Thursday, February 24, 2011

"Writing and Identity in the Jewish Tradition": Rome, March 27

In occasione dell’Hachnasat Sèfer Torah
(cerimonia inaugurale per l’ingresso in Tempio di un Sèfer Torah) Scrittura e identità nella tradizione ebraica
Il Dipartimento Educazione e Cultura dell’Unione delle Comunità Ebraiche Italiane
e la Comunità Ebraica di Padova organizzano
Domenica 27 Marzo 2011 - 21 Adar Shenì 5771
Sala Ex Sinagoga tedesca - Ghetto, via delle Piazze 26 - Padova
design: dh@Daniela
ore 14.45 - Saluti
Davide Romanin Jacur - Presidente Comunità ebraica di Padova
ore 15.00
Introduce e modera: Roberto Della Rocca - Direttore Dec-Ucei
Amedeo Spagnoletto - Sofer e docente CRI
Riccardo Calimani - Presidente della Fondazione MEIS
Donatella Di Cesare - Docente di Filosofia, Università “La Sapienza”
Adolfo Locci - Rabbino Capo di Padova
Rony Klopstok - Rabbino Yeshivat haKotel
ore 17.45
Hachnasat Sèfer Torah
Seguirà aperitivo
Sala del Consiglio della Comunità - via San Martino e Solferino, 9
Info: Comunità Ebraica di Padova / tel. 049 8751106 / mail:
Comunità Ebraica diPadova

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Jewish Book Week in London

Program here:

Upcomiong Kesternbaum Auction Information

Iberian-Judaica from
the Distinguished Collection
of the Late Alfonso Cassuto
Highlights Kestenbaum & Company's
Auction of Fine Judaica
Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Iberian-Judaica | Incunabula | Chassidism | Passover Hagadoth | Autograph Letters Manuscripts | Graphic Art | Ceremonial Art | Exhibition Dates
For further details of any of the items mentioned click on the relevant lot numbers.
(Note: If links are not working please use HTML version by clicking link at very top of this e-mail)

Kestenbaum & Company's sale of Fine Judaica to be held on Thursday, February 24th at 3:00pm will mark the company's Fiftieth Auction since its establishment in 1996. With an exclusive commitment to the field of Fine Judaica, Kestenbaum has over the past fifteen years offered some 17,000 lots comprising an immense quantity of Judaic properties. Highlighting this Jubilee auction, will be the historic Cassuto Collection of Iberian-related Books and Manuscripts, alongside which, this extensive sale will feature Rare Hebrew Printed Books, Manuscripts, Autograph Letters, Graphic & Ceremonial Art.
The foundation of the Alfonso Cassuto Collection was laid by Mr. Cassuto's great-grandfather Jehuda de Mordehai Cassuto who in 1835 acquired a sizeable library assembled in the 17th century by the Namias Family of Hamburg. Subsequent generations of the family greatly expanded the library and Alfonso in particular immersed himself enthusiastically in the books and the library's further development. The present collection was consigned to Kestenbaum & Company by Alfonso's son, the distinguished composer and conductor Álvaro Leon Cassuto, Artistic Director of the Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra.

Click Here to View the Entire Auction Catalogue

For further information relating to bidding or any other queries, please contact:
Daniel Kestenbaum
Tel: 212-366-1197




Passover Hagadoth

Autograph Letters


Graphic Art

Ceremonial Art

Exhibition Dates

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View Auction Catalogue
Contact us


The Collection of Iberian-Judaica in this auction features theological, historical and liturgical texts, as well as books and manuscripts relating to the Inquisition, literature, science and medicine. Important lots within the collection include a handsome manuscript by Isaac Orobio de Castro, Prevenciones Divinas contra la vana ydolatria de las gentes, Amsterdam, circa 1700, estimate $25,000-30,000 (lot 332) and three highly significant works bound in one volume by the celebrated mathematician and cartographer, Pedro Nunes, including his De Arte Atque Ratione Navigandi, 1573, at an estimate of $20,000-25,000 (lot 331). Further highlights include Isaac da Fonseca Aboab's Parafrasis Comentado Sobre el Pentateuco with the rare frontispiece portrait, Amsterdam, 1681, estimate $5,000-7,000 (lot 264); Flor de Apolo, a sumptuous edition of collected poetry by one of the most celebrated 17th century Marrano poets, Miguel de Barrios, Brussels, 1665, estimate $6,000-8,000 (lot 280); Joseph Penso de la Vega's Rumbos Peligrosos, Antwerp, 1683, estimate $4,000-6,000 (lot 286) and Luis de Granada's Introduction del Symbolo de la Fe, Salamanca, 1584-85, estimate $4,000-6,000 (lot 290). Also featured are medical texts by noted Marrano physicians such as Elijah Montalto (lot 322 ), Amatus Lusitanus (lot 317) and Rodrigo de Castro (lot 320).
Elsewhere in the 420-plus lot auction is a broad range of categories including Incunabula, Liturgy, Chassidic and Kabbalistic texts, Bibles, Passover Hagadahs, American and Anglo Judaic imprints, Anti-Semitic and Holocaust-related materials. Illustrated Books in the auction feature works by Max Liebermann, El Lissitzky, Reuven Rubin and Issachar Ber Ryback. Other sections include a significant collection of Autograph Letters, Graphic Art, a single-owner collection of Fine Photography and Ceremonial Art.

Incunabula in the auction include Joseph Albo's classic text of Jewish philosophy-Sepher Ha'Ikarim, Soncino, 1485, estimate $25,000-35,000 (lot 7); a wide-margined copy of David ben Joseph Abudraham's commentary to the prayers, the second book printed in Lisbon, 1489, estimate $20,000-30,000 (lot 265) and Alphonso de Spina's Fortalitium Fidei, Nürnberg, 1485, estimate $ 6,000-9,000 (lot 340). An important post-incunable is a crisp set of Daniel Bomberg's Biblia Rabbinica, presented here in four volumes in a fine, uniform contemporary binding, Venice, 1524-5, at an estimate of $50,000-70,000 (lot 53).

Among the Chassidic Books, the rarest is undoubtedly an extraordinarily fine copy of Schneur Zalman of Liadi's Sepher Likutei Amarim, the fundamental exposition of Chabad Chassidic philosophy, Slavuta, 1796, at a pre-auction estimate of $100,000-120,000 (lot 71). Other notable Chassidic texts in the sale include a scarce copy of Schneur Zalman of Liadi's first edition of the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim), Kopyst, 1816, estimate $8,000-10,000 (lot 74) and the first anthology of the teachings of the Ba'al Shem Tov, Kether Shem Tov, two parts bound in one, Zolkiew, 1794, at an estimate of $7,000-10,000 (lot 70).
Passover Hagadoth

A sizeable selection of Passover Hagadahs includes many fine examples such as Arthur Szyk's opulently illlustrated Hagadah printed entirely on vellum (one of 125 numbered copies), London 1939-40, estimate $30,000-40,000 (lot 132); a beautifully designed Hagadah by Albert Daniel Rutherston rarely seen at auction (one of 100 copies printed on handmade paper), London, 1930, estimate $7,000-9,000 (lot 131); a copy of the celebrated Amsterdam Hagadah, 1695, estimate $4,000-6,000 (lot 123) and a deluxe, large-paper-copy of Jakob Steinhardt's artistic Hagadah, Berlin, 1921, at an estimate of $3,000-5,000 (lot 129).

Autograph Letters

The Autograph Letters section of the sale boasts an impressive selection of written correspondences by prominent Rabbinic thinkers and Chassidic leaders. Included are letters by the Chofetz Chaim and members of the Halberstam Family. Also on offer is correspondence from the Schneerson Family including letters written from Latvia in 1927 shortly after the family's expulsion from the Soviet Union. Far and away, the most prominent lot to be auctioned in this section is an immensely rare autograph letter written by the paramount Chassidic leader, Reb Nosson of Breslov. The letter was written by Reb Nosson in 1842 to a close disciple, Reb Meir Mirkis of Teplik, who was ailing at the time, and the missive has remained with the Mirkis family for nearly two centuries. This letter is of singular importance as it contains, at its heart, one of the central philosophies of Breslov Chassiduth: "Joy is the remedy for all sicknesses." The pre-auction estimate is $40,000-60,000 (lot 237). Another star lot in this section is a group of childhood photographs and autograph letters written by Oskar Schindler, the renowned rescuer of Holocaust-era Jews. The letters were written to Schindler's first cousin Emily Tyrolt. The pre-sale estimate is $5,000-7,000 (lot 245).


Highlights among the manuscripts include an important autographed pedagogic work by Yitzchak Aryeh Zekel Leib Wormser, the Ba'al Shem of Michelstadt (1768-1847), estimate $15,000-20,000 (lot 255); a bizarre and rather fascinating Kabbalistic manuscript of folk remedies, Eastern Europe, 18th century, estimate $1,000-1,500 (lot 257) and a rare illuminated Marriage Contract from the ancient community of Mountain Jews in the region of Azerbaijan, 1867, estimate $1,500-2,500 (lot 353).

