Auction 69 Part 1 Rare and Important Items
Tuesday, 3.12.19, 17:00 (Your local time)
Israel
 8 Ramban St, Jerusalem.

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LOT 24:

Lengthy Letter Handwritten and Signed by the Baal Shem of Michelstadt Rabbi Zekel Leib Wormser – "Good Advice" ...

Start price:
$ 38,000
Estimated price:
$50,000-60,000
Auction house commission: 23%
VAT: On commission only
tags:

Lengthy Letter Handwritten and Signed by the Baal Shem of Michelstadt Rabbi Zekel Leib Wormser – "Good Advice" Regarding Tithing of Income – The Virtue of Giving Charity to the Amount of 248 – Wishes of "Life and Blessing for a Safeguard of Peace" – Michelstadt, 1845
Lengthy letter (approx. 27 lines) handwritten and signed by the kabbalist R. Zekel Leib Wormser – the Baal Shem of Michelstadt. Michelstadt, 1845. Yiddish, with some Hebrew.
Addressed to "My friend the chaver R. Nehem [=Nachum?] and his wife". The first part of the letter contains a response to questions regarding charity and maaser (tithes). The Baal Shem offers them some good advice – to anticipate that their business will prosper, and cause G-d to be their "debtor" by separating in advance a tithe of their projected income. Further in the letter, the Baal Shem designates 248 – numerical value of Ramach – as the recommended sum of money to donate to charity every Erev Rosh Chodesh, and makes various other calculations.
In the second part of the letter, the Baal Shem appeals for assistance for his granddaughter's wedding, and for financial support for his son R. Wolf. He concludes by wishing them "life and blessing for a safeguard [of peace?]", and signs: " Zekel Leib son of R. Matityahu of here, my wife Hanna and all the members of my household [also send regards?]".
R. Zekel Leib (Yitzchak Aryeh) Wormser (1768-1847) – the Baal Shem of Michelstadt. A scion of the Luria family, from the family of the Maharshal and Rashi, and a descendant of R. Eliyahu Baal Shem of Loans – the Baal Shem of Worms. In his youth, he studied under the kabbalist R. Natan Adler in Frankfurt, later returning to his hometown Michelstadt, where he served as rabbi of the town and the vicinity, and established his Beit Midrash, as well as a yeshiva which attracted many students. He was renowned as a righteous man and wonder-worker, earning him the appellation of "Baal Shem". Many flocked to him in quest of cures and salvations, even from other countries, and numerous people experienced salvations through his blessings, segulot and amulets.
He was widely acclaimed by Jews and non-Jews alike. Reputedly, German soldiers who prayed by his gravesite during WWI all returned from the battlefield healthy and well. The Michelstadt municipality posted a memorial plaque on the house he lived in, dubbing him "a friend of the people". His novellae and writings were published in the book Baal Shem MiMichelstadt (Machon Yerushalayim, 2006).
[1] leaf. 26.5 cm. Fair condition. Stains, dampstains, large tears and wear, affecting text in several places. Mounted on paper for preservation.