Auction 65 Judaica - Books, Manuscripts, Rabbinical Letters, Ceremonial Art
Tuesday, 12.3.19 (Your local time)
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LOT 47:

Rabbi Yaakov Emden's Siddur - First Edition - Altona, 1745-1747 - Parts I and II

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Sold for: $6,500
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Siddur with the commentary of R. Yaakov Emden, Part I - Amudei Shamayim (prayers for weekdays and Shabbat) and Part II - Shaarei Shamayim (prayers for festivals and more), Ashkenazi rite. Altona: [Printed in the home of the author R. Yaakov Rabbi of Emden - the Yaavetz], [1745-1747]. First edition. Two parts out of three of the siddur with R. Yaakov Emden's commentaries, based on revealed parts of the Torah and on Kabbalah - following the teachings of the Arizal. The first edition of this siddur is renowned for its great precision. R. Yaakov Emden expended great effort in establishing the exact text of the siddur, in the vocalization and accuracy of the words. This siddur was reprinted in many editions and was named by later printers "the Beit Yaakov siddur". In the siddur's later editions (Lviv and Warsaw), modifications and errors affected the text of the prayers, and all that remains of R. Yaakov Emden's corrections and precisions are his comments, integrated in his commentary printed in the margins. R. Yaakov Emden's siddur became widely accepted in the Chassidic world, and its second edition was printed in Korets in 1818, at the initiative and with the approbation of great Chassidic leaders: the rabbi of Apta and R. Mordechai of Chernobyl. The latter describes in his approbation the rarity of the first edition - the teachings of the Yaavetz are so cherished that "the siddurim have already become worn out, and there is not one to be found in the whole city". The Korets edition included only parts I and II, and in 1835, the third part was printed in Berditchev at the initiative and with the approbation of R. Mordechai of Chernobyl and R. Yisrael of Ruzhin (who praised the siddur in his approbation: "It was established and originates from golden foundations, in order to indicate the correct path with pure intellect on the topic of prayer"). The Imrei Yosef of Spinka wrote in the name of the sons of the Divrei Chaim of Sanz, who heard from their father who had a tradition that the Baal Shem Tov one told R. Efraim, brother of the Yaavetz: "Your brother the Yaavetz was connected to the Upper spheres all day" (approbation of R. Moshe Halberstam to the Eshkol edition of the siddur, Jerusalem 1993). Tzror HaChaim (by R. Ch. Liebersohn, Biłgoraj 1913, p. 22), quotes in the name of the Baal Shem Tov: "Chacham Tzvi had five sons, whom the Baal Shem Tov attested all merited Divine Inspiration, yet he offered especially effusive praise on one of them, without disclosing which one, but his friends confirmed that he was referring to the Yaavetz". The Yeshuot Moshe of Vizhnitz writes in his approbation to that same edition: "…This siddur did not depart from the tables of our teachers and ancestors, who utilized it constantly, especially while leading the Seder on Passover night". Rebbe Menachem Mendel of Lubavitch quoted precisions and practices from this siddur several times in his discourses, and once remarked "R. Yaakov Emden exercised ultimate precision in every way, to the point of being meticulous even regarding the letters etc." (BeTzel HaChochma, p. 265). Title page of Part I: "Palatin Bet El, resting upon seven Amudei Shamayim, also called Ohr Shivat HaYamim". On the verso of the title page, approbation by R. Yechezkel Katzenellenbogen Rabbi of Altona-Hamburg-Wandsbek, extolling the virtues of the siddur. He relates in his approbation of cantors who are not meticulous to follow the rules of grammar "and sometimes upon hearing such mistakes, I berated them…". Title page of Part II: "The palace of the city of G-d, is open to 14 gates… Shaarei Shamayim… for the days and months of the year". The approbation of R. Aryeh Leibush Rabbi and yeshiva dean of Amsterdam, brother-in-law of the author and outstanding Torah scholar, is presented on p. 159b, followed by the author's apology for printing the approbation at the end of the siddur (rather than at the beginning, as is customary), explaining that it was received only at the end of the printing: "…and it is already known that the position does not bring honor to the person, and we find that the last one is the most cherished, and the Torah does not follow chronological order...". Two parts in two volumes. Vol. I: [1], 356, 354-385, 389-415, 417-418 leaves. Vol. II: 159 leaves. 16.5 cm. Slightly darkened leaves. Good condition. Stains. Minor damage to title page of Part I. Owners' signatures to title pages: "Natan Elbe". New leather bindings.

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