Auction 75 Rare and Important Items
Nov 24, 2020
Israel
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LOT 38:

Jerusalem Talmud, Order Moed – Dessau, 1743 – Dozens of Lengthy Glosses Signed by Rabbi Elazar Löw, Author of ...

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Jerusalem Talmud, Order Moed – Dessau, 1743 – Dozens of Lengthy Glosses Signed by Rabbi Elazar Löw, Author of Shemen Rokeach – Copy of the Yitav Lev, Rebbe of Sighet, With His Signature

Jerusalem Talmud, Order Moed, with the Korban HaEdah and Sheyarei Korban commentaries by R. David Fränkel, rabbi of Dessau. Dessau, [1743]. First edition of the commentaries.
Main title page for the whole volume, with divisional title pages for each tractate.
Copy of the Shemen Rokeach, with his signature and dozens of his handwritten glosses (see below). The book later came into the possession of Rebbe Yekutiel Yehuda Teitelbaum Rabbi of Sighet (Sighetu Marmației), who affixed his signature to the title page: "Yitav" [=Yekutiel Yehuda Teitelbaum].
Faint signature at the top of the title page: "…Miklosh [Liptovský Mikuláš]", and signature of the Shemen Rokeach at the foot of the title page: "So says Elazar, who resides in the above-mentioned community".
The book contains dozens of scholarly glosses, some lengthy, handwritten by R. Elazar Löw, author of Shemen Rokeach. Most of the glosses are signed: "Elazar" or "the young Elazar". In some glosses, the Shemen Rokeach refers to sections in his books printed in the 1800s, where he discusses the topic at length: "and what I wrote in my book Shev Shemateta" (Shabbat 3b); "see what I wrote in the book Shev Shemateta" (Yoma 8b); "as I wrote at length in my book Torat Chessed" (Sukkah 7a); "see in my novellae where I explained this at length" (Megillah 10b).
To the best of our knowledge, these glosses were never published.
The back endpaper bears a lengthy poetic ownership inscription, handwritten by R. Yitzchak of Oshpitzin, disciple of the Shemen Rokeach. The inscription was written on "Thursday, 3rd day of Chol HaMoed Pesach, 1822, here in Miklosh". It is followed by a double acrostic by R. Yitchak, spelling the name of R. Elazar Löw.
[3], 52; [1], 29; [1], 35; [1], 22; [1], 15; [1], 13; [1], 10; [1], 11; [1], 15; [1], 18; [1], 11; [1], 10 leaves. 34 cm. Good condition. Stains. Minor tears and wear. Tears to title page and subsequent leaf, slightly affecting text, repaired in part with tape. Stamps. New leather binding.


R. Elazar Löw (1758-1837) was a renowned and outstanding Torah scholar. He served as rabbi of six prominent communities in the regions of Moravia, Bohemia and Hungary. During 1822-1830, he served as rabbi of Miklosh (Liptovský Mikuláš) in Hungary. He served as yeshiva dean for most of his life, and taught more than 1000 disciples, including many future Torah leaders. His son was the famed R. Binyamin Wolf Löw, author of Shaarei Torah. R. Elazar was a prolific writer and was famous for 13 large compositions which he authored (12 were printed in his lifetime). A large part of his writings deal with Talmudic methodology. He pondered Torah even in his sleep and many of his novellae would appear to him in his dreams. Reputedly, his diligence and holiness were so profound that he would not break his fast on the night after Yom Kippur, studying the entire night, and every year on that night, he would merit the revelation of Eliyahu HaNavi (Zichron Elazar). His biographers extol the effectiveness of his prayers. In 1833, he was hit by lightning and became blind. Nevertheless, he continued studying from memory until his last days. At that time, his exceptional memory and proficiency in the entire Torah was apparent. The Chatam Sofer mentioned this in his eulogy: "He was blind for several years, yet this did not impair his amazing erudition and sharpness". The Chatam Sofer cites his books in several places, although he was his contemporary. R. Mordechai Banet stated in awe that his book "Shaarei Chochmah – Shev Shemateta" was "not composed by a human but rather by an angel, and the world has never seen anything like it". Although R. Elazar considered printing his books a G-dly mission, he never went into debt to print them: "He would not allow himself to print too much at once, fearing that he will not be able to pay the expenses... Therefore, he would print his novellae one part at a time… using the profits from the sale of each part to continue printing, for his sole aim was to magnify and strengthen the Torah" (Beit Asher Ohel Sarah, p. 103, at the beginning of Menuchat Asher, Brooklyn, 1963). In his testament, he requested that the names of all his books be inscribed on his tombstone.


Rebbe Yekutiel Yehuda Teitelbaum (1808-1883), son of R. Elazar Nissan Teitelbaum Rabbi of Sighet, and son-in-law of R. Moshe David Ashkenazi – rabbi of Tolcsva who later immigrated to Safed. He was a close disciple of his grandfather the Yismach Moshe – Rebbe Moshe Teitelbaum Rabbi of Ujhel (Sátoraljaújhely), who drew him especially close and disclosed to him Heavenly revelations which he had perceived with Divine inspiration. He was also a disciple of Rebbe Asher Yeshaya of Ropshitz. In 1833 (at the age of 25), he was appointed rabbi of Stropkov, and after the passing of his illustrious grandfather, he was selected to succeed him as rabbi of Ujhel. He was then appointed rabbi of Gorlitz (Gorlice), and later of Drohobych. In 1858, he went to serve as rabbi of Sighet, capital of the Maramureș region, and founded there a large yeshiva, which numbered at its zenith two hundred students. Amongst his renowned disciples from that time was R. Shlomo Leib Tabak author of Erech Shai and head of the Sighet Beit Din. His grandson attested that "he was a merciful father to his disciples, carrying them on his shoulders as a nurse carries a suckling, and overseeing each one individually to ensure they studied Torah in holiness and purity". In Sighet, he gained worldwide renown, and thousands of Chassidim flocked to seek his counsel and wisdom, blessing and salvation. He was renowned for his exceptional holiness, and his grandson R. Yoel of Satmar attested that his holiness was never tainted. Numerous stories circulated of the wonders he performed, including incredible insights which were revealed to him with Divine Inspiration. He was reputed in his generation as one who could read the minds of those standing before him, and amazing stories were told of this ability. His epitaph reads: "The renowned rabbi, he edified upstanding and reputable disciples, left behind valuable compositions". He is renowned for his books: Yitav Lev on the Torah, Yitav Panim on the Festivals, Rav Tuv on the Torah and Responsa Avnei Tzedek.


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