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Bidding Information
Lot #    19167
Auction End Date    11/13/2007 10:21:30 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Ha-De’ot ve-ha-Middot
Title (Hebrew)    הדעות והמדות
Author    [Only Ed.] R. Levi ben Gershom (Ralbag)
City    Warsaw
Publisher    Samuel Orgelbrad
Publication Date    1865
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   Only edition. [5], 50, [6] ff. octavo 223:140 mm., usual light age staining, wide margins, stamps. A very good copy bound in later boards, rubbed.
   Only edition of this collected work of the writings of R. Levi ben Gershom (Ralbag) by R. Jehiel ben Solomon. Ha-De’ot ve-ha-Middot has a large number of approbations, an introduction by R. Naphtali Zevi ben Judah, a table of contents of the sha’arim comprising the book, and the text in two columns in square letters. At the end is a long multi-page list of the contributors who made publication possible.

R. Levi ben Gershom (Ralbag) was a French philosopher, exegete, mathematician, astronomer, and physician; born at Bagnols in 1288; died April 20, 1344. Abraham Zacuto ("Yuhasin," ed. Filipowski, p. 224) states that Levi died at Perpignan in 1370; but the exact date of his death is given as above by Petrus of Alexandria, who translated in 1345 a note by Levi on the conjunction of Saturn with Jupiter (see Steinschneider in "Hebr. Bibl." vii. 83-84). "Gershuni," the Hebrew equivalent of "Gersonides," was first used to designate Levi b. Gershon by David Messer Leon (c. 1500). Levi was a descendant of a family of scholars. According to Zacuto (l.c.) his father was Gershon b. Solomon, the author of "Sha'ar ha-Shamayim" (but see Steinschneider, "Hebr. Uebers." p. 9, and Gross, "Gallia Judaica," p. 94); according to Zacuto (l.c.), Ibn Yaḥya ("Shalshelet ha-Ḳabbalah," p. 83, Warsaw, 1889), Conforte ("Ḳore ha-Dorot," p. 19a), and Azulai ("Shem ha-Gedolim," i.), Naḥmanides was Levi's maternal grandfather. As Levi himself, in his commentary on the Pentateuch (on Ex. xxxiv. 9), quotes Levi ha-Kohen as his grandfather, and as Levi b. Gershon is not known to have been a priest, this Levi ha-Kohen was apparently his mother's father. It was therefore suggested by Carmoly (Jost's "Annalen," i. 86) that Naḥmanides was the maternal grandfather of Levi's father. Levi was doubly related to Simon b. Ẓemah Duran. Besides being a cousin of Judah Delesfils, Duran's grandfather, he married the latter's sister (Duran, "Tashbeẓ," i., No. 134; see Steinschneider, "Hebr. Bibl." l.c.). Very little is known of Levi's life beyond the fact that he lived now in Orange, now in Avignon, now in a town called in Hebrew the city of hyssop" (comp. Isidore Loeb in "R. E. J." i. 72 et seq., who identifies the last-named town with Orange). In spite of Ben Adret's ban on those who taught philosophy to the young, Levi was early initiated into all its branches; and he was not thirty years old when he began to write the "Milḥamot Adonai," the philosophical work which brought him so much renown. Isaac de Lattes (Preface to "Sha'are Ziyyon") writes: "The great prince, our master Levi b. Gershon, was the author of many valuable works. He wrote a commentary on the Bible and the Talmud; and in all branches of science, especially in logic, physics, metaphysics, mathematics, and medicine, he has no equal on earth." Though a distinguished Talmudist, Levi never held a rabbinical office. He earned a livelihood most probably by the practise of medicine. Page from the First Edition of Levi ben Gershon's Commentary to the Pentateuch, Mantua, Before 1480(From the Sulzberger collection in the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, New York.)In his commentary on the Bible, Levi makes frequent comparisons of Hebrew and Arabic words, while he speaks of Latin as the language of the Christians (commentary on I Sam. xvi. 6). Neubauer ("Les Ecrivains Juifs Français," p. 249) concludes, contrary to the assumption of Isidore Weil ("Philosophie Religieuse'de Lévi-ben-Gerson," p. 15, Paris, 1868), that Levi knew Latin well, but not Arabic.

Ralbag, a prolific author wrote the following philosophical works: (1) "Milhamot Adonai" (Riva di Trenta, 1560), mentioned above, begun in 1317 and finished in 1329 (see below). (2) Commentary on the Pentateuch (Mantua, 1476-80). (3) Commentary on the Earlier Prophets (Leiria, 1494). The philosophical essence of these two commentaries was published separately under the title "To'aliyyot" (Riva di Trenta, 1550 and 1564 respectively). Commentaries (4) on Job (Ferrara, 1477), (5) on Daniel (n.d.; n.p.), on Proverbs (Leiria, 1492), (6) on Canticles, Esther, Ecclesiastes, and Ruth (Riva di Trenta, 1560); (7) "Sefer ha-Heḳḳesh ha-Yashar," a treatise on syllogisms; (8) commentary on the Middle Commentaries and the résumés of Averroes, all of them finished about 1321 (the part of this commentary which refers to Porphyry's Isagoge to the categories, and to the treatise on interpretation, was translated into Latin by Jacob Mantino and published in the first volume of the works of Aristotle with the commentaries of Averroes); (9) "Sefer ha-Mispar," called also "Ma'aseh Hosheb," a treatise on algebra, which Levi finished in 1321, when, he says, he was thirty-three; (10) a treatise on astronomy, originally forming the first part of the fifth section of the "Milḥamot," but omitted by the editor, who considered it a separate work (see below); (11) commentary on the introduction to, and books i., iii.-v. of, Euclid, probably the work referred to by Joseph Solomon Delmedigo (see Geiger, "Melo Ḥofnayim," p. 12, Hebr.). (12) "Dillugim," astrological note on the seven constellations, in which Levi refers to his "Milhamot"; (13) "Meshiḥah," on a remedy for the gout (Parma MS. De Rossi No. 1189; Neubauer, "Cat. Bodl. Hebr. MSS." No. 2142, 37). Levi wrote also the following rabbinical works: (14) "Sha'are Ẓedeḳ," commentary on the thirteen hermeneutic rules of Ishmael b. Elisha, printed in the "Berit Ya'aḳob" of Jacob b. Abraham Faitusi (Leghorn, 1800). (15) "Mehokek Safun," commentary on the haggadah in the fifth chapter of Baba Batra, mentioned by Solomon b. Simeon Duran ("Milḥemet Miẓwah," p. 23). Neubauer (l.c. p. 253) considers it doubtful whether the authorship of this work can be correctly ascribed to Levi. (16) Commentary on Berakot, mentioned by Levi in his commentary on Deuteronomy. (17-18)

Paragraph 2    ... (כל התועליות) מן (פירושי)... הרלב"ג (בתנ"ך... וגם מספרו מלחמות ה') חובר והוכן [על-פי נושאים], מאת יחיאל בן שלמה מהריח (פה סוואלק)...

דף [4,ב]: הקדמת הגאון (ר' נפתלי צבי יהודה בא"א מוהר"ר יעקב ברלין) אב"ד ור"מ מוואלאזין. הסכמות: ר' דובערוש מייזילש, ווארשא, יא שבט תרכ"ה; ר' מאיר ליבוש מלבים, לונטשיץ, ב שלח תרכ"ה; ר' שמואל אביגדור תוספאה, קארלין, יט מ"א [מנחם-אב] תרכ"ד; ר' ישראל [ליפקין] מסאלאנט, קאוונא; ר' יהושע יהודא ליב ב"ר בנימין [דיסקין] מלאמזע, קאוונא; רבני סובאלק: ר' אברהם נתן בהרב מוהר"ח שטערין ור' יעקב בהרב מוהר"א , ו מרחשוון תרכ"ד; ר' בצלאל בר"י [ישראל] משה הכהן, ווילנא, ט אד"ש [אדר-ב] תרכ"ד; מכתבים מאת: יהודה נורדמאן, פאריס, 64[18].29.4 (בשם חברת כל ישראל חברים); אברהם (המכו' אלברט) הכהן, [פאריס], יב ניסן תרכ"ד; אד"ם הכהן לעבענזאהן, ווילנא, יט אדר-ב תרכ"ד.

   BE daled 904; JE; CD-EPI 0174663
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Listing Classification
19th Century:    Checked
Russia-Poland:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica