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Israel and Judaica

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Harry Truman Presidential Appointment to UN Agency for Palestinian Relief

HARRY S. TRUMAN, Signed Presidential appointment to a UN agency for Palestinian relief. February 21, 1952. 23 x19 inches.

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Item #21308.02, $2,000

Ben-Gurion to Moshe Sharett on Sharett’s Resignation as Foreign Minister

DAVID BEN-GURION, Autograph Letter Signed, to Moshe Sharett, July 28, 1956, Mount Carmel, Israel. 3 pp., 4½ x 8¼ in.

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I came to recognize that your service as Foreign Minister was not for the good of the country, although I did not cease to value your talents and dedication....

Item #24516, $3,600

Two months Before Declaring Israel’s Independence, Ben-Gurion Counters American Backpedaling and Pushes to Start the Temporary Government

DAVID BEN-GURION, Autograph Letter Signed, “D. Ben-Gurion” to Rabbi Yehuda Leib Fishman. March 23, 1948, [Israel]. In Hebrew, 1 P., on The Jewish Agency for Palestine stationary. 8.5 x 11 in.

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“As I was deprived of the possibility of taking part in the meetings of the Executive, I ask to be allowed to appoint a member to be the head of Defence … paragraph ‘C’ should be changed, by way of adding a demand for an immediate agreement that a temporary Government be formulated…”

Item #24454, $10,500

Chaim Weizmann to British Superintendent Dismissed from Palestine Police Force

CHAIM WEIZMANN, Typed Letter Signed, to Fred A. Partridge, London, December 6, 1931. On stationery personalized with Weizmann’s address: “Oakwood / 16 Addison Crescent / W14.” 2 pp., 6⅞ x 8⅞ in.

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“...the evil fate which seems to overtake our few good friends in the service of the Palestine Government makes me feel a greater bitterness than I can well express… You will have to consider whether you are prepared to face a good deal of unpleasantness in Palestine, or whether you would prefer to try to get transferred to some other service in a country where my friendship, and the friendship of the Jewish residents generally, will not count against you!

Item #26111, $6,800

Israel’s Declaration of Independence—May 1948

[Israeli Declaration of Independence], Newspaper. Yom ha-Medinah. Jerusalem, May 14, 1948. In Hebrew. 2 pp. 16½ x 22 in., framed to 23½ x 29½ in.

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“The General Assembly of the United Nations passed a resolution authorizing the establishment of a Jewish state . . . by reason of our natural and historic right, we hereby proclaim the establishment of...the State of Israel.”

Item #25671.05, $5,500

Grant’s Infamous General Order 11 Expelling Jews—and Lincoln’s Revocation of it

Abraham Lincoln, Collection of eleven original historic newspapers.

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The Jews, as a class, violating every regulation of trade established by the Treasury Department, also department orders, are hereby expelled from the department within twenty-four hours from the receipt of this order by post commanders.

—Grant’s General Orders No. 11, in the New York Herald, Jan. 5, 1863

This Collection of eleven original historic newspapers starts as soon as Grant’s infamous order reached New York on January 4th, 1863. (It was common for news sent to Washington D.C. to reach New York, the main telegraph communications hub, first.) That same day, a delegation of Jews that had arrived from Paducah Kentucky to protest the order went to Ohio Congressman John Gurley, who took them to the White House. Lincoln, while dealing with prosecuting the war and watching for reaction to the Emancipation Proclamation—which he had just issued on January first—received them right away.

Lincoln immediately directed General-in-Chief Henry W. Halleck to have Grant revoke the order. Early on January 5th, Halleck telegraphed Grant that “a paper purporting to be General Orders, No. 11, issued by you December 17, has been presented here. By its terms, it expells all Jews from your department. If such an order has been issued, it will be immediately revoked.” Grant rescinded his order on January 6, 1863.

Publication of the order, its revocation, and resolutions in the Senate and House (both legitimately objecting, and also using the order as an excuse to attack Grant and Lincoln), are included in the collection.

Item #25501, $13,500

David Ben-Gurion ALS—Preventing a War between the Religious and the Secular in Early Israel

DAVID BEN-GURION, Autograph Letter Signed, to D. Z. Benat, July 9, 1954, Jerusalem, Israel. In Hebrew, 1 p., 6½ x 9 in.

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The continuance of the compromise is dependent, first and foremost, on the degree of tolerance that people who hold opposing outlooks can show through a mutual love of Israel.

Item #26100, $7,500

Earliest Known Printing of “Tikvatenu” [Our Hope – the origin of “Hatikvah”] Inscribed by Author Naftali Herz Imber to Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, the “revivalist of the Hebrew language”

NAFTALI HERZ IMBER, Sefer Barkai [The Morning Star], book of poems. Jerusalem: M. Meyuhas Press, 5646 [1886]. Hebrew and some German.

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Dedicatory inscription on verso of title page (partly cropped by binder), handwritten in Hebrew by Imber: “To my wise friend, the linguist... of the periodical HaZvi in Jerusalem. [...] The renowned wordsmith from the ranks of the Jewish sages [...], Ben-Yehuda. This booklet is a memento from the author.

Inked stamps on title page and on several additional pages (Hebrew): “House of Reading and [Home of] the Book Collection, Jerusalem, may it be rebuilt and reestablished” / “Beit Sefarim Livnei Yisrael... Yerusahalayim…” [House of Books for the Children of Israel in the Holy City of Jerusalem]. The library known as “Beit Sefarim Livnei Yisrael” was established in Jerusalem by a group of scholars led by Eliezer Ben-Yehuda in 1884 (upon its closing in 1894, its book collection was transferred to the Midrash Abarbanel Library, which eventually evolved into the National Library of Israel.)

In 1886, prior to the publication Barkai, Imber published the following advertisement in Eliezer Ben-Yehuda's Hebrew-language newspaper, HaZvi (2nd year, Issue No. 36): “There is a book with me among my writings [to] which I have given the title ‘Barkai’ [...] Any printer who wishes to purchase it from me in order to publish it should contact me...” An editor’s note follows the advertisement: “We have seen these poems which have been written by Mr. Imber, and [regard them] in keeping with the principle to which we adhere, ‘Look upon the vessel and relate not to its creator' [in a play on words on the chorus of the well-known liturgical poem for the Day of Atonement, ‘Ki Hineh KaHomer’]. It is incumbent upon us to state that the spirit of lofty poetry hovers over them; their thoughts are pleasant and desirable. The language in them is pristine and clear, and the ideas are exceptional. Many of these poems are worthy of becoming national songs. In general, these poems are faithful national songs, writings of a distinguished poet.”

VI, [2], 127, [1] pp., 15.5 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains, mostly to first and last leaves. Tears, some open and some long, to title page and to several other leaves, mostly restored with paper or mended with adhesive tape. Handwritten notations to some pages. New binding and endpapers.

Item #26582, $60,000

French President Poincare Counters Conspiracy Theory by Anti-Semitic Editor Urbain Gohier (Who Later Fabricated the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”)

ANTI-SEMITISM, RAYMOND POINCARE, Autograph Letter Signed, to Unknown, May 22, 1916. 3 pp., 5⅛ x 8 in.

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The President of the Third French Republic tells an unknown friend about a disturbing letter that he just received from right wing journalist and newspaper editor Urbain Gohier, in which Gohier had accused him, the sitting president, of colluding with Jewish and foreign elements.

Item #24843, $1,250

Menachem Begin Organizing Opposition and Criticizing Prime Minister Ben-Gurion

MENACHEM BEGIN, Autograph Manuscript Signed, in Hebrew, Speech on Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, [November 1, 1950-July 30, 1951]. 3 pp., 5 x 7¾ in.

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“To the Mapai regime: ‘Neither farewell nor see you again.’”

Item #22794, $10,000

American Christian Palestine Committee Scrapbook from 1951 Trip to Israel & Arab Lands

AMERCAN CHRISTIAN PALESTINE COMMITEE, Scrapbook compiled by Harrison Fry, Religion Editor of the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, one of the twenty-two tour participants. April 1951. Items glued or stapled to several pages, with additional papers laid in. In green leatherette boards, rules and decorations in yellow. 120 pp., 9½ x 11¾ x 1 in.

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Item #25321, $1,500

Albert Einstein on the search for greater meaning: “Using such apothecary’s methods one cannot reveal any of God’s secrets, I think.” A Swiss chemist’s work leaves Einstein cold, but Schrödinger “has the scent of a deeper truth.”

ALBERT EINSTEIN, Autograph Correspondence Card Signed, to Michele Besso, May 1, 1926, Berlin. In German. 1 p., 4¼ x 5⅞ in.

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Item #25045, SOLD — please inquire about other items

“Jerusalem of Gold,” Penned by Naomi Shemer in June 1967 with Verse Added to Celebrate the Recapture of Jerusalem

NAOMI SHEMER, Autograph Manuscript Signed of the lyrics to “Yerushalayim Shel Zahav” / “Jerusalem of Gold,” handwritten music manuscript, and a printed booklet with her signature, all in Hebrew.

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Item #25672, $125,000

Henrietta Szold asks a doctor to become a life member of Zionist Organization of America

HENRIETTA SZOLD, Autograph Letter Signed “Henrietta Szold”, one page, 5½ x 9 in., on stationary of the Hotel Alexandria, July 28, 1927, New York, NY, addressed to Elisha Friedman.

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…Will you help?

Item #25625, $950

Newport, Rhode Island Land Deed to Oliver Hazard Perry, Signed by the Wife, Six Daughters and Two Sons-in-law of Moses Mendes Seixas, Who Inspired George Washington’s Famous “to bigotry no sanction” Letter

MOSES SEIXAS FAMILY. [EARLY AMERICAN JUDAICA], Manuscript Document Signed by the wife, six daughters and two sons-in-law of Moses Mendes Seixas. Deed selling 29 Touro Street property to OLIVER HAZARD PERRY, the hero of the Battle of Lake Erie. Signed by Jochebed Seixas (his widow) and their daughters Rachel, with her husband Naphtali Phillips, Judy, with her husband Samuel Lopez, Abby, Grace, Hetty, and Bilhah, plus S.T. Northem as trustee for debtors of Moses’ son Benjamin. November 30th, 1818. 1p, folio, 21½ x 14½ in.

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Elaborate receipt for Newport, Rhode Island sale of land from estate of Benjamin Seixas (1747-1817) signed by numerous members of his family and members of the Spanish-Portuguese Jewish Congregation who were heirs to the property, known now as the Buliod-Perry House at 29 Touro Street, to Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, the great naval hero of the Battle of Lake Erie in 1813.

Item #25466, $18,000

The earliest obtainable printing of George Washington’s Clearest Statement on Religious Freedom: “the Government of the United States...gives to bigotry no sanction...” (SOLD)

[GEORGE WASHINGTON. AMERICAN JUDAICA], Newspaper. Newport Mercury, September 13, 1790. Newport, Rhode Island: Henry Barber. Moses Seixas’ letter to Washington, and his response, the “Touro Synagogue letter,” both printed in full on page 1. 4 pp., 8⅛ x 13 in. This printing, while sold, is available for appropriate museum loans.

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From fifteen Sephardic families who arrived in 1658, Newport’s Jewish community grew to be the largest in the colonies by the Revolutionary War. Many Jews left during the British occupation, but a significant number returned. By the time of Washington’s visit, there were approximately 300 Jews in the thriving Newport community.

