Lot 58: Manuscript, Conciliador by Rabbi Menasseh Ben Israel - Hebrew Translation in the Handwriting of Raphael Kirchheim - Frankfurt am Main, Second Half of 19th Century
November 15, 2016
Jerusalem, IsraelLive Auction
Description: Manuscript, the Conciliador by Rabbi Menasseh Ben Israel, translated into Hebrew, on the Five Books of the Torah. [Frankfurt am Main, second half of 19th century]. The Conciliador was an eminent work by Rabbi Menasseh Ben Israel (1604-1657). Partly written in Latin and partly in Spanish, the objective of the composition was to reconcile Biblical verses which appear to contradict one another. It is composed of "queries" presenting two "contradictory" verses followed by the reply of the conciliator - a long explanation resolving both verses. The book was intended for a Christian readership aiming to enable them to understand genuine Judaism and at the same time was meant to reinforce faith and the tenets of Judaism in the midst of the Anusim (forced converts to Christianity). The book was a pronounced success, has been translated into various languages and has greatly spread the name of Menasseh Ben Israel in the circle of non-Jewish respected scholars. The Conciliador was never printed in Hebrew. This is a Hebrew translation of the Five Books of the Torah [incomplete], written by Raphael Kirchheim from Frankfurt am Main. It remains ambiguous if he himself translated the work or if he copied it from an existing translation (In his introduction to the periodical Bikurei Ha'Itim HaChadashim, Vienna 1846, page 3/a in a note, Isaac Samuel Reggio of Gorizia writes that the sage Rabbi Mordechai Luzzatto of Trieste translated the composition into Hebrew, but that translation remains unknown to this day). This manuscript contains Queries 5-43 of Bereshit, Queries 13-50 of Shemot, Queries 1-9 of Vayikra, 1-15 of Bamidbar and 1-6 of Devarim. Raphael Kirchheim (1840-1889) was an author, researcher and editor of manuscripts, affiliated with the Reform movement. Born in Frankfurt, he first served as a shochet in the Charedi community of R. Shimshon Refael Hirsh but after Avraham Geiger relocated to Frankfurt, Kirchheim became a radical reformist and was dismissed from his job as shochet. On the last leaf of this manuscript are family inscriptions of Kirchheim: Dates of the deaths of his parents, his first and second wife and records of the births of his son and daughter.  leaves. 36 cm. Fair-good condition. Stains, tears to several leaves and to margins. The last leaf is glued to the old binding (apparently on its verso is a list of books). New leather binding. Enclosed is an expert's report (photocopy).