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.
Ephraim Moses Lilien. Original illustration on wood, from the Ghetto L’Tziyon, 1902
One of the most famous works by the first Zionist artist, Ephraim Moses Lilien. Original drawing on wood. Memento for the Fifth Zionist Congress—1902. In the picture is an old Jew, bent and sitting in the barbed wire fence of exile, and an angel standing behind him pointing at a Jewish farmer plowing and settled the Land of Israel, and at the bottom is an engraving from the Amidah, “And our eyes shall return to Zion with mercy.” This famous illustration was used in the invitation to the Fifth Congress, on postcards, Ex Libris, and more. Size: 29x40.5cm. In a double-frame. Very good condition. From a private collection. Ephraim Moses Lilien (1874-1925) was a founder of Betzalel, and he made his name from his works on subjects of Judaism and Zionism. He is often nicknamed “the first Zionist artist.” In 1906 he moved to Israel, and together with Boris Shatz and Julius Rothschild founded the Betzalel Art School. Taught the first class of Betzalel, and designed the school’s symbol. After a year he moved back to Germany, where he lived a majority of his life. Visited Israel more and was considered one of the greatest Jewish artists, he was a founder of Zionist illustration, many Betzalel artists based their works upon his creations. Artists like Reuven Rubin and Aryeh Lubin were greatly influenced by him when they started. Streets in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv are named after him.
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).
Silver mezuzah housing. Poland/Ukraine. End of the 19th century. Extremely rare!
Includes the original mezuzah. These housings are extremely rare, the engravings are of an eagle’s house, and plants in the Ukrainian style, and it appears on many cups from the area. The Cyrillic letters G and D are the initials of the artist, the complete name is not identified. The stamp of silver quality 12. Weight: 66g. 4x18.5cm. Generally very good condition.
Silver cup personally used by the Zaken HaMekubalim, Rav Yitzhak Khadouri
The cup with which Rav Yitzhak Khadouri would do Kiddush on shabbatot and chagim. Made from silver, includes an embossed inscription “Boreh Pri HaGafen” and on the other side, a portrait of the Rav. Height: 14cm. Very good condition. The cup is accompanied by a certificate of approval by the son of the Rav, Rav David Khadouri, “this cup with the picture of the Rav, he used it.” (picture accompanying). Rav Yitzhak Khadouri was born at the end of the 19th century in Baghdad (Iraq), in his youth he knew the Ben Ish Hai, he studied Torah and Kabbalah from Babylonian and Jerusalem sages, and he moved to Israel in 1922. In 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, and thousands of Jews from all walks of life participated in his funeral.
Model of the Beit HaMikdash (Herod’s Temple) made and carved from wood, made by the artist Rav Elhanan Ivshitz.
RavIvshitz, born in Lodz, began constructing before the Second World War. The first model was completed in 1933 on the basis of Talmudic sources, Mishnaic commentaries and the Gemara, writings of Yosef ben Matityahu (Josephus Flavius) in his books “The Jewish War” and “The Antiquities of the Jews.” At the height of his work he suited the model to archeological findings, and suited the style to Herod’s style of construction. As he tell at the start of his book “The Second Temple in Its Glory,” the book accompanying the model before us, the model was built after analytical studying and deep historical knowledge. The first model that he built awakened great interest in among Torah scholars and Temple researchers, and at that time won a number of responses from the Gaon Rabbi Yosef Rosen (HaRogachovi), which was unusual because it was not normally the intention of the artist to know sages. At his time, many came to see the model, including the Polish gaon and Rabbi of Prague, Rabbi Menachem Zemba and Rabbi Meir Shapira, founder of the Khochmei Lublin yeshiva. With the beginning of World War II, the artist “won” a threatening visit from a delegation of German soldiers, after he was informed upon by the housekeeper. They came to check, according to them, the military fortress that he bought, they were “researching” where the fortress was and who was operating it. After this visit, the model was confiscated, and then it disappeared. The years of the war he spent in the Lodz ghetto, Aushwitz-Birkenau, and more. In 1945 he was liberated by the Russian from Gerlitz. He returned to Poland, completely alone, determined to