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Bidding Information
Lot #    19194
Auction End Date    11/13/2007 10:34:30 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Tse'enah u-Re'enah
Title (Hebrew)   
Author    [Hasidim] R. Jacob b. Isaac Ashkenazi of Janow
City    Zhitomir
Publisher    Hanina Lipa, Aryeh Leib, Joshua Heschel Shapira
Publication Date    1848
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   446 pp., 4to., 275:223 mm., wide margins, usual age staining. A very good copy bound in contemporary full leather boards, split and rubbed.
Paragraph 1    Rare: Only 1 copy in US libraries (YIVO). Printed in the first year of the Shapiras activity in Zhitomir. This is the only biblical book printed by them in that year.
   Zeenah u-Reenah was written by R. Jacob ben Isaac Ashkenazi of Janow at the end of the 16th century. It gained universal acceptance among Ashkenazi Jewry. Used primarily by women as reading matter on the Sabbath, it has retained its great popularity up to the present day. The work consists of discourses on selected topics or passages from the weekly portion of the Pentateuch, the haftarot, and the Megillot, comprised of a combination of peshat and derash, interwoven with material from Midrashim and other sources, such as R. of Bahya ben Asher. The stories in Zeenah u-Reenah are topical comments on moral behavior. Although the Zeenah u-Reenah is today generally considered a work for women, this was not the original intent, the frontispiece on the oldest extant edition states that this work is designed to enable men and women... to understand the word of God in simple language. The popularity of Zeenah u-Reenah is attested to by the fact that it has been translated into several languages, including English. R. Jacob ben Isaac Ashkenazi also wrote Meliz Yosher, also a homiletic work.

In 1847 the Shapira printing press was established by the three brothers Hanina Lipa, Aryeh Leib, and Joshua Heschel Shapira, sons of Samuel Abraham Abba Shapira, the printer in Slavuta. Until 1862 this was one of the only two Hebrew presses the Russian government permitted to operate in the whole of Russia, the other being in Vilna. This press had 18 hand presses and four additional large presses. In 1851 Aryeh Leib broke away and established his own printing press in Zhitomir. In these two establishments only sacred books of every kind were printed. During the years 185864 the press of the two brothers printed a beautiful edition of the Babylonian Talmud together with the Halakhot of Isaac Alfasi, while between 1860 and 1867 Aryeh Leib printed an edition of the Jerusalem Talmud.

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Listing Classification
19th Century:    Checked
Russia-Poland:    Checked
Bible:    Checked
Language:    Yiddish
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica