Winner's Auctions No. 111

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

December 11, 2018
Opening $5,000
Estimate $12,000 - $15,000
Sold for $7,442
Including buyer's premium

This manuscript has never been printed before. It is an abridged version of his lengthy Chemdat Tzvi, with dozens of comments and supplements. 17-18th century.

Rabbi Naftali Katz, rabbi of Frankfurt am Main and author of Semichat Chachamim termed the author a "G-dly kabbalist, leading preacher ..."

Chemdat Tzvi was the first printed elucidation on Tikkunei HaZohar, Amsterdam, 1706. It is a very lengthy, extremely detailed work which indicates astonishing expertise and profound understanding of the Zohar, the writings of the Ari and his disciples. All the prominent Torah leaders of the country extolled the work. In addition to his understanding of kabbalah, he was famed for his profound public speaking skills to the extent that the rabbi of Krakow testified that, "His mouth testifies for him everywhere that he walks, his words are heard in the public gates, because they are sweet." Rabbi Yissacher Ber, rabbi of Ansbach also wrote extensive praises about him.

In his preface to his commentary, Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch relates about the miraculous manner in which his works were saved from a fire that broke out in Prestitz in 1696: "The entire city was burned, and this box with my works stood like a pillar of water in the raging fire which not overcome it, did not blemish it, and this wonder was seen by all the astonished people, from big to small."

Kabbalah was his blood: His grandfather was kabbalist Rabbi Avi Ezra Zelig, Av Beit Din of Korev near Lublin. In 1601, he authored Yiddish mussar-style stories, simple explanations and parables quoted by the Zohar. In 1711, his grandson, Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch published the Nachlat Tzvi, and it received approbations from thirteen sages of his generation. [Later on, in 1721, the Romm brothers printed the work and attributed it to Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch, they called the work Nofet Tzufim].

The sermons that Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch delivered in Jewish communities - a mix of hidden and revealed Torah - were printed in his Shavta DiRagila (Furth, 1697). Rabbis of the generation gave it their approbations, glorifying his astonishing wisdom and fear of Heaven. Another of his works is Derech Yesharah [Furth 1697] for which he also received approbations from the sages of his generation. It is a work regarding daily behavior according to the kabbalists, and it concludes with many notes on practical kabbalah. At a later stage, there was a suspicion that Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch was drawn after Shabbetai Tzvi.

[9] leaves, ink on paper. 31x20 cm. Autograph extending over eight leaves, with text on both sides.

Moderate-fine condition. Tears with a few losses that were professionally restored. Aging stains. New, deluxe leather binding.

Kabbalistic Manuscripts