Graphic Art

The Graphic Art section features paintings by Artur Markowicz, Saul Raskin and Otto Eichinger among others. Of particular interest is a Hebrew Map of the World by Benedictus Arias Montanus, Antwerp, 1571, at an estimate of $700-1,000 (lot 354). A single-owner consignment of Fine Photography notably includes the works of Roman Vishniac (lots 371-373).

Ceremonial Art

The sale concludes with an attractive selection of Ceremonial Art. Fine examples include a 17th century Italian Bronze Chanukah Lamp, estimate $15,000-18,000 (lot 380), a pair of Continental silver and silver filigree Torah Finials, circa 1800, estimate $5,000-7,000 (lot 399) and an exceptional Italian embroidered Synagogue textile, dated 1698, at an estimate of $5,000-7,000 (lot 397). Also noteworthy is a varied collection of materials from the Bezalel School of Art (Lots 405-22).

This Jubilee Auction is particularly exciting and we look forward to welcoming a broad range of new clients likely to be drawn to the attractions found in the celebrated Cassuto Collection.

Click Here to View the Entire Auction Catalogue

Visit Our Website

Pre-Auction Exhibition:
Sunday, 20th February - 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Monday, 21st February - 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Tuesday, 22nd February - 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Wednesday 23rd February - 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
No viewing on day of sale

Kestenbaum and Company
242 West 30th Street, 12th Floor
New York, NY 10001
Tel: (212) 366-1197
Fax: (212) 366-1368

March 3: Van Leer Event on "Kabbalistic Manuscripts and Textual Theory"

Click on picture to expand it.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Call for Papers; "Authorship in the History of Jewish Textual Culture"

(from H-Judaic)

From: Amit Assis []
Sent: Tue 2/1/2011 8:09 AM
Subject: Re: CFP - Authorship in the History of Jewish Textual Culture

CFP - Authorship in the History of Jewish Textual Culture

We hereby call for papers on the subject of authorship in Jewish and Hebrew
textual cultures, for a volume of studies published by the Sapir Forum for
the Discussion and Research of Culture. The purpose of the volume is to go
beyond the issue of the identity of the real author and move towards a
meta-cultural discussion of the transformation of the conception of the
author and its implementations in various Jewish cultures throughout the
ages. Beyond an examination of the formal characteristics of the text, we
expect the issue of authorship to raise other, in-depth questions related to
the various Jewish texts and cultures such as:

- Is the author perceived as the creator of the text? And if not - who is
perceived as its author?
- How is the presence of the narrator expressed in the text? What is the
role of the addressee in the creation of the text?
- Does the text have one author or many? What is the relationship between
the various partners creating the text?
- What is the status of 'the source of inspiration', the editor, the
compiler, the copier, the translator and the like, who stand behind the
- How does authorship relate to the technological, social and
institutional practices of a text's composition, transition and reception?
- What is the role of the author in creating the normative status of the
- What is the relationship between the actual author and the fictitious
one (in pseudo-epigraphy, for example)?
- How is the author a model for the national subject (individual or
- What are the relations between the human author of the text and the
divine "Author" (prophecy, incarnation, inspiration)?
- How is the function of the author related to non-textual cultural
- What is the theological, political, ideological, etc. significance of
the manner of appearance of the author in the given field of discourse?

The papers can address these questions or similar ones, while dealing
with a relatively large segment of the Jewish and Hebrew textual culture
such as: the Bible, *Midrash*, Gaonic literature, renaissance poetry, and
so on, or they can refer to a narrower definition such as: *Rabbi
Ishmael's Mekhilta*, the *Tikkunei Zohar*, the political journalism in "*
Ha'Shiloah*", etc. Papers may be written in Hebrew or English. Papers
that will be chosen by the editorial board will undergo a professional
reading by a reviewer from the paper's field, and they will be translated so
that the volume will appear in both languages. The papers, which will not be
longer than 9000 words, must include a textual reading alongside fundamental
conclusions as to the historical, theoretical, literary, ideological, or
theological aspects. These can refer to the formal aspects of the presence
of the narrator in the text as well as to more fundamental questions such as
the manner in which the perception of the author in the text reflects
broader basic conceptions related to the function of "the Author" and the
institute of authorship in the given historical period and culture.

Please send a proposal no longer than 600 words, detailing the subject of
the paper, the fields of research from which it is written, its hypotheses,
as well as an initial bibliography, no later than May 1st, 2011. The
papers should be ready no later than January 1st, 2012.
Itamar Brenner
Amit Assis