Auction No. 113

Famous personalities, Art, Seforim, Letters from Rabbis and Rebbes

Apr 8, 2019

Auction No. 113

Opening $8,000
Estimate $25,000 - $30,000
Sold for $15,860
Including buyer's premium

Rare and special historic ledger with regulations and bylaws related to tax assessments and the appointment of tax collectors and assessors in the Jewish community in Modena, for government taxes. With signatures of the sages of the city, Rabbi Aharon Berachiah of Modena, author of Maavar Yabok; his brother-in-law, Rabbi Yosef Yedidyah Karmi, author of Kenaf Renanim; great rabbi of Modena, Rabbi Netanel Trabot and others.

Tax payments (income, business and estate) in the Jewish communities of Italy were designated according to the value of the payer's assets. Each person would appraise his property and the tax assessor would confirm this evaluation.
The bylaws were designated from time to time by the city sages, and members of the committee. They designated what was included in assets, how the value was determined, the assessors and other directly and indirectly related subjects. On occasion, there were objections to an assessment and the sages had to study these cases and decide whether the tax assessor or taxpayer was correct.

This ledger includes all the bylaws and decisions reached at these meetings, the appointment of assessors and a list of the names of the Jews in the city and its environs and the assessed value of their properties.

In addition, it includes a copy of a letter sent in 1629 by the heads of the committee to the Duke of Modena regarding a decision about the "redemption of the wretched captives of the Fanio family who are imprisoned ..." and more.
Meetings were held in different synagogues or at the home of the rabbi of the city, Netanel Trabot (refer to leaf 34b).

Rabbinical signatures from:

Rabbi Netanel Trabot, early prominent Modena rabbi who was born in 1590. His father was Rabbi Binyamin Trabot son of Rabbi Ezra son of Rabbi Yechiel Trabot, grandson and disciple of the Mari"i Kolon, author of Shu"t Maharik. His responsa appear in the works of the sages of his time and the Chid"a testifies that he saw a book of his responsa in manuscript. He passed away in 1660.

His signatures appear on leaves: 15b: 18a: 25a: 40b with an addition of a line and a half in his hand.

Kabbalist Rabbi Aharon Berachiah of Modena, author of Maavar Yabok, was the disciple of the Rem"a of Fano and the Mahar"i Sruk, disciple of the Ariza"l. Rabbi Aharon Berachiah was chosen by the members of the committee to organized the "Torah of the assessment" in 1636 (refer to the decision regarding his appointment on leaf 29b).
His signature appears at the end of the "assessment" on leaf 34b with an additional 4 lines in his holy hand, and another one of his signatures on leaf 44b, together with the aforementioned Rabbi Netanel Tarbot.

Kabbalist Rabbi Eliezer Nachman Foa, disciple of the Rem"a of Fano, leading kabbalist in Italy, author of Medrash B'Chiddush and more. Rabbi Eliezer Nachman was an arbitrator from Reggio, the community next to Modena.
His signature appears in the ledger on leaves: 15b, 17a, 18a, 40b - where he explicitly signs: מבורר מק"ק רייו [Arbitrator of Reggio].

Rabbi Yosef Baruch son of Yedidyah Zecharya of Urbino, one of the rabbis of Modena. He was the son-in-law of Rabbi Netanel Tarbot and also served as the community scribe. He started his work in Kislev, 1632, refer to leaf 15a. For more information, refer to Neppi-Girondi, Toldot Gedolei Yisrael B'Italia, p. 177:88 and p. 210:237.

Rabbi Yehudah Aryeh Poggetti, Modena rabbi and community scribe, son of Rabbi Yaakov Poggetti, author of Kitzur Reishit Chochmah. He received rabbinic ordination from Rabbi Netanel Tarbot and signed together with him on many halachic decisions. He passed away in 1646. (Ibid, p. 173:77 and Asufot II p. 105).

Leaf 8b apparently bears the copy of the signature of Rabbi Yosef Yedidyah Carmi - disciple of the Rem"a of Fano, author of Kenaf Renanim, brother-in-law of the author of the Maavar Yabok. Leaf 9a features a protocol of a meeting from 1630, which appointed Rabbi Yosef Yedidyah to arrange the assessment.

46 leaves. Ink on paper. 26x20cm. Thick paper, wide margins. Very fine condition. Minimal aging stains. Old cardboard binding. Handwritten ledger in Italian with a summary of the main points and dates from the ledger of the Modena community included.

Rare, important ledger regarding Jewish history in Italy in general and Modena in particular.

The Ramcha”l and Italian Jewry