||First edition of this ethical work based on the twenty-four principles on which the Torah is acquired by R. Moses ben Israel Jacob Hagiz. The title has two subheadings, Mishnat hakhamim and Nishmat Hasidim. On the verso of the title page is an approbation from R. Ezekiel ben Abraham Katzenelbogen and below it an apologia from the editor, R. Moses dAvid Tebele. There are two introductions from R. Hagiz and then the text, in two columns in rabbinic type. The values addressed in Mishnat hakhamim begin with the importance (value) of Talmud and conclude with the acceptance of affliction with love.
R. Moses ben Israel Jacob Hagiz (1672–c. 1751) was a scholar, kabbalist, and opponent of Shabbateanism; son of R. Jacob Hagiz, he was born in Jerusalem and studied with his grandfather, R. Moses Galante. He appears to have quarreled in his youth with the rabbis and lay leaders of Jerusalem, for when in 1694 he left Erez Israel to collect money to found a yeshivah in Jerusalem, damaging letters were sent after him to the communities to which he turned. R. Hagiz visited Egypt and then Italy, where in 1704 he published his father's Halakhot Ketannot. He traveled by way of Prague to Amsterdam where he made contact with R. Zevi Hirsch Ashkenazi, then rabbi of the Ashkenazi community, and collaborated with him in an energetic struggle against Shabbateanism and its secret adherents. When in 1713 R. Ashkenazi and R. Hagiz refused to retract the excommunication of the Shabbatean Nehemiah Hayon, a fierce quarrel broke out between them and the elders of the Portuguese community. In 1714 when Ashkenazi resigned his rabbinical office and left Amsterdam, Moses was compelled to leave with him. He went first to London with R. Ashkenazi, there continuing the fight against Hayon and his allies, and then to Altona, home of R. Jacob Emden, Ashkenazi's son, where he resumed the struggle against Shabbateanism. Among those he attacked were R. Michael Abraham Cardoso and even R. Jonathan Eybeschuetz, and he took the offensive against R. Moses Hayyim Luzzatto, inducing the rabbis of Venice to excommunicate him. In 1738 R. Hagiz returned to Erez Israel and settled in Safed. He died in Beirut and was taken to Sidon for burial.
A talmudic scholar of the first rank and a prolific writer, Moses was assisted by a good grounding in secular knowledge and by a command of several foreign languages. In Altona he was friendly with Johann Christopher *Wolf, who mentions him in his Bibliotheca Hebraica. His works include Leket ha-Kemah, novellae on the Shulhan Arukh, Orah Hayyim and Yoreh De'ah (Amsterdam, 1697), and Even ha-Ezer (Hamburg, 1711); responsa Shetei ha-Lehem (Wandsbeck, 1733); the ethical treatises Zerror ha-Hayyim and Mishnat hakhamim (ibid., 1728–31 and 1733 respectively); Elleh ha-Mitzvot (Amsterdam, 1713), on the numeration of precepts in Maimonides' Sefer ha-Mitzvot, on the Oral Law, and on Kabbalah; Sefat Emet (Amsterdam, 1697); and Parashat Elleh Masei (Altona, 1738), on the sanctity of the land of Israel. His literary activity also included the editing of many early books.