It is not without reason that the Jewish People have been called the “People of the Book”, the written book being its source of endurance and fortitude. Since it first became a nation until this very day, the Jewish People’s longing and passion for the written letter have not ceased.
Through the written book we gain full awareness of our glorious past and our magnificent forefathers, as well as the trials and tribulations of exile, the pogroms, and other decisive events in our people’s history over the years
It is precisely to this end that Asufa Auction House was established – in order to acquaint the students, collectors or mere Judaica lovers with the immense amount of material dispersed worldwide, to unveil the hidden, unravel mysteries and present them to the public at large.
Asufa Auction House was established in Israel some eighteen years ago by Moshe Guz, who has extensive knowledge and considerable experience in antique literature. Ever since that time, he has held public auctions of Judaica books and manuscripts several times a year, with the aim of presenting every written and printed word of interest in the field.
The realms of interest we engage in are many and diverse – from books of the Bible and rabbinical literature through books of the Code of Jewish Law (Halacha), responsa, morals and sermons, literature of a cabbalistic and chassidic nature, of Jewish history, Americana Judaica, polemic literature, including single pages: pashkevils (posters), proclamations and notices of interest.
In Asufa’s catalogs you will find printed books from all periods, from the days when publishing first started, termed in professional lingo incunabula, up to books published prior to World War II, which in post-war years became rare and sought-for.
The entire catalog comprises two parts: one part contains the printed books, which we mentioned above, and the other part – the manuscripts. The latter part includes handwritten essays most of which have never reached print, letters from great rabbis, including chassidic luminaries and rebbes on numerous varied subjects, books with their autographs and comments written at the margins of the pages of their own private copies.
Asufa receives the items from private persons and institutions, After the material is collected, a team of researchers and bibliographers, assisted by the opinions of experts from Torah institutes and academic institutions, check the items, both from the physical point of view, i.e. their physical condition (since the collector connoisseur aspires for an antique book in perfect condition) as well as from the bibliographic and historical points of view.
All the above data are meticulously recorded next to every item along with a review of the item, until eventually the above sees print in an impressive catalog. In Asufa we like to call the catalog “a new vessel full of the old”, since it is resplendent with rare items edited and printed by the newest technological means, while their actual content is antique.
During its period of activity, Asufa has exhibited some 25,000 items, hundreds of them discoveries and revelations uncovered by Asufa for the first time, since on several occasions we came by manuscripts with no apparent author or interpretable autograph; but the team of experts was able to identify the writer. One of the great discoveries made by Asufa, which was publicized the world over, was the annotations and commentary written by the renowned Rabbi Meir Izerlish (Ha-Rama”h) on a page of his private copy of Maimonides’ Guide for the Perplexed. This book reached Asufa, without its original owners being aware of the real value of the “treasure” they possessed. After interpreting the handwriting and its certain identification, the book was offered for auction by Asufa and sold for a small fortune, it now forms part of an important collection in the United States.
The Auction will be on Thursday 23.3.2017
At 6:00 Pm
Viewing In “The Israel Center Hall”
22 Keren Hayesod St. Jerusalem
Tel : 02-5663296 Fax : 02-5667802
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