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Bidding Information
Lot #    16292
Auction End Date    12/5/2006 10:01:30 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Shedar letter
Title (Hebrew)    כתב שד'ר מטבריא
Author    [Ms. - Community]
City    Tiberius - Tangier
Publication Date    c. 1865
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   [1] p., 300:205 mm., light age staining, creased on folds, ink on paper neat Mid-Eastern rabbinic script, signed by three rabbis, two stamp signatures, and four seals.
   Certificate issued to R. Moses Asariki to collect the Rebbe Meir Ba'al ha-Nes funds in Tangier. The letter describes the horrific economic conditions of Tiberian Jewry subject to mass taxation, hunger, and abuse by governing officials. Beginning with the 18th century a Rebbe Meir Ba'al ha-Nes box was found in almost every Jewish home, and housewives dropped small change into it just before kindling the Sabbath lights. Due to the miraculous deeds connected with the tomb of Rebbe Meir, it was customary to contribute money, candles, or oil for lighting as a specific protection against all kinds of ailments and dangers; it was also done in the hope of finding something lost, of having children, or of driving away evil thoughts. It is clear, however, that the box also symbolized the longing for Erez Israel where the money was distributed through several competitive Kollels. The Kollels authorized Shedars (rabbinical messengers) to collect the funds and raise additional funds through appeals and solicitations. The Shedars were generally rabbinical scholars and highly respectable.

The letter bears the signatures of: R. Aaron b. Hayyim Alhadef, Haham Bashi of Tiberius (1835-1909) erudite scholar and author of over a dozen works, many in print; R. David Haddad; Haham Bashi (Chief Rabbi) of Tiberius, R. Joseph David b. Isacher Abulafia (d.1898). R. Abulafia was born in Sofia, served as Chief Rabbi of Damascus before settling in Tiberius where he was Chief Rabbi from 1883 until his passing. An erudite rabbinic scholar and kabbalist his approbation appears frequently on scholarly works.

The letter bears the seals of: R. Solomon Rahmim Abulafia; R. Raphael Abraham Halfon; three community organizations.

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Listing Classification
19th Century:    Checked
Israel:    Checked
History:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Letters:    Checked
Kind of Judaica