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LOT: 004

MetzarefHaAvodah, printed by Rabbi Aryeh Leib Shapira, grandson of the SlavitaRav. Zhitomir 1865. Extremely rare.

“Debate from around 80 years ago between two sages of their generation, one a Chassid and one a Misnaged, both participated leshemshamayim…and fought in the fields of the revealed and hidden Torah, and on the Talmud and the poskim, and after which each shook hands with the other and were friends. In addition there is a letter from RavGadolHaDor, MohararSchneorZalman [of Liady].” The composition was first printed in Koenigsberg in 1858. This is the second edition, rarer, printed by chassidei Zhitomir. There are a number of differences between the two editions—in this one, the introduction was removed, and the preambles of the glosses were removed: “the editor said,” “the author said,” and any use of the first person: “I heard,” “I saw.” Except for one note: “The teller said: I heard this from Rabbi Sa’adiya, student of the Gra” (page 23). The importance of this book is not just in terms of “knowing what you must answer” regarding the meaning of Chassidut, but also as a self-reflexive explanation, for those knocking on the doors of chassidut—what is chassidut, and who are the chassidim. The book is edited in a manner similar to that of the Kuzari. On one side is the questioner who is asking about the meaning of chassidut, and on the other is the chassid who is lecturing and describing the Chassidic method and its justness. The book was written like a debate, but the debate never actually took place (as has been proven by many researchers). But nevertheless the statements made in the book often point to historical truths, such as the fact that the Grach of Volozhin and his son Rabbi Itzileh studied the texts of Chabad. Another book by the author exists in a similar format. The author is a Chabad chassid, Rabbi Yaakov Bachrach of Kidan (also known as YankelKidaner), a follower of the middle Admor, and after his death a follower of the Tzemach Tzedek. In his youth he studied at the yeshiva of the Gaon Rabbi Haim of Volozhin. When he became attracted to Chabad he travelled to Lubavitch, and his family attacked him for having become a Chassid. | Missing the last page (originally 70 pages). No binding. Good condition.
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