1762-1839). Sermons, eulogies and commentaries on the Torah.

AUCTION 62 | Thursday, June 26th, 2014 at 1:00
Fine Judaica: Books, Manuscripts, Autograph Letters, Graphic and Ceremonial Art

Back to Catalogue Download Catalogue

1762-1839). Sermons

1762-1839). Sermons
Lot 221
(SOFER, MOSES, (THE “CHASSAM SOFER”

1762-1839). Sermons, eulogies and commentaries on the Torah.

Hebrew manuscript, written by a copyist, with <<Autographed Notes by R. Shimon Sofer of Cracow>> (son of the author). Along with <<Autographed and Signed Notes by R. Shimon’s son: R. Shlomo Alexandri Sofer of Sereth>> , plus <<Autographed marginal notes and comments in pencil, red and blue inks by R. Shlomo’s son-in-law: R. Joseph Naphtali Stern>> as well as other later, unidentified notes. ff. 93 (f. 36 wanting, although apparently complete), with two shorter leaves inserted at end. Contemporary boards, detached. Folio. Housed in a fitted gold-stamped box. Pasted on front cover is an official statement in Rumanian with the seal of Chief Rabbi Moshe Rosen confirming that this manuscript contains sermons of the Chassam Sofer.

(Pressburg): 18th Elul 1871

Est: $20,000 - $25,000
This manuscript belonged to R. Shimon Sofer (1820-83, Chief Rabbi of Cracow, author of Michtav Sofer, son of the Chassam Sofer); and later to his son, R. Shlomo Alexandri Sofer of Sereth (b. 1857). The manuscript was also studied by R. Joseph Naphtali Stern, R. Shlomo’s son-in-law, one of the great experts on the writings of the Chassam Sofer and editor of Derashoth Chassam Sofer and Chidushei Chassam Sofer al HaTorah. Many of the later notes record which portions of the manuscript have been published to date, other notes point out errors or variances to the printed version, as well as denoting “Ne’etak” (copied) - indicating that R. Joseph Naphtali Stern utilized the manuscript for future printed editions. <<SELECTED CONTENT:>> An autographed note by R. Simon Sofer appears on f. 8a, as attested to in a later marginal note alongside it. There are many signed autographed notes with additional material by his son R. Shlomo Alexandri Sofer of Sereth. For example, see f. 18a where he cites a comment heard from his father in the name of his grandfather. This comment and others were clearly written in the year 1883 as he writes: “Amar Shlomo Alexandri ben Hagaon M[oreinu] …Sh[imon] Sofer Hareini Kaparath Mishkavo” (may I atone for his passing). This particular expression is only used during the first year of mourning. R. Shlomo Alexandri Sofer also uses this expression on f. 63a stating: “My holy grandfather meant to say…” On f. 60a he writes: “According to my grandfather’s holy words we can understand the Midrash…” The last page contains an autographed note in red ink by R. Joseph Naphtali Stern dated 1924 commencing with the words: “Amar Yoseph!” - and stating that this manuscript containing Aggadic novella from 1834-37 was copied from the original autograph manuscript of the Chassam Sofer. Since the Chassam Sofer’s sermons and shorter comments were printed under different titles and versions by Stern and others in new editions (e.g. Derashoth Chassam Sofer, Chassam Sofer al HaTorah, Torath Moshe Hashalem, Chassam Sofer HaChadash etc) the marginal statements as to whether the comments were published or not must be meticulously checked for variances. Rabbi Moses Sofer (the “Chassam Sofer”) of Mattersdorf and Pressburg was one of the most outstanding rabbinic leaders of the late 18th- early 19th-centuries. His qualities of moral character, humility and justice, alongside his profound scholarship and leadership, has created some two centuries later, a deeply venerated aura surrounding his personality. His responsa, novellae and sermons enjoyed unprecedented praise and respect and are to this day assiduously consulted by all Jews universally.