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Bidding Information
Lot #    20345
Auction End Date    4/1/2008 11:55:29 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Be'er ha-Golah
Title (Hebrew)    באר הגולה
Author    [Hasidim] R. Judah Loew b. Beazlel
City    Zhitomir
Publisher    Arye Loeb Shapira
Publication Date    1859
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   124 pp., 8 vo., 221:142 mm., light age staining, spotting several ff., wide margins. A very good copy bound with a secondary volume in later boards, rubbed.
   On difficult talmudic passages, and, at the same time, a defense of the Talmud by R. Judah b. Bezalel Loew (known as Der Hohe Rabbi Loew and Ma-Ha-Ra-L mi-Prag; c. 1525–1609), rabbi, talmudist, moralist, and mathematician. R. Judah Loew was the scion of a noble family which hailed from Worms. His father, R. Bezalel b. Hayyim, was brother-in-law of R. Isaac Klauber of Posen, the grandfather of R. Solomon Luria. R. Judah Loew's older brother, R. Hayyim b. Bezalel, and his two younger brothers, Sinai and Samson, were also scholars of repute. (According to one tradition, however, Judah was the youngest son.) His teachers are unknown. From 1553 to 1573 he was Landesrabbiner of Moravia in Mikulov (Nikolsburg) after which he went to Prague. There he founded a yeshivah called Die Klaus, organized circles for the study of the Mishnah, to which he attached great importance, and regulated the statutes of the hevra kaddisha, founded in 1564. He remained in Prague until 1584, and from then until 1588 served as rabbi in Moravia (according to others, in Posen), eventually returning to Prague. On the third of Adar 5352 (Feb. 16, 1592) he was granted an interview by Emperor Rudolph II, but it is not known what its purpose was. There seems little basis for the belief that it was due to their common interest in alchemy. Shortly afterward he left Prague for Posen, where he became chief rabbi, and several years later again returned to Prague, becoming its chief rabbi and remaining there until his death.

In 1847 the Shapira printing press was established by the three brothers Hanina Lipa, Aryeh Leib, and Joshua Heschel Shapira, sons of R. 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.

Paragraph 2    פירוש על מאמרים (בתלמוד... ובמדרשי רז"ל) אשר עליהם בא השאלה מבני אדם אשר לא ירדו לעומק מצולה [מאת ר' יהודה ליווא ב"ר בצלאל]...

עמ' 124-121: "שלשה דברים" מאת ר' ישראל מקאזניץ.

   CD-EPI 0138921; B. Z. Bokser, From the World of the Cabbalah—the Philosophy of Rabbi Judah Loew of Prague (1954); F. Thieberger, The Great Rabbi Loew of Prague (1954); Kohen-Yashar, Bibliografyah Shimmushit shel Kitvei ha-Maharal mi-Prag (1967); EJ; JE
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Listing Classification
19th Century:    Checked
Russia-Poland:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica