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Bidding Information
Lot #    16507
Auction End Date    12/5/2006 11:48:00 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Sefer Tehillim im Perush Yosef Tehillot
Title (Hebrew)    ספר תהלים עם פירוש יוסף תהלות
Author    [First Ed.] R. H. J. D. Azulai (Hida)
City    Livorno (Leghorn)
Publisher    Eliezer Sa'adon
Publication Date    1801
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   First edition. 144 ff., quarto, 187:137 mm., nice margins, light age and damp staining. A very good copy bound in modern full leather boards.
   The Book of Psalms with a kabbalistic commentary by R. Hayyim Yosef David Azulai (1724–1806), known by his Hebrew acronym HIDA. Hida was born in Jerusalem and studied under some of the outstanding Jewish scholars of his age, attaining early eminence in Jewish studies. He was regarded by the Jewry of the Ottoman Empire and of Italy as the leading scholar of his generation. He was highly esteemed, too, by the Jews of Germany, especially after the publication of his works.

Possessed of great intellectual powers and many talents, he combined a religious and mystical ardor with an insatiable intellectual curiosity. Added to these were critical ability, a facile pen, and a boundless capacity for work. He spent most of his active years traveling as an emissary of the communities of Erez Israel for the collection of funds. Between 1753 and 1758 he visited Italy, Germany, Holland, France, and England as shali'ah of the Hebron Yeshivah. On his return to Jerusalem, where he remained for some seven years, he served as dayyan and engaged in communal activities. He also became a member of Shalom Sharabi's esoteric group of kabbalists, Ahavat Shalom. He left Erez Israel again in 1764 to travel to Constantinople to intercede on behalf of the scholars in their disputes with the communal leaders, but learning en route that the communal leaders had triumphed in the dispute and of the consequent futility of his proceeding on his mission he remained in Cairo where he served briefly as rabbi. R. Azulai returned in 1769 and settled in Hebron. In 1772 he again went abroad as the emissary of Hebron, this time devoting most of his efforts to Italy where he had gained many admirers. Having sent a large sum of money to Hebron which relieved the financial difficulties of its community, he ended his mission in 1778 in Leghorn, where he spent the rest of his life.

During his successful missions, R. Azulai earned a great reputation for his involvement in communal activities. R. Azulai devoted himself also to writing, study, and research. He exchanged views with Jewish as well as non-Jewish scholars and investigated scholarly literature. Everywhere he went he visited libraries, both private and public, and noted down their rarities, both in early printed books and also in manuscripts. In his literary diary Maagal Tov (Good Path), he entered every idea and novel thought in the field of Jewish scholarship, history, and folklore which occurred to him on his travels. This diary is an invaluable source of information regarding not only his own experiences but also the circumstances, personalities, and bibliographical treasures of the places which he visited. His chief claims to fame as a halakhist rest on his glosses to the Shulhan Arukh, contained in his Birkei Yosef (1774), Mahazik Berakhah (1785), and Shiyyurei Berakhah (1771–76). In his books Va'ad la-Hakhamim (1796) and Shem ha-Gedolim (1, 1774; 2, 1786; scholarly ed., 1853), R. Azulai added 1,300 bibliographical references to the approximately 2,200 already contained in the Siftei Yeshenim.

R. Azulai collected Jewish folk-stories in a systematic way. In his Zikhron Ma'asiyyot ve-Nissim he listed hundreds of these; in most cases he wrote down only a detail or two, to identify them, whereas less famous stories were given in greater detail or in full. Many stories were related of the wonders and miracles Azulai performed. Pilgrimages were made to his tomb at Leghorn until, some 150 years after his death, in 1960, his remains were reinterred in Jerusalem.

Paragraph 2    מחברת קצת רמזים ופירושים אשר אמרתי ... בספר תהלים [עם הפנים], אגב גירסאי... חיים יוסף דוד נר"ו בכמהר"ר יצחק אזולאי זלה"ה...

דף ב: "כמה מעלות לקורא תהלים". דף ג-ד: "יהי רצון לומר קודם ואחר תהלים, אשר תקנתי נסח הקדום". דף קלח,א: "סדר פדיון לחולה ונסח תפלה מבוררים ומתוקנים". דף קלח,ב-קמ,א: "בית מנוחה, סדר לימוד... יום הפקודה ... תנ"ך משנה גמרא וזהר". דף קמ,ב: "תפלה... לומר אחר אמירת פסוקי תהלים בר"ת שם החולה". דף קמא,א-קמב,א: "תפלה שסידרתי ליה"כ קודם מנחה".

   CD-EPI 0108533; Meir Beniyahu, Hida v.1, p. 191, # 7-9
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Listing Classification
19th Century:    Checked
Italy:    Checked
Bible:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica