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Bidding Information
Lot #    20492
Auction End Date    4/1/2008 12:59:30 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Hazut Kashah
Title (Hebrew)    חזות קשה
Author    [First Ed. - Kabbalah] R. Isaac ben Moses Arama
City    Sabbioneta
Publisher    Tobias Foa
Publication Date    1551
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   First edition. 38 ff. quarto 197:136 mm., age and damp staining. A good copy bound in modern half vellum boards.
   First edition of this work on the relationship of philosophy and religion R. Isaac ben Moses Arama (Akedat Yitzhak). It is an enunciation of R. Arama's religious philosophy, including also much that is interesting pertaining to the history of the Jews in Spain prior to their expulsion. The aim of the work was to furnish a rejoinder to the missionary sermons of the Church, to which, under the laws then prevalent, the Jews were compelled to listen. Hence his polemic against the Christian dogma of Grace is the résumé of an oral disputation between Arama and a Christian scholar. In support of his attack upon this Christian dogma, Arama adduces the doctrine of the freedom of the will as formulated by Aristotle, and the consideration of God's transcendent justice, which would make Grace to consist of nothing but the exercise of the will of a despot. Besides this instance of his polemics, his treatment of the Deluge contains several attacks upon Christianity. The greater portion of the work, however, is devoted to the confutation of that philosophy which refuses to recognize Jewish revelation, or recognizes it only as identical with philosophy. The title page dates the beginning of work to 26 Marheshvan, 312 (Thursday, 11 October 1551) and completion, according to the colophon, on Monday, 18 Kislev, 312 (26 November 1551), a period of forty six days, less Sabbaths, to set this work of 38 folios. The title page has an architectural border made up of standing representations of the mythological Mars and Minerva with shields, above them vines and fruits. At the center bottom is a wreath with a representation of Roma. First used by Francesco Minizio (Giulio) Calvo, a printer of Latin and Italian books, it has been described as “the finest of Calvo’s border designs.”

R. Isaac ben Moses Arama (c. 1420–1494), Spanish rabbi, philosopher, and preacher. As a young man Arama taught at Zamora and subsequently served the small communities of Tarragona and Fraga in Aragon. He was later appointed rabbi of Calatayud, where he wrote most of his works. In order to counteract the effects of conversionist sermons to which the Jews of Aragon were compelled to listen, Arama delivered sermons on the principles of Judaism. These sermons became the basis of his later works and contain interesting data on the history of the Jews in Spain prior to their expulsion. Arama engaged in several public disputations with Christian scholars. After the expulsion of the Jews from Spain, in 1492 Arama settled in Naples where he died.

Paragraph 2    להחכם הרב ר' יצחק בן ערמאה ז"ל (חלקו מחברו לחידה ופתרון. החידה חד אותה לעורר קנאה ותלונה... על עלבון התורה עם המתפלספים... וסוד פתרונה... בשנים עשר שערים)... והוספנו בו (בגליון אשר בפנים) מראה מקום מהתלמוד והמדרשים והפסוקים וספרי החכמות... (ואמנם בגליון אשר מחוץ שמנו פרטי הכללים) גם בסופו מפתח... מענייני הספר... והמראה מקום... (דברי... יוסף [שליט] בכמ"ר יעקב [אשכנזי] מפדואה הי"ד).

מעבר לשער דברי-הקדשה, מאת ר' יוסף שליט, לכבוד ר' אהרן מפיסארו. בספריית בית-המדרש לרבנים בניו-יורק שני טפסים, שבשעריהם נוסף, לאחר מקום הדפוס, שם הנדיב שלשמו נדפס הטופס. עי' אברהם יערי, מחקרי ספר, ירושלים תשי"ח, עמ' 353, מס' 2. ה"מפתח" (דף לא-לח) חסר ברוב הטפסים. עי' שמואל ווינער, קהלת משה, עמ' 489, מס' 4024. על הספר, עי' שרה הלר-וילנסקי, ר' יצחק עראמה ומשנתו, ירושלים תשט"ז, עמ' 29-28.

   BE het 442; EJ; Heller, “Mars and Minerva on the Hebrew Title Page,” in Studies in the Making of the Early Hebrew Book, p. 6; CD-EPI 0156178
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Listing Classification
16th Century:    Checked
Italy:    Checked
Other:    Religion
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica