Auctioneers of Rare Books, Collectibles and Fine Art

Auction 73: June 22nd, 2017

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Lot: 129 HELLER, YOM TOV LIPMANN. (“The Tosfos Yom-Tov.”) Ma’adanei Melech V’Lechem Chamudoth [novellae to the Ro’sh, Rabbeinu Asher ben Yechiel: Tracs. Berachoth-Nidah]. First Edition. Title letters historiated. Censored passages supplied in an old hand. ff. (2), 320 (mispaginated). Foxed and stained, stamp removed from title. Contemporary calf, with central gilt cartouche, rebacked, rubbed. Folio. Vinograd, Prague 325.

Moses ben Bezalel Katz, Prague: 1628. Est: $4,000 - $6,000

-The author entitled the present commentary Ma’adanei Melech (“Royal Delicacies”), based upon Jacob’s blessing of the tribe of Asher (Genesis 49:20) - the dual meaning referring both to the necessity of bread and to the delicacies of a king. Similarly, the dual purpose of the work itself, was to provide legal decisions of Halacha of relevance to all, along with intricate pilpulistic discourses for the pleasure of the scholar - who are considered as kings (“Man Malki Rabanan.”) However, the author’s detractors deviously misconstrued the meaning of the title as an insult to the reigning monarch and a portent of revolution. Indeed R. Heller was imprisoned and upon release, judiciously altered the title to the more innocuous “Ma’adanei Yom Tov.”

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