Auction 120

Special Auction

3rd March 2020

Tuesday, Mar 3, 19:00 (Israel time)

 3 Shatner Center 1st Floor Givat Shaul Jerusalem

Opening $ 10,000
Estimate $ 20,000 - $ 25,000

Lengthy Letter signed by the spiritual giants of Jerusalem, including: The Kabbalist Rabbi Ya'akov Tzemach, HaRav HaMusmach Rabbi Abulafiah I, the gaon Rabbi Ya'akov Chagiz and more; to Rabbi Malachi Montepotzki, rabbi of Livorno (grandfather of the author of Yad Malachi), regarding the mission of Rabbi Shlomo Ashkenazi and Rabbi David Korigal. Historic document of exceptional value.


There is almost nothing known about the mission of these two sages. Their mission is not mentioned in Shluchei Eretz Yisrael, and until now, what was known about them was only from their signatures on the Italian sage's, Rabbi Mehalalel Haleluyah's responsum which was printed from manuscript in the HaMa'ayan anth ology (Kovetz 52, Tevet 2012, p. 92). Apparently emissary David Korigal was the rabbi and father-in-law (in the first marriage) of Rabbi Ya'akov Chagiz (refer to Korban Minachah Izmir 434 section 105 leaf 12b).


Rabbinic signatories on this missive:

HaRav HaMusmach Chaim Abulafiah I [c. 1680-c. 1768] was a disciple of the Mahari"t and associate of the author of Knesset HaGedolah. Rabbi Chaim traveled abroad as an emissary for Safed, and when he returned, he was appointed a dayan in the city. He was rabbinically ordained by his father, Rabbi Ya'akov Abulafiah, with the power to grant this ordination given by the "Beit Yosef" to his maternal grandfather, Mahar"i Berav II, and he is therefore called "HaRav HaMusmach." His grandson was Rabbi Chaim Abulafiah II, rabbi of Izmir and Tiberias, author of Mikra'ei Kodesh,  Etz Chaim and more. Towards the end of his life, he moved to Jerusalem, where he maintained a yeshivah. His foremost disciples were HaRav HaMusmach Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto, author of Peirush HaRi"f on Ein Ya'akov, and more, head of the Pinto family dynasty.

The great Kabbalist Rabbi Ya'akov Tzemach [1570-1667] was one of the leading Kabbalists. He was the main editor of Rabbi Chaim Vital's doctrine and he authored deep Kabbalisitc works. Rabbi Ya'akov was born in Lisbon, from where he ascended to Safed to study kabbalah from Rabbi Shmuel Vital, son of Rabbi Chaim Vital. From there he ascended to Jerusalem and invested all his time in authoring Kabbalistic works and editing Rabbi Chaim Vital's writings. His known works include: Naggid U'Mitzvah,  Zohar HaRakia,  Kol Ramah,  Olat Tamid,  Tzemach Tzaddik,  Adam Yashar,  Ranu L'Ya'akov,  Otzrot Chaim and others, as well as many glosses on Rabbi Chaim Vital's writings.

The gaon Rabbi Ya'akov Chagiz [1620-1674] was the leading rabbi of Jerusalem, author of Etz Chaim and Halachot Ketanot, and rosh yeshivah of Beit Ya'akov in Jerusalem, in which leading sages of Jerusalem studied. In his second marriage, he was son-in-law of Rabbi Moshe Galanti (the Mage"n), and from this marriage, his son the gaon Rabbi Moshe Chagiz (the Menia"ch) was born. His son-in-law was the gaon Rabbi Moshe ben Chaviv, author of Get Pashut. He was known for his uncompromising battle against Shabbetai Tzvi. He traveled to Constantinople in 1673 to print his book, and passed away there. His works include: Shu"t Halachot Ketanot,  Etz Chaim al HaMishnayot,  Techilat Chochmah,  Korban Minchah,  Orach Mishor, Ptil Techelet, and more.

Rabbi Yitzchak Nissim ben Jamil authored Chaim V'Chessed, which was printed at the end of Chanan Elokim, the book by his maternal grandson, Rabbi Chaim Abulafiah II (before that, it was printed under the name Be'er L'Chai Ro'i at the end of Yashresh Ya'akov). Novellae by him are dispersed amongst the above grandson's books.

Rabbi Avraham Gedaliah authored the renowned "Brit Avraham" commentary on Yalkut Shimoni (Livorno 1650-1660). Rabbinic leaders in Jerusalem and in Hebron attest in their approbations that Rabbi Avraham was expert in all six orders of the Mishnah by heart.

Rabbi Baruch b"r Yisrael Binyamin was among the Jerusalem sages "in-depth sage, adjudicator and Chassid" (Koreh HaDorot 49a). His responsa appear in the works of the sages of his generation. Mahara"m ben Chaviv, in his book Get Pashut (siman 129 s"k 127) proves that in a get, Binyamin should be written בנימן - lacking a יו"ד, from the signature of Rabbi Baruch Binyamin, who would sign without a יו"ד (cited in Shem HaGedolim in the entry on Rabbi Yisrael Binyamin.)

Rabbi Yitzchak Bitton was a leading rabbi among the rabbis of Jerusalem. He signed on the Jerusalem regulations and on the renowned letter from Jerusalem rabbis about the Ten Tribes. The Chid"a mentions him in Shem HaGedolim in the entry on Rabbi Shmuel Garmizan.

Rabbi Yosef Molcho was a scion of Rabbi Shlomo Molcho, "a wellspring sage who came from Safed to Jerusalem" (Korot HaDorot 49b). He studied at the Mahar"i Chagiz's yeshivah there. His son was the pious Rabbi Ya'akov Molcho from whom the Chid"a cites responsa and halachic rulings. (Toldot Chachmai Yerushalayim Part II p. 73).


[1] sheet paper folded into two pages, 24x21 cm each. (The first page contains the body of the letter and the second contains sender's and addressee's details.) Oriental script. Quality paper.


Fine condition. Fold marks. Professionally restored small tear in the margins without damage to text. Historic documentation about the rabbinic signatories included.

Category
Letters and Documents of Missions