Auction No. 106

Letters by A. Einstein and Other Illustrious Personalities, Zionism, Jewish Art, letters of Rabbis and Rebbes and Collection of letters to Sir Moses Montefiore from the archive of the late Rabbi Avraham Shisha - London - Buyer's commission 22%

March 6, 2018
Opening $ 3,500
Estimate $ 4,000 - $ 6,000
Sold for $ 4,270
Including buyer's premium

מספר מעלליך הטובים, צדקת פרזונך מי יוכלל למלל.

ירית חץ התשועה מתת למשיסה יעקב וישראל לבוזזים.

פתח התקוה פתחת, הצלת צאן קדשים מיד גוזזים.

ויקרא שמך "משה" לאמור מהמים הזדונים תמשה אחים.

This poem, printed in Kol Nehi (Vienna, 1865), is one of dozens of poems expressing praise and thanksgiving to Sir Moses Montefiore. He was undoubtedly one of the most admired figures in the Jewish nation - and he rightfully earned this praise. Through his benevolent philanthropy and tireless efforts at the royal courts on behalf of his brethren suffering under the yoke of money-hungry rulers and despots, Montefiore left his mark on 19th century Jewish life in the Land of Israel and the Diaspora.

It is impossible to list all of Montefiore's activities on behalf of the yishuv in the Land of Israel, particularly in Jerusalem, and for all Jewish communities in the Diaspora. Montefiore visited the Land of Israel seven times (he was 90-years-old during his last visit). His money funded the Yemin Moshe, Mazkeret Moshe, and Mishkanot Shananim neighborhoods. (Kiryat Moshe and Zichron Moshe were named in his memory.) He founded a mill to lower the price of bread in Jerusalem and sent a printing press from London, and as such was the founder of the first press in Jerusalem. Every one of his visits involved difficulties and dangers. He put forth much effort to nullify the Damascus blood libel in 1840 and, in 1847, traveled to meet with Czar Nikolai in order to improve conditions for Russian Jewry. In 1859, he traveled to Rome to try to assist when Egardo Levi Mortara was seized by the Catholic church. In 1863, he was involved in efforts on behalf of the Jews of Morocco and in 1867, on behalf of the Jews of Romania.

Following is a collection of historic letters regarding Sir Moses Montefiore.

Letter of thanks and blessing for the funds sent, the manner they were distributed, and regards to the wife of Sir Montefiore 'the famous righteous leader Yehudit.' Jerusalem, 1855.

Specification: [1] paper leaf. 27x21 cm. 1855. Pleasant handwriting, blue paper.

Content: The letter is signed by the prominent leaders of the new Ashkenazic settlement in Jerusalem, the heads and directors of its central institutions.

Rabbi Yeshaya Bardaki (1790-1863), head of the Ashkenazic community of Jerusalem, disciple of Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin and son-in-law of Rabbi Yisrael of Shklov, author of Pe'at HaShulchan. Immigrated to Safed in 1810, and relocated to Jerusalem after the earthquake of 1837, where he became head of the Ashkenazic yishuv.

Rabbi Shmuel Salant (1816-1909) Rabbi of Jerusalem and the leader of the Ashkenazic community for close to fifty years. Immigrated to Israel in 1841, then served in various roles in Jerusalem for the next seventy years. Leader of all charitable activities and the Torah institutions in Jerusalem.

Rabbi Uri Shabtai (1800-1857) dayan, Rabbi Yosef Zundel Salant's son-in-law and Rabbi Shmuel Salant's brother-in-law. He served as a dayan in Jerusalem and was one of the founders and managers of the Talmud Torah in the Churva of Rabbi Yehuda HeChassid.

Rabbi Dovber Segal, administrator of the community. Passed away in 1855.

Unique Features: In the margins of the letter, the rabbis inquire about the welfare of Sir Montefiore's loyal secretary Rabbi Dr. Eliezer HaLevi, and signed once more with their handwritten signature.

Condition: Fine condition, fold marks, tiny holes on the right as the letter was once bound.

Letters to Sir Moses Montefiore