official stationery. 28.5 cm. Good-fair condition. Marginal tears and wear.
Passover Seder plate designed by Ze'ev Raban. Made by Bezalel. Jerusalem, [first decades of the 20th century].
The text of "Ma Nishtana" appears in the center, surrounded by five depressions for the traditional foods of Passover. Five scenes depicting the exodus from Egypt appear on the margins, with small medallions inscribes with captions describing the scenes set between them. On the back of the plate is a soldered plaque, inscribed: "Made in Palestine".
Diameter: 32.5 cm. Good condition. Some bends. Corrosion. A suspension loop on the back.
Provenance: Purchased at the Hammersite auction house. According to the auction house this item is from the estate of Prof. Victor Deutsch, and was purchased at Sotheby's in May 1998 (item no. 36).
Candle lighting supplications, order of blessings over candle lighting for women, with supplications for the High Holidays and Three Festivals, by R. "Yisrael G.b. of Ivnytsia". Zhitomir: [Shapira], 1864. Yiddish and a bit of Hebrew.
The supplications were composed by R. Yisrael Goldberger of Ivnytsia, Zhitomir region, who authored many Yiddish supplications: "Six New Supplications", for reciting on various occasions, were printed under the name Techinat Imrei Shefer (Zhitomir, 1870), and supplications for reciting at the time of Torah reading, a specific supplication for every Shabbat pertaining to that week's portion, entitled Techinah Kriat HaTorah, were printed in Jerusalem, 1885.
36,  pages. 14 cm. Light-greenish paper. Fair-poor condition. Stains and wear. Tears and damage (repaired) significantly affecting text. Several leaves trimmed, affecting text. New binding.
Bibliographically unknown edition.
Manuscript, Et Sofer, texts of marriage, divorce and other documents. El Jadida, Morocco, [20th century?].
Semi-cursive Sephardic script. The first page features a flowery text serving as title page, with the name of the book and place of writing. The book includes the texts of many monetary and marriage related contracts.
Inscription on front cover: "This is my Et Sofer, Señor [word deleted] HaKohen".
, 1-3, 5-62, 64-70 leaves. Lacking leaves 4 and 63. Altogether:  leaves. 18 cm. Good condition. Stains. Several detached leaves. Several places reinforced with tape. Original binding, partially detached, with damage.
Passport of R. Shmuel Greineman, with his photograph and signature.
American passport issued in September 1945, including visas, revenue stamps and border control stamps, from his travels in the 1940s to the United States, Eretz Israel, France, the Netherlands and England.
R. Shmuel Greineman (1889-1957), son-in-law of R. Shemaryahu Yosef Karelitz father of the Chazon Ish. An outstanding Torah scholar and highly accomplished. He was a close associate of the Chafetz Chaim and R. Chaim Ozer, and a confidant of his brother-in-law R. Avraham Yeshayahu Karelitz the Chazon Ish. He arranged and published his brother-in-law's books Chazon Ish, and handled all matters relating to the printing (most of the books were published anonymously, and bear R. Shmuel's address in Bnei Brak for matters pertaining to the book). He authored Chafetz Chaim on the Torah and other books based on the teachings of his master the Chafetz Chaim. The Chazon Ish detected R. Shmuel's aptitude for communal activity while the latter was still a youth studying in Vilna, and he encouraged him to engage in communal work on behalf of Vaad HaYeshivot and Agudat Yisrael. R. Shmuel thereby developed a personal and close connection with R. Chaim Ozer and the Chafetz Chaim, who held him in high esteem. During his stay in the United States, he served as director of the Tiferet Yerushalayim yeshiva of R. Moshe Feinstein. He was one of the founders of the Kollel in Bnei Brak initiated by the Chazon Ish (now named Kollel Chazon Ish), and would travel to the United States to raise funds for the Kollel. During the time R. Shmuel used this passport, he also travelled extensively throughout Europe, operating in matters of rescue and education of Holocaust refugees.
15.5 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains and wear. Passport cancelled with stamps and corners cut off.
Shulchan HaTahor, abridged halachot for the whole year, based on Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim and Yoreh De'ah, by R. David Pardo, with the Rema's additions inserted by R. Tzvi Hirsh son of R. Itzek Premishla. Amsterdam, .
Miniature volume. Title within fine engraved border (depicting a deer at the top in reference to the publisher's name R. Tzvi Hirsch Premishla. At the bottom is an illustration of three men sitting by a table, alluding to the name of the book).
, 92 leaves. 9.5 cm. Good condition. A few stains. Minor marginal damage to title page. Margins of a few leaves trimmed close to text. Worming to endpapers. Original leather binding, with gilt ornaments. Damage and worming to binding.
This edition is listed in the Bibliography of the Hebrew Book according to a copy from a private collection.
Torah Staves. Morocco [probably from the area of Fes, early 20th century].
Carved and painted wood; engraved silver.
The top part of the staves is made of carved wood shaped as a hand holding a wooden shaft. The wrist is surrounded by a frill cuff, above a wide gadrooned band with spiral silver threads. Above the band and below it are narrow silver bands, engraved with vegetal patterns. An inscription is engraved on the top bands (identical in both staves): "Simcha Bat Yosef Attar".
The bottom part of the staves is carved in a stepped design.
Height: 112.5 cm. Fair-good condition. Fractures and defects to wood. Faded color. The top part is detached from the poles.
Meor Einayim, Chassidic essays on the Torah, by Rebbe Menachem Nachum [Twersky] of Chernobyl. Slavita: [R. Moshe Shapira, 1798]. First edition.
Bound with: Yismach Lev (Part II of Meor Einayim), commentary on Aggadot and Midrashim (following the order of the Talmudic tractates), by Rebbe Menachem Nachum [Twersky] of Chernobyl. Slavita: [R. Moshe Shapira, 1798]. First edition.
Meor Einayim is a fundamental work of the Chassidic movement, and one of the first Chassidic compositions presenting the teachings of the Baal Shem Tov and the Maggid of Mezeritch (Mezhirichi). The author, the maggid R. Menachem Nachum of Chernobyl (1730-1798, Encyclopedia of Chassidut III, pp. 168-175), was one of the founders of Chassidism and the progenitor of the Chernobyl dynasty. He studied directly from the Baal Shem Tov and was a close disciple of the Maggid of Mezeritch. He served as maggid in Noryns'k, Prohobitch (Pohrebyshche) and Chernobyl. He acceded to his disciples' entreaties to print his teachings and delegated the task to his disciple R. Eliyahu son of R. Zev Wolf Katz, instructing him to publish his writings in the "fine and exceptional printing press established in Slavita…" (the printing press of R. Moshe Shapira, then in its early years).
The book was allegedly eighteen times longer, but when arranging it for printing, R. Nachum of Chernobyl commanded his disciples to burn many leaves, leaving only the teachings which were divinely inspired. His writings were divided by his disciples into two parts, one part on the Torah, including selections, published under the title Meor Einayim, and a second part pertaining to Talmudic Aggadot, named Yismach Lev. The two parts were printed concurrently in Slavita, the same year. In later editions, the two parts were combined and published together. R. Nachum of Chernobyl passed away during the course of the book's preparation for print.
Chassidic leaders ascribed great importance and holiness to the book, studying it every day and preserving it as a protection. The Chozeh of Lublin and R. Yitzchak of Skvyra (grandson of the author) reputedly said that the book has the power to light up the person's soul, similarly to the Zohar, and R. Yitzchak Eizik of Komarno asserted that Meor Einayim should never depart from before one's eyes, as all the teachings it contains are lofty and holy.
Copy lacking 7 leaves. Meor Einayim: 3-158 leaves. Lacking: Title page, leaves 1-2 and 159-160. Yismach Lev: 1-29, 31-33,  leaves. Lacking: Title page and leaf 30. 19 cm. Fair condition. Stains, worming affecting text. Handwritten inscriptions. All the leaves were professionally cleaned and restored, worming repaired with paper and margins trimmed. Missing leaves replaced with photocopies. Restored binding, with original leather spine.
Mikra Kodesh supplications, supplications for the Blessing of the New Month, with the times of the new moon's appearance for each month. Zhitomir: Shapira Brothers, 1862. Yiddish.
List of Moladot (date and time of the appearance of the new moon) for the years 1862-1867, with the Yiddish text for announcing in the synagogue.
Incomplete copy. 34 pages (lacking pp. 35-45). 16 cm. Blueish paper. Fair-good condition. Stains and wear. Reddish stains. Minor damage to title page and other leaves. Marginal creases and tears to some leaves, mostly the last leaves. New cloth binding.
Rare edition. The copy listed in the NLI catalog is lacking the title page.
Tov VeYafeh, regarding faith and grammar, by R. Yehuda Leib Margolies of Zborov (Zboriv), rabbi of Frankfurt an der Oder. Frankfurt an der Oder, . Only edition. The book is divided into three "gates": Shaar HaMelech - G-d's unity, Shaar HaTorah - grammar, and Shaar HaTefillah - "regarding prayer and its benefit".
Author's dedication in tiny handwriting at the top of the title page: "…the great Torah scholar, astute and erudite… Yehuda Leib Rabbi of Mezeritch… it is a gift sent to you, Yehuda Leib son of R. A.Z. Margolies". The dedication is dated in his handwriting: "Today… first day of Rosh Chodesh Adar, year [---?]. Another signature on the title page: "Moshe son of R. Leib Segal".
R. Yehuda Leib Margolies (1747-1811), one of the renowned and leading Torah scholars of his generation. He served as rabbi of Shebreshin (Szczebrzeszyn), Plotsk (Płock), Leslau (Włocławek) and Frankfurt an der Oder (where he succeeded the Pri Megadim), receiving his rabbinical ordination from the Noda BiYehuda. He exchanged halachic correspondence with R. Yaakov of Lissa and other leading contemporary rabbis. He presented before the Gaon of Vilna a large booklet of novellae he had composed to resolve a difficulty on the words of the Mordechai in tractate Shevuot. The Gaon reviewed his deep words in one instant, and immediately responded that there is no question to begin with, since there is a scribal error in the words of the Mordechai (Aliyot Eliyahu, 31b). He authored: Responsa Pri Tevua, Korban Reshit, Or Olam, Beit Middot, Beit Tefillah, Tal Orot, and more.
The Noda BiYehuda acclaims him in the approbation he accorded to one of his books: "R. Yehuda Leib son of R. Asher Zelig of Zborov… he was here [in Prague] for a few days, and delivered sermons in several synagogues, and on Shabbat, he preached in the Altneuschul, and I noticed that he has straight reasoning and pure intellect, and also in my home he voiced his thoughts several times… and he draws the hearts of his listeners to fear of G-d through words of mussar which are sweeter than honey, as he is proficient in books like Akeda and Ikrim, therefore it is my duty to publicize his praise".
21 leaves. Lacking last leaf. 15.5 cm. Good condition. Stains and wear. Inner margins of title page and last five leaves reinforced with tape. Top of dedication damaged and trimmed. New binding.
Crown for a small Torah scroll. [Eastern Europe - Russia or Poland, 18th century].
Silver (marked), cut and sawn, repoussé and embossed; rivets; gemstones; gilding.
A small-sized Torah crown intended for a small Torah scroll. The crown's base is made of silver openwork attached with rivets to a silver loop and decorated with vegetal and geometric patterns and three pairs of heraldic animals [a pair of lions, langued, a pair of oxen (?) and a pair of wolves (?)]. Six arms extend upwards from the crown's base, topped by another, small and gilt crown decorated with tiny flowers, gemstones, globular silver beads of various sizes and silver threads. The crown's arms are decorated with vegetal patterns and rocaille. Between the arms are six (identical) decorations that combine rocaille and large birds (each of the decorations has two holes, apparently intended for bells or other missing decorations).
Height: 19 cm, base diameter: 13 cm. Good overall condition. Slightly bent. Some of the bells are marked with English stamps. Missing bells. Decorations missing from upper crown and from the rocaille-and-bird pattern.
Manuscript, sample booklet of a composition, supercommentary to Rashi on the Torah and to Rashi's commentators, by R. Meir son of R. Nachman HaLevi. [Samov (Belarus), ca. 1870].
