Winner's Auctions No. 111

Important Historic Documents, Haskalah, Einstein, Seforim, Manuscripts and Letters from Rabbis and Rebbes

December 11, 2018
Opening $ 250
Estimate $ 500 - $ 800
Sold for $ 566
Including buyer's premium

Historic sermon delivered in the old synagogue in Pest on Shabbat of the Toldot Torah portion of 1867, by Rabbi Binyamin Zeev Meisel, in a final attempt to reconcile between the Orthodox and Reform in the community, a sermon after which the rabbi collapsed and passed away. Budapest, 1867. Only edition. Rare work.

'These are the final words spoken by the deceased, z"l, to his congregation, because after the end of this precious sermon, he suddenly fainted. During the repetition of the amidah, when the cantor said the words of kedushah 'ברוך כבוד ה' ממקומו' a death-stroke entered his bones - his spirit did not return to him, and during the twilight of Shabbat's conclusion, his soul departed in sanctity ... the word "Shalom" was the final word to leave his lips before being silenced by the kiss of death. [From the introduction to the book by Shimon Bachrach.]

Rabbi Leib Schwab was selected to serve as rabbi of the Pest community in 1836. Although he studied under the Chatam Sofer and Rabbi Mordechai Benet, he strayed from the traditional path and grew close to the maskilim of the city, which brought about the wrath of his earlier teachers. The Neolog community already made certain changes in the Central Synagogue in Pest in his time. Rabbi Schwab took a compromising stance and attempted to satisfy both the conservatives and the liberals in that he was prepared for any innovation that was not explicitly forbidden by the Torah. Two years before the inauguration of the Great Synagogue in Pest, Rabbi Schwab passed away.

After Rabbi Schwab's passing, Rabbi Binyamin Zeev Meisel was appointed as first chief rabbi of the magnificent synagogue in Pest which was inaugurated in Elul 1859 and contained approximately 3000 congregants. The central location of the synagogue in the Seventh District of Budapest provided it with a place of honor in the cityscape. However, the Neolog influence intensified in the form of attempts to bring an organ into the synagogue, to be played by a gentile on Shabbat and holidays and more, which caused the total abandonment of the congregation by the Orthodox. The historic sermon before us was the final attempt to make peace between the camps and prevent the separation of the Orthodox community from the Neolog community in the city [We are all sons of one man, my brothers and friends, respond to your hearts and recover! Will the sword of battle forever consume! Return it to its sheath - are we not all sons of one man, Avraham ...'] which did not succeed in the end. In effect, with Rabbi Meisel's passing, the communities finally split and the Orthodox established a separate body on a side street with their own synagogue headed by the zealous Rabbi Chaim Sofer of Munkacs.

15, 16 pages, Hebrew and German. 18 cm. Hebrew title page and German title page. Rare. Fine condition. Minimal aging stains.

Haskalah (Enlightenment) and Its Opponents