Nusach HaKesav.

AUCTION 88 | Tuesday, March 17th, 2020 at 1:00pm
K2 Online Sale: Hebrew & Judaic Books and Manuscripts

Back to Catalogue

Lot 45

Nusach HaKesav.

Scribal copy of Berlin's lengthy resignation letter addressed to the communal leaders of Berlin. States his disappointment with his community, where no-one heeds to his authority."I had hoped to plant (fine) grapes, but instead harvested unripe (sour) grapes…What do I gain by staying here if I cannot open my mouth? " The Rabbi writes he will not express in detail the reasons for his departure, although certain communal leaders are well aware. <<Hebrew manuscript>> written on paper written in a fine Ashkenazic script. Formerly in the Layzer Ran Collection. One leaf. Previous owner’s stamp, few stains and tears.

(Berlin: 1782)

Est: $200 - $300
R. Tzvi Hirsch Berlin (1721-1800), former Chief Rabbi of London, Halberstadt and Mannheim had been appointed to the position of Chief Rabbi of Berlin and provinces (“Oberlandisrabbiner”) in 1773. The text of his resignation letter is intentionally vague, stating generalities concerning the attitude of the communal leaders of Berlin, without specifically detailing the reasons for his resignation. What did in fact lead to his actions was as follows: In 1782, R. Tzvi Hirsch Berlin was persuaded by the Rabbis of Glogau and Lissa to prevent N.H. Wessely from publishing his controversial Divrei Shalom Ve'Emeth. Despite R. Tzvi Hirsch's customary tolerance, he vehemently insisted upon Wessely's expulsion from Berlin. When Moses Mendelssohn defended Wessely, R. Tzvi Hirsch abruptly gave his resignation. (Later however, he returned to his rabbinic post in Berlin where he remained until his death). See E. Landshut, Toledoth Anshei HaShem (1884) p. 85; A. Altmann, Moses Mendelssohn (1973) pp. 482-86.