Auctioneers of Rare Books, Collectibles and Fine Art

Auction 73: June 22nd, 2017


Lot: 287 (KABBALAH). Midrash Heichaloth [“Midrash of the Palaces.”] Hebrew manuscript written on vellum in a square Oriental type in brown ink. 28 lines per page. The David Solomon Sassoon copy. One bi-folio leaf (four pages). Repaired with loss of text. Mounted within modern wrappers. Each leaf 7 x 6 inches.

Orient: 10th century. Est: $5,000 - $7,000

-A FRAGMENT DISCOVERED IN THE CAIRO GENIZAH. AMONG THE VERY OLDEST EXTANT MANUSCRIPTS OF HEICHALOTH.
     Heichaloth, from the Hebrew word for “Palaces,” relates to visions of ascent into heavenly chambers. The genre overlaps with Merkavah or “Chariot” literature, a reference to the Prophet Ezekiel’s chariot. The Heichaloth literature is a genre of Jewish esoteric and revelatory texts attributed to the Tannaic period.
     This fragment makes use of several Greek words and contains textual variants from the published text. Cf. S.A. Wertheimer, Batei Midrashoth (Jerusalem, 1968).
     See D.S. Sassoon, Ohel Dawid: Descriptive Catalogue of the Hebrew and Samaritan Manuscripts in the Sassoon Library (London, 1932), Vol. I no. 522; and S.C. Reif, A Jewish Archive in Old Cairo (2000) pp. 142-3.
     Provenance:
     Sotheby Parke Bernet, The Collection of David Solomon Sassoon, 12th May, 1981, lot 28.
     Sotheby’s, Property from the Silberstein-Boesky Foundation, 3rd December, 2004, lot 7.




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