Historical Discovery: A Beautiful Machzor for Sukkos, Gift of R. Shaul of Hague and His Wife Rebetzin Dena to Grandson of the Pnei Yehoshua. Amsterdam 1768.
Presented here is a truly unique and one-of-a-kind collector’s item, never before seen at auction.
This Machzor for Sukkos, printed at Amsterdam by Proops in 1768, was gifted to R. Yehoshua, son of R. Berish HaLevi, and the grandson and namesake of the Pnei Yehoshua. It was given by none other than R. Shaul — Rabbi of The Hague and author of “Binyan Shaul” — and his wife, Rebbetzin Dena. She was perhaps the most illustrious woman in the 18th century.
R. Shaul HaLevi (1712-1785), a world renowned Torah Scholar and author of “Binyan Shaul”. R. Shaul was married to the illustrious Dena, daughter of R. Aryeh Leib and granddaughter of the Chacham Zvi. She was well versed in the entire Talmud and was known far and wide for her brilliance and sheer Torah knowledge.
Amazingly, the Chidah attests to her greatness in his work Ma’agal Tov. It is also told (see: Toldos HaChidah, R. Menachem Mendel Krengel of Krakow) how, upon returning from his travels, the Chidah would relate of the many Torah scholars he had met while in Europe, R. Shaul among them. He then related that when visiting with R. Shaul, Rebetzin Dena would stand behind the curtain and interject with her Torah thoughts. The Chidah commented that her words were “Liamito Shel Torah”— the absolute truth.
This copy was given as a gift to R. Yosha, grandson of the Pnei Yehoshua on his wedding day. Sadly, he was orphaned from his father R. Berish at a young age. R. Shaul, as well as his brother-in-law R. Shaul Lowenstam of Amsterdam (author of Binyan Ariel) were Mechutanim with the Pnei Yehoshua’s family.
The gilded engraving along the cover’s border reads (in Hebrew):
מתנה לדרשה מהגאון המפורסם מו״ה שאול הלוי נרו יאיר להבח׳ המופלא כ׳ יושיע שי׳ לאי״ט בן הרב המפורסם מו״ה יששכר בעריש הלוי זצ״ל מק״ה (=מקהל האג).
In the center of the book’s cover, there is an additional engraving adding that it was a gift from R. Shaul’s wife as well. It reads:
ומאשתו הרבנית מרת דינה תי׳ (=תחיה).
Bound in original hand-tooled binding with gilded ornaments. On the back side of the binding we find another engraving attesting to the acquisition this Machzor in 1786, purchased by R. Hirsch b. Yisaschar for the amount of 13 goulden. Why it was later purchased is unknown, however we can assume this volume was already sought after even in the 18th century as it was gifted by the Gadol HaDor.
A true collector’s item!
In very good condition. Binding scuffed in places.