Lot 168: Manuscript. Ledger of the Galanta Community. Hungary. Rabbi Yosef Zvi Dushinsky. Rabbi Yehoshua Buxbaum. Benevolent Society. 1900. Illustrated Manuscript. Museum Piece.
June 12, 2013
Jerusalem, IsraelLive Auction
"Book of Life of the Benevolent Society" of the Galanta community in Hungary. 1900. Very thick ledger. , 300 leaves. 44:28 cm. Excellent condition. Magnificent, leather binding [crack in spine], with a silver plate in the form of the Decalogue engraved with a poem, with the word Galanta and the year 1900 in acrostics. Artistic, colorful title page with poem in honor of the members of the Chevra Kadisha, with illustrations of the Cave of Machpela, Tombs of the House of David, Rachel's Tomb and the Tomb of Rabbi Meir Ba'al HaNess.
Designed metal reliefs on the corners of the binding. Exceptional quality paper. Quality, cardboard-like paper. Each leaf within a printed, colored border. The ledger was arranged and written by the three trustees of the benevolent society: Rabbi Avigdor Shteiner, head trustee; Rabbi Moshe Segal Lownger, first trustee; and Rabbi Avraham Segal Lownger, second trustee.
The following page notes that the ledger consists of three sections:
1. 'Takanos Yesharot' - Statutes .
2. Names of the people who left their inheritance to the benevolent society.
3. The active members of the benevolent society. Every section has a separate, illustrated page. Without text in the regulation section.
The two other sections lists hundreds of names of community members along with the date of their deaths, in elegant, illustrated handwriting. Primarily in Hebrew, with a little Yiddish. Separate page for each family. The community rabbis were members of the society.
P. 20: Designed in honor of "Our Rabbi and teacher the Chief Justice... Yosef Tzvi Dushinsky...'',with the date that he joined the community and the date that he moved to Chust. On p. 21: Colored, designed page, as above, in honor of "Our Rabbi and teacher the Chief Justice... Yehoshua Buxbaum", who joined the organization when he took over the Galante Rabbinate in 1922.
Rabbi Yehoshua Buxbaum, author of 'Ohr Pnei Yehoshua' established a noted Yeshiva in Galanta and was the last Rabbi in the community. He died in the Holocaust together with his community.
A special page was bound to the beginning of the book with a lengthy poem that begins "In his kindness G-d will bring the dead back to life", formatted in alphabetical order. A few short words of introduction appear before the song: "When I saw this book of life with all its beauties..
I said that I will include it in a few words.. and now I ask from 'the one who gives speech'.. to bestow me with the gift of speech to be able rhyme these columns". This poem was written by the Rabbi of the community, Rabbi Yosef Dushinsky, later the renowned Rabbi of the Ashkenazic community in Jerusalem. His name appears as the beginning letters of the ending words of the poem: יוסף צבי חזק.
The leaf was also written by an artist. It is not known from any other source. An exceptionally artistic-historic, magnificent community ledger, from one of the important, central communities in Hungary, exceptionally significant.