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Bidding Information
Lot #    22356
Auction End Date    12/23/2008 12:15:30 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Keneset ha-Gedola
Title (Hebrew)    כנסת הגדולה
Author    [First Ed. - The Ibn Zur Family Copy]
City    Livorno (Leghorn)
Publication Date    1657
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   First edition. 6, 164 ff., 294:210 mm., extra wide margins, usual damp staining, worming expertly repaired, old hands in margins of many ff.. A very good copy bound in modern boards.
Paragraph 1    The R. Jacob b. Reuben Ibn Zur (1673–1752), copy with his gloss on f. 31 - signed Yavetz (יעב"ץ). The Yavetz, rabbi, scholar, and poet; born in Fez. Among his teachers were R. Menahem Serero and R. Vidal Zarfati. Oppressive taxation induced Ibn Zur to move to Meknes, where he became a member of the bet din of R. Judah ibn Attar. Between 1738 and 1740 he moved to Tetuan where he also served on the bet din. At an advanced age, he ordained five of his students, who later became known as the "Court of Five" (bet din shel hamishah). Ibn Zur's works include responsa of considerable historical value. Some were published in the collection Mishpat u-Zedakah be-Ya'akov (Alexandria, 1894). Others are found in the works of his contemporaries and several hundred remain unpublished. He also wrote Et le-Khol Hefez, a poetical miscellany (Alexandria, 1893).

The R. Solomon Elijah b. R. Jacob Ibn Zur (1822-1873) copy with his notes on many ff. R. Solomon Elijah was the great-grandson of the Yavetz - and followed in his footsteps. Signing Shabetz (שאב"ץ) he was always found within the walls of the Yeshiva. An erudite rabbinical scholar he wrote many novellae, responsa, and commentary to his ancestor's works. As with this lot - his books are filled with his glosses.

The Raphael Ibn Zur copy with his stamp on title.

   Resposa and novellae on the Orah Hayyim by R. Hayyim b. Israel Benveniste (1603–1673), Sephardi rabbinic scholar and codifier. R. Benveniste studied in his native Constantinople mainly under R. Joseph b. Moses of Trani, and also under Joseph Samegah. In 1624, when he was only 21, he began to write his detailed commentary on the Sefer Mitzvot Gadol of Moses b. Jacob of Coucy, which he called Dina de-Hayyei ("Law of the Living"). The same year he was appointed to decide cases dealing with ritual law (Issur ve-Hetter). Benveniste was rabbi in Tirya, near Smyrna, from 1643 to 1655 when he settled in Smyrna. When Chief Rabbi Joseph Escapa of Smyrna reached an advanced age, Benveniste was appointed in 1661 to act for him in matters of ritual and matrimonial law, and succeeded him after his death the following year. In 1665 the council of the city's scholars (with Benveniste's consent) appointed Aaron Lapapa in charge of civil cases, but at the end of the same year the latter was deposed by the many admirers of Shabbetai Zevi, whom Lapapa had excommunicated and condemned to death. After Shabbetai Zevi's conversion to Islam a small section of the Smyrna community unsuccessfully attempted to reinstate Lapapa. As a result, Benveniste became involved in a dispute with Lapapa. Benveniste's attitude to the Shabbatean movement as a whole was entirely negative, but he sought to avoid controversy in the interest of communal harmony, and was not resolute enough in certain instances to oppose openly the majority of his community, who followed Shabbetai Zevi and his followers. Benveniste's role in this episode however did not detract from his dignity and authority as one of the greatest of the Jewish codifiers. Among his many disciples were Solomon ibn Ezra, Isaac Algazi, Hayyim Algazi, and Abraham b. Aaron de Boton. His principal work Keneset ha-Gedolah, was accepted by both Ashkenazi and Sephardi rabbis as an authoritative work of great practical value. In his work, which comprises eight large volumes, Benveniste cites and methodically explains all the conclusions and legal novellae to be found in the responsa and other halakhic works of the outstanding authorities after the time of Joseph Caro, as well as some of the decisions of earlier scholars whom Caro had failed to cite.

In Benveniste's lifetime only three parts of the work were printed: on Orah Hayyim (Leghorn, 1658); Sheyarei, addenda on Orah Hayyim (Smyrna, 1671); and on Hoshen Mishpat (part 1, Smyrna, 1660). After his death there appeared the volume on Yoreh De'ah (3 parts, Constanti—nople, 1711–17); on Even ha-Ezer (Smyrna, 1731, new ed. Lemberg, 1861); on Hoshen Mishpat, part 2, with several appendixes by other authors (Smyrna, 1734). Also his Dina de-Hayyei was published posthumously from a defective manuscript (Constantinople, 2 pts. 1747). Additional legal novellae on the Hoshen Mishpat are to be found in Hayyim b. Menahem Algazi's Benei Hayyai published in Orta-koi (near Constantinople) in 1712. Benveniste also wrote important responsa (Ba'ei Hayyei, "Needs of the Living"), on the four parts of the Turim, the following of which have been published: on Orah Hayyim (part 2, Salonika, 1783), on 211 sections of Yoreh De'ah and on 24 of the Even ha-Ezer (ibid., 1788), as well as on the Hoshen Mishpat, in two parts (ibid., 1791). Benveniste also wrote novellae on a number of tractates: that on Sanhedrin which he called Hamra ve-Hayyei, only part of which is extant, was published, together with notes and extracts from the manuscripts of the novellae of the earlier halakhic authorities, under the title of Hemer Hivver Attik (Leghorn, 1802). Benveniste's son Israel (1644–1729) succeeded him as chief rabbi of Smyrna.

Paragraph 2    ...שחבר ... ר' חיים בנבנשת נר"ו ... מאסף לדברי הפוסקים ראשונים ואחרונים וכמה תשובות מכתיבת יד, מסודרים על סדר רבינו יעקב בעל הטורים והרב ... בית יוסף זלה"ה ... ולהאיר עינינו על כל דבר הנמצא כתוב בשום ספר כדברי ספר החתום ... וחדושא ממילא נפקא לענין דינא. ונוסף עליהם כמה חדושים שחדש מעצמו ונמוקו עמו ... [חלק א-ו].

עם הסכמות רבני איזמיר: ר' יוסף אישקאפא, ר' שלמה אלגאזי, ר' בנימין מלמד, ר' אברהם ב"ר אהרן די בוטון, ר' משה ב"ר חיים עובדיא ור' זרחיה מלוריאה, איזמיר. - [חלק א][חלק א]: חלק אורח חיים. ליוורנו, דפוס ידידיה בן יצחק גבאי בעל כף נחת, תי"ח [1657]. ו, קסד דף. דף ד,ב-ה: הקדמות מאת ישראל, בן המחבר, ור' יהושע רפאל, אח המחבר. דף ו,א: דברי המגיה, ר' אברהם ב"ר שמואל גדילייא, ודברי בעל הדפוס. דף צח-קסד: "קונטריס מאסף לכל המחנות בפלפול מסוגיאות ולש[ו]נות רש"י ותוספות ושאר הפוסקים [דף קכ-קמד: לשונות הרמב"ם, המגיד משנה והכסף משנה] ולשונות רש"י ז"ל והרמב"ן והרא"ם ז"ל בפירוש התורה וזולתם וכללי י"ג מדות ... וכללי הגמ' וכללי הפוסקים וכללים נפרדים מלבד כללים אחרי' שיחדתי להם מקום בתוך הספר" (מהקדמת המחבר, דף ב, ב בסופו).

   CD-EPI 0129773; EJ;JE
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Listing Classification
17th Century:    Checked
Italy:    Checked
Other:    Morocco
Halacha:    Checked
Responsa:    Checked
Autographed:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica