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Bidding Information
Lot #    20236
Auction End Date    4/1/2008 10:51:30 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Selihot u’Teshuvot
Title (Hebrew)    שאלות ותשובות [ה'ר יוסף בן שלמה קולון, (מהרי'ק)]
Author    [First Ed.] R. Joseph Colon (Ma-ha-Rik)
City    Venice
Publisher    Daniel Bomberg
Publication Date    1519
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   First edition. [10], 233 ff., 243:186 mm., wide margins, paper repairs to lower margin initial few ff. not affecting text. A very good copy bound in contemporary vellum over boards.
   Responsa of R. Joseph b. Solomon Colon (ma-ha-Rik; c. 1420–1480), an eminent talmudist. He was taught by his own father and in his early youth he left France, where he was born, and led the life of a wanderer, gaining a livelihood by teaching children. In 1462 he headed a yeshivah in Seville. He held rabbinical positions in Pieve di Sacco, Mestre (before 1467), Bologna, and Mantua (apparently from 1467). In Mantua he and Judah b. Jehiel Messer Leon became involved in a dispute, as a result of which they were banished by the authorities. Ma-ha-Rik afterward became rabbi of Pavia, making it the center of talmudic learning in Italy. Scholars in Germany, Turkey, and Italy sought his decisions on Jewish law. After his death his responsa were collected and have since been frequently reprinted and published (Venice, 1519 etc.). His decisions had great influence on later Italian halakhah, and there is scarcely an Italian rabbi of the 16th and 17th century who does not quote him. In the responsa he endeavored not only to decide the case but also to lay down general principles according to which related cases could be decided. Possessed of a wide knowledge of rabbinic literature, great critical insight, independence of thought, and a strong sense of justice, he spoke out courageously against many decisions that were widely accepted at that time. He upheld the claims of an individual against an arbitrary majority. He was not cowed by authority, and firmly, though respectfully, reproved Israel Bruna, the foremost German talmudist of his time, for presuming to act as a judge in a dispute in which he was an interested party. When a false accusation was made against some Jews of Regensburg, and the neighboring communities refused to be taxed for their ransom (although agreeing to make voluntary payments), Ma-ha-Rik decided that since such false accusations could also be brought against them, it was in their interest and, consequently, their duty, to pay the tax (resp. no. 4). On one occasion, Ma-ha-Rik's zeal for justice and truth led him into a dispute with R. Moses b. Elijah Capsali of Turkey. Having been wrongly informed that the latter had been lax in decisions concerning divorce and betrothal, Ma-ha-Rik, to protect the sanctity of marriage against the ill-considered decisions of individual rabbis, wrote three letters to the leaders of the Constantinople community, threatening to place R. Capsali under a ban if he did not cancel his decisions and do public penance. This unprecedented attack on the rights of the community aroused a furore in Constantinople. R. Capsali answered the attack vehemently. Soon many of the leading rabbis of the day were embroiled in the dispute, which ended when Ma-ha-Rik learned that he had been the victim of intrigue. With this discovery, Ma-ha-Rik's remorse was as swift and thorough as had been his rebuke, and he did all within his power to make amends to the victim of his unjust attack, to the degree of sending his son Perez to travel to Constantinople and beg forgiveness of R. Capsali. R. Colon is the author of a commentary on the Sefer Mitzvot Gadol of R. Moses b. Jacob of Coucy, part of which was published in Munkacs (1899). His Seder ha-Get appeared in R. Judah Minz's She'elot u-Teshuvot (Venice, 1553).
Paragraph 2    ברוך אדון המציאות אשר לא השבית לנו מורה צדק... ה"ה... ר' יוסף קלון זצ"ל מ"ע [מנוחתו עדן] אשר זכה הרבים בתשובותיו והאיר עיני ישראל בחדושיו...

קולופון: והיתה השלמת הספר יום ד כב אדר רע"ט על ידי האחים מזרע ישראל בני ברוך אדי"ל קינ"ד במצות ובבי'... דניאל בומבירגא מאנווירשה. מעבר לשער: "ושנסתי את מתני אני... חיא מאיר בכהר"ר דוד זצ"ל... ועשיתי מכל תשובה שורש אחד אשר עיקר תוכן התשובה בנויה עליו. וסעיפים המסתעפים ממנה ודינים אחרים... העליתי על ספר" (דף [1,ב-10]). בעמ' אחרון: שירים יסד... ר' חיא יזיי"א לתפארת... המחבר. פותח: לאין אונים עצמה ירבה. וגם תומך לקוראהו. אוצר השירה והפיוט, ג, עמ' 8, מס' 155.

   CD-EPI 0162805; EJ; H. Rabinowicz, Life and Times of Rabbi Joseph Colon (University of London, 1947)
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Listing Classification
16th Century:    Checked
Italy:    Checked
Responsa:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica