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Lot 28: Kehillat Ya'akov - Copy of the First Tosh Rebbe and of his Son-in-law the C?u?eni Rebbe, Author of Bnei Shileshim

Auction 53 - Rare and Important Items

by Kedem Public Auction House Ltd

November 15, 2016

Jerusalem, Israel

Live Auction
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Description: Kehillat Ya'akov, guidelines to the Talmud and poskim, by Rabbi Yisrael Ya'akov Algazi. Lemberg [Lvov], 1862. Approbation of R. Chaim Halberstam, Rabbi of Sanz. Ownership inscription on the front free endpaper (in ink) stating that the book belongs to R. Meshulam Feish, Rabbi of Tosh (Nyirtass): "…Belongs to…Rabbi Meshulem Feish Av Beit Din and Rabbi of Tosh. I, the writer Moshe Efraim -"; followed by Another inscription (in pencil), signed by his grandson R. Moshe Shmuel Rottenberg of Kisv?rda (Kleinwardein), who received the book in the estate left by his father, R. Yehosef HaLevi Rabbi of C?u?eni, author of Bnei Shileshim: "Fell into my lot from the estate of my father…R. Y. HaLevi Av Beit Din of Nyirtass, Nyirmada and C?u?eni…Moshe Shmuel R' B. HaLevi, son of the Rabbi of C?u?eni". On verso is a penciled inscription of the index of the book. R. Meshulam Feish Segal Lowy I, the first Tosh Rebbe (1811-1873), leading Hungarian rebbe, renowned for his holiness and the wonders he performed, was born in Moravia. During his formative years, the Enlightenment movement and Torah abandonment spread throughout Moravia and under the influence of R. Shmuel (Samuel) Freund, a Dayan in Prague, R. Feish traveled to study in Hungarian yeshivas, led by R. Avraham Yitzchak Weinberger, R. Meir Ungvar and by R. Avraham She'ag. After his wedding, he moved to the village of Nyirvasvari (Eshvor) near Ny?rb?tor [a place famed for its illustrious kabbalists and G-d-fearing Jews whom the Komarno Rabbi would call "Fire and light scholars", a play on the name of the place Esh ("fire" in Hebrew) "v'or" ("and light" in Hebrew)], near his father-in-law, who was a disciple of the Kaliver Rebbe and the Rebbe of Komarno. R. Meshulam Feish was connected to the leading Chassidic Rebbes of Hungary and Galicia: The Rebbe of Liska, the Divrei Chaim of Sanz, the Mohari of Zhydachiv, the Rebbe of Komarno, the Rebbe of Roslavl, etc. His primary rebbe was R. David of Dynow who ordained him as rebbe. R. Lowy served as Rabbi and Av Beit Din of the city of Nyirtass (near the Kleinwardein [Kisv?rda] district) and was renowned for his fiery enthusiasm in G-d's service and prayer. Leading rebbes of his times (R. David of Dynow and R. Asher Anshel Yungreiss of Csenger) sent him people seeking salvation for deliverance by his pure prayers answered in the merit of his Torah learning and his holiness. Tales of the revelation of Ruach HaKodesh in his Beit Midrash are well-known. Reputedly, at the time he danced on Shabbat, he would perform wonders. [see Pe'er Meshulam for many stories about his wonders and the great elevation felt by those who were close to him]. In his senior year, he made a special trip to pray at the gravesite of Rebbe Elimelech of Lizhensk to merit a son and after his son was born, he named him Elimelech and would fondly call him "the Rebbe R. Elimelech" [this son was orphaned from his father in his babyhood and was raised by his illustrious brother-in-law Rebbe Yehosef Rottenberg, author of Bnei Shileshim. Only in 1908 did he succeed his father as Rabbi of Nyirtass]. In 1873, an epidemic broke out and the rebbe begged G-d to be an atonement for the People of Israel and indeed, his death brought an end to the epidemic. R. Zvi Elimelech of Blozhov, author of Zvi LaTsaddik said that if Rebbe Meshulam Feish would have lived to an old age, he would have conquered "not only Hungary but also Poland…". The Tosh dynasty continues until our days in Kiryat Tosh in Canada, founded by his great-grandson the Tosh Rebbe Meshulam Feish Segal Lowy II (1922-2015), son of R. Mordechai of Demecser, son of R. Elimelech Rabbi of Tosh and grandson of R. Meshulam Feish Lowy I. R. Lowy's eldest son-in-law, R. Yehosef HaLevi Rottenberg, author of Bnei Shileshim (1853-1911), son of the daughter of R. Zvi Hirsh of Zhydachiv and disciple of the Rebbes, author of Divrei Chaim of Sanz and of the author Yitav Lev of Siget. After the death of his father-in-law, he was appointed his successor as Rabbi of Nyirtass and relocated to serve in the Nyirmada rabbinate and in 1894 he moved to C?u?eni (Mezo-Kaszony) in the Russian Carpathians to serve in its rabbinate. He led a holy pure life with much fasting and self-denial (see Tiferet Beit Koson [C?u?eni]). His son whose signature appears in this book is R. Moshe Shmuel Rottenberg (1872-1946), who was raised together with his uncle of the same age, R. Elimelech of Tosh (1872-1942) in the Rottenberg home. After his marriage to the daughter of Rabbi Ben-Zion Fisch of Bor?a, he resided in Kleinwardein and later immigrated to the US and settled in Los Angeles and in NY (see: M. Wunder, Encyclopedia L'Chochmei Galicia, Vol. 4, pp. 831-832). 146, 131 leaves. 25 cm. High-quality paper. Good condition, light wear and stains. Contemporary leather binding, with torn damaged spine.

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