Auction 78 Rare and Important Items
May 25, 2021
 8 Ramban St, Jerusalem.
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LOT 46:

Collection of Editions of the Book Noam Elimelech – Early 19th Century

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Collection of Editions of the Book Noam Elimelech – Early 19th Century
Collection of early editions (early 19th century) of the book Noam Elimelech, by R. Elimelech of Lizhensk, a classic Chassidic work:
• Noam Elimelech. Polonne, [1804]. Fourth edition. Ownership inscription on the title page: "This book belongs to Asael son of Chanukah"; other inscriptions. Stefansky Chassidut, no. 377.
• Noam Elimelech. Polonne, [1814]. Fifth edition. Two copies, with differences in the title page typography. Signature on title page of one copy: "Mordechai son of R. M[---]". Stefansky Chassidut, no. 378.
• Noam Elimelech. Hrubieszów. [1817]. Sixth edition. Lacking final leaf with hidden aspects and reasons of the mitzvot, by R. Yosef Gikatilla. Title page printed in red and black. Ownership inscription and signature on title page: "This Noam Elimelech belongs to R. Efraim Fishel son of R. Dov Ber of Warka – Yisrael Moshe"; "Yaakov Grossman". Stefansky Chassidut, no. 379.
• Noam Elimelech. [Russia-Poland, ca. 1820]. False name of author. This edition includes the first edition of Hanhagot HaAdam, by R. Elimelech of Lizhensk, erroneously attributed to R. Yechiel Michel of Zlotchov. Stefansky Chassidut, no. 380.
• Noam Elimelech. [Russia-Poland, ca. 1820]. Different edition to the previous one.
The Noam Elimelech was one of the first Chassidic books, and is considered until this day to be one of the fundamental works on Chassidut. The book contains the essential part of the doctrine of R. Elimelech of Lizhensk on Chassidut, purity of thought and attachment to G-d. R. Elimelech had five disciples, who disseminated Chassidut to the Jewish people: the Chozeh of Lublin, the Maggid of Kozhnitz, R. Avraham Yehoshua Heshel of Apta, R. Izek of Kaliv and R. Mendel of Rymanów.
Since its publishing, the book was deemed sacred to all, to the extent his disciple R. Mendel of Rymanów stated that only on Friday after immersing in honor of Shabbat is one able to grasp a little of the pure and lofty thoughts it contains. The Maggid of Kozhnitz would not welcome the Shabbat before he had studied his teacher's book (Encyclopedia L'Chassidut, I, p. 236). He would say that R. Elimelech would appear – after his passing – to his disciple R. Naftali of Ropshitz, to teach him Noam Elimelech (Igra Debei Hilulei, Ashdod 1999, p. 250). The Divrei Chaim of Sanz once remarked that he could compose a commentary on the Noam Elimelech just like the Beit Yosef did on the Tur, since it contained such profundity (Igra Debei Hilulei, Ashdod 1999, p. 235). Rebbe Eliezer of Dzikov once saw in a dream a house full of books, about which he was told that one book was the Noam Elimelech, and all the other books the house was filled with were commentaries to the Noam Elimelech (Ohel Elimelech, p. 80, section 193). R. Izek of Kaliv, after writing several hundreds of papers of commentary to the Noam Elimelech, heard a Divine Voice asking how he had the audacity to write a commentary to the Noam Elimelech, of which even angels and other celestial beings struggle to understand even one word or letter (Ohel Elimelech, p. 80, section 194).
Noam Elimelech was reprinted in numerous editions (until 1982, it had been printed in over 50 editions, and since then in dozens more). Many keep the book as a segulah, and some special miniature format editions were published to serve as amulets for protection and success. Many put it at the head of an ill person as a segulah and protection, for a speedy recovery and to be saved from any misfortune. This book is known to be a segulah for women experiencing difficult labor (several Jewish hospitals throughout the world have a Noam Elimelech placed in a velvet pouch in the delivery rooms as segulah for easy births). This segulah is already mentioned in Shulchan Melachim by R. Moshe Tzvi Landau of Kleinwardein, who writes in the laws pertaining to women giving birth: "And the custom of placing a holy book wrapped in a cloth under the head of a women in labor has already become widespread – and the custom is to place the books Noam Elimelech and Or HaChochma" (pp. 38b-39a, Beregsaz 1931 edition).
6 books. Size and condition vary. Tears and worming affecting text to some books. Stamps.

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