Auction No. 098

Holy books, Manuscripts, Rabbinical & Admors letters, Americana & Judiaca

March 27, 2017
Opening $ 300
Estimate $ 1,000 - $ 1,200
Sold for $ 2,928
Including buyer's premium

Letter from the sages of Hebron to the Modena community for money from the "redeeming captives" fund for rescuing them, in light of their financial situation and the troubles they were undergoing.

Specifications: [1] doubled leaf, 24x36 cm.

Unique features: Historic letter testifying to the conditions in the 18th century community: "due to the the past three years in this city, and there were two factions, on both sides of us, and we sit between them, Aram in front of us and Plishtim behind us, and every day there are unusual deaths...and most of dying....and in addition, the bows of both factions threaten to plunder our holy court and burn a number of sifrei Torah." The writers describe the difficult financial situation due to the interest-bearing debts that they cannot pay. 
The letter is signed by Rabbi Avraham ben Archa, Rabbi Dovid Melamed and Rabbi Yisrael HaKohen, the first Hebron fundraisers; Rabbi Chaim Yosef Elyashir ben Rabbi Avraham; Rabbi Yosef Kashtil; and Rabbi Yisrael Zeevi. The letter also mentions Rabbi Avraham Gedalya z"l and Rabbi Yom Tov Krispi z"l, as previous fundraisers to Italy.

Background: Rabbi Dovid Melamed was born in Jerusalem. He was a rabbi and sage and son-in-law of Rabbi Avraham Yisrael Zeevi. He later moved to Hebron and was sent on a fundraising mission with Rabbi Yisrael Cohen. In 1772, he was appointed Chief Rabbi of Hebron. A reponsum of his, printed in Mayim Chaim, prohibits the bathing in a mikva with hot water on Shabbat.

Condition: Very fine. Fold marks, wear at the edge of the leaf, not affecting text. Aging stains.


Sephardic rabbis letters