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Bidding Information
Lot #    16532
Auction End Date    12/5/2006 12:00:30 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Shever ba-Mezarim
Title (Hebrew)   
Author    [Liturgy - Only Ed. - Earthquake] Raphael Meldola
City    Livorno (Leghorn)
Publisher    Abraham b. Raphael Meldola
Publication Date    1742
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   First edition. [22] ff., 142:88 mm., light age and damp staining. A very good copy bound in contemporary boards.
   Prayers and an account of a devastating earthquake at Leghorn. In January 1742, from the 5th (Friday, 29 Tevet 5502) through the 16th (Tuesday 11 Shevat) that month Leghorn experienced a series of earthquakes which, it is reported, left no major building undamaged. These earthquakes were significant enough to be the subject of a pamphlet by a Mr. Horton, Schoolmaster at Hampton, then Chaplain to the British factory in Leghorn, published in London, and noted in another pamphlet by Z. Grey on earthquakes published in Cambridge, both in 1750. A Jewish account, with appropriate prayers, was published immendiately after the earthquake. The Jewish community memorialized the earthquakes in Shever ba-Mezarim. The title, mezarim (troubles, distress), is vocalized, for unvocallized it can be read as Mezraim (Egypt), the meaning being, as the title page states, an allusion that in the year Shever (502=1742), that is here in Egypt, from the implication that shever is a language of hope, expectation, of trust, that even though a sharp sword rests on the neck of a person he should not despair of mercy, for as our eyes saw how the Holy One, blessed is He, broke the strength of the Mizrim (Egyptians) and delivered and redeemed us from all trouble and anguish (Isaiah 30:6, Proverbs 1:27).

Meldola begins with a detailed and moving account of the earthquake, describing it in the first thirteen leaves of the book, mentioning several times the activities and prayers of R. Malachi ben Jacob, one of the communitys parnasim, as well that of the Duke, lord of the land. Meldolas account is followed by selihot and prayers, and includes piyyutim written at the time of earlier earthquakes, in Lugo (1688) and in Ancona (1690), by R. Johanan Ghiron (16461716), rabbi in Florence, and known as Alluf Torah due to his great erudition. The colophon records the corrector as R. Moses ben Raphael Meldola.

Paragraph 2    ... ... ... ' " " ... ... ' "...

[15-2,] ".

   Heller, Abraham ben Raphael Meldola and the Resumption of Printing in Livorno (International Sephardic Journal, forthcoming, 2005); Vin 37, CD-EPI 0147892
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Listing Classification
18th Century:    Checked
Italy:    Checked
History:    Checked
Liturgy:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica