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Bidding Information
Lot #    18528
Start Date    7/4/2007 10:00:00 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
End Date    8/21/2007 10:00:00 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Estimated Price    $1000 - $3000
Current Bid    $1,000.00 by Harry View bidding history
Reserve    Has been met
Minimum Bid    $1,100.00 View bid increment schedule
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Title Information
Title (English)    Letter by R. M. H. Gagin & J. Saul Elyashar
Title (Hebrew)    ' '
Author    [Ms.]
City    Jerusalem
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   [1] p., 210:135 mm., age and ink staining, ink on paper, neat Sephardic script, signed and dated.
   R. Shalom Moses ben Hayyim Abraham Gagin (d. 1883), talmudist and emissary of Erez Israel, was the son of R. Hayyim Abraham Gagin, from whom he inherited a large library, of which Frumkin made use in his Toledot Hakhmei Yerushalayim. R. Shalom was a member of the kabbalist circle of scholars at the yeshivah Bet El in Jerusalem. From 186265, as an emissary of Jerusalem, he visited Tripoli and Algeria, as well as Tunis, where he influenced Caid Nissim Shamama to bequeath a large sum of money to Erez Israel. In 1870, on a second mission, Shalom spent some time in Rome. He died in Jerusalem. His other works, as does Yismah Lev, includes the word Samah (from the initials of his name), in their titles. Those works include: Yismah Moshe (1878), rulings relevant to the testament of Nissim Shamama; Samah Libbi (1884), homilies; Saviv ha-Ohel pt. 1 (1886), pt. 2 (1904), on the tent of meeting, consisting of additions to Yeriot ha-Ohel, the commentary of R. Hayyim Abraham Gagin (Agan) on the Ohel Mo'ed of R. Samuel ben Meshullam Gerondi; and Samah Nefesh (1903), on the laws of blessings. Shalom also arranged the publication of Shaar ha-Pesukim (1863) of R. Hayyim Vital, and Hayyim mi-Yrushalayim (1888), a collection of his father's sermons. Some of his poems were published in Devar Adonai mi-Yrushalayim (1873) of Aaron b. Isaac Pereira.

R. Jacob Saul Elyashar, Sephardi chief rabbi of Erez Israel (rishon le-Zion). A grandson of R. Jacob ben Hayyim Elyashar, he was born in Safed. His father, a dayyan, shohet, and cantor there, was arrested by the Turkish authorities, but succeeded in escaping and settled with his family in Jerusalem. When R. Jacob Saul was seven, he lost his father, and his mother remarried in 1828. His stepfather, R. Benjamin Mordecai Navon, became his teacher and supported him for many years. R. Elyashar married the daughter of hakham bashi, R. Raphael Meir Panigel. He was appointed a dayyan in Jerusalem in 1853, and in 1869 head of the bet din. He succeeded his father-in-law as hakham bashi and rishon le-Zion in 1893. A cultured scholar and a fluent linguist, R. Elyashar wrote thousands of responsa in answer to questions from both Ashkenazim and Sephardim all over the world. He was respected by the authorities and the heads of other religious communities, and received orders of merit from the Turkish sultan, Abdul Hamid, in 1893, and the German kaiser, William II, in 1898. He was accepted by both the Sephardi and Ashkenazi communities and worked hard to put religious institutions in Jerusalem on a solid foundation. The affection in which he was held is reflected in the fact that he was referred to as Yissa Berakhah (conferring a blessing), the word Yissa () being derived from the Hebrew initials of his name. He enjoyed marked success as an emissary to Smyrna (1845), Damascus (1854), Alexandria (1856), and Leghorn (1873).

In 1888 when a controversy arose as to the permissibility of working on the land during the following year, a sabbatical year, R. Elyashar decided that such work could be permitted by selling the land formally to a non-Jew, but suggested that each Jewish agricultural settlement leave a small portion of land uncultivated as a symbol and reminder of the commandment. R. Elyashar died in Jerusalem, where the Givat Sha'ul district is named after him.

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Listing Classification
19th Century:    Checked
Israel:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Letters:    Checked
Kind of Judaica