Auction 106: Rare Hebrew Books
By Kestenbaum & Company
Jun 27, 2024
The Brooklyn Navy Yard Building 77, 141 Flushing Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11205, United States
The Marx Library (Part II).
The auction has ended

LOT 18:


Brandon ...

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Auction took place on Jun 27, 2024 at Kestenbaum & Company


Brandon, Benjamin Raphael Dias. Oroth HaMitzvoth [rational for the 613 precepts].

* Bound With (as issued): Emek Binyamin [responsa].


Two titles pages. Dedication in Portuguese to Mosseh de Selomoh Curiel.

ff. 19, 103, (1); (2), 20, 25-22 (mispaginated). Foxed. Modern boards. 8vo.

Vinograd, Amsterdam 1666.

Amsterdam, J. Jansson, 1753.

The First Rabbinic Text Relating to Jews in The Americas. Includes an inquiry relating to inheritance law from Aaron Ledesma of the Jewish Community in Surinam, West Indies.

This volume of responsa contains the first responsum solicited by a European from a rabbi living in the New World (ff. 17-20). Rabbi Benjamin Brandon of Amsterdam asked the advice of Rabbi Aaron Ledesma of Surinam regarding an inheritance case.

Brandon (d. c. 1750) was a cantor, Ledesma, a physician and graduate of Amsterdam’s Etz Hayyim, served as a rabbi in Surinam beginning in 1737. It is curious that Brandon, who lived in a city replete with well-known scholars, dispatched his responsum to an obscure rabbi in distant America.

 Ultimately, Brandon disagreed with his correspondent’s decision and instead issued his own opinion (f. 22b).

See M. Silber, America in Hebrew Literature, pp. 41-2 (English section), p. 57 (Hebrew section); and Isaac S. and Suzanne A. Emmanuel, History of the Jews of the Netherlands Antilles, Vol. I, p. 178.

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