The booklet begins with the copying of an approbation by R. Yosef Shaul Nathansohn, author of Shoel UMeshiv, written in Lviv, Shevat 1870; and the copying of an approbation by R. Baruch son of R. Sh. Kahana - the rabbi of Yelisavet (Kropyvnytskyi) author of Mekor Baruch VeSefer HaDerushim (R. Baruch Kitaiski of Minsk, a Belarusian rabbi and chassid of the Maharash of Lubavitch). The approbations are followed by a preface and introduction. On the last page: "One Grain as a Sample" of the composition, and at the foot of the page, an inscription disclosing the author's place of residence: "I did not write this in Horki, since I am presently residing in Samov with my son Zalman, and only one booklet is with me here".
The composition, of which this is a sample, was presumably never published. The name of the author is also not known from any other source. The Samov and Horki towns in Belarus (in the Minsk and Mohilev governates), where typically Chabad towns, with a predominance of residents who were Lubavitch chassidim. The Chabad rabbi, R. Meshulam Zalman Neumark (see item 262; and Kedem Auction 63, item 131) served as rabbi of Horki (near Shklow and Lubavitch) between ca. 1850-1862, and in Samov, ca. 1850, R. Eliyahu David son of R. Moshe, who exchanged halachic correspondence with the Tzemach Tzedek, served as posek (see: Indexes to Responsa Tzemach Tzedek, list of rabbis who posed questions, p. 164).
 pages. 17 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains and wear.
Bikurei Chinuch, Verzameling van Stukken in de Hebreeuwsche en Nederduitsche Talen dienende tot Proeve van Opvoedingsgeschriften en Schoolboeken, book for Jewish youths, for learning Hebrew, the fundamentals of Jewish faith and correct conduct. Amsterdam, 1809. Hebrew and Dutch.
Textbook for adolescents, published by Chevrat Chanoch LaNaar Al Pi Darko. Includes a Hebrew-Dutch glossary, letters and various reading passages on the fundamentals of faith and significant events in the history of the Jewish people. Hebrew (vocalized), with Dutch translation - on facing pages.
The book was printed as a response to the impact of emancipation on Dutch Jewry, and the Jews' adoption of the local language and culture.
The book opens with an interesting foreword, in which the publisher Yaakov Kohen Belinfante describes the tolerance of the Dutch ruler, King Louis Napoleon Bonaparte (in Dutch: Lodewijk Bonaparte, 1778-1846; brother of Napoleon Bonaparte), who proclaimed as he acceded to the throne: "The faculty of actions and science will in my kingdom raise its head, and there is no difference between the various faiths". He also discusses the "the edict regarding the Jews", which discloses Louis Napoleon's desire to 'rectify' the language, culture and education of the Jews. The publisher further describes the difficult state of Jewish education in the Netherlands: "Only one in a thousand children… can read by the time he graduates. The majority attend school for eight or nine years and then graduate aged fourteen not able to translate even one verse of the Torah…".
Original blue printed covers, with a list of books by the same publisher, and their prices. A piece of paper is pasted inside the front cover, containing a notice in Dutch from the printer and publisher. This notice is mentioned in the publisher's foreword ("and behold, the number of sheets printed… how much they will cost… and the price… are mentioned in the adjoined notice in Dutch…").
, VI, , XVI, 55,  pages. Good condition. Stains. Stamps. Front wrapper mounted on paper for strengthening. Minor damage to wrappers. Old binding.
Not listed in the Bibliography of the Hebrew Book.
Tirat Kesef, homily on the Torah and eulogies, by R. Chaim Avraham Gattegno. Salonika, . Only edition.
Calligraphic signature at the top of the title page: "The young David Farhi". Alongside the signature, R. David Farhi added an inscription recording the locations of his glosses in the book: "I will say all that is noted in the margins, p. 244b, p. 262a, p. 226a". Indeed, handwritten glosses appear on pp. 244b and 262a. A particularly lengthy gloss on leaf 244, beginning with: "These are the words of David…". The lower margin of leaf 226, where the gloss was presumably inscribed, was trimmed (perhaps due to him retracting his words).
We were not able to ascertain the identity of this R. David Farhi, signer and writer of these glosses. He may have been a member of the noted Farhi family from Damascus (whom R. Chaim Farhi belonged to), or perhaps a Torah scholar of Izmir or Salonica. He may have been the father-in-law of R. Moshe Israel of Rhodes, who quotes his father-in-law's responsa in his book Moshe Yedaber (Salonika, 1815).
Other ownership inscriptions on the title page: "Acquired from the wealthy philanthropist R. Binyamin Mosseri"; "And I acquired it, I the young Shlomo Suchami"; "The young Bechor Matzliach Taconi".
, 320 leaves. 30.5 cm. Fair condition. Stains and dampstains. Worming, affecting text. Tear to title page, repaired, and tears to several other leaves. Library stamps. Non-original binding.
Three letters handwritten and signed by Rebbe Baruch Hager of Seret-Vizhnitz and Haifa:
• Letter of recommendation to assist a man wishing to live near Haifa. The Rebbe implores on behalf of this person, as if it were for himself: "…and you are literally doing me a personal favor. He is an elevated and G-d fearing person. I hope you will do whatever you are able. Your friend Baruch". Haifa, Adar I 1951.
• Letter to the Gaon of Turda R. Yosef Adler - congratulations for his daughter's wedding: "…may his honor merit to see from her and from all his descendants blessed, upright and learned generations, as is fitting for his honor and his holy ancestors, and may we all merit to rejoice upon the holy land with the coming of the true redeemer, to hear and inform only good tidings… Baruch son of R. Y.". Haifa, Tammuz 1953.
• Letter of Torah thoughts, addressed to R. Naftali HaKohen. The Rebbe concludes the letter with blessings: "May G-d lengthen his years in good health, to serve G-d in contentment and tranquility. His friend… who awaits Heavenly mercy. Baruch son of R. Y.". Ramat Vizhnitz, Haifa, Tevet 1957.
Rebbe Baruch Hager of Seret-Vizhnitz (1895-1963) was the fourth son of the Ahavat Yisrael of Vizhnitz. He was granted rabbinical ordination by R. Meir Arik and R. Avraham Menachem Steinberg of Brody, and served in the rabbinate from 1923. In 1936, he was appointed Rebbe in Seret (Siret). In 1947, he immigrated to Haifa, where he reestablished his Beit Midrash and community institutions, which exist until this day in Haifa and other cities. Over the years, he formed the Ramat Vizhnitz neighborhood in Haifa. A member of the Moetzet Gedolei HaTorah of Agudat Yisrael.
Three letters, official stationery. 22-18.5 cm. Varying condition, good to good-fair. Creases, ink stains and traces of past dampness.
Lengthy letter (2 pages), handwritten and signed by R. Bendit Goitein. Hidjess (Hőgyész, Hungary), Shevat 1828.
Halachic responsum pertaining to laws of Mikvaot (ritual baths), addressed to R. Yehuda Leib. The responsum begins with an analysis of the ell and fingerbreadth measurements, which concern the volume of water required for a Mikveh. He concludes the responsum: "These are the words of his friend, who is prepared to be of assistance to him and to all those who seek wisdom, Bendit Goitein, who resides here, Hidjess".
R. Bendit Goitein (1770-1841), renowned Torah scholar, rabbi of Hidjess and author of Kesef Nivchar, was a leading rabbi of his times in Hungary. He was born in Kojetín, Moravia, and was a close disciple of R. Moshe Münz, Rabbi of Alt-Ofen (Óbuda). After his marriage, he lived in Yarmit (Balassagyarmat), and received rabbinic ordination from the rabbi of the town, R. Ze'ev Wolf Boskowitz, author of Seder Mishna. After R. Ze'ev Wolf left the city, R. Meir Eisenstädter (Maharam Ash) succeeded him as rabbi, and R. Bendit was appointed dayan in his Beit Din. In ca. 1799-1800, R. Bendit went to serve as rabbi of Hidjess, a position he held for 45 years, establishing there a prominent yeshiva. His book Kesef Nivchar, published in Prague in 1827, earned him world renown until this day. The book summarizes various Talmudic topics, bringing together all the sources on the topic, starting from the words of the Talmud and including the teachings of foremost Acharonim. This book became a fundamental and essential work in Hungarian yeshivot in subsequent generations (as the Chatam Sofer foresaw in his approbation to the book: "This book will become a guide to Torah students"). After toiling for some ten years on a revised edition of this work, R. Bendit passed away before he succeeded in publishing it, and the manuscripts of the second edition were lost during WWII. Parts of his writings which were preserved by the family were published in Zichron Avot (Bnei Brak, 1971), including this responsum which was printed (with slight variations) in section 31.
 leaf. 24 cm. Written on both sides, approx. 42 autograph lines and signature. Good-fair condition. Creases and stains.
Pair of Torah Finials. Vienna (Alt Wien), 1846.
Silver (marked), cast, embossed and engraved.
Round base. Shafts, bases and body of finials are decorated with bands of floral and foliate patterns. The finials are surmounted by crowns, topped in turn with bud-like foliate knops. Six decorated chains are suspended from each finial, each consisting of a flower-shaped elongated link between two round links and ending with small medallions embossed with flowers (four medallions on one finial were replaced with 19th-century Persian coins). A Hebrew dedication is engraved on the base of one finial: "Eliezer [with his spouse] / Gittel Gestetner".
Height: 37 cm. Good overall condition. Some bends and cracks to crowns. Loose knop. Soldering repairs to one finial. Missing bells (?).
Letter handwritten and signed by R. Chaim Nathansohn Rabbi of Wreshna (Września), addressed to R. Eliyahu Guttmacher Rabbi of Greiditz (Grodzisk Wielkopolski). Wreshna, Elul 1855.
In the letter, R. Chaim relates that the fundraising for Kollel Warsaw (Kollel Polin) in his region is under his responsibility, and ends the letter with blessings for a good year "…for him and his household for posterity, they should be inscribed for good life in the book of the absolute righteous on the upcoming Rosh Hashana". At the beginning of the letter, R. Chaim Nathansohn mentions his mourning over his eldest son "who passed away before his time… in the city of Toruń from cholera… and still today, my heart is not with me since solace is concealed from my eyes…".
R. Chaim Nathansohn (1814-1878), a disciple of R. Akiva Eger Rabbi of Posen (Poznań). A son-in-law of R. David Weisskopf Rabbi of the principality of Wallerstein. A leading rabbi in north-western Poland (region of Posen and the vicinity, then known as Greater Poland, later under German rulership). In 1858, he left the rabbinate in favor of studying in the Kloiz of R. Leib son of R. Shaul in Hamburg (the men studying in the Hamburg Kloiz were leading Torah scholars, including illustrious rabbis who quit their rabbinic position and moved to Hamburg to delve in Torah and worship of G-d, and were supported by a monthly stipend provided from the endowments of the wealthy founder of the Kloiz, R. Leib son of R. Shaul). In 1872, he published Avoda Tama against the initiative of R. Kalischer to renew the offering up of sacrifices in present times. In his preface to this book, he mentions and blesses his only son, R. Avraham. This letter discloses that he once had another son, who passed away at a young age in 1855. His book Even HaTo'im on the laws of cooking on Shabbat was published in 1890.
 double leaf. 21 cm. Good condition. Folding marks. Address inscribed on the back leaf.
Printed Tena'im, Jerusalem: Sh. Weingarten. Filled in by hand, for the betrothal of the groom R. Aryeh Leib Finkel son of R. Chaim Zev Finkel, to the bride Esther Gittel daughter of R. Shmuel Aharon Yudelevitch. Jerusalem, Shevat 1953.
Signed by the witnesses: R. "Zalman Rotberg" (later dean of the Beit Meir yeshiva, and member of the Moetzet Gedolei HaTorah) and R. "Moshe Mordechai Tz---?". The Tena'im was filled-in in the beautiful handwriting of the bride's grandfather R. Aryeh Levin (the Tzadik of Jerusalem, father-in-law of R. Shmuel Aharon Yudelevitch). The guarantors listed in the Tena'im are R. Chaim Leib (Shmuelevitz, uncle of the groom) and R. Aharon Jacobovitz (uncle of the bride, son-in-law of R. Aryeh Levin).
The groom R. Aryeh Leib Finkel (1931-2016), later served as a dean of the Mir yeshiva in Jerusalem and Modiin Illit (Mir-Brachfeld). A member of the Moetzet Gedolei HaTorah of Degel HaTorah. He was renowned for his righteousness and erudition, for his profound lectures and moving discourses. He greeted one and all with a hearty smile, and showed concern for his fellow Jew with exceptional friendliness and warmth. Many would turn to him in quest of blessings and salvation, and to merit to gaze upon his glowing countenance. He was a member of the directorate of reputed charity organizations and participated in the prayer journeys they arranged to the gravesites of great rabbis in Europe. Since its founding by a group of his disciples, he also served as president of the international youth organization Avot UBanim (where fathers and sons learn together on Shabbat and festivals).
 leaf. 41 cm. Good condition. Folding marks and filing holes.
Meir Einei Chachamim, profound and inspiring Chassidic essays on the holiness of Chanukah and the commandment of lighting the Chanukah lights, by R. Meir Rabbi of Korostyshiv and Chodorkov (Khodorkiv). Sde Lavan (Bila Tserkva, presently: Ukraine), . First edition. With approbations of R. Mordechai of Chernobyl, R. Avraham Dov of Ovruch author of Bat Ayin and others. Title page printed in red and black.
Contents of the book: "Explanation of the commandment of lighting the Chanukah lights, arranging them, inserting the wicks, lighting with olive oil, the location of the lighting and the time of lighting… and adequate commentary for all the laws which are practiced during the eight days of Chanukah… we also added a homily for Parashat Shekalim and Parashat Zachor, homilies for Purim, for weddings and for Pidyon HaBen". R. Mordechai of Chernobyl writes in his approbation: "I am convinced that whoever studies his holy words, will find serenity for his soul, and they will light up his eyes and enthuse his heart to worship G-d… words emanating from the pure and holy heart of the author".
The author, R. Meir was the close disciple of R. Zev Wolf of Zhitomir author of Or HaMeir, who was the inspiration for this book, as Chassidic tradition relates: "…This R. Meir once came to his teacher R. Zev Wolf of Zhitomir on Chanukah eve, and saw his holy teacher standing with his face aglow, cleaning the Chanukah lamp, for several hours, and he sensed the Kavanot that his teacher was concentrating on at that time. When R. Meir returned home, he composed this book on Chanukah, beautiful homilies according to various levels of interpretation… and he was a great wonder-worker and kabbalist" (Emunat Tzadikim).
The book bears several stamps: R. "Pinchas Rabinowitz" - Rebbe Pinchas Rabinowitz of Kontikoziva (1861-1926, Otzar HaRabbanim 16957), Rebbe of Kontikoziva (Pribuzhany, Kherson region). He succeeded his father R. Yitzchak Yoel Rebbe of Linitz (Illintsi). He is described as "an outstanding scholar in the revealed realms of the Torah". His composition Avodat Yitzchak on the Torah remained in manuscript. His sons include: R. Yaakov Yisrael, Rebbe of Kherson and R. Menachem Nachum Rabinowitz Rabbi of Haifa. His sons-in-law include: Rebbe Moshe of Stolin and Rebbe Yitzchak of Skver. (See: Encyclopedia of Chassidut, III, p. 539).
, 1-2, , 7-111 leaves. 19.5 cm. Greenish paper. Varying condition, good-fair to fair. Worming and severe stains to title page and several more leaves (first and last). Marginal paper repairs to some of these leaves. Rest of leaves in good-fair condition. New leather binding.
Stefansky Chassidut no. 28.
Less than five Hebrew titles were ever printed in Sde Lavan.
The true name of town - Bila Tserkva, means "White Church". The Jews nicknamed it Sde Lavan (White Field), and it was sometimes euphemistically referred to in Yiddish as "Schwartze Tumme".