continue his hobby of copying the model and making a new one. He remembered the 1000 days spent in Block 20 of Aushwitz-Birkenau, when he expressed his special skills in carving wood to save his own life, after he suggested to the camp commander to carve a chess set out of the stick that he would beat Jewish prisoners with. While waiting for the Aliyah Bet, he spent a year in Bucharest, Romania, and spent his time building a new model as a first recipe, which he even succeeded in shipping to Israsel. He himself was placed in Cyprus, where he spent a year and only reached Israel at the end of 1947. In Israel, he discovered new details regarding the plan of the Temple that he did not have while he lived abroad, and as a result he began to build (in his words), “my Third Temple.” The new model was built carefully to a scale of 2mm per amah, such that its entire area wouldn’t be more than 1 sq. meter (500 amot!). At the end of his research, before us is the model that resulted. Many came to his house in Kiryat Ata to visit, including Israeli sages of all kinds, and many studies were made at the time regarding the Temple, including the monthly Sinai journal made by the Mossad Rav Kook, starting from 1976. He was encouraged by the AdmorsHaLevSimcha and Pnei Menachem of Gur to publish studies on the subject. His studies were printed and collected into a thick tome (more than 500 pages) that had many editions and which became a fundamental text for those dealing with holy places. In the letter of blessing, HaPnei Menachem of Gur exaggeratedly praises RavIvshitz and writes “I know that you studied Torah and underwent a lot, YehiRatzon that you will be cured from your pain” with the addition “you know I do not give endorsements, but a blessing that you will succeed—that, I will give.” Floor size: 98x98cm. Internal size: 75x41cm. Base replaced. Defects. Generally good condition.
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.
Page of Practical Kabbalah with the spell “to remove a demon from a person,” personally used by the great Kabbalist sage of the last generation, Rav Mordechai Sharavi. A shocking kabbalistic find
It is famously known that the kabbalist Rav Mordechai Sharavi greatly opposed the use of amulets—if someone came to him, the Rav would ask the person whether he had any amulets in his position; if the person answered in the affirmative, the Rav would require the person to bring him all the amulets in his possession and place them in geniza. The page before us, according to the testimony of the Rav’s assistant (Rav Shmuel Shmueli), was written by one of the great Kabbalist sages of his generation and was used by the Rav to recite the spell to remove demons and dybbuks from those needing salvation. At the top of the page is the spell, recited in front of the person, after which is written “segula to remove a demon from a person” that is said into the person’s ear. “This is a great secret not taught to the people of Israel.” Also a segula for loving one’s fellow man. Includes names and kabbalistic illustrations. We have hidden half the page in the pictures on the website because of the written warming “this is a great secret not taught to the people of Israel.” Size: 16x10cm. The page underwent professional repairs. Generally very good condition. Given the terrible secrets inscribed in it, the page is extremely important and rare. ‘May there be no obstacle to it in our possession.’ The page is accompanied by a picture of the Rav, and on the back the approval of the Rav’s assistant “I hereby certify that this segulot page of practical kabbalah was used by the Rav Mordechai Sharavi.” Rav Sharavi (1908-1983) was a great Kabbalist sage of the last generation, founded the Nahar Shalom kabbalist yeshiva, named after Rabbi Shalom Sharavi. Became famous as a holy person, miracle worker. Many people would travel to his home, which was open for anybody requesting advice and blessings. The money that he received from the visiting public he dedicated to maintaining the yeshiva, mainly support for those in need—he himself made sure never to make use of the money for himself, and instead lived a simple, modest life. He taught many students, among them Rav Meir Yehuda Gatz (the former rabbi of the Kotel), Rav Zion Bracha, Rav Shalom Shmueli and his son, Rav Benayahu Shmueli, who later took his place as head of Nahar Shalom. Other kabbalistic sages would turn to him and get his advice regarding their doubts on matters of kabbalah, among them the head of the Beit El yeshiva, Rav Ovadiah Hadaya, and more. Thousands participated in his funeral, and he is buried on Har HaMenuchot.
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.
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.
Tallis of the Baba Sali. A holy item-historic and rare
Holy tallis (tallit) used by and which covered the pure and holy body of the Baba Sali, the Admor Rabbi Yisrael Abuhatzira while he prayed and studied. As is well-known, the Baba Sali would tie his own strings with great kavanah according to mystical beliefs. He lived from 1889-1984, was the son of Rabbi Masoud, rabbi of Tafilalt (Morocco), son of the Admor Rabbi Yaakov Abuhatzira. A gaon in both the revealed and mystical Torah, holy and pure from his youth. Served as chief rabbi of Arfoud and its surrounding areas. In 1964 he moved to Israel and set up his residence in Netivot. Sages and others would come to his home to receive advice and blessings, and he is known as a miracle worker across the Jewish people. His grandsons were the famous Admors of the Abuhatzira family. The tallit is made entirely from wool. Included with it is a picture, on the back of which is a handwritten certificate from one of the senior rabbis of the Abuhatzira family, who received the tallit from his holy hands.
12 carat gold Hannukiyah. Tunisia, 20th century.
Designed from a much older hannukiyah, it is decorated with casting work, embossing and engraving, with plant and fish motifs as a segula for luck. At the top is a gemstone, in the center is cutting work of windows in the style of North Africa, and an inscription engraved for Al HaNissim.” Unidentified signature on the back and on the bottom. Weight: 322g. Length: 15cm. Height: 8cm. Width: 3cm. Diagonal soldering and unprofessional restoration in the center. Generally good condition.
Breastplate for a sefer torah, miniature, silver. Galicia, 1804
Handmade hammering and engraving work with exceptional enameling work of an eagle, plants, and flora. Carries a dedication to “Yitzhak Isaac Baharbafri.” Galicia—Ukraine. Size: 11x13cm. Excellent condition. From a private collection.
Handsome silver binding. Alt-Wien (Upper Vienna) 1864. Rare, unique item
Silver binding, decorated with delicate and professional cutting work (as if cutting paper). Throughout the length of the binding are delicate floral motifs, leaves and plants. In the anterior portion is a pair of lions, whose hands are swallowed up inside the leaves. In the center is a water pitcher symbolizing the washing of the Kohen’s hands by the Levites before the Kohanic blessing. Has a dedication in German in Hebrew letters (it was given to Leora Neischtadtel in 1984). On the back of the binding is an engraved inscription “Tzaddik KaTamar Yifrach.” The spine is also decorated with engraving work of plants and flowers. Silver clasps in the shape of leaves. The binding is stamped 3 times. In the front portion, the spine, and the back. Signature of Alt-Wien 1864 and a signature, almost certainly by the jeweler Johann Rada (JR), who joined the Jewelers’ Association of Vienna in 1850. The book is Tikkun Leil Shavuot and Hoshana Rabah. No name of the printer nor year of printing (184 pages), moth damage with pages disconnected, ok condition. The first cover is from Genesis of Slavita, 1855, Waks printing, but doesn’t seem to be related to the book itself. Size: 14x4x22cm. Weight including the book: 1970g. The binding is in excellent condition.
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.
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.
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.
Silver besamim holder. Ukraine, beginning of the 19 th century. An old and important item
Made entirely from handsome, professionally hand-done filigree work, with some delicate cutting work. Defect in the welding at the bottom. The flag at the top was added later. Missing two flags on the sides. A rare item, important and old. Height: 21.5cm. Weight: 238g. Generally good condition.
Megillat Esther on parchment, illustrated and painted. Gazzolo, north Italy. 1776.
