AVIEZER BEN ISAAC OF TITKIN. Sha’arei Tzedek LeZera Yitzchak (“Gates of Righteousness”: Kabbalistic Treatises)

AUCTION 33 | Tuesday, June 20th, 2006 at 1:00
Fine Judaica: Including Hebrew Printed Books, Manuscripts, & Autograph Letters

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Lot 73

AVIEZER BEN ISAAC OF TITKIN. Sha’arei Tzedek LeZera Yitzchak (“Gates of Righteousness”: Kabbalistic Treatises)

Only edition. Fine copy printed on green tinted paper ff. (6), 68. Previous owner’s notes with possibly the author’s inscription to R. Moshe Cheifetz on title in Sephardic script. Contemporary boards. 4to Halevy 16; Ch. Liberman, Ohel RaCHeL I (1980), p. 90 (no. 13); Aryeh Morgenstern, Ge’ulah be-Derech ha-Teva (Jerusalem: Akademon, 1979), p. 15 (facsimile)

Jerusalem: Israel Bak 1843

Est: $400 - $600
The author, R. Aviezer of Tiktin, was a renowned Lithuanian kabbalist, who migrated to Eretz Israel in 1840. His other works include “Mishmereth ha-Berith” (Jerusalem, 1846) and “Berachah Meshulesheth” on Tractate Berachoth (Lvov, 1851). N.Z. Friedman, Otzar ha-Rabbanim, A-40. The book is divided into four she’arim (gates): 1) Sha’arei Orah (which bemoans the tragedies that befell the three cities of Safed, Jerusalem, and Tiberias); 2) Sha’arei Teshuvah (on repentance); 3) Sha’arei Yosher (responses to sectarians); 4) Sha’arei Yeshu’ah (belief in imminent salvation). As an afterthought, the author appended “Ne’ilath ha-Sha’ar” (Closing of the Gate), wherein he predicts redemption in the year 5620 [1860], the numerical value of “Zaphnath” (the Egyptian name of Joseph). This Josephic motif appears also in the now famous “Kol Ha-Tor” by R. Hillel of Shklov, a disciple of the Vilna Gaon. The third part of the work, Sh’arei Yosher was in response to the following extraordinary incident: In 1843, exasperated by the failure of the Redemption to materialize in the year 5600 (1840) as predicted by the Zohar, two members of the elite Jerusalem community of Perushim (Lithuanian pietiests) converted to Christianity. R. Aviezer in a dazzling discourse on the dimension of Time (foreshadowing Einstein’s theory of relativity), demonstrates that Ein Sof (The Infinite) cannot be constricted to Man’s limited conception of Time. R. Aviezer consequently postulates that the Redemption did indeed commence in the year 1840 but will not become evident until the year 1846. See A. Morgenstern, Ge’ulah be-Derech ha-Teva (1979), pp. 12-16