Auction No. 087

Old books, manuscripts, Judaica items, numismatics, coins

February 25, 2015
Opening $ 1,000
Estimate $ 1,500 - $ 2,000
Debate between a Jew and a Christian, copied from a manuscript found in the Vatican Library in Rome by Abraham Berliner. Altona, 1875. Exceptionally rare. [1], 15 pages. 20 cm. Debate between a Jewish convert called 'Nistor HaKomer' and a representative of the Christian church. First published from a 15th century manuscript by noted researcher Abraham Berliner. The book was printed in small, crowded Rashi letters, with very little paragraphing. It seems that the editor didn't want this sensitive publication to look like a real book. The copier alludes to his name, Shlomo, at the end of the work. At the end of the book there is a lengthy poem written by Rabbi Shlomo ben Aderet, the Rashba, regarding strengthening Jewish faith. The poem, 'Aruch Mashkil Erech', is written at the end of the original manuscript and printed here for the first time. Refer to the Thesaurus of Mediaeval Hebrew poetry, section two, p. 290- n. 939. The title page notes that Abraham Berliner wrote a German introduction, however it wasn't printed. Very rare book. Daniel Chwolson, another theologian who studied Jewish-Christian debates, wrote in his "Chwolson List" p. 65, that this booklet was destroyed soon after it appeared, and only about ten copies survived. Refer to Friedberg, Beit Eked Sefarim, in the entry for Nistor HaKomer. Work of historic importance, regarding a debate that occurred in early times. Refer to Y.D. Eisenstein, "Otzar Vikuchim", New York, 1928, p. 310-315; Y. Rosenthal, "Safrut HaVikuach HaAnti Notzrit Ad Sof HaMeah HaShemona Eisrei", Areshet, 2, 1970, p. 173. A modern scientific edition of this book was printed by the Ben Zvi institute, Jerusalem, 1996. New binding. Professional reinforcements. Fine-very fine condition.