Manuscript, Homilies for the High Holidays by the Yismach Moshe – Glosses Handwritten by the Yitav Lev of Sighet ...
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Manuscript, Homilies for the High Holidays by the Yismach Moshe – Glosses Handwritten by the Yitav Lev of Sighet, His Grandson and Disciple – Dozens of Glosses Handwritten by the Editor, Rebbe Moshe David Teitelbaum Rabbi of Laposch
Manuscript, homilies for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, by R. Moshe Teitelbaum Rabbi of Ujhel (Sátoraljaújhely) – author of Yismach Moshe. Written by scribes, with some ten glosses and transition sentences handwritten by his grandson and disciple Rebbe Yekutiel Yehuda Teitelbaum Rabbi of Sighet (Sighetu Marmației) – the Yitav Lev [Gorlitz/Sighet, ca. 1848-1861]. With dozens of glosses by the grandson and disciple of the Yitav Lev, Rebbe Moshe David Teitelbaum Rabbi of Laposch [Tîrgu Lăpuş, 1900s].
The contents of this manuscript were published in several parts of the Yismach Moshe series. The leaves of this manuscript were in the possession of the Yitav Lev and his grandson and disciple Rebbe Moshe David Teitelbaum (see below). Both of them edited sections of this manuscript and printed them in the Yismach Moshe books which they published. These leaves therefore contain their handwritten glosses and notes, occasionally on the same page, side by side.
When the Yitav Lev prepared his grandfather's series of books on the Torah for print, he selected several sections from the present manuscript and published them in the Yismach Moshe books (Lviv, 1849-1861). Rebbe Moshe David later selected sections from these leaves relating to the Book of Tehillim, and published them in the Tefillah LeMoshe commentary on Tehillim by the Yismach Moshe (Krakow, 1880). One of the present leaves contains "Hanhagot Tovot" (good practices) by the Yismach Moshe, which were printed in the commentary on Tehillim.
Rebbe Moshe David later edited and published all the other sections (most of the present manuscript) in a composition titled Tochachat Chaim Amirah Ne'imah, printed in Yismach Moshe (on Neviim, Ketuvim, Megillot and various topics; Sighet 1908). One section was printed in the Yayin HaRekach composition in the abovementioned book.
While preparing the book for print, the Yitav Lev added in the manuscript several glosses as well as introductory and transition sentences in his handwriting (most of which appear in the printed version). R. Moshe David subsequently also added his own glosses, additions, introductory and transition sentences, in the sections which he edited.
One of the present leaves contains a gloss handwritten by the Yitav Lev, which was omitted in print. Several leaves contain sentences which he placed in parentheses or deleted, indicating that they should not be printed, presumably due to censorship constraints. One of the censored sections states: "I delivered this sermon on Rosh Hashanah 1788, when decrees were frequent and troubles befell us constantly, especially the taking of the Jews as soldiers [in reference to forced conscription of Jews to the army, under the rule of Emperor Joseph II], where their beards were razed and their clothing exchanged for soldiers' uniforms. May G-d take pity on his people".
