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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.
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