Auction 67 Judaica - Books, Manuscripts, Rabbinical Letters, Ceremonial Art
Wednesday, 18.9.19 (Your local time)
Israel
 8 Ramban St, Jerusalem.
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LOT 20:

Manuscript - Unpublished Halachic Composition, from an Italian Rabbi - Interesting Documentation of the Rabbinic ...

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Sold for: $1,400
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Manuscript - Unpublished Halachic Composition, from an Italian Rabbi - Interesting Documentation of the Rabbinic World in Italy of the Early 19th Century - Documentation of Folk Beliefs Prevalent Amongst Italian Women
Manuscript, halachic composition on Yoreh De'ah (laws of vows and oaths, Terumot and Maaserot, gifts to the Kohanim and poor, Milah and Pidyon HaBen, mourning, kashrut, Niddah, Tevilah and Mikvaot). By an unidentified author - an Italian rabbi, apparently a Torah scholar of Vercelli. [Italy, early 19th century]. Unpublished composition.
Italian cursive script. A summary of the contents of each section is presented in the margins. Words and terms in Italian were integrated in several places.
This composition offers an interesting glimpse into the rabbinic world in Italy of the early 19th century. The author records rulings issued by his teachers, Italian Torah scholars, and describes the customs observed in his place and period (including a report of folk beliefs which were prevalent at that time in Italy). He portrays his manner of leading the community and mentions rulings he issued for practical application. The content of the book indicates that the author served as rabbi and leader of a community, who issued rulings and provided answers to questions which arose in the community. He also mentions how his halachic rulings were regarded by leading halachic authorities. For instance, in the laws of mourning, he writes: "…and it appears to me that there is no prohibition involved, and I permitted it numerous times in similar circumstances, and when I related this to leading halachic authorities, they never contested my decision…" (p. [6a]).
In several places, the author mentions his teachers and colleagues, whose counsel he sought and whom he relied upon for his rulings, and he testifies that he ruled following the opinion of his illustrious teachers, Torah scholars of Italy: "…and this also must be known, that according to the opinion of the leading halachic authorities of Piedmont and Italy who were alive at the time, in their lifetime, I ruled…" (p. [28b]); "…and this is how my holy teachers, previous rabbis of these regions, ruled…" (p. [7a]).
In the laws of Niddah (p. [28b]), the author discusses the topic of "a stain the size of a gris", and mentions the traditions of Italian Torah scholars regarding sizes and measurements: "And in Casale, I saw an illustration of a measurement, received from R. Ilan(?), who received it from R. Yitzchak HaLevi and he transmitted it to his disciples, and I copied it and saved it. Though in my opinion, one cannot rely on this copying, since surely the size of the illustration changed and grew from one copying to the next…". Further in the discussion regarding the size of the gris, the author quotes the opinion of two Italian Torah scholars, with whom he discussed the topic, and they determined the size of the gris in relation to the size of coins which they had at that time: "…and then I discussed it with R. Shlomo Yonah, posek in Turin, together with R. Yechiel Treves, posek here in Vercelli, and both gave me a clear ruling as I requested, and told me to take for this measurement a coin of one copper Soldo, and not the silver coins named Soldino, rather Soldono, and based on this I ruled and measured my entire life…" (the first rabbi mentioned is R. Yeshaya Chizkiya Shlomo Michael Yonah, rabbi of Turin in the late 18th/early 19th century. The second rabbi is R. Yechiel Chaim Treves, rabbi of Vercelli in the late 18th/early 19th century, brother-in-law of R. Shlomo Yonah, d. Tevet 1812. The author writes "Here, Vercelli", indicating that the book was composed in Vercelli).
For more examples and quotations from the manuscript (including documentation of folk beliefs prevalent amongst Italian women), see Hebrew description.
[34] leaves. 20.5 cm. Very good condition. A few stains. Ink smudging in several places. On first leaf, remnants of adhesive tape over several words. New binding.

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