Auction 129 Shavuot sale. Chabad, Belongings of Tzaddikim, Manuscripts, Rabbinical letters and Rare books
May 11, 2021
 3 Shatner Center 1st Floor Givat Shaul Jerusalem
The auction has ended

LOT 13:

Vikuach Mayim Chaim by the Mahara"l's Brother. Rare Copy. Including the Prayer for Sustenance.

Sold for: $850
Start price:
$ 500
Estimated price:
$800 - $1,000
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tags: Books

Vikuach Mayim Chaim by the Mahara"l's Brother. Rare Copy. Including the Prayer for Sustenance.

Vikuach Mayim Chaim is a debate and dispute about the words of Rabbi Moshe Isserlis - the Ram"a - in his work Torat Chatat about the laws of issur v'hetter, by the wondrous gaon and Kabbalist Rabbi Chaim bar Betzalel, elder brother of the Mahara"l of Prague. First edition. Amsterdam, 1712. Complete edition, exceptionally rare - for a book that is itself rare.

The author lived in the Rama's time and in this work he vehemently argues with the latter's methods regarding dozens of the Ram"a's rulings - and even expresses reservations regarding the Ram"a's work itself! The book bears important approbations. The Chacham Tzvi's approbation maintains that the printing of this work brings spiritual satisfaction to the author's soul. There is also a lengthy and interesting approbation by Rabbi Moshe Chagiz of Jerusalem, who writes about the book's contents and the rules of its determinations.

Most of the extant copies end at leaf 26 with a colophon. Mif'al HaBibliographiah writes that there are isolated copies with 4 leaves added at the end marked 27-30. These leaves were not printed in Amsterdam, rather in one of the printing houses in Germany. These leaves appear in this complete copy!

Mif'al HaBibliographiah also writes that they saw a single private copy with an additional four leaves, marked 31-34, that were apparently also printed in Germany. This complete copy also bears these rare leaves! These rare leaves contain a rare prayer for livelihood - apparently also penned by the Mahara"l's brother. Printed before the prayer: "New request and lofty prayer ... prepared by the G-dly author ..." The prayer opens with the words: "Our Father, our King, Your people is in pain - have mercy ... and give them their livelihood in fullness and spirit ... so that they will not have to trouble themselves for it."

The G-dly Kabbalist Rabbi Chaim b'Rabbi Betzalel [c. 1630-1688] was one of the leading sages of his generation, av beit din of Worms and of Friedberg. He was the Mahara"l of Prague's elder brother. He studied in his youth with Rabbi Yitzchak HaSepharadi and later studied in Lublin under the Maharsha"l and Rabbi Shalom Shachna, where he studied together with the Ram"a - yet this did not stop him from (fiercely) disputing the latter in this book.

The Kabbalist Rabbi Chaim is considered sacred among both Chassidic communities and those opposed to Chassidism, and his books have been printed many times with the support of Chassidic leaders. The Admo"r Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Heschel, author of Ohev Yisrael of Apta, wrote of him: "All his words were written with spiritual inspiration!" Likewise, "An appropriate commentary can be found in Sefer HaChaim by the Mahara"l's brother" is inscribed in the Vilna editions of the Talmud, at the end of each of the tractates.

Specifications: [2], 34 (!) leaves, 14 cm.

Fine condition: Aging stains. Tiny tears at the top of the title page, without damage to text. Some of the leaves are detached. New binding.