David ben Aryeh Leib, of Lida SEFER SOD HASHEM being AN EXTREMELY RARE BOOK OUTLINING BRIT MILAH (RITUAL CIRCUMCISION) OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS Professor Shelomoh ben Yosef Props Full-Leather Good+ None Hebrew, Judaica
A rare book by the chief rabbi of Amsterdam, David ben Aryeh Leib, of Lida. Text entirely in Hebrew. SEFER SOD H, asher hiber David de-Lida Amsterdam: Shelomoh ben Yosef Props, 469 [1708 or 1709]. 6" tall [15.2 cm.] 32 numbered leaves [64 pages, the last one is blank], plus 58 later blank pages, plus endpapers, plus a large manuscript letter of recommendation bound in. Superbly bound in later full light brown sheep leather, with raised bands, blindstamped floral decorated compartments, covers with blindstamped floral decorated corners and borders, all edges gilt In a speckled leather solander case (stunning craftmanship). The manuscript letter is affixed in the center of the book behind the printed text but not attached to it. It is a letter of recommendation issued February 12, 1834 to Isaac Kaufman of Bergheim by a local surgeon, attesting to Bergheim's credentials as a mohel. It is about 14" x 9", with a red wax seal and is stamped three times.The wax seal is somewhat chipped away. The letter has some splits at the folds and is slightly stained and agetoned. There is an old ownership signature clipped and affixed to the front flyleaf, but indecipherable. Plus, there are 3 pp. of writing and another old clipped signature on the rear endpapers and flyleaf [i.e., at the front of the book] In addition there is, in the blank leaves, the ownership signature of Rabbi Emil B. Cohn with a record of a couple of circumcisions that he performed in 1941 and 1942. Condition: Some minor wear and handling, contents age-toned, and grayed, with some pages having a little staining at the fore-edge, but otherwise in quite Good or better condition, hinges strong. The following information was taken mostly from the online Jewish Encyclopedia: DAVID BEN ARYEH LOEB OF LIDA ca. 1650-1696 Lithuanian rabbi of the seventeeth century. On his mother's side he was a nephew of R. Moses Rivkes, author of "Be'er ha-Golah." As first rabbi of Lida (hence his name), he became successively rabbi of Zwolin, Mayence, Ostrog, etc. In 1682 he went to Amsterdam, and became rabbi of the Ashkenazic community there. A quarrel broke out between him and the rabbis of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews, who suspected him of being a follower of Shabbethaism [Sabbatianism]. David was obliged to resign his rabbinical office and leave Amsterdam. The Polish rabbis protested and denounced the calumniators. The storm gradually subsided and David returned to Amsterdam. A few years later he went back to Poland, and died in Lemberg. The inscription on his tombstone bears the date 5450 = 1690, but Polak proves this to be a mistake, as several works are extant which were indorsed by him after the year given in the inscription. David wrote the following works, some of which were printed after his death: "Be'er 'Esek" (The Well of Dispute), containing his discussions with the rabbis of Amsterdam, together with anathemas of the Polish rabbis (Lublin, 1684); "Dibre Dawid" (The Words of David), a book on morals (Lublin, n.d.; Offenbach, 1723; Zedner gives 1724, but without place of publication); "Sefer Helke Abanim" (Smooth Stones), a commentary on Rashi to the Pentateuch (Fürth, 1693); "'Ir Miklat" (The City of Refuge), a commentary on the 613 commandments (Dyhernfurth, 1690; this is included also in the "Yad Kol Bo"); "Migdal Dawid" (The Tower of David), a cabalistic commentary on Ruth (Amsterdam, 1680); "Berit Adonai" (The Alliance of God), a treatise in Judæo-German on circumcision (Amsterdam, 1684); "Sod Adonai" (The Secret of God), a treatise in Hebrew on circumcision, with a commentary entitled "Sharvit ha-Zahab" (The Golden Scepter), written at Mayence in 1680, and published at Amsterdam 1694; "Ir Dawid" (The Town of David), a collection of homilies, edited by his son Pethahiah (Amsterdam, 1719); "Shir Hillulim" (Wedding Song), a poem on the occasion of presenting a scroll of the Pentateuch to the synagogue (Amsterdam, 1680). [David Lida was the successor (1680) of Rabbi Meir Stern, who was the successor of Rabbi Isaac Deckingen, Chief Rabbi of Amsterdam]. Variant titles: Sod H., Sod Ha-Shem, Sod Adonai, Sharvit ha-zahav, Mateh Mosheh `al `inyene milah Sefer Sod Hashem. Verso of title page: Nidpas be-elef `otakim Variant publisher's name: Bi-defus Sh. ben Y. Kats, Professor Shelomoh ben Yosef Props. This is a one of a kind remarkable Judaica item. Please write for pictures.