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Bidding Information
Lot #    13966
Auction End Date    4/25/2006 10:14:00 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Sefer Yuhasin
Title (Hebrew)    ספר יוחסין
Author    [First Ed.] R. Abraham Zacuto
City    Cracow
Publisher    Isaac ben Aaron of Prostitz
Publication Date    1580
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   First edition of Remah's additions. 168 ff., 193:143 mm., wide margins, usual light age staining, old hands. A very good copy bound in modern half calf and cloth over boards.
   A history of the Jewish nation by R. Abraham b. Samuel Zacuto (1452–c. 1515), astronomer and historian. Sefer Yuhasin was composed in the spirit of the writings of his predecessors (e.g., R. Sherira b. Hanina Gaon, R. Abraham ibn Daud, author of Sefer ha-Kabbalah, Maimonides and others who had written introductions to the Talmud), intended to outline the historical development of the Oral Law and to establish the chronology of the Jewish sages who had transmitted it. Meant for scholarly study by students of Jewish lore, and to stimulate debate, this work at times elucidates a particular law for the specific purpose of fostering greater faith. The originality of the research is mainly contained in the first two treatises of his book, which cover the period of the Second Temple, the Mishnah, and the Talmud. From the standpoint of completeness, these treatises are superior to anything written by R. Zacuto's predecessors and they laid the foundations for scholarly research by succeeding generations. In numerous passages, he takes issue with Maimonides and R. Abraham ibn Daud, to whose writings he refers as Kabbalat he-Hasid. Chapters three and four of Sefer ha-Yuhasin discuss the succession of the savoraim, the geonim, and the rabbis. (In his treatment of the material R. Zacuto, by and large, follows the line of thought of R. Abraham ibn Daud.) Chapter five expounds the epoch from the beginning of the rabbinic period in Europe until the author's time (the period of the expulsions from Spain and Portugal). In the latter treatise, R. Zacuto bases himself on a Hebrew chronicle which was also the groundwork of similar writings by Joseph b. Zaddik of Arevalo and Abraham b. Solomon of Torrutiel (there is no reason to assume that the latter's work was known to Zacuto). A large part of the treatise, however, is original research and analysis, based on later rabbinic literature. R. Zacuto incorporated in the chapter the well-known story about the appearance of the Zohar in Spain, by R. Isaac b. Samuel of Acre. The author disregarded the critical conclusions that might be drawn from the story and confirmed the belief that the disciples of R. Simeon b. Yohai had compiled the Zohar. Consequently he relied on the Zohar in matters of halakhah and history. The sixth chapter is a chronological outline of the history of various nations and the scientific research and inventions carried out by their scholars. This treatise is based on Latin and Spanish works.

Sefer Yuhasin was first published by Samuel Shalom (Constantinople, 1566) together with an introduction and notes by the editor, as well as a Hebrew translation of Josephus' Contra Apionem. It was next published in Cracow (1580–81) with the notes of R. Moses b. Israel Isserles, and many times thereafter.

Paragraph 2    ... נוסף על מה שנדפס כבר. שלשלת הקבלה מן זמן היצירה עד משה רבינו ע"ה. ועוד נוסף עליו חידושים... כגון פרק יח מהמאמר רביעי מספר יסוד עולם שחבר... רבי יצחק הישראלי להרב.. אשר אשכנזי ז"ל. עם הגהו' שעשה והוסיף... ר' משה איסרליש ז"ל וסדר הגאונים והגדולים שהיו עד דורינו זה כפי אשר מצאנו שהגיה בכתב ידו בספר יסוד עולם. ועוד איזה חדושים אשר מצאנו לקוטי' בכתב יד שייכים לדברי הספר הזה. ולשלמות המלאכה נדפיס סדר עולם זוטא. בתוספת פרטי השנים בכל פרט ופרט...

בשער: ש"מ. בקולופון: ותהי השלמתו היום יום א שני ימים לחדש אדר שמ"א... מעבר לשער: הקדמה בחרוזים, מאת המגיה ר' שמואל ב"ר יצחק פיהם. דף ה-ז: סדר הדורות מאדם עד אברהם, נוסף להוצאה הראשונה. "ספר יוסף הכהן ן' גוריון... נגד אפיון" נשמט בהוצאה זו. גם ענין חקירת ר' יצחק דמן עכו על אמיתות הזוהר, שגילה ר' משה די-לאון, שנדפס בהוצאת קושטאנדינא שכ"ו בדף [142,ב-143, א], נשמט בהוצאה זו. כן נשמטו קטעים רבים מטעם הצנזורה. דף קנה, א-קנו, א: ליקוטים מספר אורחות עולם לר' אברהם פריצול. כמעט כל ההוצאות הבאות מבוססות על הוצאה זו.

   CD-EPI 0178012; EJ; Marx in: Studies in Jewish Bibliography and Related Subjects in Memory of Abraham Solomon Freidus (1929), 247ff.
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Listing Classification
16th Century:    Checked
Russia-Poland:    Checked
History:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica