Subasta 92 Fine Judaica: Rare Printed Books, Manuscripts, Autograph Letters & Graphic Arts
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<<(New York).>> Pinkas Chevrah Kadisha Anshei Makhnivka [The Machnowker Aid ...

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<<(New York).>> Pinkas Chevrah Kadisha Anshei Makhnivka [The Machnowker Aid Association].

Manuscript in Hebrew and Yiddish written in square and cursive hands on paper. Multicolored artistic title page.
pp. 33 (excluding blanks). Few light stains. Modern boards. Folio.
New York: 1901-22

The volumes opens with a rhyming Hebrew acrostic poem describing the charitable purpose of the society: “To assist swiftly/ our brothers at a time of [Heaven] forfend/ if one of his house should end/ timely aid we will send” (free translation). The acrostic forms the initials of Leib ben Eliyahu Heller, perhaps the scribe / artist as well as composer. After a customary formulaic introduction (“The Rabbis said benevolent kindness is greater than charity, for charity is only for the living, while benevolence is for the living and the dead, ”) the Pinkas lists the 18 Takanot it adopted when established, Pesach of 1901. The rules are typical and procedural, but some of them require strict religious standards (No. 2: ‘One who profanes the Sabbath or Yom Tov publicly, even those rules which are rabbinic’ is excluded. No.3: ‘Shavers with a razor’ are excluded). The names of the thirty original members are subsequently written in a variety of calligraphic scripts. The rest of the pages are lists of the elected officers over the years. A few entries are minutes of meetings written in Yiddish. A fine material record of the activities of one of the many fraternal organizations formed by landsmenshaftn in America. The members, originally from Makhnivka, Ukraine, eventually had plots in four cemeteries in Queens and Long Island (see Machnivka’s Jewish population in 1897 was some 2,400, or half the population of the town which was located in Vinnytsia Oblast (see cid=743). The town also spawned a family of Chassidic Rebbes, a branch of the Chernobyl / Skver dynasty. The current Machnovka Rebbe is Grand Rabbi Yehoshua Rokeach (b. 1949) of Bnei Brak, Israel.