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Bidding Information
Lot #    12405
Auction End Date    12/20/2005 10:29:30 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Shenei Luhot ha-Berit (She-La-H)
Title (Hebrew)    שני לוחות הברית
Author    [Kabbalah] R. Isaiah b. Abraham Horowitz ha-Levi
City    Amsterdam
Publisher    Immanuel b. Joseph Attias
Publication Date    1698
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   Second edition. [4], 422, 44, [12] ff., 301:212 mm., light age and damp staining, nice margins, old hands. A very good copy bound in contemporary leather on wood boards, tooled in blind, rubbed and split.
Paragraph 1    This edition is known by the Hebrew year of its printing של"ה נח"ת which is also the birth year of the Besht. Furthermore, this edition is considered to be “ a protector from evil” for its owner and is sought after by generations of Jews.
   A monumental and extensive work first published in Amsterdam, 1649 (with many later editions by his son R. Shabbetai who offered as an introduction his own Vavei ha-Ammudim). In this extensive work, halakhah, homily, and Kabbalah are combined for the purpose of giving directions as to how to live an ethical life. Shelah wrote it "for his children after him" but for general guidance also. The work contains excerpts of homilies and comments which he had noted before going to Erez Israel, but it was arranged and completed in Erez Israel. The vastness of the material and its various strata impair its clarity. Among the works which influenced him or which he recommended for study, Shelah mentions most ethical works, from Bahya's Hovot ha-Levavot to his father's Berit Avraham. The Shelah has a preface entitled Toledot Adam and a kabbalistic introduction called Be-Asarah Ma'amarot. The book consists of two parts, Derekh Hayyim, containing laws according to the order of the festivals in the calendar, and Luhot ha-Berit, summarizing the 613 commandments in the order in which they appear in the Bible. There are three sections: Ner Mitzvah, dealing with the various precepts; Torah Or, elucidating the reasons for the precepts according to Kabbalah; and Tokhahat Musar, summarizing the ethical teachings stemming from the various precepts. The laws for every day of the year are arranged in the framework of tractates: those for ordinary days in tractate Hullin, for the Sabbath in tractate Shabbat, etc. The author deals with the 13 hermeneutical rules for interpreting the Torah and also discusses talmudic methodology. Shelah gave instructions that the last section of his work, called Asarah Hillulim, should not be published, since he wrote it as a testament to his children and pupils; nevertheless, his son R. Shabbetai Sheftel permitted its publication, commenting that the whole world was included among his pupils (introduction to the Vavei ha-Ammudim).

R. Horowitz, (called Shelah ha-Kadosh, "the holy Shelah," from the initials of the title of his major work), rabbi, kabbalist, and communal leader was born in Prague, but as a youth he moved to Poland with his father, who was his first teacher. He studied there under Rabbi Solomon b. Judah of Cracow, Rabbi Meir of Lublin (the Maharam), and Rabbi Joshua Falk and gained a reputation among Polish scholars while still young. In 1621, after the death of his wife, he moved to Erez Israel and settled in Jerusalem, where he remarried and became the rabbi of the Ashkenazi community. He died in Tiberius where his grave (close to that of Maimonides) is still visited. His name carries with it the surname “The Holy” as he dedicated his life and work to the Jewish nation.

Paragraph 2    ... הובא לבית הדפוס פעם שנית ע"י אנשי בעלי תורה ממדינת פולין ... ה"ה ר' זאב וואלף בהאלוף כהר"ר שמואל ר' קאפלש זצ"ל מיערסלב. וכהר"ר שניאור זלמן במהר"ר יהונתן כץ זצ"ל מפוזנן. וכמהר"ר יצחק בהר"ר מאיר אשכנזי זצ"ל ממדינת פריש לנד. וכמהר"ר צבי הירש בהר"ר אברהם זצ"ל מווראניק. והוגה בעיון נמרץ לטהר ... הטעות שנפלו בראשונים ... ואלה מוסיף על הראשונים מפתחות לפתוח ... שערים המצויינים בהלכה המפוזרים בספר הזה ...

דף [4, ב]: הקדמת המדפיסים והמגיהים הנז' בשער. מד דף, עם שער מיוחד: הקדמת ספר ווי העמודים ... [12] דף, עם שער מיוחד: "מפתחות. זה ספר תולדות אדם ... ציונים ... בקצרה, במראה מקום ... כ"ד ... ירמי' בלא"א הר"ר יעקב זלה"ה הדר לע"ע בק"ק ברלין ... עם תוספות נופך ... מהנהו גברי ... אשר יקראו לו טבלא של שי"ש ... הלא המה [ר'] שמואל [סגל צורף, בעל] מצרף לכסף [פרנקפורט דאדרה תמ"א] דברי ירמי' בתולדות אדם [הנז', ור'] שלמה [זלמן ב"ר יצחק אהרן זעקלי, מוציא לאור ספר] ... מראה צדק [ספר מראת הצדק לר' ישראל ב"ר משה ר' מענדלש, אמשטירדם תמ"ב] ... וברכה ... להמלקט האחרון. המאסף ... ואם שמי ממך מכוסה לא תשאל ולא תנסה". "מלקט" זה קרא ל"מפתחות" "טבלא של שי"ש". שי"ש ראשי תיבות: שמואל ירמיה שלמה. עם שער מצוייר שהוכן על-ידי אברהם ב"ר יעקב.

   Vinograd, Amsterdam 668; EJ; Zinberg, Sifrut, 3 (1958), 221–25; A. Shochat, in: Zion, 16 (1951), 36–38; S. M. Chones, Toledot ha-Posekim (1910), 580–83; Frumkin-Rivlin, 1 (1929), 146–58; CD-EPI
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Listing Classification
17th Century:    Checked
Holland:    Checked
Bible:    Checked
Customs:    Checked
Homiletics:    Checked
Kabbalah:    Checked
Bindings:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica