Sefer Ikarim, by Rabbi Joseph Albo, Presburg, 1853 – copy of Rabbi Elie Munk of Paris.

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My copy of Sefer Ikarim belonged to Rabbi Elie Munk.  Today, Sivan 3rd, is his 40th yahrzeit. The connection with Anglo Jewry is that he was the father-in law of Chief Rabbi Lord Immanuel Jakobovits. His first cousin was Rabbi Eli Munk of Golders Green, London. 

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Rabbi Munk (1900-1981), was district rabbi of Ansbach (Bavaria) from 1926, and from 1937 was rabbi of the Communauté Israélite de la Stricte Observance in Paris.  His published works include Die Welt der Gebete (1938); The World of Prayer, 2 vols., (1954–63), a commentary on the siddur; Das Licht der Ewigkeit (1935); La justice sociale en Israel (1947); Rachel (on the duties of Jewish women; 1951); and a translation into French of Rashi‘s Pentateuch commentary (1957).  He settled in New York in 1973, where several of his children lived including his son Jacob.

The book itself is a rare 1853 German edition of “Sefer Ikarim”, a treatise on Judaism by the 14th-century Jewish philosopher Joseph Albo.  he was a student of Hasdai Crescas, a contemporary of the Rambam.  In this book he lays out his claims against Christianity, and attempts to provide a simple, axiomatic basis of Judaism. Albo defines and investigates what are according to his view the three fundamental Jewish principles of faith. His work can be understood as an alternative draft to Maimonides’ 13 principles of faith. The book has been expanded and extensively annotated by the German Rabbi Gedaliah Lipschitz.

I have previously written about some of my other books that came from Rabbi Elie Munk’s library including:

Lekutei Yaavetz, by Rabbi David Kleinerman, Manchester 1894.

Yesh Nochlin, by Rabbi Avrohom Halevi Horowitz, Amsterdam, 1701.

Olelot Ephraim, by Rabbi Ephraim Shlomo Luntschitz, Amsterdam 1779.

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