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Bidding Information
Lot #    20424
Auction End Date    4/1/2008 12:25:30 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Sha’ar ha-Mizrah
Title (Hebrew)    שער המזרח
Author    [Only Ed.] R. Elijah Mizrahi: R. Abraham Stern
City    Prague
Publisher    Elznanger
Publication Date    1793
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   Only edition of commentary. [2], 143 ff. quarto 205:175 mm., wide margins, light age and damp staining, stamps, small repair to title. A very good copy loose in contemporary half marbled paper boards, rubbed.
   Super-commentary on Rashi by R. Elijah ben Abraham Mizrahi together with a commentary on the Mizrahi by R. Abraham Stern. The title page describes the two parts of the text as Sefer ha-Mizrahi and Sefer Ma’arvei, the former the essence of the work ha-Mizrahi, the second a resolution of questions on and in the Mizrahi. There is an approbation from R. Ezekiel Landau (Noda be-Yehudah) and a brief introduction from the author. Sefer ha-Mizrahi was, for many generations the leading super-commentary on Rashi. Mizrahi himself considered his commentary on Rashi the most important of his works (Responsa, Nos. 5, 78). Besides showing Rashi's Talmudic and midrashic sources, he endeavors to elucidate all obscure passages, thus defending him from the strictures of the later commentators, particularly Nahmanides. In this work he exhaustively discusses almost every word in Rashi, but does not refrain from disagreeing with him on numerous occasions. On the other hand he defends Rashi against the criticism of Naḥmanides. This work has given rise to a veritable literature. Later commentators answered his criticism and justified Rashi. The two works, Rashi's commentary and Mizraḥi's supercommentary, became a main subject of study of rabbinical commentators of the Bible from the 16th century onward. The work has an added importance as a result of the quotations it gives from the Romaniot scholars of the 14th and 15th centuries for which his work is the sole source, side by side with those of Ibn Ezra and the French and German scholars. The work was published after Mizrahi's death by his son Israel.

R. Elijah ben Abraham Mizrahi (Mizrahi, c. 1450–1526) was a rabbinical authority, the greatest of the rabbis of the Ottoman Empire of his time. Mizrahi was of Romaniot origin (the original Turkish Jews as distinct from the Spanish exiles) and was born and educated in Constantinople. Among his teachers he mentions R. Elijah ha-Levi in rabbinic studies and R. Mordecai Comitiano in general studies. Until the death of R. Moses Capsali , Mizrahi devoted himself to study and public instruction. As early as 1475 he is mentioned as heading a keneset (probably a school in addition to a synagogue) and as having students. There is reason to believe that he filled the position of head of the rabbis of Constantinople (though he did not have the title of hakham bashi, appointed by the sultan, since that office did not exist in that period). Nevertheless, it would seem that his authority derived not from any official position, but from the recognition of his personality and strength. He was considered both by his contemporaries and later generations as the greatest posek of his time in Turkey . He was firm and unbending in his decisions, and even the great rabbis among the Spanish exiles accepted his authority.

Paragraph 2    ספר המזרחי... בספר הזה באו כל דברי המחבר [ר' אליהו מזרחי] בקצרה... ונוסף לזה ספר מערבי... ליישב כל הקושיות והטענות אשר הניח הגאון המזרחי בצריך עיון או בקושיא או לפעמים כשתירץ תירוץ דחוק יבא בזה תירץ[!] מרווח. ובפעמים הרבה אשר הגאון המחבר אישתמיטתי' דברי הגמ' או דברי הרמב"ם ... ומסומן בכל חידוש מערבי ... וגם יבואו בו דברי המהרש"א ולחם משנה ומשנה למלך מה שכתבו על דברי המזרחי ולפעמים לתרץ ממה שתפסו על המחבר... כל אלה... ממני אברהם שטערן במהור"ר מאור [!] חיים זצ"ל במקום רב בגליל פילזן...

הסכמה: ר' יחזקאל סג"ל לנדא, [פראג, אלול תקנ"ב]. (חתום: בנו שמואל סג"ל לנדא).

   EJ; JE; CD-EPI 0147452
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Listing Classification
18th Century:    Checked
Other:    Bohemia
Bible:    Checked
Novellae:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica