AUCTION 40 | Thursday, June 26th, 2008 at 1:00
Fine Judaica: Printed Books, Manuscripts, Autograph Letters, Graphic & Ceremonial Art

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Lot 210


Gerson, Christian. Chelec Oder Thalmudischer Judenschatz / ist ein Capittel des Judischen Thalmuds [German translation of final chapter of Talmudic tractate Sanhedrin]. FIRST EDITION. Title within allegorical border. Musical notation in Forward. Historiated initials, tailpieces. pp. (32), 340, (44). Helmstadt: Melchior Behms, 1610. * Bound with: (--) Der Juden Thalmud [“The Jewish Talmud: Primary Contents.”]. pp. (16), 457, (9). Titles in red and black. Browned. [Freimann, p.123; Carlebach, Divided Souls, p. 295]. Erfurt: Paul Michael, 1659 Contemporary vellum. 8vo

Est: $1,200 - $1,800
Perhaps the Earliest German Translation of Chapter of Talmud. SEE E. BISCHOFF, KRITISCHE GESCHICHTE DER THALMUD-UBERSETZUNGEN (FRANKFURT A/MAIN, 1899) On the titles of both works, the author describes himself as a "born again Christian" (von Rechlichhausen / gebornen Jüden/ und getaufften wiedergebornen Christen). When Christian Gerson converted to Christianity, he was unable to persuade his wife to follow his lead. Surprisingly, German officialdom, both church and state, refused to coerce his spouse to convert, accepting the right of the wife to remain Jewish. Subsequently, custody of their child became a cause-celebre. Assisted by the Jewish community of Windecken, Gerson's wife was able to hide their son for five years, at the end of which time, Gerson's Christian allies discovered the child's whereabouts and had him forcibly baptized. See E. Carlebach, Divided Souls: Converts from Judaism in Germany 1500-1750 (2001), pp. 138, 149