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 $10,000 - $15,000
Sold for $7,442
Including buyer's premium

Hundreds of long exegeses, glosses and corrections on Zohar, Mantua print, written by the G-dly kabbalist Rabbi Aharon Chayun, author of Machaneh Aharon. Many of the text and version corrections were not printed in Machaneh Aharon.

At the beginning of the work, on leaf 1a, there is a fascinating notation in Rabbi Aharon Chayun's handwriting, which reveals to us the world of the wondrous kabbalist which wished to die a martyr's death, as he writes, inter alia: '... and may I merit to unify the Names of the Holy One, Blessed be He, whether in life, or as my soul departs, may I submit it with the unification of the sanctification of His Great Name ... to ascend and rectify all the sparks ... to their sources and original places, so petitions the subjugated to the service ... Aharon Chayun ..."

This exact copy came into the hands of the complete sage, Rabbi Yitzchak Avzamil of Egypt. He copied it and added his own glosses. Later, the book Machaneh Aharon was printed in Livorno in 1795.

In this copy, there are also glosses handwritten by Rabbi Yitzchak Avzamil, eventually printed in his name in the Machaneh Aharon mentioned above, with the abbreviation יא"י (see, for example, leaf 18a).

Rabbi Yitzchak copied the commentaries, however, not the thousands of text corrections arranged by Rabbi Aharon, so that before us there is a Zohar on Bereishit and Hakdamat HaZohar, proofread and corrected in the handwriting of the great kabbalist Rabbi Aharon Chayun, author of Machaneh Aharon.

As such, there are glosses by additional kabbalists in different scripts, some were printed in Machaneh Aharon without attribution, not in Rabbi Aharon's name [see, for example, leaf 149a] and there are apparently some glosses authored by a different writer, mistakenly attributed to Rabbi Aharon [see, for example, on leaves 53b, 73a].

The kabbalist Rabbi Ovadiah Aharon Chayun was among the greatest sages of Jerusalem in the 17th century, a contemporary of the author of Pri Chadash and the Mahara"m Galanti - and one of the members of his Beit Din. Some of his responsa are quoted in the works of the sages of his generation, Shu"t Zera Avraham, Shu"t Darkei Noam, Shu"t Mateh Yosef [refer to the Chid"a's Midbar Kdemut, chapter 50, section 13]. He is a signatory along with the sages of Jerusalem of 1747 on an approbation for Shu"t Shaar Ephraim. His son was Moshe Chayun, Av Beit Din of Safed.

There is a terrible event brought in Toldot Chachmei Tunis set 8: Once, the rosh yeshivah, Rabbi Aharon Chayun, who was quite elderly, did not arrive. His son, Rabbi Moshe Chayun, sat in his place. The sages conspired to test the extent of the author of Pri Chadash's knowledge of the revealed and hidden [aspects of Torah], and when the author of Pri Chadash understood their intent, a tremendous quarrel ensued, until morning's light. When Rabbi Aharon heard of this, he cried a great, bitter cry and said that a decree has already been decreed that none of them would live out the year. And so it was, even the author of Pri Chadash passed away that year, at 36 years old.

From the title "Chassid" given to him by the Jerusalem sages, the Chid"a and the Mahara"m Meyuchas, one can learn of his greatness in kabbalah, as this title was reserved for only the greatest of kabbalists, (see the 'Machaneh Aharon' entry in Shem Gedolim and Mahara"m Galanti and in Brechot Mayim 43a, where the Mahara"m Meyuchas relates that he heard from his father, author of Pri HaAdamah, that Rabbi Aharon Chayun was the chazzan who passed in front of the holy ark when there was a drought in Jerusalem).

Zohar Bereishit, Mantua 1558 242 leaves, lacking [8] leaves at the beginning of the book, leaves 81-87 and leaves 243-251 at its end. 20 cm. Poor condition. With worming holes, dampstains, a small part of the written glosses are blurred due to water damage. Dismantled binding, in a matching new cardboard box.

Kabbalistic Manuscripts