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[Polemic?] Israel ben Moses Halevi Zamosc
This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
, 66 pp., octavo, 160:193 mm., nice margins, light age staining. A very good copy loose in later boards, split.
A didactic work in poetical prose said by some scholars to show philosophical tendencies opposing Hasidism, by Israel ben Moses Halevi Zamosc. The title page describes it as a study by one of the greats of the time – it was published posthumously – inquring well I into our people. Because of his great humility he omitted his name from the title page. It further states that one can clearly see the greatness of the author, who opens the eyes of the blind. There is an introduction and then the text, which is set in a single column in rabbinic type. Nezed ha-Dema is divided into three ma’amorim, which are subdivided into chapters. The title page lacks the place of publishing and the given location has been estimated by bibliographers and some suggest other locations. Israel ben Moses Halevi Zamosc, (c. 1700-1772) was a talmudist, mathematician, and one of the early Haskalah writers. Born in Bobrka, Galicia, he was raised in Zamosc, where he studied and later taught at the yeshivah. At the same time, he took up secular studies, especially mathematics. In 1740 Zamosc went to Germany where he published Nezah Yisrael (Frankfort on the Oder, 1741), one of the first attempts to use secular knowledge in interpreting biblical and talmudic literature. For several years he lived in Berlin, under the patronage of the wealthy Daniel Itzig (Jaffe), and was one of the founders of the Haskalah movement. One of his pupils was Moses Mendelssohn to whom he taught astronomy and mathematics, and through whom he met non-Jewish writers and scholars (including Lessing who mentions him in a letter to Mendelssohn). His dedication to the Haskalah movement aroused the ire of Jewish religious fanatics, and he was compelled to move from place to place in Germany and in Poland, settling finally in Brody, where he died. His secular studies led him to an interest in Jewish medieval literature, and in addition to Nezah Yisrael he also published a commentary to Sefer Ru'ah Hen, attributed to Judah ibn Tibbon, on the philosophical terms and foreign words in Maimonides' Guide (Jessnitz, 1744). Among his works published posthumously are Nezed ha-Dema, Ozar Nehmad (Vienna, 1796), a commentary on the Kuzari by Judah Halevi; and Tuv ha-Levanon (Vienna, 1809), a commentary on Bahya ibn Paquda's Hovot ha-Levavot. Another work, Millin de-Rabbanan, attributed to Zamosc for a long time, has been shown by H. Liebermann (KS, 28 (1952/53), 416) to be of different authorship. Several articles on astronomy and general sciences were left in manuscript.
שם המחבר נשמט מן השער. על מקום הדפוס ושם המדפיס עיין: ג' שלום, הפולמוס על החסידות ומנהיגיה בס' נזד הדמע, ציון, כ, תשט"ו, עמ' 74; ח' ליברמן, אהל רח"ל, א, ניו יורק תש"ם, עמ' 35 (יש טפסים שעל השער נדפס מקום הדפוס: מעמעל). ג' שלום סבור שהספר עוסק בפולמוס נגד החסידות ומנהיגיה. לעומתו סובר ח' ליברמן שדברי הפולמוס אינם נגד החסידות אלא הוקעת מומי הדור, בעיקר הזלזול בעניינים שבין אדם לחברו. עיין: ג' שלום , הפולמוס על החסידות ומנהיגיה בס' נזד הדמע, ציון, כ, תשט"ו, עמ' 81-73; ח' ליברמן, כיצד חוקרים חסידות בישראל, בתוך ספרו אהל רח"ל, א, ניו יורק תש"ם, עמ' 49-12.
BE nun 202; EJ; Fuenn, Keneset, 690–2; Liebermann, in: Bitzaron 32 (1955), 113–20; Scholem, in: Zion, 20 (1955), 73–81; R. Mahler, Divrei Yemei Yisrael be-Dorot Aharonim, 4 (1956), 26–30, 260–3; Zinberg, Sifrut, 3 (1958), 306–7; 5 (1959), 282; Kressel, Leksikon, 1 (1965), 755–6; CD-EPI 0139537
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Kind of Judaica