Rebbe Moshe Teitelbaum, Rabbi of Ujhel (1759-1841), was an illustrious Chassidic leader in Hungary and Galicia. An outstanding Torah scholar and G-dly Kabbalist, sharp and well versed in all facets of Torah, revealed as well as hidden. During his lifetime he was renowned as a holy G-dly man and a wonder-worker benefiting from Divine Inspiration. He first served as rabbi of Shinova (Sieniawa) from 1785-1808, and in 1808, was appointed rabbi of Ujhel (Satoraljaujhely) and its region. At first, R. Moshe was an opponent of Chassidut, and in his youth, he travelled to Vilna to study Torah from the Gaon of Vilna (R. B. Landau, HaGaon HeChassid MiVilna, p. 291, in the name of R. Zalman Weber. The Klausenburg Rebbe cites an interesting testimony from that visit, which his great-grandfather the Yismach Moshe related about the conduct of the Gaon of Vilna with his disciples – Responsa Divrei Yatziv, Part IV, Yoreh De'ah, section 131). Over the years, R. Moshe gravitated towards Chassidut, influenced by his son-in-law R. Aryeh Leib Lifshitz of Vishnitsaý, author of the Responsa Aryeh D'Vei Ila'i, who convinced him to travel to the Chozeh of Lublin. There, R. Moshe saw revelations of Divine Inspiration, and became the Chozeh's close disciple, adhering to Chassidut and disseminating its doctrines. This transformation took place while he was still serving as rabbi of Shinova. He also travelled to the Ohev Yisrael of Apta. From 1815, R. Moshe began distributing amulets to those requiring salvation and "the pen cannot properly describe the wonders performed by those amulets". Reputedly, he deliberated whether to continue writing amulets until he heard a pronouncement from Heaven: "Do not fear for I am with you" (Tehilla L'Moshe). Until this day, most of the texts of amulets and "protections" in Ashkenazi countries are attributed to the Yismach Moshe, including the printed text of the "Protection for the infant and the mother" and "Protection from epidemic". The text of the renowned Kerestir amulets, inscribed by Chassidic rebbes for safeguarding home and property, also originates from him.
His published writings include the well-known books of homilies – Yismach Moshe on the Torah, Megillot and on Talmudic Aggadot, Tefilla L'Moshe on Tehillim, Responsa Heshiv Moshe and other books. His book Maayan Tahor, with the laws of Niddah in Yiddish for Jewish women, was appended to many siddurim.
Rebbe Yekutiel Yehuda Teitelbaum – the Yitav Lev (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, 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.
Rebbe Moshe David Teitelbaum (1855-1935), grandson and close disciple of the Yitav Lev of Sighet. Together with his grandfather, he published Tefillah LeMoshe on Tehillim by their ancestor the Yismach Moshe. In 1906-1908, he published two volumes of Yismach Moshe on Neviim, Ketuvim and other topics. Likewise, he edited and published some of the works of his grandfather the Yitav Lev. In 1882, he was appointed rabbi of Laposch (Tîrgu Lăpuş, present day: Romania). In his final years, he settled in the United States, where he served as rebbe of Volova.
 leaves (46 written pages), including some consecutive leaves (paginated: 15-16; 23-36. Several unpaginated leaves). 42 cm. Condition varies – most leaves in good condition and several leaves in fair-poor condition. Large open tears to approx. 9 leaves, with significant damage to text. Stains (including dampstains) and wear.
Throughout his life, the Yismach Moshe composed novellae on all parts of the Torah – Halachah, Aggadah, Derush and Chassidut. He wrote these novellae sporadically, on pieces of paper, rather than in an organized fashion. After his passing, his writings were given to the Yitav Lev, his grandson and disciple, who gave them to a scribe to be copied methodically. After the writings were copied, the Yitav Lev began editing and arranging the novellae according to topics. While he was editing them, he added glosses, introductory and transition sentences, and many sources. From these writings, the Yitav Lev printed the Yismach Moshe series on the Torah portions, between 1849-1861. In time, when the Yitav Lev became busy with his rabbinical position, his yeshiva and disseminating Torah to his many disciples, he handed over the rest of the writings to his son-in-law, R. Yisrael Yaakov Yukel Teitelbaum Rabbi of Gorlitz and to his grandson R. Moshe David Teitelbaum Rabbi of Laposch, for them to edit and arrange other works of the Yismach Moshe for print. R. Yisrael Yaakov Yukel Teitelbaum of Gorlitz edited Responsa Heshiv Moshe (Lviv, 1866). R. Moshe David Teitelbaum of Laposch edited Tefillah LeMoshe on Tehillim (Krakow, 1880), and in 1906 and 1908, he compiled and published two new volumes of Yismach Moshe, comprising a compilation of ten small works on Neviim, Ketuvim, Megillot, Aggadot and more.
These leaves were used in the preparation of several books of the Yismach Moshe, and show the initial stages of editing – prior to the rearrangement according to subjects – bearing the handwritten editing notes of his holy descendants.