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Or Torah, Kabbalistic and Chassidic essays on the Torah, by the Maggid R. Dov Ber of Mezeritch. [Korets, 1804]. First edition.
The teachings of the Maggid of Mezeritch were first published in Korets, 1781, in the book Maggid Devarav LeYaakov - Likutei Amarim, by his disciple R. Shlomo of Lutsk; but the contents were not organized in a specific order. In Or Torah, the teachings were arranged following the order of the Torah, Shir HaShirim, Tehillim and Aggadot (this copy is lacking the essays on Shir HaShirim, Tehillim and Aggadot). This book was printed based on a manuscript found in the home of R. Yeshaya of Dinovitz, Rabbi of Janów, a disciple of the Maggid of Mezeritch and R. Pinchas of Korets. Most of the essays are nonetheless identical to those contained in Maggid Devarav LeYaakov, apart from several textual variations between the two books.
Incomplete copy.  leaves, out of the original  leaves. Lacking: title page and subsequent leaf (replaced in handwriting), a leaf from Parashat Re'eh, and the last 76 leaves (with commentaries to Shir HaShirim, Tehillim and Aggadot). Altogether lacking: 79 leaves. 17 cm. Fair-good condition. Stains. Tears and wear, primarily to margins (leaves unevenly trimmed). New binding.
Stefansky Chassidut, no. 33.
Two manuscripts of Torah thoughts, handwritten by Hungarian rabbis in the 19th century:
• Letter handwritten and signed by R. Shaul Friedenthal head of the Bonyhád Beit Din, addressed to R. Eliyahu Menachem Goitein Rabbi of Hőgyész. At the foot of the letter, a draft of the reply letter appears, handwritten and signed by R. Eliyahu Menachem Goitein. Bonyhád and Hőgyész, Adar I 1867.
• Official stationery paper of R. Eliyahu Menachem Goitein Rabbi of Hőgyész - four pages of Torah novellae in his handwriting.
R. Eliyahu Menachem Goitein (1839-1902. Otzar HaRabbanim 2287), son and successor of R. Tzvi Hirsh Goitein Rabbi of Hőgyész (d. 1859. Otzar HaRabbanim 17220), and grandson of R. Bendit Goitein Rabbi of Hőgyész, author of Kesef Nivchar (1770-1841. Otzar HaRabbanim 4191). The Torah novellae of these three generation of Hőgyész rabbis were published in the book Zichron Avot (The Kesef Nivchar and his Descendants, Bnei Brak, 1971). These manuscripts were not included in the book (section 71 contains a lengthy correspondence between R. Shaul Friedenthal, other rabbis and R. Eliyahu Menachem, on the topic discussed in these letters. The published letters are from the dates: Rosh Chodesh Adar I Eve 1867, 2nd Adar I, 14th Adar I, 20th Adar II - yet this letter from R. Friedenthal dated 8th Adar I 1867 was not included).
R. Shaul Friedenthal (d. 1883. Otzar HaRabbanim 17986) was the head of the Bonyhád Beit Din, a position he held for 50 years (since 1833). Son of R. Yehuda Leib Lisa Rabbi of Rechnitz (Otzar HaRabbanim 7326), and son-in-law of R. Shmelke Meisels Rabbi of Jelšovce (1781-1855. Otzar HaRabbanim 19656). In 1856, he published Geviat Shmuel - ethical will of his father-in-law R. Shmelke Meisels and eulogies.
2 items, 5 written pages. Varying size, good condition. Stains.
Machzor LeMoadei HaShem (The Festival Prayers), for the Three Festivals and High Holidays, according to Polish-rite, with English translation. London, 1860. Hebrew and English. Six volumes.
Complete set of six volumes. Pagination varies. 17.5 cm. Good condition. Stains. Gilt edges. Original leather bindings and gilt clasps. Damage and wear to bindings.
Beit Hillel, Parts I and II, on Shulchan Aruch Yoreh De'ah and Even HaEzer, by R. Hillel Hertz. Dyhernfurth: R. Shabtai Meshorer Bass author of the Siftei Chachamim super commentary to Rashi on the Torah, . First edition. Bound with: Knesset HaGedola, on Shulchan Aruch Choshen Mishpat, by R. Chaim Benveniste. Fürth, . Second edition.
On the title page of Beit Hillel, several ownership inscriptions (partially trimmed and deleted): "Acquisition of my money… Zelig Bielfel[d], 17th Adar 1714…"; "…Binyamin son of R. Hirsch Nieder---"; "Presented to me as a gift --- son of R. Zalman ---"; stamp of Baron Wilhelm Carl von Rothschild's collection (from Frankfurt); and more. Signature on the title page of Knesset HaGedola: "Zelig Bielfeld".
R. Binyamin Niederhofheim (1810-1855), owner of this book, was a merchant and outstanding Torah scholar, a renowned and expert Mohel (who circumcised 7,110 babies!). A prominent member of the Frankfurt am Main community in the time of R. Shimshon Refael Hirsch (he even merited to have R. Shimshon Refael Hirsch buried near him). He authored Dinei Milah - a composition printed in R. Moshe Brück's Sefer HaBrit (Frankfurt am Main, 1841). He hosted in his home the minyam (prayer quorum) perpetuating the distinctive customs of R. Natan Adler of Frankfurt am Main, teacher of the Chatam Sofer. R. Natan Adler had originally established a private minyan in his home, which prayed following the Sephardi rite. After his passing, his disciple R. Leib Emmerich upheld this minyan, and in 1818, it was transferred to the home of the son-in-law of his son-in-law, R. Binyamin Niederhofheim, where it continued being held until the Holocaust, and was known as the "Niederhofheim'sche Shul". R. Binyamin owned a large private library, which also included rare manuscripts.
Two books in one volume. , 134; , 49; 196 leaves. 29.5 cm. Several darkened leaves. Most leaves in good condition. Stains. Marginal worming to title page and several subsequent leaves. Ink stain to foot of title page, with tears from ink erosion. Old binding, with damage.
Letter of halachic queries pertaining to laws of divorce, signed by the rabbi of the city R. Mordechai Michael Yoffe (a disciple of R. Akiva Eiger) and the dayanim in his Beit Din: R. "Yisrael Frenkel" and R. "Yehuda Leib son of… [Yoffe?]". Fordon, Cheshvan 1846.
