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 20:


Masechet Bikurim min Talmud Yerushalmi. ...

Sold for: $1,000
Start price:
$ 1,000
Estimated price :
$1,200 - $1,800
Buyer's Premium: 25%
sales tax: 8.875% On the full lot's price and commission
Auction took place on Jun 27, 2024 at Kestenbaum & Company


Masechet Bikurim min Talmud Yerushalmi. With commentary by Avraham Eliezer Alperstein.


Architectural title-page.

ff. (2), 45 (i.e. 48), (2). Touch stained. Contemporary boards, worn. Folio.

Goldman, Hebrew Printing in America no. 568.

Chicago, Rosenberg Bros., 1887.

The First Tractate of the Talmud and first Talmudic Commentary Printed in America.

The text of Tractate Bikurim (First Fruits) of the Jerusalem Talmud is here surrounded by three commentaries, all prepared by Alperstein.

This was the first volume of the Talmud published in America and “the typography…compares favorably with the finest European typography.” See A.J. Karp, From the Ends of the Earth, p. 318.

Alperstein (1853-1917) was born in Kobrin, Lithuania, and studied under the guidance of R. Yoseph Dov Halevi Soloveitchik and R. Ya’akov David Willowsky (Ridba’z). After serving as a rabbi in Slabodka and its environs, he emigrated to Americain 1881 where he occupied pulpits in New York, Chicago, and St. Paul. He was appointed vice president of the Agudath HaRabbonim and was one of the first instructors at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (Yeshiva University).

In his introduction Alperstein extolled the virtues of the members of his congregation in Chicago. Evidently that relationship changed, for in a later edition he revised the introduction referring to his community as “wild boors.”

See Moshe Sherman, Orthodox Judaism in America, pp. 18-20; M.A. Gutstein, A Priceless Heritage: The Epic Growth of 19th Century Chicago Jewry (1953) pp. 128-9; and L. Mishkin, Defusei Chicago Be’Ivrith UbeYiddish in: Chicago Pinkas (1952) no. 8.