AUCTION 38 | Thursday, November 29th, 2007 at 1:00
Fine Judaica: Printed Books, Manuscripts, Autograph Letters & Graphic Art

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Lot 270


Group of six printed legal documents with manuscript entries: Tena'im Acharonim [dowry]. * Shtar Tosepheth Kethubah [amendment to marriage contract]. * Shtar Bitachon al Chalitzah [promise that in the event a husband dies without issue, his brother will provide Chalitzah gratis. * Shtar Chalitzah [attesting that the brother-in-law owes a substantial sum of money to his brother's wife; in the event that the brother-in-law performs the Chalitzah ceremony, the loan will be forgiven - thus forcing the brother-in-law to perform Chalitzah]. * Shtar Chatzi Chelek Zachar [as a way of circumventing the Torah law preventing "yerushath ha-bath," a daughter from inheriting her father's estate, the father commits to writing that his daughter has lent him a substantial amount - equal to half of his estate - a debt binding upon him and his heirs]. * Shtar Shalem Zachar [similar to the latter agreement, with the difference that the amount lent by the daughter to her father equals the entire estate] All 8 x 13 inches

Amstelveen-Amsterdam: 1702-3

Est: $1,200 - $1,800
An English-Australian Mohel-Book. Talmudic scholar Myer Rintel began his career as a mohel in his native Poland before migrating to Engalnd. His first English (or rather Scottish) circumcision was performed in Edinburgh in 1819. Myer's son Moses (no. 10, born on the 27th day of the Omer, and circumcised eight days later on the 34th day of the Omer, 1824) followed in his father's footsteps, and, aged twenty brought his skills as mohel to Australia, arriving in Sydney in 1844. For the next five years he ministered to the Sydney Hebrew Congregation before relocating to Melbourne, where he served as minister, first of the Melbourne Hebrew Congregation and later of the East Melbourne Congregation, until his death in 1880. In 1864, Moses Rintel was appointed by Chief Rabbi N.M. Adler to sit on the first Australian Beth Din. It has been said that "Reverend Moses Rintel, from Edinburgh, was Victorian Jewry's sole spiritual leader during the hectic gold rush years." (H.L. Rubinstein, The Jews in Victoria 1835-1985 [1986], p. 23). See also S.D. Rutland, Edge of the Diaspora: Two Centuries of Jewish Settlement in Australia (1988), pp. 30, 38, 63-64, 74; JE, Vol. X, p. 430. The transition of this Mohel-Book from father Myer Rintel to son Moses is indicated by several intervening blanks in the Mohel Book. Myer's circumcisions conclude on p. (7), no. 47, while the final page (12) is devoted to the two circumcisions performed by Moses, both in the year 1844 in London, i.e. immediately prior to his departure for Australia. Finally, on the title we have an inscription "Moses ben Meir Katz Rintel, 1840," indicating that the book was transmitted to him by his father. The surname "Katz" indicates that the Rintels were of kohanic lineage. Detail of Mohel-Book: P. 1 - "These were circumcised by me in England in addition to those circumcised by me in my native Poland": Nos. 1 and 2 - Edinburgh. P. 2 - No. 10 - son Moses [Edinburgh]. No. 16 - Glasgow. P. 3 - No. 20 - Glasgow. No. 21 - Liverpool. No. 22 - Plymouth. Nos. 23-26 - London. No. 27 - Hull. P. 4 - No. 29 - Walch (Wales?). Nos. 30-32 - Brighton. [Between Nos. 31-32: "My grandson Moses born to my daughter Miriam and her husband Joel Nathan Hakohen, Thursday, 21 Adar 1842. I was sandak and the Chief Rabbi of London [Solomon Hirschell] mohel at the circumcision the following Thursday, 28th thereof." No. 33 -Weymouth. P. 5 - No. 36 - London. P. 6 - Family register of Rintel's grandchildren. Unnumbered - Plymouth. P. 7 - No. 45-46 - Walch (Wales?) 4 blank pages. P. 12 - "My son Moses circumcised the boy Alexander…London, 8 Teveth 1844; My son circumcized the boy Samuel Levy on Thursday, 2 Adar 1844 in London." During the controversy in England between Solomon Bennett and S.J. Cohen, or to be more precise, between Bennett and Chief Rabbi Solomon Hirschell, Meir Rintel rose to the defense of the Chief Rabbi, authoring a Hebrew booklet Minchath Kena'oth (London, 1817).