|| Multifaceted Torah commentary by R. Jacob di Illescas (fourteenth century). Little is known about R. Illescas; it is presumed that he was from a family of Italian origin. There is, however, a town in Castile, near Toledo by that name and perhaps the family came to Italy from Spain.
The title page has the architectural frame with two cherubim employed on a number of Conti's books. The first paragraph of text states that it is an elucidation of the Torah, made up of the peshat (literal meaning) together with "difficulties and resolutions that are reasonable. "sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb" [Psalms 19: 11], Its "ways are ways of pleasantness (no'am)" (Proverbs 3: 1 7], "Pleasant words (imrei no'am) are like a honeycomb" (Proverbs 16:24]. Printed for the second time with great care and effort, cleared of stones from the snares of the errors in the previous printing. In the month of Heshvan, 326 [October/November, 1565].
The verso of the title page has a preface from R. Abraham ben Kalonymus Pescarol, who brought the book to press, followed by the text. After the text is the colophon dating the completion of the work to "the tenth [month, Tevet] on the tenth [day], in Cremona in the year 326 (Sunday, December 12, 1565)," which, from the general date on the title page, indicates about a month to a month and a half to set the book. This is followed by the epilogue from the editor, R. David Norlingen, who also complains about the condition of the previous Constantinople edition. The text is set in a single column in square type.
Imrei No'am is a kabbalistic commentary comprised of allegorical and grammatical elements, and gematriot, as well as explications of obscure passages in Rashi and ibn Ezra. Among the many rishonim (early sages) quoted are Rashi, Tosafot, R. Judah he-Hasid, Lekah Tov, and R. Moses of Coucy (Semag).
This is the only printed work of R. Illescas. It was a popular commentary, published three times in the sixteenth century and included by Moses Frankfurter in his Mikra'ot Gedolot (Amsterdam, 1724-27). The Cracow Imrei No'am (4° 50f), printed by Isaac Prostitz, is a copy of the Cremona edition, pages beginning and ending with the same word, but set in rabbinic letters. It is reported that there are copies of that edition with a woodcut of Akedat Yizhak (the binding of Isaac) at the end of the volume, a printer's mark prepared by Prostitz toward the end of his life and used by his sons in a small number of works afterwards. Imrei No'am was influential in Poland, where it is much quoted, beginning with R. Nathan Nata Spira's Imrei Shifer (Cracow/Lublin, 1591-97), and afterwards in R. Moses Mat of Przemysl's Ho'il Moshe (Prague, 1611), R. Moses Heilperin's Ahavat Zion (Lublin, 1639), R. Issachar Baer Eilenborg's Zeidah la-Derekh (Prague, 1623), and by Samuel Eliezer Edels (Maharsha) in his Hiddushei Aggadot.