15 Sep 2019
July 4, 2016 - Filed under: Auctions — Richard

A rare bible which was once used to conduct the ‘Goral Ha-Gra’ is to be auctioned at an auction house in Jerusalem.

The bible has a rich and unique history, being used by Rabbi Arieh Levin to perform the lottery of the Vilna Gaon. Printed in 1701 in Amsterdam, it is said to be the only bible that may be used to perform the lottery, as each of its pages has two columns. The lottery is a method that solves important dilemmas, performed by randomly turning the pages of the bible a set number of times, until arriving at a verse. It is said that the verse will hold the answer to the dilemma.

In 1950, Rabbi Arieh Levin was persuaded to use the bible to perform the lottery, to try and identify the remains of soldiers who had been ambushed when they had set out to find supplies in 1948. An Arab mob had ambushed, killed and mutilated the soldiers so that it became impossible to identify them. When the bodies had been returned to Jerusalem to be buried, the parents asked Rabbi Tzvi Pesach Frank for help so that they could identify their son. He advised them to seek help from Rabbi Arieh Levin, who carried out the Goral Ha-Gra. All the identities are said to have been successfully determined.

Such a rare and historical bible will be a valued find for a collector, who may decide to keep it in an antique bedside cabinet or an antique bookcase so that it can be viewed by others.

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