Black ink on parchment, with the addition of a separate scroll with the blessings of the megillah. Written handsomely in Ashkenazi Stam script. 22 lines per column. At the top of most of the columns is a box with “HaMelech,” above which is a decoration of a crown. Given in a hard leather case with a velvet cover. Written by Yehiel Menachem son of Rav Avraham Urbino, a Soferstam and artist. At the botgtom of the illustration he writes “work done for melekhetkodesh in Gazzolo by the young soferYehiel Menachem, 9th of Adar, 1773” (additional inscription “Seder Hoshanot for all the days of Sukkot—Mantua 1778” appears in the “Gross Family collection” [illustration no. 13]). His inspiration for the painting was drawn from an engraving by Matheus Marian the Old, used mainly for printed Haggadot, since the known Amsterdam haggadah, in 1695 [Illustration no. 5]. While giving realistic proportions of the city of Jerusalem [illustrations 4 and 6]. At the beginning of the megillah, before the first page, is an additional, large and wonderful illustration that spreads the entire height of the parchment, under which is the name of the artist, place, and year of writing [illustration 7]. In the illustrations, the artist tells the whole story of the megillah. Above the roofs of the city, Hamman is hanged on a tall tree. In the garden of the huge palace, the virgins are gathered before the women’s guards. In the beginning, Mordechai is led through the streets of Shushan dressed in royal clothes, riding on the king’s horse, by Hamman. Hamman’s daughter pours filth on her father. The artist was inspired to draw this artwork from a number of engravings from the haggadot of the artist Francisco Grissalini (1717-1787), which this artist includes skillfully as part of a single illustration [8,9,10,11,12]. The latter two (14 and 15), like a few others, appear in Seder HaHoshanot, and the person decorating the sukkah is Grissalini. This should contribute to clarifying the process of the transformation of the collection of Jewish artwork. An additional unique characteristic in this megillah is the exact dating of the megillah, in addition to the artist’s name. Height: 24cm. Length: 300cm. Generally very good condition.
Handwritten and signed letter by the Admor of Peshversk, Rav Yitzhak Gewirtzman
Letter written on official letterhead, entirely by hand and signed by the Admor Rav Yitzhak Gewirtzman of Peshversk from Antwerp. The letter was sent to supporters to “awaken their hearts to support the holy yeshiva founded by the Chazon Ish.” Rav Gewirtzman was the son of Rabbi Naftali Elimelech bar Avraham, a grandson of Rabbi Elimelech of Luzhansk, student of Rabbi Shimcha Isachar of Tzeshinov of the Tzanz dynasty, and Rabbi Hannah Halberstam of Kolshitz. In his youth he communicated with the greats of his generation before the Shoah, and he is famous for his work in Peshversk. In 1956 he became Chief Rabbi of Antwerp and many chassidim joined him (Encyclopedia of Chassidut, p. 76). Signs of folding, size: 14x21cm. Good condition.
Handwritten letter by Rav Yoelish of Satmar to the kabbalist Rav Asher Zelig Margalio
Letter of blessing handwritten by Rav Yoelish to Rav Margaliot to celebrate the marriage of Rav Margaliot’s son, at the end with a blessing for a happy and kosher pesach. 15 lines on official letterhead by Rav Yoel Teitelbaum, the Admor of Satmar. Signs of folding. Filing holes at the bottom, without damage to text. Generally very good condition.
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.