Halachic queries addressed to the rabbi of Posen (Poznań) R. Shlomo Eiger, regarding a divorce which was not delivered in accordance with Halacha, and the ban of Rabbenu Gershom prohibiting polygamy and divorcing a woman against her will. Parts of this question were analyzed at length in his responsa book (Responsa of R. M. Yoffe, Hamburg, 1852, section 4). This letter discloses details of the account and halachic aspects which are only mentioned briefly and alluded to in the book. In sections 5-10 of the book, more responsa letters regarding this same affair are quoted, including R. Shlomo Eiger's response to this letter.
R. Mordechai Michael Yoffe (1803-1868, Otzar HaRabbanim 14219), was a foremost disciple of R. Akiva Eiger, who's yeshiva he studied in for some eight years, earning the title of "the Rebbi's Bachur" for the latter's great fondness of him. After his wedding with the daughter of R. David of Krotoszyn, his birthplace, he sat studying Torah, adamantly refusing to assume a rabbinic position, until all his possessions were destroyed in the great fire which struck Krotoszyn in 1827. He then began serving as rabbi of nearby Zduny, and later of Schneidemühl (Piła) in the Poznań area. In ca. 1845-1846, he went to serve as rabbi of Fordon (Bydgoszcz, northern Poland-Prussia), leaving the rabbinate in 1849 in favor of studying Torah in the famous Hamburg Kloiz, where he disseminated Torah for 18 years. He exchanged extensive Halachic correspondence with his teacher R. Akiva Eiger and the latter's son R. Shlomo Eiger. See for instance in Teshuvot Chadashot by R. Akiva Eiger (Jerusalem 1978, Even HaEzer, section 1) a responsum from R. Akiva Eiger to his disciple R. Mordechai Michael Yoffe, where he expresses his amazement at the latter addressing him with additional honorific titles apart from "rabbi". In 1834, he published his first book Beit Menachem (Krotoszyn, 1834). In 1852, he published in Hamburg his second composition named Responsa of R. M. Yoffe, consisting of Halachic rulings and correspondence he exchanged with the rabbis of his generation, including his teacher R. Akiva Eiger and his son R. Shlomo Eiger. He edited Responsa Maharach Or Zarua from an early manuscript, inserting sources and notes (published in Leipzig, 1860), together with his colleague from the Kloiz R. Elyakim Getschlik Schlesinger (the holy R. Getsch). A small number of his novellae were printed in the Shomer Tzion HaNe'eman periodical, published in Altona by the Aruch LaNer. Four of the Aruch LaNer's responsa to R. Mordechai Michael Yoffe were published in Responsa Binyan Tzion in 1860. His novellae and glosses to different books were published in various forums: his glosses to Responsa Chacham Tzvi were printed in Likutei He'arot of the Dovev Mesharim institute edition (Jerusalem, 1998) and in Moriah - Sefer Zikaron L'Rabbi Moshe Swift (Jerusalem, 1996); his glosses to Mor UKetzia were printed in the Machon Yerushalayim edition (Jerusalem, 1996); his glosses to Responsa Panim Me'irot were published in Moriah (issues 277-278, Tamuz, 2011).
 folded leaf:  written pages +  page with address and postmarks. 21 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains and tears. Folding marks. Tears to p. , with loss of text.
Hanukkah lamp decorated with a Star of David. London, 1925.
Silver (hallmarks indicating location, date and manufacturer, most probably Morris [Moses?] Salkind), turned and soldered.
Upright Hanukkah lamp on a round base with plain arms, decorated with a Star of David on top of the middle arm.
Height: approx. 35.5 cm. Good condition. Some bends.
Biur Milot HaHigayon by the Rambam, with the commentary of "R. Moshe of Dessau author of Netivot HaShalom" (Moshe Mendelssohn). Berlin, 1784.
Copy of R. Binyamin Wolf Hamburg of Fürth. On the title page, subsequent leaf and last leaf, ownership inscriptions and signatures in his handwriting: "I acquired it with my wealth in honor of my Creator, Wolf Hamburger here, Fürth", "I acquired it with my wealth in honor of my Rock and Creator, Wolf Hamburger son of R. Lipman Hamburger, residing here - Fürth".
R. Avraham Binyamin Zev Wolf Hamburg (1770-1850) was a leading German rabbi in his generation. A close disciple of the Maharzach, author of Bigdei Kehuna, and his successor as rabbi and yeshiva dean of Fürth. An outstanding Torah scholar and leader of German Jewry, he was also a wealthy figure. He authored Shaar HaZekenim (two parts), Simlat Binyamin and others. A native of Fürth, he was raised and continued elevating himself there, later replacing his teacher the Maharzach in various functions, and after the latter's passing, succeeding him in all his positions, as rabbi and yeshiva dean. He battled against the Reform movement, and during his tenure, the yeshiva was shut down due to his refusal to introduce secular subjects and transform it into a modern seminary for rabbinical training. He expended almost all his wealth on this battle. He edified many disciples, including R. Yaakov Yukev Ettlinger, the Aruch LaNer. The Chatam Sofer in his letters to him addresses him as "The outstanding and renowned Torah scholar… a double-edged sword… first to speak up in every place…". The Ketav Sofer eulogized him: "The prominent Torah scholar, erudite and sharp… who served as yeshiva dean for many years in Fürth, he was the leading Torah scholar of the generation and a righteous man, pillar of the world, stood in the breach to stave off destructive forces, he gave up his life for Torah and fulfilled the commandment of loving G-d with all one's being and possessions - even if He takes one's life and wealth" (see: Kinstlicher, Ishim UTeshuvot Chatam Sofer, pp. 39-40; see Hamburger, HaYeshiva HaRama BeFiurda, vol. III, pp. 35-144 for a detailed biography of R. Wolf Hamburg).
, 30 leaves. 20 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains and wear. Binding damaged, lacking back cover.
Letter handwritten and signed by R. Moshe Freund-Grieshaber. [Gyönk, 1868].
Addressed to his friend R. Eliyahu Menachem Goitein Rabbi of Hőgyész. Lengthy letter, mostly consisting of Torah thoughts. He mentions in passing a thought he heard from his teacher the Chatam Sofer, who remarked that pilpul is considered the crown of the Torah.
At the end of the letter, he writes in a somewhat enigmatic way, about buying copies of "the renowned book which is a great necessity for upholding Torah observance". He writes that he agreed together with R. Avraham Pollak to purchase ten copies of the book, and is willing to absorb the cost if he does not succeed in selling them. It is unclear which book he is referring to. This letter was published in Zichron Avot, 1971 (section 81), together with a letter which R. Eliyahu Menachem had sent earlier to R. Moshe Freund. That letter also mentions the book only in elusive terms, yet it appears that R. Azriel Hildesheimer, close friend of R. Eliyahu Menachem, was also involved in this matter.
R. Moshe Freund-Grieshaber (also known as R. Moshe Paks, 1797-1873), leading disciple of the Chatam Sofer. Son of R. Yitzchak Itzek Grieshaber-Freund Rabbi of Paks. After his marriage in 1815 to the daughter of a wealthy man from Gyönk, he settled there, delving in Torah and worship of G-d without needing to serve as rabbi. Several of the Chatam Sofer's responsa are addressed to him (see: Kinstlicher, HaChatam Sofer VeTalmidav, pp. 358-360).
The recipient of the letter, R. Eliyahu Menachem Goitein (1838-1902), was the son of R. Tzvi Hirsch Goitein and grandson of R. Baruch Bendit Goitein author of Kesef Nivchar. He was a disciple of the Ketav Sofer. Like his father and grandfather, he served as rabbi of Hőgyész. See previous item.
 double leaf. 21 cm. Fair-poor condition. Thin paper, dark ink showing through to verso, tears from ink erosion, affecting text.
Four letters related to R. Pinchas Shlomo HaLevi Reisels, who served as a shochet and bodek in the town of Slisht (Sosnove). These include three letters of protest by rabbis of Zvhil (Novohrad-Volynskyi) and Rivne, which were sent to the rabbi of Slisht upon his dismissal as shochet and bodek, and a lithograph letter by Rebbe Moshe Mordechai Twersky of Makariv sent to R. Pinchas Shlomo.
1-2. Two large leaves, a letter from R. Moshe Shmuel Sde-Lavan Rabbi of Zvhil (author of Nachalat Avot, Jerusalem 1926), to R. Mordechai Merkil Rabbi of Slisht. Zvhil, 1900. Protest against the dismissal of R. Pinchas Shlomo HaLevi Reisels from his position.
On the verso of the same leaf, after the end of R. Moshe Shmuel's letter, is the beginning of another letter from R. Yitzchak Shlomo Yoel Sherman Rabbi of Rivne. Rabbi Sherman's letter continues on another leaf. This letter, too, is addressed to R. Mordechai Merkil Rabbi of Slisht, protesting his dismissal.
3. Letter by R. Shmuel Rothenberg, dayan and posek in Rivne, to R. Mordechai Merkil Rabbi of Slisht concerning the same issue.
4. Lithograph of a handwritten letter, by Rebbe Moshe Mordechai Twersky of Makariv, containing a request to give a donation to his emissary "R. Chaim Ze'ev Shapira". Sent to "R. Pinchas Shlomo shochet and bodek" (the aforementioned R. Pinchas Shlomo Reisels). The names of the recipient and of the emissary are filled in by hand (apparently, in the Rebbe's handwriting).
Rebbe Moshe Mordechai Twersky of Makariv (1845-1920, Encyclopedia of Chasidut, III, pp. 363-364), son of Rebbe Yaakov Yitzchak of Makariv, descended from the Chernobyl dynasty. Son-in-law of Rebbe Yehoshua of Belz. In 1892 he was appointed Rebbe in Makariv, and in 1910 relocated to Berdychiv.
4 documents. Size varies. Fair condition. Stains, tears and wear.
These letters have been published with an extensive introduction by R. Moshe Shochet, in the Bet Aharon V'Yisrael anthology, Year 33, Issue 1 (193), Tishrei-Cheshvan 5778, pp. 28-36.
Avodat Yisrael, Israelitish Prayer Book, for all the public services of the year, edited by M. [Marcus] Jastrow. Philadelphia, 1885. Hebrew and English. Two volumes.
Non-traditional siddur and machzor, based on Ashkenazi-rite. Hebrew with English translation, on facing pages. Stereotyped from the 1873 Philadelphia edition.
Separate title page: Songs and prayers and meditations for Divine services of Israelites. Compiled by B. [Benjamin] Szold. This part contains poems and prayers in English, translated from German by Marcus Jastrow.
Five parts in two volumes. Vol. I: VIII, 124, , 530-590, , 104, IV pages. Vol. II: , 128-526 pages. 18 cm. Overall good condition. Stains. Several detached leaves. Original binding, with minor damage.
Singerman 2399 (mentioned there in a note). Not listed in Goldman.
Manuscript, pizmonim (songs) for Yom Kippur night. [Casale Monferrato, Italy, ca. second half of 18th century].
Square Italian script, vocalized. The main part of the manuscript consists of "Pizmonim for Tehillim on Yom Kippur night", to be recited after the first four Psalms and at the end of each of the five books of Tehillim. Followed by the prayers: "Hashem Aseh Lemaan…" and "Elokeinu ShebaShamayim…".
After the prayers, the following instruction appears: "Then they should read in a pleasant voice the Order of Kodashim, Zevachim, Menachot, Tammid and Middot, Shabbat, Yoma, and other tractates if time allows, and then they should recite Keter Malchut by Gabirol and the Lecha Keli Teshukati pizmon, as well as Et Shaarei Ratzon…". The full text of the Et Shaarei Ratzon piyyut is then presented. On the last page, the following concluding words are inscribed: "Until here are the pizmonim recited on Yom Kippur night, and the service according to the custom of the Casale community, and there are communities who have the custom to then recite the book Kenaf Renanim…".
 leaves (and several more empty leaves). 19.5 cm. Good condition. Stains. Original binding, with minor damage.
Letter handwritten and signed by R. Amram Tzvi Grünwald, "writing at the behest of the Rebbe", regarding fundraising. Addressed to "The great Torah scholar… rabbi of Shotz (Suceava)". [No place and date indicated, presumably Visheve, ca. 1935].
