Large Prayer Manuscript
MAGNIFICENT LARGE MANUSCRIPT written entirely on parchment in neat calligraphy script, with decorative accents, elaborate initials
Ashmores Haboker Order of Prayer includes Selichos upon the destruction of the Temple which are recited prior to dawn.
The title page is designed with an artistic border topped by vases of flowers and flanked on each side with drawings of birds. It features an impressive, unusual illustration of the 3 forefathers Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov.
The illustration depicting Avraham is expressed by the caption “And Avraham arose early [in the morning]”.
The illustration depicting Yitzchak is expressed by the caption “And Yitzchak went out [to speak in the field]”.
The illustration depicting Yaakov’s dream of the ladder is expressed by the caption “And behold a ladder is stationed on the earth”.
The present manuscript is the work of the scribe Chaim ben Rabbi Moshe G”S (presumably Goldschmidt) of Hamburg and was inscribed in 1769.
see further below for the fascinating survival story of this manuscript
There was an old custom in Jewish congregations for the righteous to rise in the pre-dawn hours to say Selichos upon the destruction of the Holy Temple.
Contents of the manuscript:
1. Order of Selichos for the weekday
2. Order of Selichos for days when Tachanun is not recited
3. Order of Yom Kippur Katan, including Minchah
4. Weekday Maariv
5. Prayer for the ill
In the colophon, the author inscribes: “By the hands of the writer, the humble Chaim son of my father Rabbi Moshe G”S shlit”a.
Hamburg, 1769. Complete , 56,  leaf (116 sides). Size: 30×18 cm. Condition: Several leaves with signs of use, stains or faded ink, wax drippings (see e.g. leaves 23a, 34a), some words are blurry. Last leaf reinforced. Original leather-coated wooden binding with remnants of clasps. spine reconstructed. • Provenance: Rabbi Carlbach Family Collection; Hamburg-Lakewood.
Accompanied to this lot is a printed copy of Ashmores Haboker Order of Prayer (Amsterdam, 1713) . Bound in antique leather-bound wooden binding with owner’s name engraved:
Yezli ben Rabbi Elkana Levi.
The Story of the Miraculous Rescue of the Sacred Manuscript
For many years, the manuscript was in the famous library of Rabbi Amram Hisch (1833-1909), Av Beis Din of Hamburg. After his passing, his widow sold a significant portion of his library, including this manuscript, to Rabbi Yosef Tzvi Carlebach (1883-1942), the last Chief Rabbi of Hamburg prior to the Holocaust.
Rabbi Yosef Tzvi Carlebach was known and respected by all German Jewry and devoted his life to helping others. After Nazi Germany banned Jewish students from attending German schools together with Aryan German children, Rabbi Carlebach set up a number of schools throughout Germany to educate Jewish children. His schools bore his name and were known as Carlebach-Schulen.
As the Nazi persecution increased, evil decrees grew more alarming each day, Rabbi Carlebach feared for the fate of his precious library. He searched a hiding place where he could conceal his library. He hid the books and manuscripts in Krummhübel a small town in the Slisein Giant Mountains (Reisengebirge).
With the outbreak of World War Two, Rabbi Carlebach was offered the opportunity to flee Hamburg, yet he valiantly chose to remain behind with his congregation alongside his wife and 4 young children.
In 1941, he published an article in Jewish newspapers expressing his objection to the war. His essay reached the office of the local S.S. commander who sent an order to Berlin to punish the author severely.
Due to his venerated status, the Nazis didn’t arrest him in his hometown of Hamburg, yet deceitfully sent him, his wife, and 4 little children, along with several thousand Jews, on a long journey that ended in Riga, Latvia.
He was murdered together with his wife and his 3 little children on March 26, 1942, during the mass shooting of approximately 1600 Jews, mostly older people and children. This went down in history as the Dünamünde Actio. Hashem yikom damam.
Of his younger children, the only one to survive was his son Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach (1926-2022).The Young Shlomo Carlebach was able to survive the Holocaust while suffering four years of internment in nine different concentration camps. Eventually, he made his way to the United States where he served as a mashgiach ruchani in Yeshivas Rabbeinu Chaim Berlin. After the war, Rabbi Shlomo went back to Germany in search of his father’s Library, hoping to retrieve his father’s precious sefarim. He was delighted to discover the entire library intact still hidden in the small town Krummhübel. He returned to the United States with the books and manuscripts. They remained in his possession until his passing last year in 2022 יהי זכרו ברוך.
The present item is an original manuscript from the library of Rabbi Yosef Tzvi Carlebach and subsequently his son, Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach z”l.
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