Auction 75 Rare and Important Items
Nov 24, 2020
Israel
 8 Ramban St, Jerusalem.
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LOT 2:

Shenei Luchot HaBrit – Amsterdam, 1698 – Birth Year of the Baal Shem Tov – Copy with Original Binding and Clasps

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Shenei Luchot HaBrit – Amsterdam, 1698 – Birth Year of the Baal Shem Tov – Copy with Original Binding and Clasps
Shenei Luchot HaBrit (Shelah), by R. Yeshaya HaLevi Horowitz. Amsterdam: Immanuel son of Yosef Athias, 1698. Engraved title page (by Avraham son of Yaakov HaGer).
Shenei Luchot HaBrit contains many halachic novellae, Kabbalistic principles, homiletics and ethics, and incorporates all realms of the Torah. The book was received with awe throughout the Jewish world, and its teachings are quoted in the books of leading poskim and kabbalists. Many renowned Chassidic leaders were extraordinarily devoted to the study of the books of the Shelah.
The Bach – R. Yoel Sirkis, notably acclaimed the author and his works in his approbation to the Shaar HaShamayim siddur: "R. Yeshaya HaLevi… left behind blessing in his holy compositions, and upon seeing or reading them, we sensed the outpouring of holiness in all our limbs, and this is the sign that his works were composed for the sake of heaven, to elevate future generations…". The Tosafot Yom Tov in his approbation to the siddur writes: "He is a holy, awe-inspiring man… no doubt he was invested with a heavenly spirit".
This edition of the Shelah was printed in Amsterdam in 1698, birth year of the Baal Shem Tov, and Chassidic lore ties these two events. The Rebbe Rayatz of Lubavitch writes (Igrot, 2853) of the elaborate edition of the Shelah printed in the year "Nachat" (gratification; the numerical value of 'nachat' corresponds to the Hebrew year 5458, i.e. 1698). He states that "this alludes to the heavenly gratification caused by the revelation of the holy book, and in that year the Baal Shem Tov was born". The Baal Shem Tov was used to saying that he was born in the year of the printing of the Shelah HaKadosh, in order to enlighten the world with G-d's light of Torah and fear of Heaven with service of the heart. The Rebbe Rayatz brings a wondrous tradition from R. Mendel of Vitebsk regarding the first and second editions of the Shelah: "During the printing of the Shelah… this holy book enthused and inspired the hearts of the Jewish people, drawing the Evil Eye, which brought about the infamous Chmielnicki pogroms"; "In the year the Baal Shem Tov was born, the second edition of Shelah was printed in Amsterdam, and then as well there was an accusation in heaven against the Jewish people in Poland, similar to the first accusation upon the initial publication of the Shelah, yet thank G-d, it was a year of serenity" (Likutei Diburim HaMeturgam, I, p. 50).
Ownership inscriptions on the endpapers, dated 1796 and 1818, signed by "Baruch son of R. Shimon Ze'ev" of Mülheim an der Ruhr, and birth and death records in his handwriting. Another inscription, written by his son, documenting the passing of his father in 1827.
[4], 422; 44; [12] leaves. 29.5 cm. Overall good condition. Stains (including dark stains on some leaves, in particular final leaves). Marginal wear and minor tears to some leaves. Old paper repairs to inner margins of some leaves. Stamps. Elegant original wood and leather binding, with metal clasps. Front board mostly detached. Damage to edges of binding and spine.

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