Evel Moshe (Hatam Sofer), Mendel Bri Stern, [Vienna 1839] (49312)

אבל משה - Only Edition

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Listing Details

Lot Number: 49312
Title (English): Evel Moshe
Title (Hebrew): אבל משה
Note: Only Edition
Author: Mendel Bri Stern
City: [Vienna]
Publisher: (דפוס פראנץ עדלען פאן שמיד)
Publication Date: [1839]
Estimated Price: $300.00 USD - $600.00 USD
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Description

Physical Description

Only edition. [8] ff., octavo, 175:115 mm., nice margins, light age staining.A good copy bound in modern boards, original marbled-paper wrappers bound in.

 

Detail Description

Eulogy poem by Mendel Bri Stern for R. Moses Sofer (Hatam Sofer, 1762–1839) was the leader of Orthodox Jewry in his time. He was born in Frankfort and his two most important teachers there were R. Phinehas Horowitz and R. Nathan Adler. When, as a result of the opposition to his innovations and departure from accepted custom, R. Adler was forced to leave Frankfort, R. Sofer, his loyal disciple, then 19 years of age, accompanied him on his wanderings. Although R. Sofer never returned to his native town, he was always proud of it, and used to sign himself "Moses ha-Katan [the insignificant] of Frankfort on the Main." He served first as rabbi of Dresnitz (Moravia) and of Mattersdorf, and in 1806 was appointed rabbi of Pressburg, at that time the most important community in Hungary, where he remained for the rest of his life. His appointment to this high office came as a result of the reputation he had acquired by virtue of his oustanding scholarship, moral character, talent and leadership, and a mystical religious fervor which he had acquired under the influence of Adler. There already existed in Pressburg an appreciable minority of maskilim who unsuccessfully opposed his appointment. However, the opposition was not completely silenced, and R. Moses Sofer did not have a tranquil time.

During his 33 years there R. Sofer founded his famous yeshivah, the largest since the Babylonian yeshivot, and made it the center from which to organize Orthodox Jewry in its struggle against the Reform movement. Despite the expansion of his yeshivah and his great influence, which spread far and wide, he was continuously conscious of the growing tension between the traditionalists and the groups which sought a more liberal interpretation of Judaism in order to come to terms with the "spirit of the times." His qualities enabled R. Sofer to become the undisputed religious authority in his own town. As a result, unlike the case in other large European cities, the innovators were not triumphant. He declared total war with no concessions in the battle against modernity. Though it gave him no pleasure to engage in conflict ("There are no quarrels without wounds," Response, pt. 6, no. 35), he waged the battle of Orthodoxy vigorously, resourcefully, and with diplomatic skill. He adopted the long-range plan of strengthening educational and communal institutions and disseminating Torah study ("It is a time to act for the Lord, increase your Torah," ethical testament, see below); the appointment of his best disciples to rabbinic posts and the strengthening in general of the status of the rabbinate; the formation of a joint front with the hasidic movement; and the winning of the confidence of the government in the loyalty of Orthodox Jewry. Among the many pungent and pointed epigrams which R. Sofer coined, and which became the slogans of the Orthodox, the best known is his application of the talmudic dictum "Hadash asur min ha-Torah" to mean that any innovation, even though from the point of view of halakhah it is unimportant, is strictly forbidden simply because it is an innovation.

Mendel Bri Stern (Max Emanuel Stern) was a Hungarian Hebraist; born at Presburg Nov. 9. 1811; died at Vienna Feb. 9, 1873. He studied under his father, who was a teacher at the Jewish primary school in Presburg, and when the elder Stern became blind, Max, then only fourteen years of age, took charge of his classes, devoting his nights to further study and to writing his "Dichtungen," his "Maslul," and his "Perlenblumen," the last-named being translations, in rime and meter, of the Proverbs. In 1833 he accepted the position of corrector for Schmid's printing-press at Vienna, and two years later was appointed principal of the Judæo-German school at Eisenstadt, where he wrote his epic "Tif'ereth ha-Tishbi." In 1838, after having taught for half a year at Triesch, he returned to Vienna, where he prepared his epic for the press, publishing it under the pseudonym of "M. I. Ernst" (Leipsic, 1840); at the same time he issued his satire "Thurmbau zu Babel." In 1845 Stern began to publish his periodical "Kokebe Yizhak," which was twice subsidized by the Imperial Academy of Science at Vienna; later he received from the emperor the gold medal "pro litteris et artibus," besides being made an honorary member of the Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft.

Stern published the following works, in addition to those already mentioned: "König Sauls Glück und Ende" (Presburg, 1833); "Sprüche Salomos," with translation and a Hebrew commentary (ib. 1833; 2d ed., Vienna, 1854); "Shire ha-Yihud" (Vienna, 1840); "Ebel Mosheh" (ib. 1840); "Perlen des Orients" (ib. 1840); "Zeitstimmen" (Leipsic, 1841); "Klänge aus der Vorzeit" (Vienna, 1841); "Das Buch Ezechiel" (ib. 1842); "Bet ha-Sefer" (ib. 1842); "Die Fromme Zionstochter" (ib. 1842); "Toledot Yisrael" (ib. 1844); "Die Weisheitssprüche des Josua b. Sirach" (ib. 1844); "Festgebete der Israeliten"; "Bikkure ha-'Ittim" (one number; ib. 1844); "Rachel" (ib. 1844); "Ha-Shenah ha-Nimkeret" (ib. 1847); "Behinat ha-'Olam," by Jedaiah ben Abraham Bedersi (ib. 1847); "Nazional-Harfenlied" (ib. 1848), with music by Solomon Sulzer; "Mosedot Emunah" (ib. 1851); "Selihot" (ib. 1853); "Haggadah" (ib. 1854); "Tahkemoni" of Judah al-Ḥarizi (ib. 1854); "Die Rabbinerwahl in Bumesl" (ib. 1856); "Lehrbuch der Herzenspflichten nach Bechai" (ib. 1856); "Hokmat Shelomoh" (ib. 1858); "Zur Alexander-Sage" (ib. 1861); "Ozar ha-Millin" (ib. 1863); a translation of the "Moreh Nebukim" (ib. 1864); "Keter Torah" (ib. 1864); and a translation of Mansello's "Tofet we-'Eden" (ib. 1865).

Hebrew Description

 ... מליצת נהי בעת הלקח... ר’ משה סופר... אב"ד... פרעסבורג... ביום ה כה תשרי לשנת ת"ר... מאת מענדל בר"י שטערן.

 

Reference

Bibliography of the Hebrew Book 1470-1960 #000169776; JE