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Lot 26: Sefer Chassidim - Krakow, 1581 - Copy of Ba'al HaHafla'ah, Teacher of the Chatam Sofer

Auction 53 - Rare and Important Items

by Kedem Public Auction House Ltd

November 15, 2016

Jerusalem, Israel

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  • Sefer Chassidim - Krakow, 1581 - Copy of Ba'al HaHafla'ah, Teacher of the Chatam Sofer
  • Sefer Chassidim - Krakow, 1581 - Copy of Ba'al HaHafla'ah, Teacher of the Chatam Sofer
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Description: Sefer Chassidim, mussar and topics related to Yirat Shamayim (fear of Heaven), by Rabbi Yehuda HaChassid. Krakow, [1581]. Printed by Yitshak [Isaac] ben Aharon of Prostitz (Prost?jov). Various ownership inscriptions. On the back free endpaper is an ownership inscription in ancient Ashkenazi script: "This book belongs to… R. Pinchas HaLevi Ish Horowitz Av Beit Din and Rosh Metivta in Frankfurt am Main". This attests that this copy belonged to R. Pinchas HaLevi Horowitz, author of the Hafla'ah. [Additional ownership inscriptions on front endpapers: "Sefer Chassidim belongs to David Prague of Worms", "Ber son of R. David of Prague" and "Yisrael son of … Shmuel… of Lissa"]. R. Pinchas HaLevi Ish Horowitz, author of the Hafla'ah (1791-1805), close disciple of R. Dov Ber the Magid of Mezeritch, [studied under his tutelage together with his brother R. Shmelke of Nikolsburg]. For more than 30 years, he served as Rabbi of Frankfurt am Main, the hub of Torah study in Germany at that time. The Chatam Sofer was among his disciples. He authored important books, including HaMikneh on Tractate Kiddushin, Ketubah on Tractate Ketubot and Hafla'ah on several tractates and on the Shulchan Aruch, endowing him with his cognomen "Ba'al HaHafla'ah". Sefer Chassidim, attributed to Rabbi Yehuda HaChassid, is a basic work on mussar and Jewish customs. The book contains laws and customs, Jewish thought and Mussar according to early Chassidic Kabbalistic Ashkenazi school of thought. This composition remarkably echoes Jewish society in Ashkenazi countries and its relationship with Christian environs during the 12th-13th centuries. This book was printed in many editions and is cited numerous times in Torah literature. In the first passage of the book, the author writes that it is intended "for G-d fearing people, because a pious person who out of his love of G-d, desires to completely fulfill His will… If he would know and understand pious conduct, he would do much… Therefore, Sefer Chassidim was written to enable G-d fearing individuals and all who return to their Creator with their whole being to read it and know and comprehend that which they need to do…". 147 leaves (mispaginated). 18.5 cm. Fair condition. Stains, dampstains. Most leaves in good condition, however, the index leaves at the end of the book are damaged with tears and dampstains. The last three index leaves have coarse open tears. Contemporary endpapers and binding (leather-covered wood). Damages and worming to binding.

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