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Bidding Information
Lot #    19932
Auction End Date    2/19/2008 10:44:30 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Ruah Nedivah
Title (Hebrew)    רוח נדיבה
Author    [Only Ed.] Meir Letteris
City    Prague
Publisher    Moses ha-Levi Landau
Publication Date    1845
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   Only edition. 19, [1], 20 pp. octavo 191:118 mm., light age staining. A very good copy bound in the original wrappers.
   Only edition of this eulogy of the philanthropist Solomon Heine by poet and writer Meir Letteris and the testimony of Thomas de Pinta. The eulogy of Heine is in Hebrew, the testimony of Pinta is in German.

Solomon Heine was a German merchant and philanthropist; born in Hanover 1767; died in Hamburg Dec. 26, 1844. Going to Hamburg when he was sixteen and practically penniless, by 1797 he had become one of the chief members of the banking firm of Heckscher & Co., with which he continued until 1819, when he established an independent business which grew to be one of the most important banking firms in Europe. He extended his operations far and wide, especially devoting himself to dealing in foreign loans and stocks. Having his capital in so many different undertakings, he was not embarrassed by the crisis of 1825, nor even by the great fire at Hamburg in 1842, when he checked a panic by offering a million thalers on the loan market. Toward the loan for rebuilding the city, which amounted to 32,000,000 thalers, he contributed no less than 8,000,000; while he donated the insurance paid on his own mansion, which had been burnt down, to the fund raised to repair the damage caused by the fire. He was a munificent contributor toward all Hamburg charities, and built a Jewish hospital still known by his name. He was an enthusiastic supporter of the movement for the emancipation of the Jews, and left directions that any Jewish institution to which his heirs might contribute should be thrown open to all persons, without distinction of creed, when the Jews of Hamburg should be emancipated. He assisted his nephew, the poet, with a subvention of 6,000 francs per annum during his life in Paris, and left him a legacy of 16,000 francs, though Solomon is reported to have died worth 30,000,000 francs. His son Charles increased this fortune and left no less than 65,000,000 francs.

Meir Letteris (Max; 1800?–1871), Hebrew poet, writer, and editor. Born in Zolkiew (now Zholkva), Letteris, as a child, was introduced to Nachman Krochmal , whom he henceforth considered his mentor. In spite of fame, professional recognition, public honors, and numerous editions of several of his works, he struggled financially all his life, holding jobs as copyreader in different printing houses (but especially in that of Anton von Schmid ), and lecturing, publishing periodicals, selling subscriptions, writing occasional poems, and, for some time, even receiving charity. In the course of his work as a copyreader in Vienna, Pressburg, and Prague, he edited important reprints and first editions, to which he added notes, explanations, and biographies. The latter, along with his autobiography, letter collections, and the contributions of his contemporaries to his various publications, convey a vivid picture of the Galician-Austrian Haskalah and all its leading personalities. His works include the following: (1) Books of Hebrew poetry: Divrei Shir (1822), original poems as well as translations of Schiller, among others; Ayyelet ha-Shaḥar (1824), original poetry and translations of Schiller, Byron ("Hebrew Melodies"), and others; Afrot Zahav (1852), original and translated poetry; Tofes Kinnor ve-Ugav (1860), his first two volumes of poetry together with other previously published and new poems. (2) Translations: Two of Racine's plays, which are in fact free adaptations in Hebrew: Athalie (Geza Yishai, 1835) and Esther (Shelom Ester, 1843); several works by L.A. Frankl , as well as Goethe's Faust, part 1 (Ben Avuyah, 1865), probably Letteris' most important work in this field of endeavor: he adapted and hebraized the play (the setting and characters are Jewish), and deleted all christological references. (3) Hebrew literary collections: Ha-Ẓefirah (1824) – intended as the first number of a periodical – opening with "Yonah Homiyyah," which became the best known of Letteris' poems, set to music and sung for generations; collections of letters including Mikhtavim (1827), Mikhtevei Ivrit (1847), and Mikhtevei Benei Kedem (1866). Further Hebrew collections appeared as supplements to some of his German periodicals. (4) German publications: Sagen aus dem Orient (1847), poetic renditions of biblical, midrashic, and talmudic themes, for which he was awarded a gold medal by Emperor Franz Joseph; Wiener Blaetter, with the Hebrew supplement Ẓefirat Tiferet (1851–52), Wiener Vierteljahrs Schrift, with Avnei NeẒer (1853), and Wiener Mitteilungen (1854–70). He republished both his Hebrew and German writings, including Oestliche Rosen (1852), Beitraege zur Literatur-und Kulturgeschichte (1859), and Ein Blatt Geschichte (1869). His German translation of the mahzor (with a Hebrew commentary, 1845–49) and the Andachtsbuch fuerisraelitische Frauenzimmer (1845) saw numerous editions. He also wrote a Hebraeische Sprachlehre (1853). (5) Editions from manuscripts: M.Ḥ. Luzzatto 's Migdal Oz (1838) with a Latin introduction by Franz Delitzsch and notes by S.D. Luzzatto ; Abraham Ibn Ezra 's Sefat Yeter (1838), and R. Joseph ha-Kohen's Emek ha-Bakha (1852), with notes by S.D. Luzzatto. Among his new editions (always with notes, biographies, or text additions) are Ben-Ze'ev 's Oẓar ha-Shorashim (1839–44), the works of Isaac Erter , Ha-Ẓofeh le-Veit Yisrael (1858), volume one of Ha-Me'assef (1862), and Krochmal's Moreh Nevukhei ha-Zeman (1863). (6) Other works: Ḥikrei Lev (1837), a treatise on Bible study; contributions to the periodicals Bikkurei ha-Ittim, Kerem Ḥemed, and Bikkurei ha-Ittim ha-Ḥadashim. In the latter, Letteris published a Spinoza biography (1845, 27b–31b) which aroused controversy because of his plea for the rehabilitation of Spinoza among Jews. Another undertaking, the editing of the Hebrew text of the Old Testament for the British and Foreign Bible Society of London (1852), damaged his reputation among Jews. It was perhaps his most lasting achievement, however, as it resulted in innumerable editions of the "Letteris Bible." Of his autobiography, Zikkaron ba-Sefer (1869), only the first part appeared, leading up to 1831, and containing a description of Nachman Krochmal's circle in Zolkiew.

Paragraph 2    של שלמה... גדולת... שלמה היינע אשר מת... בעיר האמבורג והניח אחריו ברכה צדקה ונדבות... מאת... ר' מאיר הלוי לעטעריס נ"י. יצא לאור על ידי בנימין זאב פאשעלעס... בשנת ש'ל'מ'ה' ה'י'י'נ'ע' ה'נ'"ל'
   BE resh 229; EJ; JE; CD-EPI 0143890
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Listing Classification
19th Century:    Checked
Other:    Bohemia
Other:    Eulogy
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew, German
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica