Lot 20: Three Books Printed in Basel, 1599-1600 - With Dedication Handwritten and Signed by the Publisher and Author Rabbi Eliyahu "Ba'al Shem" of Worms
November 15, 2016
Jerusalem, IsraelLive Auction
Description: Volume containing three books printed in Basel by the renowned Kabbalist Rabbi Eliyahu "Ba'al Shem" Luantz: Sha'arei Dura, Amudei Shlomo and Rinat Dodim. On the title page of Rinat Dodim is a long interesting inscription handwritten and signed by the author, Rabbi Eliyahu "Ba'al Shem" of Worms. · Sefer HaShe'arim, Sha'arei Dura with the commentary of the Maharshal Rabbi Shlomo Luria. Basel, . Printed by Konrad Waldkirch. At the beginning of the book is an introduction by the publisher and proofreader, Rabbi "Eliyahu son of R. Moshe Luantz of Frankfurt am Main". He writes that this edition is a Mahadura-Batra of the Maharshal's work, with novellae on the laws of Nidah appended by the publisher, R. Eliyahu Ba'al Shem who writes in his introduction that he added a few of his own novellae. · Amudei Shlomo, Maharshal commentary on the Sefer Mitzvot Gadol [S'mag]. Basel [1599-1600]. Printed by Konrad Waldkirch. Separate title pages for Part 1 (Mitzvot Lo Ta'aseh) and Part 2 (Mitzvot Aseh). Introduction of the publisher Rabbi "Eliyahu son of R. Moshe Luantz of Frankfurt am Main". · Rinat Dodim. Shir Hashirim with the commentary of R. Eliyahu Luantz. Basel, . Printed by Konrad Waldkirch. On the title page is a (slightly cutoff) dedication handwritten and signed by the author, "Eliyahu son Moshe", to his relative R. Yechiel Luria requesting that he read his book and that he should not be angered by errors. R. Eliyahu Luantz, Rabbi of Worms (1464-1531) was a prominent rabbi and posek in his times. Close disciple of the Maharal of Prague and friend of the Tosfot Yom Tov. Born in Frankfurt to R. Moshe (son of R. Yoselman, the renowned leader and lobbyist on behalf of German Jewry, descendant of the Luria family, the family name evolving to Lu'ash or Lu'ansh/Lu'antz=Luria Ashkenazi. In his writings, R. Eliyahu Luantz mentions his relatives, the Maharshal and the Arizal). During 1599-1600, he weathered a period of exile in the city of Basel at which time he published several books. Afterward, he moved to Worms, in which he held the positions of head of Yeshiva and an orator. Later, he served as Rabbi of Hanau, Fulda, Friedberg and Mainz, and after that returned to the position of Rabbi and Av Beit Din of Worms and was reappointed head the yeshiva. He became known around the world as Rabbi Eliyahu "Ba'al Shem" due to his study of Kabbalah and his practice of writing amulets using his knowledge of practical kabbalah [some wrote that he is the same "Rabbi Eliyahu Ba'al Shem" referred to by his grandson the Chacham Zvi in his responsa (Siman 93) as the creator of the Golem from dust according to Sefer HaYetzira, but presumably, the name of R. Eliyahu Luantz was confused with the name of R. Eliyahu Ba'al Shem of Chelm, the true creator of the Golem]. One of his more well-known disciples is Rabbi Yoel, the Ba'al Shem of Zamo??, an illustrious hidden tsaddik and kabbalist (one of the students of his students was R. Yisrael Ba'al Shem Tov of Medzhibozh, father of the Chassidic movement). R. Yechiel Luria, to whom R. Eliyahu dedicated the book, may possibly be R. Yechiel Luria son of the Maharshal [Rabbi of Brisk and head of the Lublin Yeshiva]. This may be the reason R. Eliyahu apologizes and requests that the errors in printing the writings of the Maharshal should not anger the recipient of his book. [The mistakes were the fault of non-Jewish printers, as written in several places in these books by R. Eliyahu]. In the book L'Korot HaYehudim B'Lublin (p. 47), a tombstone from 1594 is attributed to R. Luria and in the book Dor Dor V'Dorshav (p. 62), Rabbi Y. Lowenstein writes that R. Yechiel the son of the Maharshal died in 1596. This dedication is from the year 1600 [at the earliest] and his name is mentioned with an honorific used when naming a live person. Perhaps, R. Yechiel Luria whose death is recorded in both books is not R. Yechiel Luria son of the Maharshal [this name was common in the Luria family]. Alternatively, the recipient of the book, R. Yechiel Luria, may be another man from the Maharshal's family who carries this name [such as a grandson or nephew]. This R. Yechiel Luria was connected to the printing of the books of the Maharshal [in his work Michlal Yofi on Kohelet, Chapter 12, R. Eliyahu Luantz cites an interesting tradition "which I heard from my saintly relative R. Yechiel Luria of Safed, who once came here from Worms"]. One volume which contains the three books: 97,  leaves; , 2-115 leaves; [1 blank leaf]; , 49 leaves; , 29 leaves (lacking last page of Rinat Dodim, originally: , 30 leaves). 18.5 cm. Good-fair condition. Wear and stains, detached leaves. Open tears to the corners of several leaves. Ancient, worn and torn binding. Ancient signatures and ownership inscriptions: "Mordechai son of Shmuel of Zillisheim "; "--- of Furth". Penciled ownership inscriptions on the front free endpaper that the book belongs to Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Weinberger, Rabbi of Kleinwardein.