Monday, June 23, 2008

Upcoming Auctions

There are two upcoming auctions. The first, Kestenbaum & Co. will take place this Thursday, June 26th, the catalog is available on their website. The auction includes R. S.R. Hirsch's copy of the Zohar, which is interesting in that R. Hirsch is not readily associated with Kabbalah. Of course, R. Hirsch and other German Jews had a more nuanced view of Kabbalah and were not antagonistic as some others (think certain groups of Yemenites).

Additionally, for those interested in incunabula, R. David Kimchi's (RaDaK) Sefer ha-Shorashim, Naples 1490 is for sale. It is worth noting that a tremendous amount of incunabula - by my count some 96 titles! - are available online at the JNUL Digitized Book Repository including this edition of the Sefer ha-Shorashim. To have access to so many rare titles is extrodinary. Even if one has access to a library that has a few incunabula it is difficult to view them let alone browse through and copy and print pages from these works.

This edition of the Sefer ha-Shorashim is also important in that it is different than the later editions. One of the readings this edition contains implicates the correct reading of Zekher Amalek. (See J. Penkower's excellent article on the topic, "Minhag u-Mesorah - 'Zekher Amalek' be-Hamesh or be-Shesh Nikkudot" in Iyun Mikrah u-Parshanut, vol. 4 (1997) 71-128, esp. pp. 82-3.)

Another work of interest, especially in light of some recent controversies, is Tuv Ta'am by R. Aron Tzvi Friedman, discussing various laws of Shehitah. As noted by Goldman, "according to a family legend, the English translation of this work convinced President Ulysses S. Grant to eat only kosher meat."

Other mentions include:

The first edition of R. Hutner's Torat ha-Nazir, that includes R. Kook's approbation (removed in some later versions).

Aneh Kesil, a polemic defending the authenticity of the Yerushalmi Kodshim.

Asufa has an auction coming up on July 3rd. Their catalog is available online here.

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