Auction 69 Part 1 Rare and Important Items
Dec 3, 2019 (Your local time)
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LOT 38:

Tzurat HaAretz by the Gaon of Vilna – Signatures of Rabbi Moshe Chaim of Baghdad and His Son Rabbi Eliyahu Chaim – ...

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Tzurat HaAretz by the Gaon of Vilna – Signatures of Rabbi Moshe Chaim of Baghdad and His Son Rabbi Eliyahu Chaim – Grandfather and Father of the Ben Ish Chai
Tzurat HaAretz LiGevuloteha Saviv VeTochnit HaBayit, verses pertaining to the design of the Temple from the books of Melachim and Yechezkel, with the commentaries of Rashi and the Gaon of Vilna. Shklow, 1802. First edition.
Signatures of R. Moshe Chaim of Baghdad – grandfather of the Ben Ish Chai, and of his son R. Eliyahu Chaim – father of the Ben Ish Chai, on the title page and in various other places in the book: " Moshe Chaim Moshe Abdal", " Eliyahu son of R. Moshe Chaim".
R. Moshe Chaim, son of R. Chaim, son of R. Moshe Abdallah (1756-1837), a leading Babylonian Torah scholar in his times, rabbi and dean of Baghdad. Already as a young man, in 1787, he was appointed rabbi and posek in Baghdad. He edified many disciples and was the prime teacher of R. Abdallah Somech, leader of all Babylonian Torah scholars (in his book Zivchei Tzedek, the latter mentions his teacher's rulings and novellae). He would devote his entire week to teaching Torah to his illustrious disciples, and on Shabbat would deliver sermons before the people (both his son R. Eliyahu Chaim and his grandson R. Yosef Chaim the Ben Ish Chai succeeded him in this capacity).
This book testifies to the rapid spread of the teachings of the Gaon of Vilna, all the way to distant Baghdad. R. Moshe Chaim was also in contact with the disciples of the Gaon of Vilna who immigrated to Eretz Israel at that time, and gave his approbation to the book Pe'at HaShulchan by R. Yisrael of Shklow, disciple of the Gaon of Vilna. This was the only approbation ever issued by R. Moshe Chaim, who generally refrained from according approbations to books. In the heading of his approbation, R. Yisrael of Shklow refers to him with great reverence as "The outstanding rabbi and Torah scholar… leader of Babylonia… prominent in his generation, R. Moshe Chaim, dean of Baghdad…".
His son and successor, R. Eliyahu Chaim (1803-1859), outstanding Torah scholar and kabbalist. Following his father's passing, he succeeded him and earned the reputation of a prominent speaker. Most of the community affairs were under his jurisdiction. The Baghdad community marked his passing with a seven-day mourning period. When his son R. Yosef Chaim delivered a sermon on the seventh day of mourning, the community recognized his preeminence and appointed him as his father's successor, a position he held faithfully for fifty years.
42, 39-40 leaves (leaf of map lacking, a small part of heading remains). Greenish paper, wide margins. Fair condition. Grease stains, breaks to edges of wide margins. Light worming. Non-original cardboard and leather binding, worn and repaired with tape.
Vinograd, Otzar Sifrei HaGra, no. 22.

Enclosed: Expert's report authenticating the signatures.The expert surmises that the book was part of the library of the grandson – the Ben Ish Chai.

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