Auction 78 Rare and Important Items
May 25, 2021
 8 Ramban St, Jerusalem.
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LOT 30:

Manuscript – Pinkas of the Bikur Cholim Society in Kraków – Much Information about Members of the Community – ...

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Manuscript – Pinkas of the Bikur Cholim Society in Kraków – Much Information about Members of the Community – Including the Rabbi of the City, Rabbi Shimon Sofer Son of the Chatam Sofer – Kraków, 1829-1934
Manuscript, Pinkas of the Bikur Cholim society in Kraków, containing much valuable information about the community members and its rabbis. Kraków, 1829-1934.
Large format. The Pinkas opens with a decorated title page, inscribed: " This Pinkas belongs to the Bikur Cholim holy society… according to the regulation instituted in 1823".
The Pinkas offers much information about the Kraków community from the 1830s up until close to the Holocaust. Hundreds of written pages, containing thousands of names, various facts and hundreds of signatures of the society's gabbaim over the years. It also includes information about R. Shimon Sofer, rabbi of Kraków (son of the Chatam Sofer) and other rabbis (see below).
The Pinkas comprises protocols, records of new members joining the society, records of donations made out to the society, pledges of Torah study in memory of the deceased and more. It also includes regulations and decisions of the society (generally signed by the gabbaim), dated: 1829, 1834, 1838, 1843, 1846, 1848, 1864, 1875; results of elections for various positions in the society and protocols of appointments of gabbaim and other functionaries, 1829-1866; records about the society's property, and more. Additional leaves with inscriptions and signatures were pasted in several places. The society's stamp appears on several leaves.
In several places, the Pinkas offers information about the rabbi of the city – R. Shimon Sofer (son of the Chatam Sofer. Served as rabbi of Mattersdorf, was appointed rabbi of Kraków in 1861. A leader of Orthodox Jewry in Galicia, held a seat in the Austrian parliament. Author of Michtav Sofer).
An inscription regarding the acceptance of R. Shimon Sofer as member of the society is recorded on p. 142b. On p. 186a, there is a record of a donation from R. Shimon Sofer in memory of his daughter Sarah Chaya. An inscription on p. 25b attests that a Torah scroll was lent to R. Shimon Sofer on the 1st day of Rosh Chodesh Nissan 1861 (the year of his appointment as rabbi of the city). A leaf was pasted on p. 239a, containing a contract with the society, signed by R. Tzvi Hirsch Berliner, son of R. Shlomo Hirschell Rabbi of London. At the foot of the leaf, there is an additional inscription, "Copy of a letter given to R. Efraim Berliner of Warsaw" (son of the above-mentioned R. Tzvi), describing "the efforts of R. Shimon Sofer Rabbi of our community…".
On p. 159b, there is an inscription handwritten and signed by R. Yosef Nechemia Kornitzer Rabbi of Kraków (grandson of R. Shimon Sofer), about his joining the society in 1925 (the year he succeeded his father as rabbi of the city).
Later leaves were bound at the beginning of the Pinkas, after the title page and another leaf. These are followed by the original leaves of the Pinkas. Some twenty leaves were removed from the Pinkas when it was rebound in 1862, as stated on the leaf following the title page: "The 21 leaves lacking in this Pinkas which contained the list of the members of the society in Ashuri script, where removed when the Pinkas was rebound in 1862, and the list was rewritten…". The lacking leaves were replaced with later leaves, containing an index of names. The inscriptions in the Pinkas do not always appear in chronological order, and some leaves were presumably bound out of sequence.
[22], 22-252 leaves (hundreds of written pages. Some blank leaves). 37 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains. Several tears. Tears to some of the later leaves at the beginning of the Pinkas, affecting text, with loss. New leather binding.

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