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Bidding Information
Lot #    20496
Auction End Date    4/1/2008 1:01:30 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Mesillat Yesharim
Title (Hebrew)    מסילת ישרים
Author    [Presentation Copy] Oskar Sachariasohn, trans.
City    Budapest
Publisher    Osias Geyer
Publication Date    1906
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   First edition of translation. [6], 231, [15] pp. quarto 220:140 mm., wide margins, light age staining. A very good copy bound in the original cloth boards, rubbed.
Paragraph 1    Presentation copy to the "King of Cantors", Shlomo Zalman Stern with an unusual attractive hand lettered front-piece with some gold and red lettering.
   Bi-lingual Hebrew German edition of the classical ethical work by R. Moses Hayyim Luzzatto (Ramhal). It was the opinion of the Vilna Gaon, (Gr”a) that, because of the Mesillat Yesharim, R. Luzzato had a greater understanding of the tenets of Judaism than could be attained by any other mortal. Furthermore, the Gr”a stated that if Luzzatto were alive in his generation, he would go to him, from Vilna to Italy, by foot, in order to sit at his feet and learn from him. There is a half-title page followed by Hebrew and German title pages. Next is a table of contents and the text. The Hebrew is in the right hand column the German facing it in the left hand column. At the end of the book is an index of the rabbinic saying in the text and verse from the Ramhal written for the wedding of R. Isaac ben Aaron Marino to Esther bat Samuel. Mesillat Yesharim is Ramhal’s most important and best-known work.

R. Moses Hayyim Luzzatto (Ramhal, 1707–1746) was a kabbalist, writer of ethical works, and Hebrew poet; leader of a group of religious thinkers, who were mainly interested in the problems of redemption and messianism. Luzzatto was born in Padua, Italy, into one of the most important, oldest, and most respectable families in Italian Jewry. Regarded as a genius from childhood, he knew Bible, Talmud, Midrash, halakhic literature, and classical languages and literature thoroughly. His main teachers were R. Isaac Cantarini, who taught him poetry and secular sciences, and R. Isaiah Bassan, who taught him mainly Kabbalah and became his friend and protector. Luzzatto's achievements, personality, and great knowledge of mysticism made him a leader of a group of young men in Padua, many of whom came there to study at the city's famous university. Probably the most important event in Luzzatto's personal life occurred in 1727. While he was immersed in kabbalistic speculations, he suddenly heard a divine voice, which he believed to be that of a maggid (i.e., a divine power inclined to reveal heavenly secrets to human beings). From that moment, the Maggid spoke to Luzzatto frequently and he noted these revelations, which comprised his kabbalistic writings for a few years. Most of them have not survived; only a few are known and have been published.

Paragraph 2    שער-נוסף: מסלת ישרים, .Lebensfuehrung der Redlichen von R Mosche Chaim Luzatto mit deutscher Uebersetzung von Oskar Sachariasohn... 8 עמ': אורות מאופל, שירים. כולל: א. לחתונת ר' יצחק מאריני. ב. לכבוד ר' עמנואל כלבו. ג. על מות ר' רפאל שלום. ד. על מות ר' מנחם קראקוביה. השיר השלישי נדפס מתוך כתב יד המחבר. השירים האחרים נדפסו תחילה על דפים בודדים. כולם נכללו ב"ספר השירים", ירושלים תש"ה. מעתיק השירים הוא חיים דובעריש פריעדבערג, שהוציאם אחר-כך בחוברת מיוחדת בשם "אורות מאופל". עיין למעלה. זאכאריאזאהן הוא כינוי של אזיאס גייער. עיין: יהודה ליב לנדא, קרית ספר, שנה טז, תרצ"ט, עמ' 272.
   BE mem 2572; EJ; CD-EPI 0143491
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Listing Classification
20th Century:    Checked
Other:    Hungary
Other:    Ethics
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew, German
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica