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07.06.2017 - Auction No. 14

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LOT: 051

Amulet on parchment made from a large animal. Jerusalem, 19th century.

For preservation of a new mother and her baby, against the evil eye, with illustrations of a sword, a snake, and a Star of David at the center. Angelic names and oaths. Some of the inscriptions are made by professional filling with ink. Name of the author not readable. The amulet is in a new wooden frame. Probably written in Jerualem. Size: 16.5x21cm. Signs of folding, wear from time, generally good condition.
Item sold at $500 Starting at $500
LOT: 052

Amulet on parchment from the holy hands of the tsaddik, the Admor Rabbi Yeshayle Krestirer

Before us is a rare and extremely exciting item for those engaged in acquisitions of Chassidic material and lovers of tsaddikim—an amulet given by the Tzaddik from Krestir to someone seeking salvation, and which was hidden for close to 100 years. “The following things the author would write on a small parchment, and no evil would befallen him nor to any members of his household,” so wrote Rabbi Hillel Liechtenstein in his book “Tshuvot Beit Hillel HaChadash” (32). “Yelshat B’Asher Boliv v’haAph HaBamug v’la” (the words written on the parchment)—three verses for preservation are hinted at in it, appearing in the book Elef Katav, and this is the exegesis: “the verses are ‘Yehi Shalom B’Kheilech Shalva b’Armnotaich’ (Psalms 122:7); ‘Lo TeUna Elayech Ra’ah v’Negah Lo Yikrav B’Ohalayech’ (Psalms 91:10), linked by the first initials of the first line. The verse ‘Ve’et HaAnashim Asher Petach HaBayit Hiku BaSanverim MiKotan v’Ad Kadol Vayelu Limtzo HaPatach,” (Genesis 19:1), appears in the first initials of the second line.” For many generations, the deeds of the Tzaddik from Krestir, Rabbi Yeshaya Steiner, have reverberated, especially the story of the Jew who immigrated to the United States, who opened a laundromat for parnasa that he profited off. Two goyim opened a laundromat across the street from him to compete, and the Jew sent another Jew to Hungary with a request to go to Rabbi Yeshayla and ask him for deliverance from his difficulty. The Jew returned to the United States and brought with him an amulet similar to the one before us here. The competitors decided to burn the Jew’s store, and sent someone to light it on fire, but the person couldn’t identify the storefront and accidentally burned down the Italians’ store. When the Rabbi Yeshayla died, the Jew dared to open the amulet and was astonished in seeing the verse and people who entered the home were struck with blindness. Rabbi Yeshaya Steiner (1852-1925) from Krestir (Bodrogkeresztur) was one of the most important and well-known Admorim in Hungary. When he was 3, his father died, and at age 12 his widowed mother sent him to Rabbi Zvi Hirsch from Liska, where he was until his Rav died, and then he succeeded him, but remained indigent and did not think of himself. He is considered a miracle-worker and many amazing stories are told of him. Until today thousands of people continue to visit his grave and unburden their hearts there, and many amazing stories have been generated about the power of that event. He is known for his merciful heart and his care for the parnasa of the Jewish people. The amulets given during his lifetime to those seeking deliverance were written on parchment by professional scribes from his students, and he would himself bless them and give them by hand. His picture is most known as a segula against rats in a home, after an incident when he blessed a home and rats left the Jews’ bags of wheat, as well as another where he blessed a Jew who had been sued and rats came and ate the suit that was hanging before him in the court. Size: 4.5x8.5cm. Excellent condition. An additional amulet from his holy hands was sold in Auction #12 (Item 270) and sold for $160000.
Item sold at $55000 Starting at $18000
LOT: 053

SeferKri’eiMo’ed, the personal copy of the kabbalist Rabbi Yehuda Patya, with important kabbalistic glosses. A historic find.

Livorno, 1864. The order of prayers for the seventh night of Pesach, Leil Shavuot, LeilHoshana Raba, and the 7th of Adar, the book personally used by Rabbi Yehuda Patya. In the book, the heavy use by its owner is clearly evident, he signed his name on the cover, on the page before the cover, and he wrote a prayer with holy names ,and on the sides of the book in many places he wrote glosses and made various notes. 102, 204 page. Light tears and stains from use, 2 pages are bound out of place. Generally good condition. Rabbi Yehuda Patya (1859-1942) was a kabbalistic sage of the 20th century, born in Baghdad and a great student of Rabbi Yosef Haim, the Ben Ish Hai, and also Rabbi Abdallah Somekh. He moved to Jerusalem in 1933, where he died and was buried. Known mainly for his greatness in the kabbalah, for exorcising demons and doing tikkunim for the dead, interpreting dreams, and compiling many books of mysticism. 16 glosses in various places in the book. Size: 12x19cm.
Item sold at $3200 Starting at $1500
LOT: 054

Arugat HaBosem with signature of ownership that is very likely the holy handwriting of the Ner HaMa’aravi, Rabbi Haim ben Atar, the Or HaHaim

Arugat HaBosem by Rabbi Shmuel Arkwalti on Hebrew grammar. Amsterdam 1730. On the page before the cover there is a signature that is very likely that of the Or HaHaim, since the beginning of the book is signed, as was common to him, “Haim | Atar.” As is known, Maran Shem Tov HaKodesh said about the Or HaHaim “his soul was of the spirit of David and nobility, and every night he would hear Torah from the mouth of the Holy One, Blessed be He, and the immensity of his greatness cannot be written.” HaHida, in his book “Shem HaGedolim” writes about him that “I came from Sali to the holy city of Jerusalem at the end of 1742 and I, the young, was able to be in the yeshiva and I saw the great learning and wonders of the Or HaHaim. He wrote many books, was known for his great wisdom. This book is accompanied by a letter from Rav Yitzhak Yeshaya Weiss, head of the Nahalat Aharon yeshiva of Kiodinov and editor of Tzfonut, who gives his opinion of the handwriting before us. He writes in the attached certificate: “Since there is great similarity between these handwritten letters and those of the Or HaHaim, from letters of his and the signature at the beginning of this book, it is very likely that this is signature of the Or HaHaim in front of us, as he tended to do (to sign at the beginning of the book). It should be noted that he was known also according to his name, “Haim | Atar” but by when the book was printed he was already known by his nickname. Cover is defective. Moth marks, mainly on the book’s spine. New, handsome leather binding to which are attached remains of the original binding, which would have been held by the Or HaHaim. It should be stated clearly that because the signature before us could not be stated with absolute certainty to be that of the Or HaHaim, the opening price has been adapted accordingly.
Starting at $18000
LOT: 055

Taharat HaKodesh, copy of Rabbi Haim Kitze, Av Beit Din of Orsha. Lemberg 1792.

On masechet Zevachim by Rabbi Yitzhak Ashkenazi, first edition. On the cover is the handwritten signature of the Gaon Rabbi Haim Kitze, Av Beit Din and Ram in Orsha. “This book belongs to me, Haim Kitze.” On the dedication page are additional listings handwritten from the period, some testify to ownership of the book by the Gaon Rabbi Haim Kitze. One is in his son’s handwriting. Additional note handwritten and signed by Rabbi Yitzhak Zvi Weiss. Stamp of Rabbi Yehezkel Shraga HaLevi Jungreis, hy”d, Av Beit Din of Satmar (before he served as dayan in Beferies-Presov). On the next page is another listing by Haim Kitze, at the end are more lists handwritten by him. Rabbi Haim Kitze (1770-1850), Av Beit Din of Orsha (in Hungary), called the Otzar Haim, was the only son of the Gaon Rabbi Yitzhak (Schlesinger) Kitze, Av Beit Din of Old-Oven, from whom he received most of his philosophy. Studied with the Gaon Maharam Mintz, Av Beit Din of Old-Oven. Accepted to the dayanut of the Wesprim community (Austro-Hungary), from which he moved on to serve in 1820 in the rabbinate of Orsha, in the place of his brother-in-law the Gaon Rabbi Amram Chasida (Rosenbaum), Av Beit Din of Orsha, who moved to Israel and died young. Corresponded with geonim of his generation, among them the Nodah Bi Yehuda. Wrote more than 60 books on the Shas, on halacha, and the Aggadah, Q&A, chiddushim on the order of parshiyot, and more. [4], 90; 54 [supposed to be 56], [1] page. 35cm. New binding, very good condition.
Starting at $500
LOT: 056

Manuscript of book “Olat Avraham” by Rabbi Avraham ben Tzalach on the halachot of shekhita, treifut, isur and heter. Aden, 1887. Unknown autograph

A previously unknown autograph manuscript! Olat Avraham by Rabbi Avraham ben Tzalach, halachot of shekhita, treifut, gifts for the kohanim, issur and heter, salting, milk & meat, and mixing. In the introduction to the book, the author writes that the book is an abbreviation of the halachot Zevach Todah of the Maharitz (Mori Yehiel Tzalach) and Lehem Todah of the Mahariv (Mori Yehiel Basiri) and the great achronim: The Pri Hadash, HaKolbo, Chayei Adam, Ba’al HaTruma, and more. At the end of the manuscript are two illustrations of the lung and what makes it treif and signs for kashrut. The identity of the scribe is unknown and does not appear in the Encyclopedia of Yemenite Sages. 114 pages, size: 11x14cm. Lists and a pamphlet attempted on the dust jacket. Nice, uniform writing. Many additions and notes in the margins and the spine. Light moth marks, generally good condition.
Item sold at $1000 Starting at $1000
LOT: 057

Manuscript copy of Sefer HaMussar by Rabbi Yehiel Chahari. Yemen, 1904

By Rabbi Yehiel ben Sa’adiya Chahari, one of the greatest 16 th century Yemenite sages. In Judeo-Arabic. 45 chapters divided into booklets. Composition on the journeys to the countries of the east and events in Yemen during his lifetime. Funny sections with folk tales, animal parables, and riddles. Chapters with admonitions and morality. Poems of thanksgiving, other stories and compositions. The book was published by Professor Yehuda Ratzabi in 1965. On the last page there is an additional section after the end of the book that does not appear in the printed edition. Rabbi Yehiel ben Sa’adiya Chahari composed more than 11 texts known today. The identity of the copier is not known (possibly one of the students of Rav Yehiel Kapach). Size: 24x18cm. 332 pages, nice and uniform writing, original binding, light moth marks, generally very good condition.
Item sold at $2000 Starting at $2000
LOT: 058

Autograph copy of the book Zevach Todah and the pamphlet Halachot Treifut in the holy handwriting of the Maharitz. Sana’a, Yemen—1784

On halachot of shekhita and a pamphlet on treifut with commentary on the Shulchan Aruch Yoreh De’ah, handwritten by Me’eri Yehiel Tzalach, the Maharitz. In the introduction is a note from his son, Rabbi Yehuda Tzalach (“I inherited this from my father, of blessed memory, whose soul is in the Garden of Eden, – Yehuda ben Moreinu v’Rabbeinu Yehiel Tzalach”). Rabbi Yehuda was the second son of the Maharitz, and as is known, he served as a member of the Supreme Beit Din of Sana’a (Encyclopedia of Yemenite Sages, p. 497). According to this testimony, this is the first copy that was held by the Maharitz his entire life. The autograph manuscript before us is one of the famous copies among Yemenite manuscripts. Size: 16x23cm. 170 pages in handsome handwriting, by the Maharitz. Notes and additions in the margins. Very good condition. Me’eri Yehiel Tzalach (1715-1805) was a great sage of Yemen in the 18 th century, a dayan and Rosh Av Beit Din and Chief Rabbi of all of Yemenite Jewry, composer of Lehem Todah and Pe’ulat Tzedek, and more. A founder of the Yemenite nusach (Encyclopedia of Yemenite Sages, p. 500-502).
Item sold at $6000 Starting at $1800
LOT: 059

Lot of 2 manuscripts from Rav Mordechai Yefargan. Taroudant, Morocco. Beginning of the 20 th century

The first manuscript has reasons (ta’amim) and traditions regarding halachot of shekhita and treifut, and a copy of the books Yemin Moshe and Zikaron L’Bnei Yisrael. The second includes chiddushim, eulogies for Sultana the wife of Rabbi Baruch Kohen Azug, Esther, Mor Zakinu, a sage by the name of Avraham, Shlomo Almosnino—in the droshim are details about the dead, something about tefillin that he composed. Both written in Taroudant, in southwestern Morocco. His family includes his father, Rabbi Shimon, who was a sage of the area, and rabbis from the extended family served as rabbis of the city from the 16 th century onwards. Among them are Rabbi Yaakov Yefargan, known as the Minchah Chadasha, student of Rabbi Moshe bar Maimon Albaz (the Heichal HaKodesh). Size of the first book is 12x19cm, 150 pages. Second is 16x21cm, 39 pages. Generally good condition.
Item sold at $1300 Starting at $500
LOT: 060

Manuscript of piyyutim by Rabbi Yosef Zefran, Taroudant, Morocco. Beginning of the 20 th century

Large manuscript of piyyutim, some were never printed. On page 126, Rabbi Yosef Zefran writes “You have paid for the work, Heavenly work, 10 days before Rosh Chodesh Elul, satisfied that it will be good for you and lengthen your days in the coming year (1923) with thanks, here in Taroudant, and I, the young writer, Yosef ben Yitzhak Zefran.” On page 127, second column is a piyyut to Rabbi Yitzhak HaLevi. On page 128, first column: a piyyot to Rabbi David ben Baruch. At the end of the manuscript is a piyyut for Rabbi David Baruch and for Rabbi Ocha Chaggai. Inside the piyyut are new details on Rabbi David ben Barch’s family. 265 pages total, light moth marks in the margins, without damage to text. Number of pages disconnected. Generally good condition.
Item sold at $500 Starting at $500
LOT: 061

Lot with a book and two pamphlets handwritten by the elder Kabbalist Rav Yitzhak Khadouri

Lot of 3 items: 1. book by the Elder Kabbalist Rabbi Yitzhak Khadouri, 60 pages handwritten; the first 11 pages he writes names and segulot that he gives to them. From page 12 onwards there is a list of 226 names of people and the problems they brought to him and the blessings he gave through kabbalah. The two last pages he writes anonymously in his handwriting the prayer that he would recite before every request that would come before him. On the last page, HaRav writes secrets in practical kabbalah. Cloth binding, probably done by hand by Rav Khadouri. Light tears to a number of pages. Generally good condition. Size: 12.5x19cm. 2. Two calendars from 1976, in which the Rav lists in his handwriting the names of people and the problems that they brought before him and requests for advice, and the amounts he received for the redeeming of souls. In one there is a list of 127 instances of people coming before him with various issues. The two last pages have 42 names and the amount of money for redeeming. In total, 34 pages. Size: 11x16cm. The second has a list of more than 100 cases of people coming to him with various issues, including money for redeeming souls. 38 pages. Size: 11.5x16.5. Both are unbound. Rav Khadouri was born at the end of the 19 th century in Baghdad (Iraq), in his youth he knew and met the Ben Ish Hai, he received Torah and kabbalah from Baghdad’s sages and from Jerusalem’s sages after he moved there in 1922. During his first years in Jerusalem he made a living binding books and studied at the Beit El and Porat Yosef yeshivot in the Old City. Over the years, his wisdom became famous, his knowledge of mysticism—many went to his home to receive blessings and advice from him, and to receive amulets for their welfare. Died in 2006 after living more than 100 years, in 2006.
Item sold at $1800 Starting at $1300
LOT: 062

Pages handwritten by the Gish Galuta of Bavel, Rabbeinu Yosef Haim—the Ben Ish Hai. With a reference to his book entitled the Ben Ish Hai

Drasha which is 12 pages in length, handwritten by the Gaon Maran Rabbeinu Yosef Haim, the Ben Ish Hai. On the first page is a discussion of a ruling by two dayanim (erasures handwritten by the Ben Ish Hai). 5 pages of introduction with a drash on the Ten Days of Repentance. “And here I wrote in my little book Ben Ish Hai, parshat Pikudei…” “After the coming over the Messiah, quickly in our time amen, there will be a blessing in Israel that the nations will work for you and no business will be necessary…” with additional exegeses in kabbalah. Seven additional pages have a drasha for Elul and the importance of the Ten Days, “May we all be saved by Hashem and be pure.” As is known, in the four shabbats of the year—Shabbat Tshuva, Shabbat Zachor, Shabbat HaGadol, and Shabbat Kala (the Shabbat before Shavuot), thousands of the Jews of Baghdad would gather at the Great Synagogue of the city, which had 10,000 seats (Tzalat al-Kabri), and would hear drashot of Rabbi Yosef Haim. 6 pages with 12 columns, around 20 lines per column. Throughout the manuscript are erasures and corrections by his holy hand. Bound in new, handsome leather, with gilded inscriptions. Light tears at the top of the first page without damage to the text, generally good condition.
Item sold at $6500 Starting at $3000
LOT: 063

Manuscript of Lashon Khachamim. Copy handwritten by Rav Yehiel Yaakov Elyakim. 1806

The book is organized alphabetically, and is a handbook for constructing rhymes, authored by a student of the Pri Chadash and rabbi of HaHida, the Rishon LeZiyyon HaRav Yitzhak HaKohen Rapaport. On the cover page the copier (HaRav Yehiel Yaakov Elyakim) writes an inscription. On the page after the cover there is an introduction by the Gaon Maharikh, and afterwards a long introduction by the copier. Cursive signature of the copier. Rav Yitzhak HaKohen Rapaport (1680-1755) was a rabbi and posek in Izmir and Jerusalem. Among his students: Rav Haim Yosef David Azoulay (the HaHida), who mentions him often in his compositions and calls him “Moreinu HaRav Batei Kehuna;” Rabbi Yisrael Yaakov Algazi, Rabbi Haim Abulafya (the second), Rabbi Masoud Hai Rokeach (the Ma’aseh Rokeach on the Rambam), Rav Mordechai Rubio, and more. At the end of his life he served as the Rishon Leziyyon. Bured in Mt. of Olives next to Zecharia the Prophet, and his grave was destroyed during Arab pogroms. The copier Rav Yiehiel Yaakov bar Yisrael Haim Yosef Elyakim is the son-in- law of Rabbi David Majer, a sage of the Beit El kabbalist yeshiva in Jerusalem. Authored the book Dikduk Sofrim, published many other books. In the National Library there is a copy of a book in his handwriting, Yad Yaakov, from 1805. On the cover are very old signatures of ownership “Shmuel Becher Ezra,” “Hizkiyahu Avraham Becher Shlomo Elizer.” 14x40cm, the pages are in a long and narrow format. The cover is illustrated and colored in a variety of colors, with frames around the introductions. Pretty writing. Repairs without damage to text on the second page. Moth damage, ok to good condition.
Item sold at $4000 Starting at $1000
LOT: 064

Manuscript owned by the Kaf HaHayyim, the kabbalist Rabbi Yaakov Haim Sofer. 26 pages from his book “Yismach Yisrael,” with drashot on the order of the daily parshah

The handwriting of the text’s author! 26 pages with erasures, corrections, and additions between the lines. Pages are 23cm. The author lived from 1870-1939, was born in Baghdad (Babel), a student of Rabbi Abdallah Somech and Rabbi Yosef Haim, the Ben Ish Hai. Was a sage of Baghdad and Jerusalem, and one of the great poskim, author of a series of books called Kaf HaHayyim. His entire life he focused on studying Torah and writing his composition in an attic of the Shoshanim L’David synagogue in Jerusalem, which was founded by the Ben Ish Hai. He wrote a number of additional books, “Hayyim Ad HaOlam” on the ends of masechtot, “Kol Yaakov” on halachot of Stam script, “Khakei Haim” with drashot for various times. “Yigal Yaakov” with chiddushim on the Torah. This book has moisture stains on a number of pages. The pages are newly bound in handsome binding with gilded inscriptions, generally good condition.
Item sold at $2500 Starting at $2500
LOT: 065

Manuscript of Shemesh Tzedakah by Rabbi Shimshon Morforgo. Probably the handwriting of the author

Around 185 pages from the book of Q&A, Shemesh Tzedakah. Throughout the book are questions and answers that he received from his generation’s sages, including Rav Yehuda Briel, Rabbi Yitzhak Lamfronti (HaPachad Yitzhak), and more. Unfortunately no manuscript by the author exists, so there is no way to be sure that this is his handwriting, but it would seem according to the erasures and corrections that this is an autograph edition written by the author himself. He lived from 1681-1740, was a great posek and rabbi of Italy in the 17 th century. Rabbi Moshe Chagiz, the biggest opponent of the Ramchal, in 1730, ordered that three rabbis, headed by Rav Shimshon Morforgo, discuss the issue. He delved deeply into the matter, and despite in the majority of his collections he supports Rav Chagiz, his relationship to the Ramchal was of the sort where “the left pushes away and the right brings it back.” Seeking peace, he tried with all his heart to quiet the disagreement. He supported Rabbi Yeshaya Basan (rabbi of the Ramchal and one of his supporters) to bury the collected writings of the Ramchal, but refused to see him as a Shabtai’ist or to excommunicate him. In his letter to Rav Chagiz, he expresses his opinion: “we must feel not to banish him—to dig under his throne and open an opening for teshuva without pushing him with both hands, but to take from him the evil spirit.” In 1736, after the Ramchal moved to Amsterdam and the collection of his writings was burned and buried, he wrote that “I am sure of the justness and worth of Rav Basan.” He died on the first day of Pesach, 1740, before age 60. His sudden death caught the Jews of Italy by surprise, and great rabbis such as Rabbi Yitzhak Lamfronti said eulogies for him. Ancona’s Jews had a tradition to go to his grave on Erev Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and even wrote a special prayer for this event. This book has original binding, which is coming apart. Pages disconnected and not organized chronologically. Light moth damage, ok to good condition.
Item sold at $15000 Starting at $4000
LOT: 066

Lone autograph page in the holy handwriting of Rabbi Natan of Breslev, from his book Likkutei Halachot, with an interesting erasure

Light blue page written on both sides in the handwriting of Rabbi Natan of Breslev, a top student of Rabbi Nahman of Breslev. The content of the page was printed in his book Likkutei Halachot, the section Choshen Mishpat, halachot of renting, from the end of 11 until the middle of 13, in which Chassidic things were written about the red heifer, Purim, and the idea of zikaron, according to the theology of Rabbi Nahman of Breslev, his teacher. Who linked the issue of zikaron to the annihilation of Amalek. It is interesting to note that despite the fact that Rabbi Natan was well-known for his eloquent writing and clear thinking, at the end of 11 two lines were written and then erased, seemingly by Rabbi Natan himself. The handwriting is identical to that of Rabbi Natan, the page is light-blue, a little torn at the edges, professionally repaired, given in a handsome, gilded leather binding. Rabbi Natan Sternhertz (1780-1844) followed Rabbi Nahman of Breslev, and the chassidim of Breslev see him as the successor of Rabbi Nahman, but he refused to sit in the chair of his rabbi. He was also close with Rabbi Levi Yitzhak of Berdichev, and it is accepted that he wrote part of Rabbi Levi’s book Kedushat Levi on the Torah. Rabbi Natan wrote down the divrei torah of Rabbi Nahman, printed them, and copied them. His book Likkutei Halachot is considered the second-most important Breslev work (after Likkutei Moharan). He also wrote many works of chassidut according to the order of the Shulchan Aruch. Accompanied by an expert's permission to identify Breslev manuscripts.
Item sold at $17000 Starting at $15000
LOT: 067

Manuscript of Rav Elfas from the 14th century with glosses on a number of pages, seemingly one of the Rishonim or one of the first Achronim. A historic find!!

Around 30 pages and parts of pages of halacha by Rav Elfas (HaRif), from the 14th century, taken from its binding. With a number of pages of original commentary from one of the Rishonim (or one of the first Achronim) on an issue from Masechet Hulin. The pages are in cursive Sefardi handwriting from the 14th century, on paper. Includes: halachot HaRif on halachot ketanot (almost entirely from Masechet Brachot). Masechet Hulin, and more. In the sheets of HaRif from masechet Hulin, there is a previously unknown halachic article on halachot of Treifut, seemingly from the time of the Rishonim. Though it’s surrounded by text from HaRif, it seems to be an independent work that is not connected to the Rif, but at least to the Rishonim. The author cites the Rambam, the Rosh, and other Rishonim frequently. The nusach of the Rif is similar to that found here, with slight changes. Attached is a study by Rav David Kaminsky on this manuscript.
Item sold at $2000 Starting at $2000
LOT: 068

Illustrated page with the bracha over the candle for Shabbat and Yom Tov. Italy, 19th century

Illustrated, colorful page with the seder birkat haNer for Shabbat and Yom Tov, and the prayer “Yehi Ratzon” said after the lighting. With birkat haChallah and Birkat HaTvila. In Hebrew and Italian in facing columns. Around are inscriptions from Eshet Chayil. Italy, 19th century. 28x41cm. In the center of the upper portion is an illustration of the candlelighting. The page is given in new binding. Signs of folding. Stains, generally good condition.
Item sold at $2000 Starting at $2000
LOT: 069

Manuscript of Sefer Pardes, Damascus 1951. Unknown autograph

Autograph [2], 286 pages. By the young “Yehezkel ben Yehuda HaLevi from Damascus.” Written in pretty block lettering. “Not as a result of my own wisdom, but an abbreviation I took from the books of the sages…” The book is a collection of aggadot and mussar. Seems never to have been published. Size: 17x24cm. Binding disconnected, generally very good condition.
Item sold at $1400 Starting at $400
LOT: 070

Manuscript of the Seder Hatarat Klalot and Mesirat Muda’ut. Trieste, Italy, 1842

34 pages in pretty, voweled handwriting. The order for removing curses and mesirat muda’ut that was traditionally said in the Trieste community on Erev Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, and during Tashlich. “Copied by me the young Refael Pinso, for the Gvir Rav Yaakov ben Eliezer HaLevi, in 1842.” The fifth-largest community in Italy after Rome, Milan, Florence, and Turin, the Trieste community only were a part of Italy from the 20 th century onwards, though there had been a Jewish community there for hundreds of years under the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Original binding, size: 20x14cm. Light defects to the binding, generally very good condition.
Item sold at $1200 Starting at $600
LOT: 071

Booklet of takkanot and a sefer zikaron for the Hevra Kadisha, illustrated and pretty manuscript—Hungary, 19 th century, with signatures of rabbis of the city, members of the Sofer family

For the Gemilut Hassadim Hevra Kadisha, for the Adat Yisrael community next to the city of Debrecen. This is a thick book with around 200 pages, written by hand and decorated with wonderful illustrations by an artist, bound in handsome binding with takkanot of the Hevra Kadisha of the city, with signatures from members, after which is a dedication page from each of the members with his name and the name of his father, accompanied by beautiful colored decorations. The booklet was written over many years, on the back of the cover is written the beginning of its use (1853), and later one can see that it continues to 1928. Members of the Sofer family are mentioned among the names, and in a later handwriting there is the date and location of their death, some with the reason for their deaths. This is a rare book of memory, important for its range of names, members of the community, and their stories from the period of its writing until the eve of the Second World War in which most were murdered by the Nazi storm. One of the takkanot states: “This book is to be at the house of the gabbai, and the gabbai must make sure to safeguard it as if it was his daughter, not to place it somewhere to be stolen, etc. He also must not place it in a place where it could be misused, where it could be torn or disconnected in any way, but he should put it in its special case, and the key will be in a safe place, so that it will be available for the next generations to come.” And so it seems that this rare book was preserved as one’s daughter by the members of the city, and it was safeguarded until now, except for a few defects that were caused by wear over time. Among the names in the book are rabbis of the city: Rabbi Eliyahu Eisenschtetter, born in Vilna, one of the great students of Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Binyamin Sofer, the Katav Sofer, who served as first rabbi of the city and served in its rabbinate until his death in 1876. Known for his uncompromising war against the Reformers. Rabbi Shlomo Sofer, son of Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Binyamin Sofer and the grandson of the Chatam Sofer, signed on the takkanot of the hevra by hand, and is mentioned later on a separate page. Also, sons of Rabbi Eliezer Zussman Sofer, Av Beit Din of Pakash. Rabbi Yosef Yehuda (signed: Yosef Leib) Zussman Sofer, a sage of Hungary, son-in- law of Rabbi David Yehuda Pollack. Served as rabbi of the city until his father’s death, then he moved to take up his position in Pakash. Died in 1918. Authored the Yalkut Sofer and Likkutei Sofer. Special page dedicated to his brother as well, his successor in the city’s rabbinate—Rabbi Shmuel Binyamin Zussman Sofer, the “Divrei Sofrim.” The last rabbi of Debrecen, Rabbi Zvi Hirsch HaKohen, the “Likkutei Zvi,” member of the Badatz for solving agunot founded after the Shoah, and member of the Council of Torah Sages in Budapest. Son of Rabbi Yehonatan Binyamin HaKohen, rabbi of Selish and author of Nefesh Yehonatan. Around 200 pages, original binding, with gold embedding from later on. Various tears and wear. Defects on the drawings and the text on some pages. Generally acceptable to good condition.
Starting at $10000
LOT: 072

Manuscript of prayers for the ill and the seder Pitom HaKetoret for stopping plague. Italy, 18 th century

In a pocket edition. [3], 28, [4], 15 pages. Written and voweled in scribe handwriting on thick paper. Page cuttings are gilded. Original leather binding with gilded inscriptions of decorative frames and in their center. In the anterior binding, there is a medallion with a dedication in Italian. The rear has a decoration of a medallion, with the figure of a lion, circle with a five- pointed star (seems to be a symbol) and S.C.A.L written, the initials of the Latis family of Italy. A famous family of rabbis in Italy. The manuscript is divided into two sections, each has an illustrated cover. The first includes prayers for the sick, for men, the Mi SheBerach, prayer to change a name, prayers for sick women, prayer for one having a breakdown, prayer for smallpox. The second has the order of ketoret for plague, and holy names for kavanot. After the cover are dedications. After those are two songs with an acrostic of Mordechai Latis. Size: 12.5cm. Light moisture stains, generally good condition.
Item sold at $3600 Starting at $2000
LOT: 073

Seder Birkat HaMazon, miniature, illustrated on parchment-one of the first artistic creations by

A unique, unusual, and rare item, one of the first documented works by the artist Aaron Wolf Herlingen (there is a Birkat HaMazon made by him a year earlier), a Birkat HaMazon seder on parchment, with pretty calligraphy using sofer script, decorations of crowns and artistic, hand-drawn illustrations by Herlingen, who always made note of the year of his work (“Vaya’as ken Aharon”). In his handwriting is written 1721 on this document. 19 pages, numbered in pencil. Size: 6.5x7cm. Sofer script using Amsterdam lettering, with note in Yiddish in half-block lettering. In total, 5 illustrations. The manuscript has its original leather binding with a unique method of closing, given inside a special, engraved cardboard box that was added within the last few years. Light signs of use, handwriting is faded in parts. Generally excellent condition. Design of the manuscript: cover page, the title letters are within a colorful cylindrical fence, with columns and crowns. Second page- “Baruch Hu u’Baruch Shmo,” and around the word “Baruch” are wonderful decorations of plants and flowers. Page 4: miniature drawing of “Al HaNissim,” illustration of the Maccabees’ victory over the Greeks. Page 10: in the blessing “HaMapil Khevlei Sheina” there is an illustration of angels around flowers. Page 13: The title “HaMalach” with illustration of a decorated, old angel with wings. The manuscript content of Birkat HaMazon (it is unknown whether a page is missing from the manuscript or whether it was like that in the original)—between page 4 and 5, at the end of Al HaNissim of Hanukkah, the writing ends with “v’achar Kakh Ba’u Banekha,” and continues on the next page “v’al HaKol Hashem Elokeinu Anachnu Modim Lach” until the end of Birkat HaMazon. First and last bracha over wine. Laws of the Bracha Achrona in Yiddish (including defining the fruits and their blessings). First brachot of HaEtz and Adama. Bracha Achrona for HaEtz. Gives a ta’am for the fruit. Boreh Etzei B’samim and Boreh Shemen Arev. Brachot HaNehenin and the Re’iya: Brachat Zocher HaBrit. SheKokho u’Gvurato. Oseh Ma’aseh Breishit. She’Khalek MiKvodo L’Basar vaDam. Meshaneh HaBriyut. SheAsah et HaYam HaGadol. Kriyat Shema at the bedside. Additional verses. Vidui in Yiddish, ends with the song “Shalom Aleichem.” The style of the work is the Middle Ages before the age of printing, when the work was done by an artist with calligraphic writing and illustrations, which was very developed and was common among the upper class and even seemingly in many other homes that held manuscripts of this or other books. With the invention of printing and the infusion of many printed copies of each book, manuscripts began to lose their luster a little bit because of their high cost for scribes and illustrators relative to the printed book, and only people of means and royalty could allow themselves to continue dealing with scribes that would make for them miniature texts and illustrated manuscripts. A group of Jewish scribes from small and poor towns across Europe made use of their calligraphic and artistic skills together with their Torah knowledge and expertise on prayer—they would go to capital cities and residences of kings and ministers, who would pay lots of money for their works, one of which is here before us. This group was called “Askolat Moravia” (the Moravian school), and was influenced by contemporary artists in their illustrations and also by printing houses, who had already begun to flower during that period, from whom they would take the typography for their scripts. In the manuscript before us, one can see that Herlingen used “Amsterdam letters,” designed by the printing shop owners. Similarly, one can notice the style of decorations and illustrations printed at the same time in printed books. The artist Aaron Wolf Herlingen (ben Binyamin Zeev) lived 1700-1760 approximately, was from Gewitsch (Jevicko in Moravia), a city in the Czech Republic around 200km southeast of Prague. His family originated in a small town in Austria, his forefathers moved to Vienna, from which they (along with all the Jews) were exiled in 1670 during the reign of Leopold I. They partially settled in Pressburg (Bratislava, Slovakia). Some settled in Gewitsch. He discovered his skill in calligraphy, moved from his birthplace to his relative Yisrael Herlingen in Pressburg, where he made clear his special skills, but he did not rest on his laurels and thus continued to seek out his fortune in Vienna, where he carried out orders, the earliest of which was recorded in 1720—a seder Birkat HaMazon similar to his one. He was officially recognized by the authorities for his skill as a result, and he was appointed to be a scribe and calligrapher at the Royal Imperial Library of Vienna (Bibliothek Kaiser Lichen). There he was registered as the head of the Pressburg community in 1736 (Aaron Moravius Gebitsensis Officialis in Bibliotheca Caesarea Viennensi). He was one of only a few hundred Jews allowed to settle in Vienna during this time. His works showed his special skill in both drawing and calligraphic writing, and in one of his manuscripts he signed his name in no less than 4 languages (Hebrew, Latin, German, French). In the world, there are around 50 manuscripts attributed to him (around 40 bear his signature), among them: miniature prayers (Birkat HaMazon, Brit Milah, Shema for the Bedside, and more), Haggadot, Megillot Esther, and various calligraphic works, such as a wonderful micrograph of the Five Megillot in four languages, in the Israel Museum collections. Sources: Shalom Tzabar, “Seder Birkat HaMazon—Vienna, 1719/20: the Earliest Illustrated Manuscript By the Scribe-Artist Aaron Wolf Schreiber Herlingen of Gewitsch” in the book “Zechor Davar L’Avdecha: Book in Honor of Professor Dov Rafel,” edited by Shmuel Glick and Avraham Grossman, Jerusalem: Lifshitz College, pages 455-472. Chava Turniesky, “HaBentcherl” and zmirot in Yiddish, Volume 10 (1982), pages 51-92. Iris Fishof, “Study of the Facsimile Edition of the Original Manuscript Preserved in the Jewish Museum,” Budapest No. 64.626. From a private collection.
Starting at $50000
LOT: 074

Letter signed by hand by the Chafetz Haim

From Nissan 1930. In the letter, the Chafetz Haim thanks Rabbi Yitzhak Onna, the rabbi of Eidat Yisrael in Mannheim, for his donation to the famous Radin yeshiva. In the letter, the Chafetz Haim details the difficult financial situation of the yeshiva. The letter was written on his personal letterhead, with his signature and stamp. Tear in the upper portion without damage to text, tape on the back where it was folded. Generally ok to good condition. Rabbi Yisrael Meir HaKohen of Radin, the Chafetz Haim (1839-1933) was one of the great sages of the last few generations.
Starting at $9000
LOT: 075

Historic letter handwritten by Maran HaChazon Ish

Handwritten letter by the Gaon Rav Avraham Yeshayahu Karlitz, the Chazon Ish, from Thursday, 16 th of Shvat, to the kabbalist Rabbi Asher Zelig Margaliot, saying that the Chazon Ish will not be able to be the sandak at his grandson’s bris and that Rav Margaliot should be. On the back of the letter he writes the addressee (Rav Margaliot) and his name and Bnei Brak—after his death, the street on which he lived had its name changed to Chazon Ish, such that his signature on the back seems prescient. A stamp of Palestine with Rachel’s Tomb. The letter was folded by Maran Chazon Ish instead of using an envelope. Size: 17x12cm. Tape in the right-hand corner, seemingly original.
Item sold at $6000 Starting at $6000