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Bidding Information
Lot #    22452
Auction End Date    12/23/2008 1:04:00 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Midrash Aseret ha-Dibberot: Milhemet Mitzvah, Z
Title (Hebrew)   
City    Pressburg; Johannisburg
Publisher    n.p.; A. Gansarawsky
Publication Date    1860
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   Three work in one volume, octavo 127:90 mm., light age staining. Good copies bound in contemporary boards.
   Three independent works bound together. The first title is Midrash Aseret ha-Dibberot ve- Zavva'at R. Eliezer ha-Gadol (Midrash of the Ten Commandments and Testimony of R. Eliezer ha-Gadol), a collection of stories, occasionally connected by short homiletic passages, from the geonic period. Various scholars have ascribed different dates to it, ranging from the seventh century to the 11th. The collection cannot be dated later than the 11th century because in that century both Rabbi Nissim of Kairouan and later the anonymous collector of the legends published by M. Gaster as Sefer ha-Ma'asiyyot, The Ancient Collections of Agadoth. The Sefer ha-Ma'asiyyot and Two Facsimiles (1894) made use of stories included in it. The work was apparently composed at the beginning of the geonic period, but later stories were added and have created confusion regarding both the number of stories included and the structure of the book as it appears in the several printed versions and the 20 extant manuscripts. Eliezer ben Isaac of Worms (also called Eliezer ha-Gadol; 11th century), German talmudic scholar. Eliezer was a pupil of his relative Simeon ha-Gadol, in Mainz and later of Gershom Me'or ha-Golah, and Judah ha-Kohen, author of Sefer ha-Dinim. He was a friend of Jacob b. Jakar (Rokeah, Ha-Tefillah 21; Joseph Solomon Delmedigo, Mazref le-Hokhmah 14:2). After the death of R. Gershom, he and Jacob b. Yakar headed the yeshivah of Mainz, which numbered among its pupils Isaac ha-Levi and Isaac b. Judah, the teacher of Rashi, who mentions Eliezer several times in his commentaries to the Bible (e.g., Ps. 76:11) and the Talmud (Pes. 76b) calling him ha-Gadol or ha-Ga'on. A number of Eliezer's decisions and instructions have been preserved in works issuing from Rashi's school, including the Sefer ha-Pardes. Menahem b. Judah di Lonzano attributes to Eliezer the well-known work, Orhot Hayyim or Zavva'at R. Eli'ezer ha-Gadol, which had previously been attributed to Eliezer b. Hyrcanus. The suggestion that Eliezer was the father of Tobiah b. Eliezer, author of the Lekah Tov, is without firm foundation. The selihah Elohai Basser recited in the Yom Kippur Katan service, which bears Eliezer's name in acrostic form, has been attributed to him.

The second work is Milhemet Mitzvah, a defense of the Talmud and its sages against the attacks of Christians by R. Solomon ben Simeon Duran, (Rashbash; c. 14001467). He was a North African rabbinical authority; son of Simeon b. Zemah Duran. He was born in Algiers, but no details are known of his youth. His education embraced not only rabbinical knowledge but also science, medicine, and philosophy. It appears from his responsa that he joined his father's bet din at an early age and was the head of the yeshivah. Some of his responsa were written during the lifetime of his father. His apologetical work Milhemet Mitzvah (1438) was written with his father's authorization. In it Solomon repulsed the accusations against the Talmud made by the apostate Joshua Lorki (Geronimo de Santa FM) and even made counterattacks against the Christian clergy. He showed that Lorki's accusation that the Talmud favored immorality was wrong, and on the contrary that it teaches a high standard of morality and chastity; and that it was the Christian clerical circles who indulged in immoral conduct to such an extent that it became known by the name "peccato dei frati." After defending the halakhic parts of the Talmud he proceeded to explain the aggadot attacked by Lorki. In Solomon's view (as expressed already by Jehiel b. Joseph of Paris and by Nahmanides in their disputations) they had no binding force.

The third work is Sefer Zechirah, a popular and much printed work of segulot by R. Zechariah ben Jacob Seminar.

   BE mem 773, mem 2015, zayin 165; EJ
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Listing Classification
19th Century:    Checked
Germany:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica