Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Royal Repast for the Jewish Bookworm

By the Bray of Fundie

Sotheby’s Auction House is displaying the Valmadonna Trust Library until tomorrow. This is one of the most impressive Judaica collections in the world.

I’ve heard it rumored that YU, BMG of Lakewood, Chabad Headquarters and the JTS have all eyeballed the exhibit with an eye towards obtaining the collection. The size and price of the collection, along with the strings that the current owner has attached to the sale, probably make it out of reach for private collectors.

I won’t vouch for the historicity of this (and even if I did as a Kharedi I have zero credibility when it comes to history or science) but a delicious urban legend has sprung up around the Bromberg Shas being found in Westminster Abbey.

Henry the VIII’s troubled marriage to Catherine of Aragon began as a levirate marriage AKA Yivum. Catherine had been the childless widow of young Henry’s brother, Arthur prince of Wales . A Jewish Scholar told Henry that, per the Talmud, Levirate marriages were no longer considered a mitzvah as Khalitza= the widow release transaction, is the way to go in such scenarios. (parenthetically this issue was debated with much sturm und drang here less than a month ago!)

As ammo in his appeals to the Catholic Church to have the marriage annulled the eighth Hank wanted to be able to cite the pertinent Talmudic passage chapter and verse as it were. And so the eventual six-time khoson went out and treated himself to a Bomberg Shas!

You'll make a voluntary payment to your food server, but not to your blogger? Toss a tip in the hat, please, and buy Dov's book. (thanks!)

No comments: