Weinstein (Ashkenazi), Rabbi Abraham Nissan. Autograph Manuscript. Text in Hebrew.

AUCTION 80 | Thursday, March 28th, 2019 at 1:00 PM
The Valmadonna Trust Library: Further Selections from the Historic Collection. * Hebrew Printing in America. * Graphic & Ceremonial Art

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Lot 138

Weinstein (Ashkenazi), Rabbi Abraham Nissan. Autograph Manuscript. Text in Hebrew.

Ledger and journal of a Shadar (emissary), traveling from the Land of Israel to California. pp. (23) excluding blanks. Stained, some wear. Unbound. 12mo.


Est: $8,000 - $12,000
<<The first visit to California by an emissary from the Land of Israel.>> Weinstein was the first rabbinic emissary from Eretz Israel sent to the West Coast of America. In this ledger he records his travels, starting from Liverpool, to cities on the east coast of the United States, such as Albany, Pittsburgh, then on to the midwest, Detroit, Indianapolis, and finally to California. Arriving with impeccable credentials and conducting himself with impressive piety, Weinstein was received with acclaim and warmth. In this notebook, the emissary’s meticulous handwriting records every place visited and transaction engaged. For a time Weinstein was evidently selling religious books and ritual objects; he records the sale of texts Hayei Adam and Reishit Chachma. In his travels Weinstein was known by the surname Ashkenazi, perhaps in recognition of the Ashkenazi communities in Eretz Israel who sent him. Bearing letters from leading sages there, he received the blessings and testimonials from American rabbis who ran the gamut from the most Orthodox to the least. In San Francisco, Rabbi H. A. Henry wrote: “I am pleased to record that during his stay at my house, his uniform conduct as a pious and learned Israelite has confirmed him in my opinion as fully verifying all that he himself states, and what has been said by others in his behalf.” Henry, who was said by the traveler Benjamin II to possess the best rabbinic library in America, did not merely admire this symbol of the Jewish presence in the Holy Land, he had his congregation pledge $100 a year to the fund for Eretz Israel, and an “Ohavei Zion — Friends of Zion Society” was formed for California Jews to support the impoverished Eretz Israel community. See Salo W. Baron and Jeannette M. Baron, Palestinian Messengers in America, 1849-79: A Record of Four Journeys, in: Jewish Social Studies (1943) Vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 142-62.