Siddur HaBaal Shem Tov Sold at Sotheby’s Auction for Over Half a Million Dollars

13

siddu-baal-shem-tovThe highlight of yesterday’s annual Judaica auction at Sotheby’s was the Siddur HaBaal Shem Tov, one of only two extant, handwritten siddurim owned by Rav Yisroel ben Eliezer Baal Shem Tov, who was niftar in 1760 at age 62.

The exceptionally rare 223-page Kabbalistic siddur, one of only three or four surviving objects known to have been used by the Besht during his lifetime, was sold for $572,500.

The siddur has meticulous calligraphy, beautiful illustrations, and the davening in Nusach Ha’Ari. It has a stained page of the viduy of the Yomim Noraim that is believed to hold the remnants of the Baal Shem Tov‘s tears, according to Sharon Liberman Mintz, Sotheby’s senior consultant for Judaica and curator of Jewish art at the Jewish Theological Society Library, opened the book to those mesmerizing pages.

This rare and remarkably well preserved manuscript had an estimated pre-auction price of $450,000-$650,000. Indeed, it sold for over half a million.

The siddur had been publicly exhibited only once before, in Tel Aviv in 1960, at an exhibition commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Baal Shem Tov‘s petirah.

{Copyright 2011 Noam Amdurski-Matzav.com Newscenter}

13 COMMENTS

  1. According to Sotheby’s this siddur Lot #91 is Mordichai Twersjy of Chernobyl and not the Beshts siddur. It was written by a sofer named Moshe ben Yosef. I wonder where you got the impression that it was written ir used by the Besht?

  2. In Skver they claim that the Besht davened out of an Ashkenaz siddur. Besides the fact that in the early 1700’s, very few Nusach Ari Siddurim were in existence in Europe. Kudos to #2.

  3. In Skver they claim that the Besht davened out of an Ashkenaz siddur. Besides the fact that in the early 1700’s, very few Nusach Ari Siddurim were in existence in Europe. Kudos to #2.

  4. Ok here are the facts
    The BESHT davened nusach ASHKENAZ
    Mustache ari did not come around Untill the BAAL HATANYA
    ???? ??? ???? ???? ???? ??? &???
    Get your facts straight

  5. The nusach “ari” was compiled by the baal hatania later, so the besht couldn’t have davened that nusach. Also, see the letter about nuschaos in the back of Noam Elimelech (at least the older prints).

  6. It’s lovely to see our Litvish bretheren teaching us history about the Baal Shem Tov.

    The reality is that the Baal HaTanya was melaket a nusach ari based on dozens of previously existing siddurei nusach ari.

    This should be obvious from the name nusach ARI. It was the nusach that was revealed by the holy Arizal. Who was physically here long before the Baal Shem Tov.

    Further and perhaps most importantly, the Maggid of Mezertich, the Baal Shem Tov’s successor, writes at length about the tremendous maaila of davening according to the nusach haklali of the Arizal.

    Just as it would be absurd for a Chosid to lecture to you about the history of the Gro, please do not try to rewrite our history.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here