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Lot 42: Autograph Glosses of Rabbi Akiva Eger - On Torat Chesed Responsa, Salonika, 1723

Auction 53 - Rare and Important Items

by Kedem Public Auction House Ltd

15 November 2016

Jerusalem, Israel

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Description: Torat Chesed responsa, by R. Hasdai ha-Kohen Perahyah. [Salonika, 1723. First edition]. The book contains three scholarly glosses in the handwriting of Rabbi Akiva Eger. The first gloss (14 lines on page 67/b) begins with "Asking pardon from your honor, in the Tur ibid it is explicitly written…". The second gloss, on page 167/b, is particularly long (43 words) and begins with "Simply, it is not difficult…".The third gloss (32 words on page 196/b) begins with a sharp query: "There is not even a simple question here". [All three expressions are characteristically used by Rabbi Akiva Eger. See Hagahot Rabbi Akiva Eger in the Gilyon HaShas and in his other glosses]. Torat Chesed is often cited in the novellae and glosses of Rabbi Akiva Eger. The renowned Rabbi Akiva Eger (1761-1837) was one of the most outstanding Torah scholar in his times. Born in Eisenstadt, his father was R. Moshe G?ns and his mother was the daughter of the first R. Akiva Eger [Rabbi of Pressburg, author of Mishnat D'Rabbi Akiva]. Before his bar-mitzvah he studied in the Breslau Yeshiva under the tutelage of his uncle and teacher R. Binyamin Wolf Eger. At the age of fifteen he began delivering Torah discourses. After his marriage in 1778, he moved to Lisa, to the home of his father-in-law R. Itzik Margaliot. In spite of his young age, he was considered one of the leading scholars of the city which at that time was a Torah center. In 1792 he was appointed Rabbi of Miros?awiec (M?rkisch Friedland) wherein he established a yeshiva. In 1815 he moved to serve as Rabbi of Posen, a position he held for 23 years until his death. In Posen, he founded a yeshiva and taught many disciples. His disciples were more important to him than writing Torah novellae and writing responsa to the thousands of queries which reached him daily from all corners of the universe. He was a holy person and possessed ru'ach hakodesh, was humble and pleasant, yet he insisted upon the honor due to the Torah and the rabbinate. He used his authority to lead the communities in the Posen district (Northern Poland and Prussia) and fiercely and successfully battled the Reform movement and those who attempted to tear down the walls of Torah observance. He made many regulations and established many public institutes. (He was accustomed to visiting each ill person of the communities in which he served as rabbi. In his senior years, he appointed special emissaries to visit the ill in his stead, requesting their names to enable him to pray for them). His descendants were also leading Torah scholars in their times: R. Shlomo Eger, one of Warsaw's most influential Jews, succeeded his father in the Posen rabbinate. He wrote Gilyon Maharsha and other books; R. Avraham Eger from the city of Rawicz edited his father's writing [with his own additions signed "A.A.B.H.H. - acronym of the Hebrew "Amar Avraham Ben HaRav HaMehaber" (Avraham, son of the author said)]; his renowned son-in-law R. Moshe Sofer, author of the Chatam Sofer, after the death of his first wife, wed the daughter of R. Akiva Eger [Rebbetzin Sherel, mother of R. Avraham Shmuel Binyamin Wolf, author of the Ktav Sofer and R. Shimon Sofer, Rabbi of Cracow]. He devoted his entire life to Torah study, known for his amazing proficiency and his deep definitions which eventually became the foundation of Torah learning until our times. His books and novellae are basic Torah literature for yeshiva students and for poskim. R. Elazar Menachem Shach, author of Avi Ezri, writes in his approbation to the book Pote'ach She'arim - Of the Torah Teachings of R. Akiva Eger (Jerusalem, 1985) "That for us, Rabbi Akiva Eger and his opinions and his reasoning are as conclusive as one of the Rishonim…". Among his works: the Rabbi Akiva Eger responsa printed in his lifetime by his sons who followed his instructions. After his death, his sons continued printing his book of novellae Drush V'Chiddush and more volumes of his responsa, the Gilyon HaShas notations (first printed in his lifetime in the Prague and Vilna Talmuds), his glosses on the Shulchan Aruch and Tosfot Rabbi Akiva Eger on the Mishnah. Additional responsa and Torah novellae are still being printed from his manuscripts (such as, Kushiyot Atzumot, Ktav V'Chotam, Michtevei Rabbi Akiva Eger, etc.). Various books he wrote have been printed in many editions, some in expanded editions with explanations and with compilations of his teachings from other places with complementing topics. These glosses have not yet been printed and are hitherto unknown. They have been discovered only upon the examination of Kedem's experts and were identified as being written in the characteristic handwriting of Rabbi Akiva Eger. The glosses contain unknown explanations of various Talmudic treatises which do not have any parallel in the printed books of Rabbi Akiva Eger but they are consistent with his well-known approach to Torah study. [14], 199 leaves (lacking title page and last leaf with a list of errors which is missing from most copies). Originally: [15], 199, [1] leaves or: [1], 199, [15] leaves). Fair condition. Wear and stains, damages to wide margins. Detached leaves. Worn ancient leather binding, created using ancient printed leaves (contains: printed leaves from the Salonika Talmud and Spanish incunabula leaves), and with handwritten leaves (early Oriental script).

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