Winner's Auctions No. 111

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

December 11, 2018
Opening $ 700
Estimate $ 1,000 - $ 2,000
Sold for $ 1,042
Including buyer's premium

Netivot HaShalom. Genesis with Tikkun Sofrim, Targum Askenazi and "Biur" [edited by Moses Mendelssohn]. Berlin, 1783. First edition of the Pentateuch with the "Biur."

This copy also includes the "Ohr L'Netivah," an inclusive preface to all five books, written by Mendelssohn, explaining the development of his work. In other known copies of this work, this preface is printed after Exodus. Includes the list of signatories on the book, headed by Christian VII, King of Denmark.

Mendelssohn's edition of the Pentateuch does not include the Targum Onkelos or Rash"i's commentary. The verses are flanked by "Targum Ashkenazi" - a German translation of the verses, according to the simple understanding of the text, in Hebrew letters. Mendelssohn authored this "Targum Ashkenazi" himself. The "Biur" was a collaborative effort with: Shlomo Dubno, Rabbi Naftali Hertz Wessely and others.

The "Biur" was sharply attacked by G-d-fearing Jews, headed by Rabbi Rephael HaKohen of Hamburg, the author of Hafla'ah, and his disciple the Chatam Sofer [who said 'ובספרי רמ"ד אל תשלחו יד'] loosely translated: Do not outstretch your hand to to touch Mendelssohn's (RM"D) books]; in addition to chassidic leaders, headed by the author of Bnei Yissachar in his Maayan Ganim. In a sermon that the Hafla'ah delivered in Frankfurt, he attacked Mendelssohn: "Israel has been publicly defiled, and nobody protests. A commentary on our Torah has been written, that includes invented inanities ... and in Vilna it was burnt ... by those zealous for G-d ..."

This copy has the first title page, without the additional Yiddish title page found in some copies. It is followed by the "Ohr L'Netivah" with a half-title and then another half-title: Sefer Bereishit and the body of the book.

[1]: [23]: [1] 299 leaves. 20.5 cm. With the "Ohr L'Netivah." Fine condition. Minimal stains. Nice, new binding.

Haskalah (Enlightenment) and Its Opponents