||On the sanctity of the land of Israel, Jerusalem, the Western Wall by R. Moses Hagiz. There are two title pages; the first informing that it was brought to press by R. Eliezer Menahem ben Zevi Hirsch Goldberg. The verso has a dedicatory page. The second more detailed title page is dated, “your people and your inheritance עמך ונחלתך (644 = 1884)” (Deuteronomy 9:26, 29, I Kings 8:51). There is an approbation from R. Samuel Salant, R. Jacob Judah Loewe, and R. Moses Nehemiah Kohanio. There are introductions from R. Eliezer Menahem and from R. Hagiz, followed by halakhot to be followed when seeing the ruins of Jerusalem, and then the text. The volume concludes with a vignette tail-piece of the Western Wall.
R. Moses Hagiz (1672–?1751) was a scholar, kabbalist and opponent of Shabbateanism; son of R. Jacob Hagiz. He was born in Jerusalem and studied with his grandfather, R. Moses Galante. He appears to have quarreled in his youth with the rabbis and lay leaders of Jerusalem, for when in 1694 he left Erez Israel to collect money to found a yeshivah in Jerusalem, damaging letters were sent after him to the communities to which he turned. Moses visited Egypt and then Italy, where in 1704 he published his father's Halakhot Ketannot. He traveled by way of Prague to Amsterdam where he made contact with R. Zevi Hirsch Ashkenazi, then rabbi of the Ashkenazi community, and collaborated with him in an energetic struggle against Shabbateanism and its secret adherents. When in 1713 R. Ashkenazi and Moses refused to retract the excommunication of the Shabbatean Nehemiah Hayon, a fierce quarrel broke out between them and the elders of the Portuguese community. In 1714 when Ashkenazi resigned his rabbinical office and left Amsterdam, Moses was compelled to leave with him. He went first to London with Ashkenazi, there continuing the fight against Hayon and his allies, and then to Altona, home of R. Jacob Emden, R. Ashkenazi's son, where he resumed the struggle against Shabbateanism. Among those he attacked were Michael Abraham Cardoso and even R. Jonathan Eybeschuetz, and he took the offensive against R. Moses Hayyim Luzzatto, inducing the rabbis of Venice to excommunicate him. In 1738 Moses returned to Erez Israel and settled in Safed. He died in Beirut and was taken to Sidon for burial.
A talmudic scholar of the first rank and a prolific writer, Moses was assisted by a good grounding in secular knowledge and by a command of several foreign languages. In Altona he was friendly with Johann Christopher Wolf, who mentions him in his Bibliotheca Hebraica.
His other works include: Leket ha-Kemah, novellae on the Shulhan Arukh, Orah Hayyim and Yoreh De'ah (Amsterdam, 1697), and Even ha-Ezer (Hamburg, 1711); responsa Shetei ha-Lehem (Wandsbeck, 1733); the ethical treaties Zerror ha-Hayyim and Mishnat Hakhamim (ibid., 1728–31 and 1733 respectively); and Elleh ha-Mitzvot (Amsterdam, 1713), on the numeration of precepts in Maimonides' Sefer ha-Mitzvot, on the Oral Law, and on Kabbalah; Sefat Emet (Amsterdam, 1697). His literary activity also included the editing of many early books.