Shadrut letter from the rabbis of Hevron carried by the godly Rabbi Amram ben Divan, 1773. An important, historical letter
A Shadrut letter signed by the great rabbis of Hevron. Sent to the Gaon Rabbi Eliyahu HaTzarfati of Morocco, sent in the hands of Rabbi Amram ben Divan. In the letter they describe the difficult situation of the city and tell about the Jews who are in prison. As is known, in this delegation he met HaHida in Egypt, and after great worries he sailed for Morocco and died there next to Ouazzane on Tu B’Av 1782. On the letter are signatures from great rabbis of Hevron: Rabbi Aharon Alfandri, the Markevet HaMishnah and Yad Aharon (HaHida praises him a lot in his book). Rabbi Avraham Gedalya (signature erased). Rabbi Hayim Yehuda Gometz Pato, Rabbi Pinhas Mordechai Bagayo. Rabbi Hiya Zeevi. Rabbi Amram ben Divan is mentioned with fear and awe by the Jews of Morocco, he was born in Jerusalem in 1740 and became a student of the revealed and hidden Torah. He settled in Hevron, and in 1763 he was sent as a Shadar to Morocco with an appointment letter signed by Rav Yitzhak Zeev. After he travelled around Morocco and gathered the donations for Hevron, he returned to Israel. After a short time in Israel he left again for a second time in 1773. He stayed more than 8 years, most in Makanes by Rabbi Zecharya Masas. The reason for his stay was the tribal war taking place outside Makanes, though it seems possible his medical situation also prevented him from travelling, as a result of his deep asceticism. He left Fez and then Tangiers in 1782, but died on the way back to Israel and is buried in the cemetery of Asjan next to Lusan. His grave is a pilgrimage site in Morocco. Stories of his miracles abound. The paytan Rav David Hassin, who knew him personally for many years, composed a piyyut in his honor and called it HaHar HATov. This letter appeared in a book of shluchim by Avraham Ya’ari published by Mossad HaRav Kook in Jerusalem, 1951, p. 585. Attached is an official letter on letterhead by Rabbi Refael HaTzarfati, who inherited the letter. The letter underwent professional restoration. Damage to the text through the letter in the center. Generally ok to good condition. Attached is a certificate from Rav Shimon Schwartz, shlita.
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.
Anti-Semitic nutcracker. Alsace-France, 1880 approximately
Unique, rare item. Nutcracker made of wood in the shape of a Jew with a tail. By pulling the tail, his mouth opens, there one places nuts. Height: 20.5cm. Excellent condition. From a private collection.
Large, wonderful silk tablecloth. Moravia-Hungary, end of the 19 th century. Extremely rare
Printed tablecloth, with words from the Kiddush of Shabbat, the Three Regalim, and Rosh Hashanah, and Eruv Tavshilin. Description in Yiddish of the Havdalah for Motzei Shabbat that happens on Erev Chag. In the center is an illustration of Moshe with horns holding the Ten Commandments, and Aaron wearing the garb of the Kohen Gadol, in his hands are tools from the offerings. Illustration of a small bimah. Around are illustrations of rabbis of Moravia and Hungary: Rav Mordechai Bennet (1753-1829)—Av Beit Din of Nicklasbourg and Chief Rabbi of Moravia, with an embossing in a number of places. Rav Moshe Sofer, the Chatam Sofer (1762-1839)—a great posek and rabbi of Pressburg (Bratislava). Rav Eliezer Pleckles (1754- 1826), a student of the Nodah B’Yehuda and head of the yeshiva and Avdak of Prague. Rav Moshe Mintz (1750-1831)—rabbi of Oben-Yashan (Oboda). Rav Shmuel Landau (1750-1834), son of the Nodah B’Yehuda, Avdak and head of the yeshiva in Prague. Rav Leib Schwab (1794- 1857), rabbi of Budapest, first of the neologist rabbis in Hungary and father-in- law of the Melamud Leopold Lef. Seems to be from Moravia/Hungary. Size: 110x125cm. Light defects and tears, repairs and restorations. Generally ok to good condition. Extremely rare.
Anti-Semitic walking stick, rare and unique. Europe, end of the 19th-beginning of the 20th century.
With a bronze handle in the figure of a Jew wearing a kippah, decorated as an old person with pe’ot (a big nose out of proportion with the face). Length: 95cm. Very good condition.
Complete set of the Zohar, first edition. Mantua, 1558.
Complete set in 3 sections of the Zohar, first edition. Throughout the book are glosses, additions, and filling in by hand, later printed bits, and signatures. The book of the Zohar is attributed to the Tana Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, first printed in 1558—after 90 years of the printing press during which the generation’s sages refused to allow it to be printed. New, handsome leather bindings. Some of the pages underwent professional restoration, generally good condition.
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.
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.
Psalms with Ma’amadot. Zhitomir, 1858.
With Ma’amadot and YehiRatzon for LeilHoshana Raba with Rashi’s commentary and Metzudat David, Metzudat Zion. Printed by the grandsons of the SlavtaRav, Rabbi HaninaLifa and Rabbi YehoshuaHeschelShapira, in Zhitomir. (4 pages, 288 pages, 56 pages). 20cm. Professional restoration on the cover and first page. Light tears without damage to text. Water stains, generally good condition.
Miniature sefer Torah written by hand on parchment in Ashkenazi handwriting. Romania, beginning of the 20th century. An object saved from the fires of a pogrom.
On the cover of the Sefer is a dedication that the torah was “saved from the fires of the pogrom by Eliyahu ben Moshe Schein (Galatz—Romania), a Prisoner of Zion who died through Kiddush HaShem on the 26th of Sivan, 1954. Donated by his widow Miriam bat Naftali in his memory.” Size of the parchment: 17cm. The writing: 12cm. Faded writing, not sold as a kosher scroll.
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.
Psak Din signed by the Admor the Baba Meir, Rabbi Meir Abuhatzira, with signatures of dayanim of Arfoud (Morocco), 1955
Approval from the Beit Din in Arfoud for sale of a property. At the end is an addition handwritten and signed by the Admor Rabbi Meir Abuhatzira. Snd signatures of additional dayanim. The Admor Rabbi Meir was the first son of the Baba Sali, known as the Baba Meir, served in the Moroccan rabbinate. In 1965 he moved to Israel and talmidim and rabbis came to his home in Ashdod to receive advice and be strengthened. His sons are famous Admors of the Abuhatzira family: Rabbi Elazar Abuhatzira hy”d, Rabbi David Hai Abuhatzira of Nahariya. Signs of folding, generally excellent condition.
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 $160000.
Handsome miniature shiviti written and illustrated by hand on parchment. Italy, 18 th century
Brown ink, in the center is a Menatze’ach menorah and a pair of lions with double tails. In the frame are written verses “Know Before Whom You Stand,” and “Se’ifim I Hated And Your Torah I Loved.” “A Fire Will Always Burn on the Altar, and Will Not Be Extinguished.” “Tamim You Will Be With Hashem.” 16.5x10.5cm. Light tears, the inscription is a little smudged in some places. Missing text at the top. Generally ok to good condition.
bill from the Rebbe 20$
Given on 12 th of Nissan (a day after his birthday), in honor of the printing of the Sefer HaTanya. Excellent condition.
Kashrut L’Mehadrin tefillin written by the known Sofer Stam, Rabbi Yehuda Asher Rata, the sofer for Israel’s sages
Tefillin housings with the parshiyot written in Stam writing on parchment, handwritten by the sofer of sages, Rabbi Yehuda Asher Rata of Jerusalem. The parshiyot were checked at two Stam institutes and were found to be kosher l’mehadrin (certificates of approval are attached). One of Jerusalem’s special inhabitants was the Gaon HaChassid Rabbi Yehuda Asher Rata (Roth). He was known for his chassidut and interpretations, his great knowledge. He was known as an important sofer and was one of the most well-known of his generation. Rabbis (among them the Admor Rabbi Moshe Mordechai of Lalov, the kabbalist Rabbi Asher Zelig Margaliot, and the Admor HaRayatz of Chabad—attached is a copy of the correspondence of the Rayatz on buying the tefillin—the Maharitz Dushinsky, and more). Many were strict about using tefillin and mezuzot written by him. Rabbi Yehuda Asher Rata was one of the first to study under the Rahak, Rabbi David Beiderman, the Admor of Lalov, and was close to the greatest poseks of Jerusalem, among them the Ga’avad of the Haredi community, Rabbi Yosef Zvi Dushinsky, the Griz Mintzburg, and more. He published many writings on Stam writing, among them psaks and traditions from Jerusalem’s sages from whom he was able to receive from them instruction on practical halakha. The item is accompanied by approval from an expert on identifying handwriting, Rav Shimon Schwartz, grandson of the Rav Yehuda Asher Rata.