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Bidding Information
Lot #    22217
Auction End Date    12/23/2008 11:06:00 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Siftei Hahumim
Title (Hebrew)    שפתי חכמים
Author    [First Ed.] R. Shabbetai Bass
City    Frankfurt am Main
Publisher    Johann Kellner
Publication Date    1712
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   First revised edition. [1], 133 [i.e. 143] ff., 198:157 mm., nice margins, old hands, usual light age staining. A very good copy not bound.
   First edition of the popular commentary on Rashi, often reprinted, by R. Shabbetai b. Joseph Bass (1641–1718), the first Jewish bibliographer. Bass's parents were killed in a pogrom in Kalisz (Poland) by the Cossacks in 1655, but he and his elder brother were saved and fled to Prague. Possessing a pleasant voice, Bass was engaged as an assistant singer (hence his nickname Bass) to the cantor Loeb at the Altneu synagogue (Altneuschul) in Prague. In Prague he acquired a thorough knowledge of the Talmud, and also a general education which included Latin. His love of books and a critical spirit drew him to publication and printing. In 1669 in Prague he printed a revised edition of the Yiddish commentary on the Pentateuch and the Five Scrolls by Moses Saertels, Be'er Moshe, with an appendix on "grammatical rules." As there was no complete list in Hebrew of Jewish literature, he undertook to compile one. Between 1674 and 1679 Bass visited libraries in Poland, Germany, and Holland. In Amsterdam he studied the art of printing and proofreading, and published: Massekhet Derekh Erez, a guide book for travelers (1680); the Pentateuch with a super-commentary on Rashi, Siftei Hakhamim; and Siftei Yeshenim (1680), a list in Hebrew of some 2,200 Hebraica and Judaica. In 1688 Bass obtained a permit to set up a Hebrew printing press at Auras, and this was shortly afterward transferred to Dyhernfurth. He also successfully engaged in bookselling. When the Jesuits accused Bass of spreading hatred against the Christians and the government, he at first succeeded in refuting the accusations; but in 1712 the Jesuits repeated the accusations and he was arrested. In the trial he succeeded in proving the ignorance of his accusers, and was released. His sons and grandsons continued to print books at Dyhernfurth up to the second half of the 18th century.
Paragraph 2    והוא פירוש ... על דברי רבינו ... רש"י זצ"ל על התורה וחמש מגילות. ומאסף ... דברי ... גדולי מחברים. קדמונים ואחרונים. אשר ביררו דברי רש"י זצ"ל ... נדפס בכרך בפני עצמו ... כדי לחברו לכל ספרי חומשים ... (המסדר ... כמהר"ר שבתי משור"ר מפראג יצ"ו, בעל המחבר שפתי ישנים, אחיו של המקובל ... החסיד כמוהר"ר יעקב שטרימרש זצוק"ל) ...

המחבר בהקדמה וכן המסכים מזכירים "דברים חדשים שנתחדשו" בספר על-ידי ר' יעקב ב"ר משה אברהם זצ"ל טריוש אשכנזי הנקרא ר' יעקב בריסקר "אשר נטפל לעושי מצוה להגיה ספר ... הלז".

   Vinograd, Frankfurt am Main 295; EJ; Bloch, in: Studies in Jewish Bibliography... (1929), index; Shunami, Bibl, index; CD-EPI 0115307
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Listing Classification
18th Century:    Checked
Germany:    Checked
Bible:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica