I have a set of these Machzorim (Festival Prayer Books), in near mint condition, but sadly with no bookplate or information about who owned them. The translation, into fine 18th century English, demonstrates the skill of the erudite scholar, David Levi. The prayer for King George the Third and the Royal family, below, is particularly … Continue reading Form of Prayers for the Day of Atonement according to the custom of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews, David Levi, London 5551 (1791).
This is a book from my antique book collection. Darke Moshe was written by the Rema, Rabbi Moses ben Israel Isserles, who was among the foremost halachic authorities. He is usually known for his glosses, called Mappah, on the Shulchan Aruch. The Rema’s work made the Shulchan Aruch acceptable to the Ashkenazim. He established a … Continue reading Darke Moshe, by Rabbi Moses Isserles (The Rema), First Edition, Furth, 1760.
This book is from my antique book collection. It is the first edition of Nidchei Yisroel, printed in 1893 on poor quality paper, originally in paper wrappers, perhaps to keep the cost as low as possible. The pages have browned and I have scanned them in black and white to make them clearer. Rabbi Yisrael … Continue reading Sefer Nidchei Yisroel, by Rabbi Yisroel Meir Kagan, the “Chofetz Chaim”, First edition, Warsaw 1893.
This is another book from my antique Hebrew book collection - nothing to do with Anglo-Jewry. Rabbi Yair Chayim Bacharach was a major and important rabbi of the 17th century. He is sometimes referred to as the Chavos Yair, after the title of his book Chavos Yair - but that is a later work than … Continue reading Chut HaShani, by Rabbi Yair Chaim Bacharach, Frankfurt on Main, 1679.
I bought this many years ago from a book dealer in Borough Park, Brooklyn, New York. I don't know how it ended up there, as its provenance (as we shall see) is Hertfordshire, England. My copy also has a map. often missing from other copies, which is of interest, as well as a nicely engraved … Continue reading The Historie of the Holy Warre, Second edition, Thomas Fuller, London, 1640.
This is not the Anglo-Judaica that I usually write about, but a book from my antique Judaica collection. It is a copy of a small tractate (massechet in Hebrew) of the Talmud, called Moed Katan (Little Festival), and was printed in Frankfurt Am Main in 1720. It deals with the laws that pertain to the … Continue reading Talmud: Moed Katan, Frankfurt Am Main, 1720.
Sefer Lashon Zahav was written by Rabbi David Tevele HaKohen Schiff. It gets its title because the values of the Hebrew letters in both the word Zahav and the name David add up to fourteen. Rabbi David Tevele Schiff served as Chief Rabbi of Great Britain and the Rabbi of the Great Synagogue of London … Continue reading Sefer Lashon Zahav, by British Chief Rabbi David Tevele Schiff, Offenbach, 1822.
Berthold-Baruch Strauss, born in 1901, was a book collector, originally from Leipzig in Germany, who came to England with his private library in 1933, and was able to add to it significantly in Britain until his early death in 1962. During the Blitz he moved his collection temporarily to Chesham in Buckinghamshire, where other refugees … Continue reading The B. Strauss Library and Sefer Turei Even by Rabbi Arieh Leib Gunzberg (the Shaagas Arieh), Vilna, 1835 – the 300th Post!
Sometimes I buy a book just because of the association - in this case, a copy of the 1769 printing of Pri Chadash with a book stamp of the Old Castle Street Synagogue, 42 Old Castle Street in the East End of London. It was known as Agudath Achim and Gemiluth Chesedim, and later Agudat … Continue reading The Old Castle Street Synagogue and Pri Chadash by Rabbi Hezekiah Da Silva, Fuerth, 1769.
This is a geography book with an interesting dedication to Sir David Salomons, the first Jewish Lord Mayor of London. The author, Menachem Mendel Mohr, was born in Lemberg in 1815. He came from a traditional household, but became part of the Haskalah (The Jewish "enlightenment") and began to read secular works and gain secular … Continue reading Schwile Olam, by Abraham Menachem Mendel Mohr, Lemberg 1856.