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Asefat ha-Geonim, R. Heschel; R. Moses Lima, et. al., Bialystok 1806

אסיפת גאונים - First Edition

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  • Lot Number 52681
  • Title (English) Asefat ha-Geonim
  • Title (Hebrew) אסיפת גאונים
  • Note First Edition
  • Author R. Heschel; R. Moses Lima, et. al.
  • City Bialystok
  • Publisher Horowitz
  • Publication Date 1806
  • Estimated Price - Low 300
  • Estimated Price - High 600

  • Item # 2222049
  • End Date
  • Start Date

Physical Description

First edition. 24 ff. quarto 200:160 mm., nice margins, light age staining, title repairs touching letters. A good copy bound in modern cloth over boards.

Detail Description

First edition of these previously unknown responsa and halakhic correspondence from several leading and highly influential rabbis of an earlier period, among them R. Joshua Heschel of Cracow and R. Moses ben Isaac Judah Lima of Vilna. In addition, there are pilpulim from other prominent rabbis, among them R. Joshua Falk and R. Meir Eisenstadt. Asefat ha-Geonim was brought to press by R. Abraham David of Sokolov who also write the introduction. There are approbations from R. Mordecai ben Isaac Segal and R. Solomon Zalman.

R. [Abraham] Joshua ben Jacob Heschel, (d. 1664) was a talmudic scholar of Lithuania and Poland. His father was rabbi of the community of Brest-Litovsk and head of its yeshivah, where R. Abraham Joshua became a teacher as a young man. In 1630 his father was appointed rabbi of Lublin and head of the yeshivah, where R. Abraham Joshua again assisted him. After his father's death in 1644, he succeeded him as head of the yeshivah. Some scholars claim that he also inherited the rabbinic position, others that he became rabbi of Lublin only in 1650 after the death of Naphtali Katz, who was his father's successor. In 1654, R. Abraham Joshua became rabbi and head of the yeshivah of Cracow, succeeding the famous R. Yom Tov Lipmann Heller. R. Heschel was a wealthy man, of outstanding piety, and his reputation as a teacher attracted numerous students. A number of them became famous in their own right, among them R. Shabbetai b. Meir ha-Kohen , R, Aaron Samuel Koidanover , R. Gershon Ashkenazi , and R. Hillel of Brest Litovsk. His teaching methods were based on dialectics (pilpul). Heschel's renown as a legal authority spread far and questions were addressed to him from all parts of Europe. Although in many cases he was reluctant to give decisions, when he did, they were brief, logical, and to the point. During the Chmielnicki persecutions many cases of agunot came before him, and Heschel exercised considerable leniency in dealing with them. In one such instance, involving a certain Jacob (grandfather of R. Jacob Emden ), who was missing after an attack on Vilna, witnesses gave evidence that he had been killed by the Cossacks, and Heschel decided that the wife could remarry; six months later Jacob returned, whereupon Heschel resolved that he would refrain in the future from giving decisions in such matters (see Megillat Sefer by R. Jacob Emden (1897), 7; and J.M. Zunz, Ir ha-Zedek (1874), 111). He was commissioned by the communities of Poland to solicit aid from the wealthy Jewish communities of Austria, Bohemia, and Moravia for the victims of the Chmielnicki massacres. Heschel was received everywhere with great respect, and his mission was crowned with success. He was supposedly even received by the emperor of Austria who accorded him great honor. R. Heschel died in Cracow. His commentaries on the Sefer Mitzvot Gadol of R. Moses of Coucy were published in its Kapost edition in 1807; they are short and logical, and reveal a fine command of the Hebrew language. R. Aaron Kelniker, a student of Heschel's in Lublin, published a work, Toledot Aharon (Lublin, 1682), containing some of his teacher's novellae on Bava Kamma, Bava Mezia, and Bava Batra, compiled from lecture notes. Later editions were entitled Hiddushei Halakhot (Offenbach, 1723; etc.). In the preface, Kelniker briefly described the famous yeshivah of Lublin during his period of studies there under Heschel. The Ḥanukkat ha-Torah of E.J. Ersohn (1900) contains 600 of Heschel's homilies on the Bible, gathered from different rabbinic sources of the 17th and early 18th centuries. Events connected with Heschel and his time are recorded by the author in the appendix, Kunteres Aharon, which, although containing some legends, also includes much material of historical value. Some of Heschel's responsa are to be found in works of his contemporaries. His novellae and a commentary on the Shulḥan Arukh are still in manuscript.

R. Moses ben Isaac Judah Lima of Vilna (1605?–1658), Lithuanian rabbi and halakhist. Lima studied at the yeshivah of R. Joshua Falk in Cracow, where he became friendly with many who later were leaders of the generation. In 1637 he served as rabbi of Slonim and in 1650 was av bet din of Vilna, his colleagues being R. Ephraim b. Jacob ha-Kohen and R. Shabbetai Kohen , author of the Siftei Kohen. In 1655 he was appointed rabbi where he served until his death. One of his three sons, Raphael, published his father's work Helkat Mehokek (Cracow, 1670), a commentary on the Shulhan Arukh, Even ha-Ezer, outstanding for its critical perceptiveness and profundity and acknowledged as one of the best halakhic works of the later generations. It was accepted as an authoritative work in its field, despite its difficult style, which at times makes a super-commentary necessary. The Beit Shemuel of R. Samuel b. Uri Shraga Phoebus is devoted largely to a discussion of Lima's book. For the benefit of rabbis and posekim Lima and Samuel compiled Kunteres ha-Agunot, appended to chapter 17 of Evenha-Ezer, containing the essence of hundreds of books and responsa concerning the permission of agunot to remarry. Some later authorities expressed reservations as to whether it was permissible to base oneself on the work for practical decisions without reference to the sources. Of Lima's other works, there remain only a number of responsa in various collections.


Hebrew Description

...פילפולא חריפתא מגאוני קדמאי ... מוה' יושיע[!] העשל ז"ל מקראקא הנקרא רבי ר' העשיל ומרבינו ... מוה' משה [ב"ר יצחק יהודה לימא ] זצ"ל מווילנא בעל המחב' ספר חלקת מחוקק על א"ה. אשר ... היו מריצים אגרותיהם זה לזה דרך שאלה ותשובה ... גם עוד פלפולים משארי גאוני זמנם ... גם דיני תפיסה למאור עינינו בעל הסמ"ע [ספר מאירת עינים, ר' יהושע פאלק ב"ר אלכסנדר כ"ץ] ז"ל ... גם כמה דרושים נחמדים מהגאון האמיתי בעל פנים מאירות [ר' מאיר ב"ר יצחק אייזנשטאט] ז"ל ... כל זה היה ספון וטמון ... והיו מעותקים ע"י איש המוזכר בסוף החיבור (אהרן ריינץ בלא"א מוה' קלמן נ"י) אבל ... לא העתיקם בבירור וטעה באיזה דברים ... עד שקמתי אני הצעיר ... ארי' ליב בן ... מוה' מרדכי סג"ל אב"ד דק"ק טיקטין יע"א והעתקתיו על הסדר ועשיתי לו סמניות ... ומסרתי אותו ליד מוה' אברהם במה' דוז מסאקלוב להוציאו לאור הדפוס ... והוסיף עוד איזה חידושים מהגאון בעל שער אפרים [ר' אפרים הכהן] ביאורים על דברי התו' ... והוגה ... על ידי ... מוהר"א הנ"ל.

יש טפסים בהם חסר מקום הדפוס והפרט הוא: תתן אמת' ליעק'ב חס'ד לא'ברה'ם [תקס"ו]. דף ב,א: הקדמת המביא לבית הדפוס, ר' אברהם ב"ר דוד מסאקלוב "וארץ מולדתי בק"ק זעלחאב". בסופה "שיר נאה מהמעתיק", פותח: אכן תטו להקשיב לחכמה אזניכם. האקרוסטיכון: אריה. עיין: ספר היובל לכבוד אלכסנדר מארכס בעריכת דוד פרענקיל, ניו-יורק תש"ג, עמ' 26; שמואל ווינער, קהלת משה, עמ' 103, מס' 836.

עם הסכמות ר' מרדכי ב"ר יצחק סג"ל, טיקטין, [אביו של המעתיק השני], טז אדר תקס"ו; ר' שלמה זלמן ב"ר ח, ביאליסטאק, טו"ב למב"י [ב אייר] תקס"ו.



BE alef 2405: EJ; Bibliography of the Hebrew Book 1470-1960 #000111075