On August 17, 1790, on behalf of the Congregation Kahal Kadosh Yeshuat Israel, Newport merchant and banker Moses Seixas wrote an address to welcome George Washington. Seixas’ letter (see below) welcomed Washington to Newport, and congratulated his ascendancy to the Presidency. Seixas also expressed his hopes for the new government’s success and its commitment to religious freedom, that a “government erected by the majesty of the people, a government which to bigotry gives no sanction, persecution no alliance, but generously affording to all Liberty of conscience,” would be created under the new Constitution. Seixas most likely gave Washington the letter on the morning of August 18, when other Clergy and townspeople met with Washington to express their regard for him.

Washington replied later on August 18. He thanked the community for its warm welcome, and assured the congregation that in his administration, “All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship....” He then echoed and built on Seixas’ words, “For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.

The original letter is owned by the Morris Morgenstern Foundation, and is on long-term loan to the National Museum of American Jewish History. We were honored to have appraised the original prior to its exhibit, and to have arranged several loans to the museum. Each year, members of the Touro Synagogue in Newport read the letter in a public ceremony.

The Boston Herald of Freedom first published both Seixas’ letter and Washington’s reply on September 7, 1790, followed by a Newport printing on September 9.

Washington echoed Seixas’ words, and built on them, to make his most celebrated statement on religious freedom.

Item #25029, SOLD — please inquire about other items

Mikhail Gorbachev in Israel: Bar Ilan University Speech on Religion, Perestroika, Creative Genius & Forces of Annihilation

MIKHAIL GORBACHEV, Typed Document Signed, Speech Delivered at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel, June 16, 1992, signed “M Gorbachev” in blue ink at top of first page and dated “16 vi 92.” 6 pp., 8⅝ x 11⅛ in.

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“Scientific successes in the 20th century made for an unprecedented upsurge of the creative force of human genius… Yet, at the same time, they unleashed unheard-of forces of annihilation, of subjugation of many by man, of destruction of the environment. …

“The idea of perestroika was to free society from totalitarianism, arbitrariness, coercion and violence, to give people freedom, while at the same time bringing about a change in international relations.”

Item #24764, $2,800

Theodor Herzl Supports Yiddish Version of His Zionist Newspaper Die Welt

THEODOR HERZL, Typed Letter Signed, on the need to support the Yiddish version of the Zionist Paper Die Welt. One page, in German, to his “colleagues” of the Zionist movement. Countersigned by Oskar Marmorek, the secretary of the Actions Committee. March 3, 1901, Vienna.

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“You understand that the Yiddish edition of the World arose from the need to reach those social strata that were not reached by the German World. It was absolutely necessary to create a periodical which would in a reliable and faithful manner report on Zionist events and the Zionist requirements.”

Though his newspaper Die Welt linked together supporters across three continents. Herzl recognized that, for his vision of a Jewish homeland to become a reality, Western and Eastern Jews would need to join forces, as would the literati and the Yiddish-speaking man-in-the-street. This letter supports Di Velt, the short-lived Yiddish edition launched in 1900, one of Herzl’s attempts to bridge class, cultural and linguistic gaps.

Item #24453, $6,800

The Building Blocks of Albert Einstein’s Creative Mind

[ALBERT EINSTEIN], Ephemera. Set of Anker-Steinbaukasten children’s building blocks by F. Ad. Richter & Cie., Rudolstadt, [Germany], c.1880s. Approximately 160 composite quartz sand, chalk, and linseed oil blocks in red, limestone and slate gray, in various sizes and shapes, together with three or more sets of building plans, all contained in two wooden boxes with printed Anker-Steinbaukasten labels.

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A unique and important artifact of his childhood.

Item #24284, $180,000

Golda Meir Invites an American Semiconductor Pioneer to an Israeli Economic Conference

GOLDA MEIR, Typed Letter Signed as Prime Minister, to Albert Soffa. Jerusalem, May 29, 1969. 2 pp. 8½ x 11 in. On Israeli Prime Minister letterhead.

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Item #23283, $2,400
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