Auction 69 Part 1 Rare and Important Items
Dec 3, 2019 (Your local time)
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LOT 21:

Manuscript, Torah Novellae from Leading Polish Torah Scholars – With Unknown Novellae from the "Saraf" of Kotsk and ...

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Manuscript, Torah Novellae from Leading Polish Torah Scholars – With Unknown Novellae from the "Saraf" of Kotsk and His Son-in-Law the Avnei Nezer – Zduńska Wola, 1892
Manuscript, Torah novellae on various tractates, including many novellae from Polish rebbes and rabbis. Zduńska Wola, Poland, [1892].
This manuscript was authored by R. Asher Tuch, who signed his name in many places in the manuscript. His stamp appears inside the front cover, together with inscriptions featuring the name of his town: Zduńska Wola. R. Asher studied in the yeshiva of R. Avraham Yitzchak HaLevi Rabbi of Zagórów (d. 1910), and mentions him repeatedly in the manuscript under the title: "HaRav" (the rabbi). Likewise, thoughts are quoted in the name of his teacher's father, R. Shlomo HaLevi Poisner (d. 1890).
This manuscript includes two novellae from Rebbe Menachem Mendel Morgenstern – the "Saraf" of Kotsk, which are not known from any other source. On leaf [37], the writer offers a solution to the difficulty raised by the Tosafot on Tractate Pesachim (regarding the chametz of a non-Jew): " I remember that I heard from our master and teacher, rabbi of Kotsk, on the difficulty raised by the Tosafot… and he answered…". The second novellae is on the topic of an ox which must be stoned: "The rabbi [=R. Avraham Yitzchak HaLevi] repeated to me a question in the name of the holy one of Kotsk…" [p. 42a]. Neither of these novellae are recorded in compilations of the teachings of the "Saraf" of Kotsk, and they are disclosed here for the first time.
This manuscript likewise contains unknown novellae from Rebbe Avraham Bornsztain Rabbi of Sochatchov, the Avnei Nezer, son-in-law of the "Saraf" of Kotsk. See Hebrew description for details.
There are also some novellae from Rebbe Avraham Landau Rabbi of Tshechnov [p. 41b] and from R. Yisrael Yehoshua Rabbi of Kutno, author of Yeshuot Malko [pp. 51b, 61a].
Inscriptions and personal notes (in Yiddish) on several leaves.
The "Saraf" of Kotsk was renowned for his sharpness, profundity and innovation in Torah study, and as the teacher of outstanding Torah scholars such as his son-in-law the Avnei Nezer, and the Chiddushei HaRim. Nonetheless, not many of his novellae on Talmudic topics remain, and his legacy mostly consists of his sharp and exacting sayings on worship of G-d. The dozens of gems and concise insights which survived of his novellae in Halacha and Aggada, where compiled in the book Emet MiKotsk Titzmach (Tel Aviv 1961), but the book does not include novellae on the topics mentioned above. Likewise, most of the novellae of the Avnei Nezer quoted in this manuscript are not included in Responsa Avnei Nezer.
This manuscript presents a significant discovery for seekers of the teachings of the "Saraf" of Kotsk and his distinguished son-in-law – the Avnei Nezer.
The words of the Avnei Nezer in his famous preface to his book Eglei Tal are well-known: "I entered the inner sanctum of the home of my father-in-law, the rebbe of Kotsk, source of wisdom and understanding, from whom I absorbed methods of in-depth study, and from whom I became cognizant of what is considered true Torah novellae, since not all pilpulim can be termed novellae. And he kept an incredibly watchful eye over me, even in my study program and novellae". The Avnei Nezer once attested regarding his method of Torah study, that just like the soul of the Arizal was sent down to this world to reveal a new method in Kabbalah, so he was sent down "to discover a new path in revealed parts of the Torah" (Siach Sarfei Kodesh, V, p. 95).
[80] leaves (160 written pages). 20 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains. Wear and tears in several places. Binding damaged. Front board detached. Lacking spine.

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