Will this book fair spring-clean your bank account?

Will this book fair spring-clean your bank account?

Pages from Marc Chagall’s Bible
Pages from Marc Chagall’s Bible

Time to check your credit score. The ABAA New York International Antiquarian Book Fair is returning to the Park Avenue Armory in Manhattan April 4-7, and it has some tempting — if possibly pricey — items of Jewish interest available, alongside first editions of “The Great Gatsby” and a handwritten, unpublished Sylvia Plath poem.

Is your grandfather, like mine, a banker? Does he, unlike mine, of blessed memory, have a birthday coming up? Consider buying him a leaf from a handwritten copy of Maimonides’ Mishneh Torah dated to the 13th or 14th century being offered by Butler Rare Books. The leaf contains all of chapter 15, and parts of chapters 14 and 16, of the laws of borrowing and lending. Butler Rare Books is also selling a 13th-century fragment of Saadiah Gaon’s Judeo-Arabic translation of Numbers which had been repurposed as an amulet. The amulet was previously owned by the late Rabbi Dr. Zvi Szubin of Teaneck, a professor of classical languages and comparative legal studies at the City University of New York and uncle of this paper’s art director, Jerry Szubin.

A fragment of Saadia Gaon’s 13th-century translation of the Book of Numbers into Judeo-Arabic.

More colorfully, Daniel Crouch is displaying — and selling — maps of the Land of Israel collected by Dr. Adrian Naftalin over more than half a century. While a 17th-century British map of “The Land of Canaan described with the City of Jerusalem” is no substitute for Waze when you navigate Israel’s highways and roads, it will look excellent hanging on your wall.

You say your list of gift recipients holds more kabbalists than bankers? Then stop by Eric Chaim Kline’s booth for a 19th-century diagram of the Ilan HaGadol, the great sefirotic tree of life as described by 17th-century Jerusalem kabbalist Meir ben Judah Loeb ha-Kohen Poppers. Printed in 1864 in Warsaw, the first time these diagrams of Lurianic kabbalah were printed by Jews.

Eric Chaim Kline also is selling five items from U.S. Army Chaplain Max A. Braude’s 1945 Seder service in liberated France, including his photostatted Haggadah, his chaplain’s cloth flag, and his silk tallit featuring U.S. Army insignia, the Ten Commandments, and the Star of David.

A first edition of Elie Wiesel’s “Night” in Yiddish

You think your gift recipient wants it darker? Manhattan Rare Books is offering a rare first edition of Elie Wiesel’s “Night” in the original Yiddish, published in Buenos Aires under the title Un Di Velt Hot Geshvign (And the World Remained Silent).

And at the intersection of colorful and pricey, at Philip J. Pirage’s booth you can pick up a copy of Marc Chagall’s limited edition illustrated Bible — just 275 copies, published in France — sold along with separate volumes including color lithographs and describing his creative process. This rare if not unique work will set you back $95,000.


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