||Only edition of this anti-philosophical work in support of traditional Jewish teachings by R. Judah Asahel ben David Eliezer Del Bene (c. 1615?–1678). The title page has a decorative frame comprised of florets. At the top is the verse, “Your throne is established of old; you are from everlasting” (Psalms 93:2). Below is the title, from “[For thrones of judgment were set there], the thrones of the house of David (kisot le-veit David)” (Psalms 122:5). The title page is dated with the verse, “Your throne is established,” concluding with the final word אתה (406) enlarged, resulting in a the date 1646. Nevertheless, many bibliographers assign a later date to Kisot le-Veit David, between 1649 and 1651, perhaps, as Del Bene writes in the introduction, because publication was delayed considerably due to problems in finding printers who understood his play on words, who would not correct what that they did not understand and assumed was faulty.
The title page is followed by the censor’s approval, a page of verse, the first letter of each line forming an acrostic of Judah Asahel Del Bene (מהטוב). There is verse in praise of the book from R. Menahem Shalhani of Ancova, a page with the heading “my riddle for the reader” and a page of verse from R. David Hayyim, the author’s son. There are small woodcuts on the bottom of these pages, including of one of Jerusalem surrounded by the verse, “For thrones of judgment were set there . . .” Del Bene’s introduction follows, and then the text, which is in a single column in rabbinic type, excepting headers and initial words. The volume concludes with a table of contents.
Kisot le-Veit David is divided into seven batim, with are subdivided into fifty sha’arim. The subject matter encompasses creation, the heavens and the planets, the elements, immortality of the soul, resurrection, articles of faith, and Islam, which, Del Bene believes is inferior to Christianity. Although opposed to philosophy, Greek wisdom, and the sciences, which foster skepticism, his opposition is not complete. Considerable use is made of Maimonides’ Moreh Nevukhim and Del Bene speaks highly of Christian scholarship. Study of the Zohar is advocated but otherwise no mention is made of it. Del Bene emphasizes the preeminence and use of the Hebrew language, advocating its use. The style of Kisot le-Veit David is intricate and complex with obscure word play.
Del Bene, who came from a socially and culturally prominent family in Ferrara served as rabbi in that city. Kisot le-Veit David is Del Bene’s only published work. In it Del Bene refers to another work, Yehudah Mehokeki. Ghirondi-Neppi report seeing several responsa by Del Bene in manuscript. A number of Del Bene’s Sabbath sermons were recorded, together with those of other preachers, after the conclusion of the Sabbath, in Yessodato be-harerei Kodesh (in manuscript) by Israel ben Abraham Kohen.
|| אשר יסד... וחבר... ר' יהודה עשהאל בר... ר' אליעזר דוד מהטוב זלה"ה...
ספירת דפים משובשת. על "חדוש העולם וקדמות הבורא... קצות רמזי השמנה בתי' והחמשים שערים שיסדתי בזה החבור עם כמה עקרים ... לאמונתינו" (דף ו, ב). בשער הפרט: נכון כסאך מאז מעולם א'ת'ה' עם אותיות התיבה [ת"ט]. עיין: מאיר בניהו, ידיעות על הדפסת ספרים והפצתם באיטליה, סיני, לד, תשי"ד, עמ' קס, הכותב שהדפסת הספר נמשכה עד שנת תי"א. בראש הספר שירי תהילה מאת: 1. ר' מנחם שלחני מאנקונה: פלא אני רואה ולא ארגיע. אוצר השירה והפיוט, ג, עמ' 300, מס' 2 ;71. ר' דוד חיים מהטוב, בן המחבר: מזמור דוד ידי עביד חלף רביד היא מנחתי. שם, ג, עמ' 108, מס' 867.