Mitzpeh Yokthe’el [bitter polemic against Raphael Hakohen’s Torath Yekuthiel]

AUCTION 1 | Thursday, November 14th, 1996 at 1:00
Fine Judaica: Books, Manuscripts and Works of Art

Back to Catalogue

Lot 43
(BERLIN, SAUL) “Ovadiah ben Baruch”

Mitzpeh Yokthe’el [bitter polemic against Raphael Hakohen’s Torath Yekuthiel]

FIRST EDITION. Previous owner’s stamps and signatures on title, browned and trace wormed, few leaves misbound though complete, modern 1/2 vellum, sm. 4to Vinograd, Berlin 381; Mehlman 1717

Berlin: Chevrath Chinuch Ne’arim, for David Friedlaender 1789

Est: $400 - $600
Within Berlin’s complex personality lay a combination of reverence for traditional Rabbinism as well as an attraction toward the progressive ideas of Mendelssohn and Wessely. However, the extreme personal nature of the author’s pseudonymous attack in this work resulted in the almost complete destruction of all copies. Berlin’s father was Hart Lyon, the respected Rabbi of the Great and Hambro Synagogues in London; his brother, Solomon Hirschel was elected Chief Rabbi of Great Britain. Indeed, it was to London that Berlin eventually fled Continental Europe, dying there in 1794, wholly misunderstood. See M. Carmilly-Weinberger, Censorship and Freedom of Expression in Jewish History (1977) pp.157-59.