AUCTION 53 | Thursday, December 08th, 2011 at 1:00
Fine Judaica: Printed Books, Manuscripts Autograph Letters & Graphic Art

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Lot 104


(MERZ, ALOYS). Geschichte zweyer merkwürdigen Bekehrungen zur katholischen Religion: nämlich des Herrn Thayers, eines protestantischen Ministers in Amerika, und des Herrn Johann Joseph Keidecks, eines Rabbiners in Deutschland. [“The Story of Two Remarkable Conversions to the Catholic Religion: Namely, that of Mr. Thayers, a Protestant Minister in America, and of Mr. Johann Joseph Keidecks, a Rabbi in Germany.”] pp. 48. Trace foxed. Unbound. 8vo

(Augsburg): 1787

Est: $500 - $700
The unusual saga of Johann Joseph Keideck is here recorded as an autobiography: Born in 1755 in Gundernhausen to Chief Rabbi Jonathan Levi of Cologne, Moses Levi (as he was called before his conversion) was given a traditional rabbinic education. At age fifteen he was sent to study in a Talmudic academy in Metz and two years later for further yeshiva study in Prague. At age twenty-one he was ordained by Prague's Chief Rabbi Ezekiel Levi (i.e., Landau, the Noda Beyehudah). Thereafter Moses Levi served in rabbinic posts in the vicinity of Cologne, all to much acclaim. However commencing in the year 1780, he began to entertain doubts concerning his religious beliefs which brought him to expand his studies to include Christiological texts. These books were discovered in his home to the surprise of his congregants and family. Upon insisting on continuing his explorations into Christianity, the community threatened his person, yet ultimately, the former rabbi underwent conversion and was baptised on February 4, 1783.