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Bidding Information
Lot #    22038
Auction End Date    11/18/2008 12:12:30 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Kokav mi-Ya’akov: Berit Avot
Title (Hebrew)    כוכב מיעקב: ברית אבות
Author    [First Ed.] R. Jacob Ben Wolf Kranz (Dubno Maggid)
City    Warsaw
Publisher    Isaac Goldman
Publication Date    1871; 1868
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   First edition. 26, 16, 18, 17, 21; 32 ff. octavo 225:130 mm., wide margins, light age staining. A very good copy bound in later boards, rubbed.
   First edition of this popular commentary on the haftorot by R. Jacob Ben Wolf Kranz (Dubno Maggid). Bound with the volume is Berit Avot, a Pesah Haggadah with the commentaries Emet le-Ya’akov and Hesed le-Avraham by, respectively, the Dubno Maggid and by R. Abraham Dov Berush Plahm.

R. Jacob Ben Wolf Kranz, (Dubno Maggid, 1741–1804), preacher. Born in Zietil, in the province of Vilna, Kranz demonstrated his homiletical skill at an early age and was known as preacher to his fellow yeshivah students especially in Mezhirech, where he received his halakhic, and probably his kabbalistic, education. He was barely 20 years old when he became darshan in his city. From there he wandered through several other cities, holding the post of preacher in Zilkiew, Wlodawa near Lublin, Kalisz, and Zamosc. But he achieved his fame as preacher in Dubno, where he served for 18 years. As his reputation spread, he came into contact with some of the most prominent rabbis of his time, such as R. Elijah b. Solomon Zalman (the Gaon of Vilna). It is told that when Elijah was too ill to study, he asked Kranz to visit his bedside and read him his homiletical interpretations, stories, and parables.

All of Kranz's works were printed posthumously by his son, Isaac, and his pupil, Baer Plahm. His major homiletical work, Ohel Ya'akov ("The Tent of Jacob"), was printed in four parts (Genesis, Yosepov, 1830; Exodus, Zolkiew, 1837; the third and fourth parts in Vienna, 1859–63). In addition, his homilies on the five scrolls, Kol Ya’akov ("The Voice of Jacob"), were printed in Warsaw in 1819. Among his other published homiletical works are an exegesis of the Passover Haggadah (Zolkiew, 1836) and a collection of homilies called Haftarot (Warsaw, 1872). R. Baer Plahm edited Kranz's Sefer ha-Middot ("The Book of Ethics," Vilna, 1860), a work consciously modeled after the 11th-century Hovot ha-Levavot by Bahya ibn Paquda. In describing the attitude required of the Jew in his spiritual relationship with God, as well as the observances required in his practical relationship, Kranz discusses such subjects as the fear of God, love of God, knowledge of God, and prayer.

Although he made use of the vast treasure of Jewish ethical, homiletical, halakhic, and kabbalistic material, Kranz succeeded in composing homilies which the Jewish layman could readily understand. The inclusion of many parables, fables, stories, and epigrams captivated the hearts of less scholarly listeners. Yet the homilies are not simplistic, but represent the highest achievement of Hebrew homiletical art at that time. That R. Kranz integrated folkloristic material into his homilies without vulgarizing them was a significant achievement. His parables were culled from his works and printed separately as Mishlei Ya'akov ("The Parables of Jacob," Cracow, 1886). However, taken out of their homiletical context, the parables lose most of their artistic effect.

Paragraph 2    באורים ופרושים, פשטים ודרושים על סדר ההפטרות, מאת... ר' יעקב דובנא... ומאת... תלמידו... ר' אברהם בערוש פלאהם נ"י מ"מ דק"ק לובלין... נדפס בהוצאות הרב ר' נפתלי משכיל לאיתן (אשר טרח ויגע ולקט ואסף וסדר הספר הזה [וגם הוסיף בו הרבה מחידושיו])...

על הגדה לליל שמורים ... בו ... שני הבאורים ... האחד אמת ליעקב מאת ... הרב ... מוהר"ר יעקב [קראנץ] זצוק"ל. מ"מ דק"ק דובנא, מעזריטש, זאמושטש ... השני חסד לאברהם מאת הרב ... מוהר"ר אברהם דוב בערוש פלאהם נ"י. מ"מ דק"ק שעברשין, פיעטרקוב, מעזריטש ... ועוד נוספו עתה ... חדושים יקרים ... שנת ל'ח'ן' ו'ל'ח'ס'ד' ל'ר'ח'מ'י'ם' ו'ל'ח'י'י'ם'

דף ב, ב: שתי איגרות ר' אליהו מווילנא אל ר' יעקב קראנץ מדובנא.
הסכמות ר' שלמה קלוגר ור' אפרים אליעזר צבי הירש חרל"פ, שנעתקו מהוצאת זאלקווא תקצ"ז.

   BE caph 111; EJ; CD-EPI 0164912

Yaari 973; Yudlov 1320; CD-EPI 0188744

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Listing Classification
19th Century:    Checked
Russia-Poland:    Checked
Haggadah:    Checked
Homiletics:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica