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Bidding Information
Lot #    11042
Auction End Date    7/12/2005 2:01:00 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Tsevi la-Zadik
Title (Hebrew)    צבי לצדיק
Author    [First Ed.] R. Zevi Hirsch Levin
City    Piotrkow
Publisher    Eilberg, Kronenberger, and Rosengarten
Publication Date    1903
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   First edition. [2], 96 pp., 230: 170 mm., usual age staining, nice margins. A very good copy bound in contemporary boards.
   Novellae on the Torah and Tanakh, and various sections of Talmud, and includes responsa and sermons. At the end is appended a notebook called “Bet Zadik” including in it the biography of the author written by R. Zevi Yehezkel Michaelson from Plonsk. Approbations include those of Rabbi Meir Jehiel, ha-Levi, Halsztyk of Ostrowiec, 1851-1928, and Rabbi Shalom Mordechai, ha-Kohen, Schwadron.

R. Zevi Hirsch Levin was a German rabbi; born at Rzeszow, Galicia, in 1721; died at Berlin Aug. 26, 1800. His father (known also as Saul Levin) was rabbi at Amsterdam; and on his mother's side Hirschel was a nephew of Jacob Emden. Although he occupied himself also with secular sciences and philosophy, Levin paid special attention to Hebrew grammar and literature, and composed several Hebrew poems. Levin was a distinguished Talmudist, and in 1751, when he was only thirty years old, he threw himself into the struggle between Emden and Eybeschütz, naturally siding with the former. His epistles against Eybeschütz made such an impression that in 1756 he was elected chief rabbi of the London congregation of German and Polish Jews. In 1760 Jacob Kimhi having published at Altona a responsum in which he charged the London butchers ("shohetim") with negligence in regard to their duties, Levin warmly defended them. The wardens of his synagogue, however, refused him permission to make a public reply to Kimhi's charges; he therefore resigned in 1763, and accepted the rabbinate of Halberstadt. It would appear, from the letter in which the community of Halberstadt offered him the rabbinate, that Levin's resignation was occasioned by the neglect of Biblical and Talmudic studies by the Jews of London. He afterward became rabbi of Mannheim; and in 1772 he was appointed chief rabbi of Berlin.

In 1778 R. Levin gave his approbation to Mendelssohn's German translation of the Pentateuch. In the preceding year the Prussian government had ordered R. Levin to make a résumé in German of the Jewish civil laws, such as those on inheritance, guardianship, and marriage, and to present it to the royal department of justice. Levin, not having a thorough knowledge of the German language, applied to Mendelssohn to do the work. Mendelssohn, accordingly, wrote his "Ritualgesetze der Juden," printed under R. Levin's superintendence, 1778.

Despite his toleration and enlightenment, R. Levin, instigated by the rabbis of Glogau and Lissa, began in 1782 to persecute Naphtali Herz Wessely for his "Dibre Shalom we-Emet" (Landshuth, "Toledot Anshe ha-Shem," p. 85; Kayserling, "Mendelssohn," p. 307). He prohibited the printing of that work, and insisted upon the expulsion of the author from Berlin. But Wessely's friends prevailed on R. Levin to desist from attacking Wessely, while Mendelssohn at the same time gave R. Levin to understand that the press in Germany was free to everybody.

R. Levin wrote: Epistles against Eybeschütz, printed by one of Emden's pupils, in the "Sefat Emet u-Leshon Zehorit," Altona, 1752; glosses on Pirke Abot, printed with Emden's commentary to Pirke Abot, Berlin, 1834; notes to the "Sefer Yukasin" and "Sefer ha-Hinnuk," some of which were published in Kobak's "Jeschurun." Some of his poetry was published in "Ha-Maggid" (xiv.) under the title "Nahalat Zevi." Finally, three manuscript volumes of his responsa are to be found in the library of the London Bet ha-Midrash, bearing the numbers 24 to 26. In London he was known as Hart Lyon.

Paragraph 2    הוא קובץ חידושים... על התורה ונ"כ וסוגיות הש"ס, ושו"ת ודרושים, מאת חו"ז [חותני זקני]... רבינו צבי הירש זצוקלל"ה, אב"ד... לונדון, הלברשטאט, מנהיים, ברלין... בן... מו"ה אריה ליב אבדק"ק אמשטרדם, חתן... ההכם צבי [אשכנזי]... ובסופו נלוה מחברת בית צדיק, כולל בתוכו תולדות ימי חייו של... המחבר זצ"ל, מאת כבוד חותני הרב... מוה' צבי יחזקאל מיכלזאהן שליט"א אבדק"ק פלונסק... כל אלה העתקתי וסדרתי... חתן נכדו של המחבר אברהם נתן בלאאמו"ר... מו"ה יחיאל איכל איילבערג שליט"א ראבדק"ק זגערש...

הסכמות: ר' מאיר יחיאל הלוי [העלשטאק], אסטראווצא, יג ניסן תרס"ב; ר' שלום מרדכי הכהן [שוואדראן], ברעזאן, לז למב"י [כב אייר] תרס"ב.

   CD-EPI 0143137; EJ
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Listing Classification
20th Century:    Checked
Russia-Poland:    Checked
Homiletics:    Checked
Novellae:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica