Auction No. 113

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

Apr 8, 2019

Auction No. 113

Opening $300
Estimate $400 - $500

The author Nechemya Chayun was a characteristic Sabbatean, who disseminated the idea, yet concealed this fact. He journeyed to Europe and lived in Prague, where he wrote the book before us. He lived in a small apartment and spent the day at the house of Rabbi David Oppenheim, the city's rabbi, where he studied Torah. His looks, attire and the story of him allegedly being born in Safed charmed all those who saw him, since a Jew from the East wearing traditional clothes was an unusual sight in Prague. He became known as a holy man and many sought him out for a blessing. He also wrote amulets for a great deal of money. Rabbi David Oppenheim wasn't at home at that time; however, the family members who were there to serve their guests were charmed by Chayun. Rabbi Yosef Oppenheim, Rabbi David's son, helped him as much he could and he mentions him favorably in the book before us. Rabbi David Oppenheim even wrote an approbation for the book before us. Chayun moved to Amsterdam in order to disseminate his ideas and distribute his book; however, Rabbi Tzvi Ashkenazi, the 'Chacham Tzvi,' Av Beit Din of the Ashkenazic community of Amsterdam, revealed him and excommunicated him. Yet, the Sephardic community of the city supported him and subsequently a bitter dispute erupted during which Rabbi Tzvi's opponents appealed to civil courts. In order to prevent Chillul Hash-m, the 'Chacham Tzvi' decided to abandon the rabbinate of Amsterdam and he left the city on a snowy winter night.

[2], 89 [should be: 87] leaves, 19 cm. Owner's signature on the title page: Menachem Nachum.

Fine-very fine condition. Aging stains. Professional restoration in the margins of the title page and the first leaf with damage to several words. New binding.