Auction No. 100

Rare and special items

June 20, 2017
Opening $ 4,500
Estimate $ 6,000 - $ 7,000

Prayer for a ritual slaughterer and summary of the halachot of "shechita and bedika" in an illustrated manuscript. By Rabbi Akiva son of Zelig of Banowitz, [1835].

Specifications: [1] large leaf, paper. 56x44 cm. The manuscript is written in scribal letters in black and red. The illustrations have some additional colors.

Unique features: This is a unique manuscript featuring practical tools for a ritual slaughterer:
Summary of the halachot of bedika and treifa, prayer to be recited before slaughter, review of the the halachot, their sources and reasons - all with colored illustrated demonstrations.
The manuscript ends with the words: "I the young (Akiva son of Zelig?) of Banowitz, made this in the city in pain and difficulty in...[1835]."
This is impressive testimony to the tenacity and dedication of a ritual slaughterer, despite the difficult times. There are discrepancies between the halachot brought here and the halachot as written in the Shulchan Aruch. Therefore, we can assume that this is not just a copy of the halachot but prayers and laws that were stored in the writer's memory.

Content: The manuscript opens with a prayer to be recited by the slaughterer before slaughter: "Please G-d, Creator of all, your glory is on the heavens and on the land your inspire the love...amen sela."
This is followed by the laws of slaughter, titled: "Amar r"y a"sh" [Rabbi Yehuda said Shmuel said], everyone who did not finish the laws of slaughter, it is forbidden to eat of his slaughter..."
At the center of the leaf there is an illustration of the windpipe, lungs, liver and gallbladder. The laws of treifa surround these illustrations and are written within them: the source for the prohibition, the laws of kosher and non-kosher and more.
At the bottom of the page there are allusions from the Torah regarding kosher and non-kosher, with colored illustrations and basic rules for doing an interior examination of the lungs. The bottom line mentions the writer and his location.

Condition: Moderate. The leaf was professionally restored and reinforced, since it had been folded for a long time. Aging stains. Light tears with loss of text, primarily in the bottom right corner.