Winner's Auctions No. 111

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

December 11, 2018
Opening $1,000
Estimate $3,000 - $4,000

Lesebuch für jüdische Kinder:‎ zum Besten der jüdischen Freyschule. [Reader for Jewish Children, for free schools] by David Friedlander. Berlin, Chevrat Chinuch Nearim, 1799. First edition. Rare book.

This was the first book ever in history written in German for Jewish children, a reading textbook for Jewish children. The book opens with the German alphabet and a facsimile of handwritten aleph-beit letters. The title page bears the emblem of the Chevrat Chinuch Nearim. The society's noted emblem was taken from this work.

David Friedlander was a prominent maskil [1750-1834]. Together with his brother-in-law Isaac Daniel Itzig, he founded the Freischule - "Chevrat Chinuch Nearim" school in Berlin which offers a free education to Jewish children. It mixed German and Jewish culture per the spirit of haskalah. This school was the first modern Jewish school and framework in the history of German Jewry that taught secular subjects. This is the first work printed for the school.

Especially rare book. In 1927, the Soncino Society printed a facsimile edition of this book in Berlin, with a foreword by Moritz Stern. The title page and foreword note that they found the copy of this very rare book.

This copy bears the bookplate of the Soncino-Geselleschaft with the date July - 1927. This was almost certainly the rare copy they used to print their facsimile!

[1] 46 [1 facsimile] pages, about 18 cm. The book is in very fine condition. Old, half-leather binding with blemished spine.

Haskalah (Enlightenment) and Its Opponents