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Bidding Information
Lot #    29191
Auction End Date    1/25/2011 12:13:00 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Adam Yashar
Title (Hebrew)    אדם ישר; מרכבת יחזקאל; דרושי מ'ד ומ'ן
Author    [Ms. - Kabbalah] R. Jacob Zemah
City    [Italy]
Publication Date    late 17c.
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   36, 38-43, 45-67, 70-75, 77-125; 126-180; 180-211; 212-226 ff., 156:110 mm., light age staining, wanting several ff., ink on paper, neat Italian script, 16 lines per page, numerous marginalia in an Ashkenazic hand, bound in contemporary leather over boards, rubbed and split. Date is based on Joseph Avivi's examination of the work.
Paragraph 1    Collection of several kabbalistic treatises.
   Adam Yashar contains homilies by R. Hayyim Vital, transcribed by R. Jacob Tzemah. R. Zemah found the manuscript notes in the Jerusalem genizah, expanded and edited them. He refers to Adam Yashar as the most important work of kabbalah which gives definition to all others.

R. Jacob ben Hayyim Zemah (d. after 1665), belonged to a Converso family in northern Portugal, where he served as a physician. He fled that land for Erez Israel, passing through Salonika where he studied Torah. Some time between 1610 and 1620, he settled in Safed and learned Talmud and Kabbalah. In approximately 1628 he left for Damascus, and studied the Lurianic Kabbalah under R. Samuel ben Hayyim Vital for eighteen years. Around 1640 he settled in Jerusalem where he became one of the leading kabbalists. He opened a yeshiva, counting among his students R. David Comforte. R. Zemah was among the Jerusalem opponents of Shabbetai Zevi who excommunicated him when he first claimed to be the messiah in 1665.

His many works are anthologic in character, relying on R. Hayyim Vital’s Kabbalah. Nevertheless, R. Zemah’s contribution to the literary consolidation of Lurianic Kabbalah is important as are his citations of contemporary kabbalists, e.g., R. Joseph ibn Tabul. Zemah left many works, partly in manuscript. In the aforesaid introduction he gives details of his literary activities. His works include Zer Zahav, an explanation of every item in the Orah Hayyim section of the Shulhan Arukh according to the Zohar and the Lurianic Kabbalah; Lehem min ha-Shamayim (Munkacs, 1905), a compilation of Lurianic customs of which the printed version differs from the manuscripts; Nagid u-Mezavveh (Amsterdam, 1712), an important anthology of Lurianic customs which served as the basis for Shulhan Arukh shel ha-Ari; Zemah Zaddik (Korzec, 1785), kabbalistic homilies.

Paragraph 2    אדם ישר אשר חיבר הרב ... יצחק לוריא אשכנזי ז"ל ... מפי הקבלה האמתית שקבל מפי אליהו ז"ל. והי' טמון בין כתבי ... תלמידו ... מוה' חיים וויטאל ז"ל. עד אשר קם הרב ... יעקב צמח ז"ל והעתיק וסידר ספר ...

   EJ; JE
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Listing Classification
17th Century:    Checked
Italy:    Checked
Kabbalah:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Other:    Book
Kind of Judaica