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Bidding Information
Lot #    24797
Auction End Date    9/22/2009 12:09:00 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Moznayim le-Mishpat u-Mishnah Aharonah
Title (Hebrew)    מאזניים למשפט ומשנה אחרונה
Author    [Only Ed.] R. Zevi Hirsch Kalischer
City    Koenigsberg
Publication Date    1835
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   Only edition. 163 pp. folio 360:210 mm., wide margins, light age staining. A very good copy loose in later boards, split.
   Only edition of this detailed clarification of the halakhot in Shulhan Arukh Hoshen Mishpat by R. Zevi Hirsch ben Solomon Kalischer. The title page, which describes it as the first part, states that it is an in depth explanation of each and every din of the statutes according to our holy Torah. It clarifies the words of rishonim and ahronim according to the truth of the Torah and provides piskei din for the halakhot from the leading rabbis. At the bottom of the page the author expresses his intent to speedily give over the second part to the printer. There are approbations from nine rabbis and then R. Kalischer’s introduction. The text is comprised of the Shulhan Arukh Hoshen Mishpat accompanied by Moznayim le-Mishpat. At the end is a page of errata. Moznayim le-Mishpat is significant because R. Kalischer is remembered today for his Zionist activities. This work clearly shows that he was an eminent halakhist, an importatn facet of his activities that is not always appreciated today.

R. Zevi Hirsch ben Solomon Kalischer (1795–1874) was a rabbi and harbinger of the Zionist idea. Born in Lissa (Leszno), Posen district, Kalischer studied under the great scholars of his day, R. Jacob of Lissa (Lorberbaum) and R. Akiva Eger. In 1824 he settled in Thorn, where he lived until his death, rejecting invitations from many communities to serve as their rabbi. Even in Thorn he served only as unpaid acting rabbi and lived off the meager income supplied by his wife's small business. He published books on halakhah (Even Bohan; Moznayim la-Mishpat, 1843–55) and on religious philosophy (Emunah Yesharah, 1843), and contributed to the Hebrew press for many years. (Before the existence of a regular Hebrew press, his articles were published in German translation in the German-Jewish press.) His major activity, however, throughout his life, was advocating the idea of mass settlement of European Jewry in Erez Israel. In his discussions with members of the Reform movement on the observance of religious precepts, the belief in the coming of the Messiah, the mitzvot connected with Erez Israel, etc., Kalischer revealed not only his strong attachment to religious tradition but also his preoccupation with the problems of the day.

As early as his meeting with Anschel Rothschild in 1836, R. Kalischer revealed his opinion that the redemption of Israel would not come, as had been believed for generations, through a miracle, that "suddenly God would come down from the heavens or suddenly send His messiah," but rather that salvation would be brought about by human endeavor. He stressed the idea that the natural redemption would serve as the first and main stage before the miraculous redemption at the end of days. This was a revolutionary departure from over 1,000 years of Jewish thinking about redemption. His system initially included the observance of the mitzvot connected with Erez Israel, especially those of sacrifice, as basic steps toward the future redemption, but at a later stage he disregarded this element in his ideology. Indeed, he wrote to Rothschild detailing the halakhic issues involved in renewing the practice of sacrifice on the Temple Mount. Shortly thereafter, Kalischer corresponded at length with his former teacher R. Akiba Eger about the sanctity of the Temple Mount, the problems regarding the laws of purity and the genealogies of the priests. Unfortunately for Kalischer, Eger, who opposed Kalischer's ideas, died in 1837 before they could come to a resolution. Following R. Judah Alkalai, he based his doctrine on the talmudic saying "It [the coming of the Messiah] depends solely on the return [to God]" (Sanh. 97b), interpreting the word "return" as return to Erez Israel. He based this interpretation on Tikkunei Zohar. Thus he introduced an active human element into the concept of the redemption of the Jewish people, in opposition to most of the Orthodox rabbis of the time, who objected to this interpretation and its practical implications. His urge to gather supporters for the return to Erez Israel was reinforced by the various national movements in Europe, which were specifically cited by Kalischer. Pointing to the struggles of European nations to achieve independence, Kalischer chastised his fellow Jews for being the only people without such an aspiration. He was particularly critical of the Reform Jews who tried to emulate the gentile lifestyle. R. ischer urged them to emulate gentile nationalism as well by returning to the Jewish homeland, Erez Israel. Kalischer was a realist. He was aware that only a catastrophic event or the very slow process of education would change the attitudes of Europe's Jews. However, he felt that the mid-nineteenth century was ripe for this change, for there were enough wealthy Jewish leaders who could influence the European political leadership without begging for their mercy and good will. In practical terms, there was little difference between Kalischer's plans and those of Herzl: A Jewish state based on agriculture, with its own police and army. So why did R. Kalischer fail to start a mass Zionist movement? R.lischer was a bit of an anomaly. East European Orthodox Jews thought that his messianic ideas were too modern and were thus afraid that they might lead to assimilation. West European Jews saw him as an East European rabbi who spoke and wrote using a talmudic and rabbinic idiom that was foreign to them.

Paragraph 2    על חושן המשפט... ביאור רחב על כל דין ודין (קראתי ... מאזניים למשפט)... לברר וללבן דברי ראשונים ואחרונים... (והפנים קראתי... משנה אחרונה) פסקי דינים להלכה... חוברו יחדיו מן... צבי הירש בהרב מו"ה שלמה קאלישר זצ"ל מילדי ק"ק ליסא... כרך א-ב.
   EJ; CD-EPI 0161412
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Listing Classification
19th Century:    Checked
Germany:    Checked
Halacha:    Checked
Novellae:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica