Auction 10 July 28, 2021 / י"ט אב, תשפ"א
Jul 28, 2021

The auction has ended

LOT 37:

Historic Manuscript!

Blood Libel in Metz, 1670.
Tale of the infamous ...

Sold for: $4,000
Start price:
$ 3,000
Estimated price:
$6,000 - $8,000
Auction house commission: 23% More details
VAT: 17% On commission only

Historic Manuscript!

Blood Libel in Metz, 1670.

Tale of the infamous blood libel in Metz, France , 17th century.
This Yiddish manuscript recounts, in great detail, the chilling sequence of events of the notorious 17th century blood libel in Metz. The narrative covers Halevi’s arrest and imprisonment, court proceedings, and the intense efforts taken by French congregational leaders, officers, and community activists to dispel the wrath of the authorities.

Part of the story as described in the manuscript was published in Hatzofeh L’chochmas Yisrael Vol. 11 (1927) pp.46-65 . where it describes the events which transpired up until 28 Teves. In the present manuscript the tale goes on to recount the events which occurred up until 25 Tammuz.

[30] leaves. Page size: 20x32cm. Clear, legible, old Yiddish. Pages 21-22 missing from the original page count of the manuscript. Margin of leaf 28a is marked with the date 1726. Worn at edges. New binding.


The Tragic Tale of the Kadosh Rabbi Rephael Halevi
On Erev Rosh Hashanah, 1670, Rabbi Rephael Halevi traveled from his native village to the nearby city of Metz to purchase goods for Yom Tov. At the same time, a Frenchwoman and her three-year-old son entered the woods to wash clothing at the river, and the child went missing. A peasant woman reported that she’d glimpsed a Jew with a long beard riding a white horse together with the child and identified the rider as Rephael Halevi.
The stricken father appealed to the authorities, and his firm alibi notwithstanding, Halevi was arrested and accused of abducting the child. Despite torture, Halevi refused to confess to the crime, but was nevertheless convicted and sentenced to death by the French Parliament. Offered the opportunity to become a Christian and live, he declared that he had lived as a Jew and would die a Jew.
In the month of Teves, Rabbi Refael Halevi was burned at the stake wrapped in his tallis and tefillin. His death spared the Jewish residents from the demands of the masses of Christian anti-Semites who had appealed to King Louis XIV to expel all the jews from the city.


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