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M. Benjamin Katz, Books & Manuscripts


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18th Century Judaica

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18th Century Judaica

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Offenbach, Zeligman-Reiss 1717 Original Wraps Fair Hebrew, Judaica Folio - over 12" - 15" tall 
Original Printing in 1717. RARE AND IMPORTANT BOOK COMPOSED BY THE GREAT RABBI OF THE HOLY CITY OF SAFED IN ISRAEL, THE GREAT PUPIL OF THE RABBI YOSEF CARO. OVER 288 YEARS Old. The Book: Alsheich, Moshe. Shoshanat Ha-Amakim. Offenbach, Zeligman-Reiss, 1717. Folio. Title page torn with some loss, early original boards. Several Rabbis signatures. Alshich Hakadosh (1508-1593). Popularly referred to by his family name, and an individual whose great holiness is reflected by the title "Hakadosh" (the holy) which history has appended to his name, Rabbi Moshe Alshich was one of the leading members of the great beit din (Jewish court) of Safed, Israel. He had moved to the holy city of Safed from Turkey with his teacher Rabbi Yosef Caro the author of the Shulchan Aruch) while still a young man." (Ref: "Torah from Dixie: Recompilation of Rabbinic Giants"). 
Price: 349.99 USD
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AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS Professor Shelomoh ben Yosef Props Full-Leather Good+ None Hebrew, Judaica 16mo - over 5¾" - 6¾" tall 
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. 
Price: 3855.99 USD
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3 Di Sileza, Hizkiya Pri hadash al-Sefer Orakh Hayim ve-Even ha-Ezer
Karlsruhe 1757 Original Wraps Good Hebrew, Judaica Folio - over 12" - 15" tall 
Original Printing in 1757. Concerning the famous legal code the Shulchan Aruch. The Book: Di Sileza, Hizkiya: Pri hadash al-Sefer Orakh Hayim ve-Even ha-Ezer. Karlsruhe, 1757. In original hardcover, with nice printer's marks and initials. 82pp + 32 ff. FOLIO. Title cut and loose, but without loss. Old boards and leather spine. Rav Chizkiyah di Silva, also known as the Pri Chadash after his important halachic work, was born in Livorno, Italy. 
Price: 275.00 USD
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4 Ibn Hayyim, Aaron Sefer Korban Aharon : Being a Rare and Complete Hebrew Work on Ritual Sacrifice
1742 Full-Leather Good None Hebrew, Judaica Folio - over 12" - 15" tall 
FOLIO. PRINTED 1742. CLASSIC HEBREW WORK ON RITUAL SACRIFICE. Rare. No copies at auction in the American Auction Records. The Book: Ibn Hayyim, Aaron, 1545-1632. Sefer Korban Aharon : ve-hu perush le-sefer Sifra ... / hibro Aharon Ibn Hayim ; nit`orer Eliyahu ben Mosheh Desoya le-hadpiso shenit Desoya : [h. mo. l.], 502 [1742]. COMPLETE. 20, 260 leaves ; 36 cm, Red calf and Boards, pages age-toned. The Hebrew word for sacrifice is Korban. The sacrifice of an animal to a deity was an acceptable form of worship among the ancients. Many mystical rites which are found in other religions, can also be found in the Jewish sacrificial system. The Hebrew word Korban comes from the root "karab" which means "to approach" or "draw near." Many forms of religion believed that before "approaching " a deity one had to present a gift or offering to appease the god. Maimonides the great Jewish scholar, philosopher, and theologian believed the entire sacrificial system came about to accommodate man's primitive desires. Maimonides says the Torah, limits the practice, permitting it only in certain places, at certain times, by certain people, and for certain purposes. Maimonides suggests that these limitations are designed to wean a primitive people away from the pagan rite of sacrifice. 
Price: 1249.99 USD
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5 Johannes Biermannus Moses en Christus, of Tafereel der voornaamste voorbeelden des Ouden Testaments, uit Moses wet, en allerley Joodsche oudheden wydlopig t'samengesteld en op Christus en syn kerke geestelyk Toegepast
Rotterdam, Holland JOHANNES ROTTERDAM, Bookverkoper 1735 Original Vellum Good Dutch 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall 
Moses en Christus, of Tafereel der voornaamste voorbeelden des Ouden Testaments, uit Moses wet, en allerley Joodsche oudheden wydlopig t'samengesteld en op Christus en syn kerke geestelyk toegepast / door Johannes Bierman. Good copy with usual general ageing of ancient vellum covers. Some number of pages loose but overall a very pleasing copy of this rare tome. Included is a mysterious small handwritten manuscript not found being used as a marker. 
Price: 1295.99 USD
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6 M. CHRIST. REINECCIO Grammaticae Hebraeo Chaldaicae Harmonice et synoptice adornatae. Editio novissima recognita, emendata & nonnullis in locis discentium commodo inmutata.
VIENNA AUSTRIA TYP. IOAN THOMAE Nob. de Trattnern 1774 Hard Cover Good Latin, Hebrew 12mo - over 6¾" - 7¾" tall 
On offer: Grammaticae Hebraeo Chaldaicae Harmonice et synoptice adornatae. Editio novissima recognita, emendata & nonnullis in locis discentium commodo inmutata. 1774 publication date in Vienna. This an ancient Hebrew-Latin grammar book with the usual rubbing to the edges and dings to the tips but otherwise G. 
Price: 589.99 USD
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7 MAUNDRELL, Henry A Journey from Aleppo to Jerusalem at Easter A.D. 1697
London A. Peisley 1740 Sixth Full-Leather Very Good None English Language 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall 
Printed 1740. Unusually Fine copy in Full Handsome Original Mottled Calf and Raised Bands minor chipping and split to rear upper spine. The Book: MAUNDRELL, Henry, A Journey from Aleppo to Jerusalem at Easter A.D. 1697. The Sixth Edition. The which is now added an Account of the Author's Journey to the Banks of the Euphrates at Beer, and to the Country of Mesopotamia. Printed at the Theatre, Oxford 1740. 6th and FINEST EDITION, 8vo. Engraved vignette on title, 14 engraved plates of which 8 are folding, FINE MOTTLED ENGLISH CALF, VERY FINE COPY THE MOST FAMOUS OF PALESTINE TRAVELOGUES. Henry Maundrell was the Levant Company's chaplain of Aleppo from 1696 to 1701. This work contains the first description of Balbec by an Englishman. Blackmer 1095. Cox i, p.119. Tobler 116d17. Travelogues written by Europeans visiting Palestine after that period point to a shift in Europe's relationship to the region. Where medieval pilgrims had often wept or gone into trances upon their arrival in Jerusalem, modern European visitors observed with curiosity what was before their eyes. They were traveling for pleasure and for cultural experiences; tourism was gradually replacing pilgrimage as a motive for visiting Palestine. By the end of the seventeenth century quite a few European tourists had already been to Jerusalem. The most famous among them was Henry Maundrell, the author of the book A Journey from Aleppo to Jerusalem in 1697. The book would prove to be one of the most popular books about the East for centuries to come. By 1749 seven editions in different European languages had appeared, and sections of the book continued to appear in collections of travel writings published both in the eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries.[2] The lure of printed books in Europe and its American colonies might partially account for the initial popularity of A Journey, but it can not explain why the book remained popular for the more than two centuries after its original appearance. The latter could be explained by the fact that the book is the narrative of a tourist rather than that of a pilgrim, unlike the many other Palestine travel narratives that appeared before it. 
Price: 1595.99 USD
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8 P. JOSEPH-ROMAINE JOLY La Géographie Sacrée et Les Monuments de L'histoire Sainte
Paris Chez Alexandre Jombert 1784 Full-Leather Very Good None French 4to - over 9¾" - 12" tall 
NATURAL HISTORY OF THE HOLY LAND, INCLUDING STUNNING ENGRAVED PLATES AND MAPS, MONSTERS, AND MYRRH! SPECTACULAR FINE AND CLEAN COPY. ORIGINAL, PRINTED 1784. IN ORIGINAL MOTTLED CALF AND GILT BINDING. EXTREMELY RARE. No other copies on-line and only one copy in the auction records in 30 years for a much poorer copy (that one waterstained vs. the fresh one for sale here). The Book: JOLY J.- R. Père, La géographie sacrée et les monuments de l'histoire sainte Jombert, Paris. 1784. Beatiful copy in 4to, mottled calf and gilt, filled with maps, plates as well as many of the natural history of the Holy Land. Minor cracking at top of hinge, very rare in such splendid condition. Only copy at auction in 30 years was a badly dampstained one at Swann's Dec, 16, 1993. Plates include Tower of Babel, Map of the Middle East and the location of the Garden of Eden. Map depicting the route of the Israelites, Magnificent and important folding engraving of the March of the Israelites through the Desert, treasures of the Temple, Musical Instruments of the Ancient Hebrews, Map of Ancient Israel, Larger folding map of Palestine, two depictions of the Temple of Salomon, another folding Map of Palestine, 3rd map of Palestine, Engraving of Modern Jerusalem, Plan of Jerusalem, Map of Asia Minor extending to Italy, FIVE folding engraved plates depicting Plant Life of the Holy Land, FIVE folding plates depicting animal life, some of which (dragons and monsters) is clearly imaginative. 
Price: 2859.99 USD
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9 R. Zvi-Hirsh Horovitz Sefer Gaon Zvi : The Book of Sage Zvi
Prague 1737 Original Wraps Good None Hebrew, Judaica Folio - over 12" - 15" tall 
Exceedingly Rare Hebrew Book by one of the First Rabbis, and great Spiritual Leaders of Lithuania PRINTED 1737. ORIGINAL. I could not locate any other copy of the book in the standard library catalogues including that of the Jewish Theological Seminary. No copies appear in the auction databases. The book: "Sefer Gaon Zvi " [Book of the Sage Zvi] Cum Licentia Superiorum, [Prague, 5497 [1737]. Folio, wide margins, handsome copy, some browning, 18th century paper boards, peeling to spine, Complete. R. Zvi-Hirsh Horovitz, rabbi in three communities of Keidan-Vizhun-Birzh. Resident in Keidan. Among the first rabbis in Zamut. Known to have been rabbi here sometime after R. Elyakim-Getsel or R. Yehoshua-Heshel . The strains of the rabbinate interfered with his studies, and he left for Zabludova (Poland) where he devoted himself to Torah. In Russia it often happened that family names were made from a first Jewish name, and from Hirsh could have come Hirshovitsh and translates into modern day Hirshovitz. Ref: From "Jewish Cities, Towns, and Rural Settlements in Lithuania:" Historic-Biographic Sketches by Berl Kagan New York, 1991. 
Price: 549.99 USD
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10 Rabbi Menachem Simtah Minchas Zikaron - A Gift of Remembrance
Salonika 1737 Fair+ Hebrew 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall 
On offer: Minchas Zikaron - A Gift of Remembrance by Rabbi Menachem Simtah. This book is rubbed and the cover has a shallow crack, Interior text is better. Overall F+. Published: Salonika, 1737 
Price: 549.99 USD
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1719 Poor Hebrew Folio - over 12" - 15" tall 
On offer: is the Torah commentary by the famed Rabbi Moshe Alshich - 16th century Tzefat, Israel. The title page is absent but research of the first text page states, to paraphrase, that apparently in the local city there were no copies of the book to be found, this publisher got the local Rabbi Yaakov Katz, Rabbi and Dean of the community in Frankfurt Am Main, to issue an excommunication against anyone daring to republish the book within the following 10 years. He adds that Rabbi Shmuel Shattin also agreed to add his signature, but he was very suddenly unable to fulfill this duty. The publication date is unknown but the letter referred to is dated 1719. Very rough shape being rubbed, covers present but the front is detached. Poor. 
Price: 589.99 USD
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12 Rabbi Shlomo Ben Aderes, Rabbi Yosef Samigah, 1813 Kelilas Yofi - 1765 Sefer Avodat Hakodesh - 1813 Porat Yosef
WARSAW POLAND, METZ FRANCE 1765 Fair+ Hebrew 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall , 
On offer: Three books in one volume. Book 1: Kelilas Yofi - An Inclusion of Beauty [an aid for the study of Talmud] which begins with an approbation given by Rabbi Naftali Hirsch Katzenelebogen, Chief Rabbi of Hamburg, to the unidentified author of the Book. Dated: Monday, 3rd of Hebrew month Iyar, 1813. There is another approbation written by Rabbi Moshe Tuvia, chief Rabbi of Hanoi [we are uncertain if this is Vietnam or somewhere else]. The Rabbi's commendations are dated Yom T'voach, a scholarly reference to the day after the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, 1813. BOOK 2: Name: Sefer Avodat Hakodesh - The Book of the Holy Service. It's a book of laws on various areas of Jewish law. The author is Rabbi Shlomo Ben Aderes, universally known by the abbreviation of his name "Rashba". A very great Rabbi of 13th century, Barcelona Spain. Dated: Meta, 1765. Book 3: Porat Yosef - The Splendor of Yosef. It's a book in which he expounds on Talmudic discussions. The author is a Sephardic Rabbi by the name of Rabbi Yosef Samigah, who lived in 16th century, Turkey. Dated: Mainz, Germany, 1813. Covers are rough and loose. Text block has some general soiling but is otherwise good. Overall F+. 
Price: 449.99 USD
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13 Roberti Lowth [Robert Lowth] De Sacra Poesi Hebraeorum, Praelectiones Academicae Oxonii Habitae
Oxoniensis Ditata 1770 Leather Very Good Latin, Hebrew 12mo - over 6¾" - 7¾" tall 
De Sacra Poesi Hebraeorum, Praelectiones Academicae Oxonii Habitae...Subjicitur Metricae Harianae Brevis Confutatio: Et Oratio Crewiana….Second Edition. Robert Lowth [1710 - 1787] delivered lectures as Professor of Poetry at Oxford between 1741 and 1748. He held long proposed that Hebrew is the language spoken in Heaven. This edition contains the principal notes of Professor Michaelis, and notes by the translator and others. A mere seven years after the printing of this edition in 1777 the author became Lord Bishop of London. VG copy save for some general light soiling to the ivory boards. Interior is fine save for the odd bit of foxing and agetoning. 
Price: 455.99 USD
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METZ FRANCE 1765 Leather Spine Good Hebrew, Judaica 4to - over 9¾" - 12" tall 
On offer: Selichot - Prayers of Repentance: a book of prayer, specifically consisting of specialized prayers for days of unique significance. They are called Selichot - Prayers of Repentance. Used on Yom Kippur and other Jewish Public Fast Days. The author named it Selichot Volume 1 but the text suggests that there will be a volume 2 and 3 for days of Festival Holidays. The author of the Sefer is unidentified but it mentions a Moshe Maiy who sponsored its publication. The date of publication 1765 is produced by way of an acronym of letters whose corresponding numeric value totals - 1765. The following acknowledgement (loosely translated): "Funds were sponsored by Moshe Maiy, here in the holy city of Metz, under the governance of the Great King Louis the 15th, Emperor of France and may Hashem uplift his eminence, and may his kingdom rise ever higher and higher, Amen." All the more interesting as this was the final year of the King's reign as he died in December of 1765. Holographic notes at the top of the title page are dated 1776 followed by 1765. Former archivist notes on the inside front cover state in pencil Natan Yale Collection 1768 or Jewish Theological Seminary. The leather book's front cover is detached but present. While the rest of the covers are rubbed and otherwise poor the text block is quite nice. Overall F. 
Price: 1285.99 USD
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Fremersheim, Germany 1734 Very Good Manuscript 
On offer: ORIGINAL CONTRACT TO BORROW MONEY FROM A JEWISH MONEYLENDER IN 1734 as such VERY RARE loan agreement (debt-letter) for money provided by a Jew, "David von Büdesheim" in 1734. Very Fine Judaica, manuscript in ink on thick paper from Germany. Folio double leaf, all 4 pages written: Page 1: loan contract between Christoph Schröder (and wife) and "Schutz Juden David von Büdesheim", Page 2: condition and terms for repayment, Page 3: court confirmation with witnesses-repayment has to be made until 1735, page 4: hebrew notes probably made by the lender. Manuscript is dated on March 26, 1734 at Fremersheim, Germany. Condition: clear cuts (no text lost) in center because of devaluation (loan repayment). Some spots and darkening, folded, otherwise good+. Thick Paper has huge watermark. David von Büdesheim lent 21 Reichthaler to Christoph Schröder and his wife. As security, Schröder provided 4 parts of his land. An extremely scarce example (very few manuscripts have survived) of very early Jewish banking and lending business. 
Price: 2059.99 USD
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16 VIRGIL Publii Virgilii Maronis Bucolica, Georgica, et Aeneis, illustrata, ornata, et accuratissime impressa.
London J. & P. Knapton and W. Sandby 1750 Full-Leather Very Good+ None LATIN 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall 
Superb 1750, J. & P. Knapton and W. Sandby, London, first edition thus; two volumes: pp [xlviii], 239; 288. 58 plates - complete. Title pages printed in red and black. Calf backed marbled boards, spine with gilt emblems in compartments and gilt lettered black morocco labels. Save for light edge-wear and some of the hinges cracking but nothing horrible this set would be Fine. 
Price: 2385.99 USD
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