R. Amram Tzvi Grünwald (1907-1951), was a renowned and righteous Torah scholar. Grandson of R. Moshe Grünwald Rabbi of Khust author of Arugat HaBosem, and son of R. Yekutiel Yehuda Grünwald Rabbi of Yara (Yaruha). He was the disciple of his uncle R. Avraham Yosef Grünwald Rabbi of Ungvar author of Avnei Shoham, and of his great-uncle R. Eliezer David Grünwald Rabbi of Satmar author of Keren LeDavid. Following his wedding, he settled in Oyber-Visheve (Vişeu de Sus), and after several years, was appointed maggid and posek of the city. In ca. 1935, the rabbi of the city Rebbe Menachem Mendel Hager travelled to the United States, and appointed R. Amram Tzvi to replace him as head of the yeshiva (it is unclear on behalf of which Rebbe this letter was written: whether on behalf of Rebbe Menachem Mendel Rabbi of Visheve, in whose yeshiva R. Amram Tzvi served as lecturer, or perhaps in the name of his teacher, his great-uncle R. Eliezer David Grünwald, while studying under him in the Satmar yeshiva, in his youth in the 1920s]. Following the Holocaust, in which he lost his wife and entire family, he remarried and served as rabbi in the Föhrenwald DP camp. In 1949, he reached the United States, yet shortly later passed away suddenly at the age of 45. His surviving novellae where published in Zichron Amram Tzvi (Brooklyn N.Y., 2010).
 leaf. 14.5X11.5 cm. Good condition. Stains.
Lengthy letter (3 pages) with the full signature of R. "Yisrael Meir HaKohen, author of Chafetz Chaim and Mishna Berura". Hrodna (Grodno), Elul 1924.
Written by a scribe, with the line of the signature handwritten by the Chafetz Chaim. The letter was sent to the World Rabbinical Conference taking place at that time in Kraków. The Chafetz Chaim writes that due to his weakness and old age, he is unable to make this long journey to Kraków, "I am unable to come participate in your esteemed conference. I am hereby sending my words via the rabbis, bearers of this letter, regarding one critical matter…". The Chafetz Chaim arouses to devise a plan of action to save the yeshivot, which were in dire straits due to financial crises. He mentions the objective of his presence in Hrodna - to participate in a meeting for saving the yeshivot (and to found Vaad HaYeshivot), and he writes that two meetings on the matter had already taken place: "…the first one in Vilna and now in Hrodna, and it has been decided to impose on whoever has the means, to contribute a dollar semiannually for the support of the yeshivot… This regulation has so far been instituted in the regions of Vilna and Hrodna, but this small amount is not enough to provide for all the needs of the yeshivot… I therefore take the liberty to request that at the conference, it should be resolved to assign a respectable sum of money from the Keren HaTorah fund, for our yeshivot - Torah centers, to rescue this surviving ember, since at the moment their survival is entirely contingent upon miracles…".
The Chafetz Chaim concludes the letter by blessing the participants with a good year: "And all those who have gathered for the honor of G-d and His Torah, should be blessed with a good year, a year of raising the prestige of the Torah and its learners. So is the plea of the one who honors and respects you… who blesses you with a good inscription and sealing, who awaits bountiful Divine mercy - Yisrael Meir HaKohen, author of Chafetz Chaim and Mishna Berura".
The Rabbinical Conference in Kraków for strengthening Judaism was initiated by R. Alter Chaim Levinson of Reisha (Rzeszów; author of Tikun Olam. A disciple of R. Tzadok HaKohen of Lublin). In this conference, all the rabbis and rebbes from throughout Poland, Galicia, Austria and other European countries came together for the sake of Heaven, to institute regulations for the strengthening of religious observance in the aftermath of WWI, to bolster the observance of Shabbat, Kashrut, Taharah, and the education of children to Torah and fear of G-d. This blessed venture followed, and was inspired by, the success of the first world Knessia Gedolah which convened in Vienna in Elul 1923, which still merited the participation of the Chafetz Chaim. It must be noted that the conference in Kraków had the exclusive objective of reinforcing Shabbat observance and religion in general (and did not have any political agenda of organizing the Orthodox communities), therefore it received the support of many rebbes and rabbis who did not endorse Agudat Yisrael (such as the Rebbe of Belz and other Galician and Polish rabbis).
R. Yisrael Meir HaKohen of Radin (1837-1933), leader of the Jewish people, was widely known by the name of his first book, the Chafetz Chaim. He founded the Radin yeshiva and authored many halachic and ethical works: Mishna Berura, Shemirat HaLashon, Ahavat Chessed and dozens more. This letter was written in his later years, at the age of about 87. Despite his advanced age, he travelled to Hrodna to take part in this meeting for saving the yeshivot, and from there, sent this letter via his representatives to the large conference in Kraków.
 double leaf (3 written pages). 20.5 cm. Good-fair condition. Folding marks, wear and minor tears. Stains.
To the best of our knowledge, this letter was hitherto unknow and never published.
Two books printed in Karlsruhe, bearing signatures of R. Meir (Marcus) Lehmann, Rabbi of Mainz, foremost Orthodox rabbi and author in 19th century Germany.
• Yaarot Devash, homilies by R. Yehonatan Eybeschutz. Part I. Karlsruhe, . First edition. Signature on title page: "Meir Lehmann", and other handwritten inscriptions.
, 116 leaves. 20.5 cm. Good-fair condition. Wear and stains. Detached leaves. Original binding, torn and damaged.
• Shemot BaAretz. Novellae on Tractates Rosh Hashanah, Yoma and Sukkah, by R. Moshe ibn Chaviv, author of Get Pashut. Karlsruhe, . Second edition. Signature on title page: "Meir Lehmann"; early ownership inscription signed "…Yaakov Schwab" and other handwritten inscriptions.
, 16; 30; 41 leaves. 33.5 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains and wear. Original, quarter-leather binding, slightly damaged.
R. Meir (Marcus) Lehmann (1831-1890), Rabbi of Mainz, was a foremost German rabbi, editor of Der Israelit and champion of Jewish Orthodoxy in Germany. He composed many books, including commentaries to Pirkei Avot and to the Bible, books of Jewish thought and philosophy, in addition to dozens of story books written with the purpose of drawing Jewish youth to fear of G-d and moral conduct.
Neviim Acharonim and Ketuvim. Venice: Daniel Bomberg, .
Part of a Bible edition, identical to the previous edition published by Bomberg, in 1517, with the exception of the book of Tehillim, which in this edition was printed with a different typographic layout: two narrow columns per page.
Divisional title pages. This volume contains the title pages of "Arbaa Neviim Acharonim" and "Ketuvim".
Colophon on the last leaf: "Printed a second time with much scrutiny by the brothers, sons of Baruch Adelkind, in the month of Elul, 1521, for Daniel Bomberg and in his printing press". The colophon further mentions the Bomberg Talmud edition and the Rif edition being published at that time: "Likewise, may G-d grant us the merit of completing the entire Talmud and the large book of Alfasi, in accordance with the wishes of our master Daniel, for until this day we have printed twenty-five tractates of the Talmud and twelve sections of the Rav Alfas book".
This volume belonged to a Christian scholar who annotated it with lengthy glosses and many inscriptions in Latin, Greek and Hebrew, including lengthy inscriptions on the divisional title pages. In many places, he added the verse numbers. On the last page, following the colophon, and on the blank leaves at the end of the book - lengthy Latin inscriptions, with tables of the alphabet in various languages, numerical values of the Hebrew letters, the names of the Hebrew months and the corresponding months in the Christian calendar, and more.
A French ownership inscription, recording the presentation of the book to the writer's son by his brother-in-law the priest, in 1762, is followed by an additional inscription documenting the finding of the book in the Froideville castle, and it being bound in its present binding.
Signatures at the beginning of the volume: "Model son of Mr. Kashel Segal", "Model Segal".
277-528,  leaves. Leaf 407 bound after leaf 408, and leaf 413 after leaf 414. 21 cm. Varying condition. Most leaves in good condition, several leaves in fair condition. Dark stains, wear and tears to several leaves. Early leather binding, damaged.
Darchei Noam, responsa on the four parts of Shulchan Aruch by R. Mordechai HaLevi Rabbi of Egypt, with Milchemet Mitzva, by R. Avraham HaLevi, son of the author (with separate title page). Venice: Bragadin Brothers, 1697. First edition. On the verso of the title page, an illustrated map of the Temple.
Ownership inscriptions and various signatures on the main title page: "Eliezer Papo"; "…Binyamin Pinto"; "Eliyahu HaKohen". Some marginal glosses in Sephardic script, one of them signed "says Shimon Pesach" (p. 182b). Most of the other notes were presumably written by this same author.
R. Eliezer Papo (1786-1827), author of Peleh Yoetz, a great and holy Torah scholar, was a foremost Sephardi rabbi in the Balkans. Born in Sarajevo (Bosnia), he was a leading Torah scholar of the city. He served as rabbi of Silistra (Bulgaria) and for a time of the Sephardi community in Bucharest (Romania). He authored many books: ethics and homily books, prayer and piyyutim books, books of Halacha and novellae on Shulchan Aruch, responsa and novellae on the Talmud. He is particularly renowned for his book Peleh Yoetz, which until this day is one of the basic ethics books studied by the entire Jewish people (the Chatam Sofer would regularly precede his lectures on Talmudic topics with the study of a section of Peleh Yoetz with his disciples. R. Tzvi Hirsh Michel Shapira of Jerusalem was particularly fond of the book and would keep it constantly on hand. R. Yaakov Yisrael Kanievsky - the Steipler would instruct teachers and parents to study Orchot Tzadikim and Peleh Yoetz with their children. The kabbalist R. Mordechai Sharabi would advise those who turned to him to study Reshit Chochma and Peleh Yoetz).
R. Eliezer Papo was known for his great piety, living his entire life with outstanding asceticism and great devotion in his worship of G-d. Already in his lifetime, he earnt the reputation of a wonder worker. The ledger of the Silistra Jewish community reports miraculous stories about him, of journeys being shortened and other wonders. He passed away prematurely during a Cholera epidemic, reputedly declaring before his death that his passing would arrest the epidemic, and promising his community that whoever would pray at his gravesite with a broken heart after immersing in a Mikvah would have his prayer accepted and would merit a redemption (see Melitzei Aish, part VII in the addenda, p. 89a, based on the Silistra community ledger). Until this day, people come from around the world to pray at his gravesite in Silistra, and many stories of salvations were publicized in recent years by people who travelled there to pray.
R. Moshe Shimon Pesach (1869-1955) was the rabbi of Volos (Greece). After the German invasion of Greece during WWII, the elderly rabbi endeavored to save his community from the Nazis, and succeeded in smuggling the Jewish residents to mountain villages. After the war, he was appointed Chief Rabbi of Greece.
, 2-282 leaves; , 2-41 leaves. 28 cm. High-quality paper. Good-fair condition. Dampstains and wear. Minor tears. Early binding, with leather spine, worn. In the endpapers, leaf fragments from a printed book on grammar principles.
Enclosed is a report from an expert on rabbinic manuscripts, authenticating the handwriting of the Peleh Yoetz.
Two leaves (four written pages - over 162 lines) handwritten by R. Moshe Sofer, author of Chatam Sofer. Novellae on tractate Bava Metzia, folios 67-69.
Two medium-size leaves, filled on both sides with the handwriting of the Chatam Sofer. The headings of the pages read: "With the help of G-d, Chapter of Ribbit…".
Near the top of the first leaf, line 5, the Chatam Sofer writes: "And I saw that all the Acharonim write differently, and though their little finger is thicker than my loins, I nevertheless wrote what appears to me, and the one who studies it will judge". At the foot of the page, a gloss was added in the handwriting of the Chatam Sofer: "And my disciple R. Zalman Bonnhard argued in a different way… and it is correct".
On the verso of that same leaf, the Chatam Sofer writes: "And the words I am writing here in answer, really parallel the words of the Nekudat HaKesef, and I am fortunate that my thoughts corresponded with his esteemed opinion, and since every Beit Midrash contributes something new, I did not refrain from writing my thoughts…".
These novellae were published in Chiddushei HaChatam Sofer on Tractate Bava Metzia, Jerusalem 1991, pp. 87-90.
2 leaves (4 written pages). Over 162 autograph lines. 32 cm. Good condition. Stains.
Letter signed by Rebbe Aharon of Chernobyl, addressed to the philanthropist R. Yehuda Shmuel.
Written during a fundraising campaign for an important cause, the Rebbe mandates him to donate the sum of twenty-five silver ruble to charity. Written by a scribe with the handwritten signature of the Rebbe: "So says Aharon son of the renowned R. Mordechai". The sum "twenty-five silver ruble" was also handwritten by the Rebbe.
Rebbe Aharon Twersky of Chernobyl (1787-1871) was a foremost and elder rebbe in his generation and prominent leader of the Jewish and Chassidic world in the mid-19th century. He was the eldest son of Rebbe Mordechai of Chernobyl and his ancestors' successor as rebbe of Chernobyl. He received his education from his grandfather Rebbe Menachem Nachum of Chernobyl, the Meor Einayim. Already during his father's lifetime, he occupied a central position in the Chassidic world, and his father wrote of him that he shields the generation by the scope of his holiness. After his father's passing in 1838, the latter's eight sons began serving as rebbes in various cities, yet the eldest son R. Aharon acceded to his father's position in Chernobyl. His brothers all treated him with great deference and recognized his supremacy even in private matters. Rebbe Aharon himself was aware of the authority he held and would address the public in resolute and unyielding terms. This letter discloses the Rebbe's firmness also in relating to wealthy people and philanthropists, as he warns the philanthropist to realize the donation in full as he was commanded, and thereby merit blessings for all the good and success.
 double leaf. 21 cm. Good condition. Creases and folding marks. Light stains.
Gevurot HaShem, Passover and the Exodus from Egypt, with a commentary to the Passover Haggadah by R. Yehuda Loew - the Maharal of Prague. Kraków: Isaac ben Aaron Prostitz, 1582. First edition, published anonymously in the Maharal's lifetime.
In the margins: Over twenty corrections in early Ashkenazic script (from the period of the printing).
Early signature on the title page, in Ashkenazic script: "Shlomo son of R. Moshe Yissachar".
93,  leaves. 29 cm. Thick, high-quality paper. Good-fair condition. Stains. Open tears to inner margins of title page and other leaves, not affecting text, repaired. Light worming (repaired). New leather binding.
Yaari 23. Otzar HaHaggadot 29.
Letter signed by Rebbe Yaakov Shimshon of Kosov. [Kosov (Kosiv)], 1875.
The letter includes the following: "May G-d grant blessing upon the Jewish people for abundance and success, and the deed of righteousness shall be peace". Written by a scribe, with the signature of Rebbe "Yaakov Shimshon son of the righteous rabbi of Kosiv".
Rebbe Yaakov Shimshon Hager (1814-1880), was the eldest son and successor of Rebbe Chaim of Kosov, and brother of the first Rebbe of Vizhnitz R. Menachem Mendel Hager, the Tzemach Tzaddik. In 1854, he succeeded his father as Rebbe in Kosov, and his two younger brothers were appointed rebbes in Vizhnitz and Radovitz (Rădăuți). He was renowned as a wise man, benefitting from Divine Inspiration. The righteous men of his generation held him in high esteem, in particular the Divrei Chaim of Sanz who would praise him in effusive terms (see Responsa Divrei Chaim, Part II, Even HaEzer, 30; see also Teshuvot Nosafot, 30). He delivered few Torah discourses and conducted himself with exceptional modesty and humility. He refused to publish his writings, maintaining that his father had not commanded him to publicize them. At the end of his life, he assumed utter silence, and when his brother R. Menachem Mendel of Vizhnitz queried his motives, he called him to the window and pointed to the cemetery. His only son and successor was Rebbe Moshe Hager of Kosov (1860-1925).
 leaf. 20.5 cm. Good condition. Thin, slightly worn paper. Creases and folding marks.
Siddur with the commentary of R. Yaakov Emden, Part I - Amudei Shamayim (prayers for weekdays and Shabbat) and Part II - Shaarei Shamayim (prayers for festivals and more), Ashkenazi rite. Altona: [Printed in the home of the author R. Yaakov Rabbi of Emden - the Yaavetz], [1745-1747]. First edition.
Two parts out of three of the siddur with R. Yaakov Emden's commentaries, based on revealed parts of the Torah and on Kabbalah - following the teachings of the Arizal. The first edition of this siddur is renowned for its great precision. R. Yaakov Emden expended great effort in establishing the exact text of the siddur, in the vocalization and accuracy of the words. This siddur was reprinted in many editions and was named by later printers "the Beit Yaakov siddur". In the siddur's later editions (Lviv and Warsaw), modifications and errors affected the text of the prayers, and all that remains of R. Yaakov Emden's corrections and precisions are his comments, integrated in his commentary printed in the margins.
R. Yaakov Emden's siddur became widely accepted in the Chassidic world, and its second edition was printed in Korets in 1818, at the initiative and with the approbation of great Chassidic leaders: the rabbi of Apta and R. Mordechai of Chernobyl. The latter describes in his approbation the rarity of the first edition - the teachings of the Yaavetz are so cherished that "the siddurim have already become worn out, and there is not one to be found in the whole city". The Korets edition included only parts I and II, and in 1835, the third part was printed in Berditchev at the initiative and with the approbation of R. Mordechai of Chernobyl and R. Yisrael of Ruzhin (who praised the siddur in his approbation: "It was established and originates from golden foundations, in order to indicate the correct path with pure intellect on the topic of prayer"). The Imrei Yosef of Spinka wrote in the name of the sons of the Divrei Chaim of Sanz, who heard from their father who had a tradition that the Baal Shem Tov one told R. Efraim, brother of the Yaavetz: "Your brother the Yaavetz was connected to the Upper spheres all day" (approbation of R. Moshe Halberstam to the Eshkol edition of the siddur, Jerusalem 1993). Tzror HaChaim (by R. Ch. Liebersohn, Biłgoraj 1913, p. 22), quotes in the name of the Baal Shem Tov: "Chacham Tzvi had five sons, whom the Baal Shem Tov attested all merited Divine Inspiration, yet he offered especially effusive praise on one of them, without disclosing which one, but his friends confirmed that he was referring to the Yaavetz". The Yeshuot Moshe of Vizhnitz writes in his approbation to that same edition: "…This siddur did not depart from the tables of our teachers and ancestors, who utilized it constantly, especially while leading the Seder on Passover night". Rebbe Menachem Mendel of Lubavitch quoted precisions and practices from this siddur several times in his discourses, and once remarked "R. Yaakov Emden exercised ultimate precision in every way, to the point of being meticulous even regarding the letters etc." (BeTzel HaChochma, p. 265).
Title page of Part I: "Palatin Bet El, resting upon seven Amudei Shamayim, also called Ohr Shivat HaYamim". On the verso of the title page, approbation by R. Yechezkel Katzenellenbogen Rabbi of Altona-Hamburg-Wandsbek, extolling the virtues of the siddur. He relates in his approbation of cantors who are not meticulous to follow the rules of grammar "and sometimes upon hearing such mistakes, I berated them…".
Title page of Part II: "The palace of the city of G-d, is open to 14 gates… Shaarei Shamayim… for the days and months of the year". The approbation of R. Aryeh Leibush Rabbi and yeshiva dean of Amsterdam, brother-in-law of the author and outstanding Torah scholar, is presented on p. 159b, followed by the author's apology for printing the approbation at the end of the siddur (rather than at the beginning, as is customary), explaining that it was received only at the end of the printing: "…and it is already known that the position does not bring honor to the person, and we find that the last one is the most cherished, and the Torah does not follow chronological order...".
Two parts in two volumes. Vol. I: , 356, 354-385, 389-415, 417-418 leaves. Vol. II: 159 leaves. 16.5 cm. Slightly darkened leaves. Good condition. Stains. Minor damage to title page of Part I. Owners' signatures to title pages: "Natan Elbe". New leather bindings.
Letter from R. Chaim HaLevi Soloveitchik Rabbi of Brisk. [Volozhin (Valozhyn)], Tevet 1899.
Addressed to the Jewish Baron Naftali Herz (Horace) Günzburg, regarding the reopening of the Volozhin yeshiva. From this letter, it appears that the reestablishment of the yeshiva took the form of an independent organization of Torah learners who gathered together, and later summoned R. Refael Shapiro to come stand at their helm. (This form of reopening the yeshiva, through an independent gathering of Torah learners, is echoed in the letter of his father-in-law R. Refael Shapiro to Baron Günzburg, see previous item. The two letters were written under the same circumstances and on the same date, and contain parallel terms):
"Behold, the prestige and holiness of the illustrious Volozhin yeshiva is already recognized by the entire Jewish people, as it illuminated the face of the earth and produced light - the light of Torah for the Jewish people… and now, a very large group of people have gathered there… and are diligently investing all their strength in Torah study, many of them are exceptional Torah scholars, perspicacious, erudite and witty students… And behold, the great and renowned Torah scholar… R. Refael Rabbi of Babruysk appeared in his glory at the gates of Volozhin, and accepted the position of yeshiva dean and rabbi of Volozhin, and the yeshiva of Volozhin has reclaimed its previous stature, once again illuminating the world, and the Torah has returned to its lodgings". R. Chaim further writes of the journey of the emissary R. Shmuel Ben Zion Shapiro, who is travelling "to establish and increase sources of income, in view of the finances of the yeshiva and its great expenses".
R. Chaim HaLevi Soloveitchik (1853-1918), rabbi of Brisk (Brest, Belarus), was a foremost Torah scholar in Lithuania and one of the leaders of his generation. He is considered the initiator of the learning method in Lithuanian yeshivot. Son of R. Yosef Dov Soloveitchik, the Beit HaLevi, and son-in-law of R. Refael Shapiro, dean of the Volozhin yeshiva and son-in-law of the Netziv. After his marriage, he began serving as the third dean of the Volozhin yeshiva. (The disciples of R. Chaim from that period include: R. Baruch Ber Leibowitz, R. Shimon Yehuda Shkop and R. Chaim Ozer Grodzinski), and with R. Refael's move in 1881 to Babruysk, R. Chaim was appointed second yeshiva dean in his place. After the passing of his father the Beit HaLevi in 1894, he succeeded him as rabbi of Brisk, and continued teaching Torah to a small group of elite students who gathered to absorb his teachings, and who later disseminated his study method in all Lithuanian yeshivot, orally and in writing. Many novellae circulated orally in his name within Lithuanian yeshivot, transmitted and copied by many writers (some were later printed in the mimeographed edition of Chiddushei HaGrach, published in Eretz Israel ca. the 1950s).
In 1899, his father-in-law R. Refael Shapiro left the rabbinate of the great city of Babruysk, and returned to serve as rabbi of the small town of Volozhin, and to head the yeshiva, restoring it to its former glory (according to several sources, R. Refael was the one who initiated the reopening of the yeshiva, though M. Tzinovitz in his book Etz Chaim - History of the Volozhin Yeshiva (chapter 27, pp. 353-355) writes that when R. Refael reached Volozhin, some two hundred men had already gathered to study there. In the HaMelitz journal of 1899, an article was published from Babruysk, describing the rabbi's departure for Volozhin, due to an initiative by some Minsk philanthropists to reopen the yeshiva. The present letter also insinuates that R. Refael came to Volozhin after the students had gathered anew, "and he accepted the position of yeshiva dean and rabbi of Volozhin").
The Baron Naftali Herz (Horace) Günzburg (1833-1909), banker and wealthy businessman, philanthropist and public activist. Bearer of a title of nobility, and general-consul in Russia. The bank he headed was one of the largest banks in the Russian empire. He utilized his connections and stature to assist his Jewish brethren in Tsarist Russia, defending them from decrees and improving their financial situation.
 leaf. 28 cm. Very good condition. Folding marks.
Manuscript of the book Kitzur Likutei Amarim - Mahadura Kama of the Tanya, fundamentals in worship of G-d, by the Admor HaZaken R. Shneur Zalman of Liadi - the Baal HaTanya. Particularly neat Rashi script [Eastern Europe? Ca. 1792-1796].
This manuscript is a copying of the first 42 chapters of the Tanya, based on the Mahadura Kama version of the book (and not on the text and format of the printed book). The Tanya was first printed in 1797. Up until then, it was circulated through handwritten copies which the Baal HaTanya distributed from the summer of 1792. The Mahadura Kama manuscripts can be classified into two categories, some consisting of 42 chapters (presumably earlier editions), such as this copy, and some containing 51 chapters. The printed edition of the Tanya is comprised of 53 chapters, as well as 12 chapters of Shaar HaYichud VehaEmuna.
On many pages, the copyist inserted additions in the margins, whether single words or entire sentences. Some additions consist of words omitted during the copying, and appear in the original Mahadura Kama, and others are later additions, based on the text of the printed Mahadura Batra. Three lengthy additions were copied on the first page preceding the body of the work, based on the printed text of the Mahadura Batra.
The Mahadura Kama version of the Tanya was printed for the first time in 1982 in Brooklyn, at the behest of the Rebbe of Lubavitch, and entitled Likutei Amarim Mahadura Kama (from manuscript). This book contains marginal notes documenting the thousands of textual variations found between nine different manuscripts known to the publishers of the book, as well as explanations of the differences between the texts of Mahadura Kama and Mahadura Batra. This present manuscript was however not known to the publishers, and contains several textual variations which do not appear in any other manuscripts of Mahadura Kama, and are not mentioned in the book.
The Rebbe of Lubavitch explained in one of his discourses the significance of Mahadura Kama, noting that in the Talmud and in the Arizal's writings, importance is given to earlier versions. Similarly, studying the differences between Mahadura Kama and Mahadura Batra can afford us a new depth of understanding in the teachings of the Baal HaTanya. The Rebbe himself analyzed the variations between the two versions on several occasions (see: Torat Menachem, 1982, I, p. 482).
Background of the writing of the Tanya: In the 1790s, the Baal HaTanya (1748/9-1812) was the only Chassidic leader in Belarus, which in those days, according to Russian government census, was home to tens of thousands of Chassidim. In that period, a mighty stream of followers flocked to his court to receive his advice on topics of service of G-d, which stole a lot of his time. People were sometimes compelled to wait for weeks to be allowed to consult with the Rebbe in a private audience, much to the Rebbe's displeasure. The Rebbe wrote three letters during the course of those years, instructing entrance to be restricted for those who had already had an audience with him, so that those who had not as yet consulted with him could enter with greater ease. The Rebbe consequently proceeded to compose booklets of guidance to Chassidim on topics of worship of G-d, as a substitute for private sessions. He handed over the booklets for copying ca. the summer of 1792, and thereafter periodically supplemented, corrected and updated them. These booklets resulted in the book Tanya. In a letter to his followers (which later became the preface to the Tanya), the Baal HaTanya wrote that the booklets, name Likutei Amarim, consist of responses to many requests for guidance in worship of G-d posed by fellow Jews of the country. As he is unable to respond to each question individually, he is writing all the answers to recurrent questions, so that each and every one can find the answer and advice appropriate to his difficulty in his service of G-d, without having to press forth to receive a private audience with the Rebbe._x000B_After inaccurate copies began to circulate, the Baal HaTanya decided at the end of the summer of 1796 to have the booklets published in Slavita. To that end, he edited and rearranged the booklets, adding new chapters, such as chapters 30-32, which do not appear in the Mahadura Kama booklets, and inserting sentences and paragraphs into existing chapters. He likewise changed the division of the chapters. Conversely, some sentences and passages where removed for the printed version, thus each edition includes some exclusive content lacking in the other.
At the end of the preface to the printed edition, the author added a passage describing the circulation of the booklets and the reasons which impelled him to print them: "After these booklets (of the Mahadura Kama) became widespread amongst our people in many copyings realized by all kinds of scribes, the multiplicity of copies resulted in numerous scribal errors, they therefore offered… to bring these booklets to print, cleansed from any error and thoroughly edited". R. Zusha of Anipoli in his approbation likewise writes of the extensive distribution of Mahadura Kama booklets, and of the numerous errors which compelled the author to bring them to print, contrary to his original intention.
Ownership inscription on the front endpaper of: "the rabbi, outstanding in Torah and fear of G-d… R. Yisrael Tzvi"; "Belongs to R. … Avraham son of R. Yehuda"; recent stamp: "Consecrated to the Sephardi Community of Sarajevo, from the property of the late R. Asher son of R. Yehuda Finci".
 leaves. 58 written pages. 16 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains and wear. Original leather binding, damaged and partly detached.
Leaf, two handwritten pages, novellae and thoughts on the verses of Birkat Kohanim (Priestly Blessing). Handwritten by Rabbenu Yosef Chaim of Baghdad, author of Ben Ish Chai. [Baghdad], 1866.
Leaf handwritten on both sides by the Ben Ish Chai, including several novellae (complete passages). The leaf is dated: "For Friday, 1866".
The first section (covering the first page) relates to the explanation of the word Viychuneka (and favor you), and the interpretation of the Midrash "Viychuneka - will grant you sons". The Ben Ish Chai inserted an additional point on the topic in the upper margin, culminating with a blessing: "May G-d grant us His assistance, guard us and help us always".
The second page comprises several novellae, beginning with a short section on the third verse of the Priestly Blessing: "May G-d raise His countenance toward you and grant you peace", which closes with the same blessing: "May G-d grant us His assistance, guard us and help us always". This is followed by a long section containing three novellae, which the Ben Ish Chai concludes again with the same blessing.
R. Yosef Chaim of Baghdad (1833-1909), author of Ben Ish Chai and dozens of other important books. He was the son of R. Eliyahu Chaim son of R. Moshe Chaim Rabbi of Baghdad, and the disciple of R. Abdallah Somech. After the passing of his father in 1859, at the age of 26, he succeeded him as preacher in the Great Synagogue of Baghdad, sustaining this practice every Shabbat for the next fifty years. His supremacy in the revealed and hidden realms of the Torah was recognized worldwide, and he was reputed for his great holiness. His works include: Rav Pe'alim, Torah Lishma, Ben Ish Chai, Ben Ish Chayil, Ben Yehoyada, Od Yosef Chai, Lashon Chachamim, Aderet Eliyahu, Chasdei Avot and more.
Autograph manuscripts of the Ben Ish Chai are renowned for their segulah qualities of success and protection. This manuscript is particularly significant, as it is replete with verses and sayings of the sages which relate to blessing and protection, and with blessings, all handwritten by R. Yosef Chaim himself.
Leaf (2 pages). 15 cm. Approx. 50 autograph lines. Good-fair condition. Dampstains.