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Bidding Information
Lot #    5487
Auction End Date    9/16/2003 10:44:00 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Rabeinu Bahya
Title (Hebrew)    רבינו בחיי
Author    [Kabbalah] R. Bahya b. Asher ibn Hlava
City    Cracow
Publisher    Yitzcok b. Aaron of Prostiz
Publication Date    1592-93
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   275, 275-246 f., folio, 294:194 mm., usual browning, title backed in margin on verso, few paper repairs, lacks as usual [1] final f. with illustration of the "Ten Counts". A good copy bound in contemporary leather boards, split and rubbed.
   R. Bahya b. Asher ibn Hlava (13th century), exegete, preacher, and kabbalist. His great commentary on the Pentateuch (Naples, 1492) was written in 1291. According to tradition, he lived in Saragossa and served there as dayyan and preacher. He was a disciple of R. Solomon b. Abraham Adret, whom he called "my master," whenever he quoted from his commentaries. Curiously enough, R. Bahya mentions neither his teacher's kabbalistic sayings nor his commentaries on the mystical teachings of Nahmanides as did R. Solomon b. Adret's other disciples. There are also kabbalistic matters quoted anonymously by R. Bahya which are attributed to R. Solomon b. Adret by other authors. It is also possible that he did not have his teacher's permission to quote him in kabbalistic matters. R. Isaac b. Todros of Barcelona, the commentator on Nahmanides' esoteric teachings, is quoted by Bahya only once, without the attribute "my teacher."

Various works (as well as writings whose authors are unknown) have been attributed to R. Bahya. The clarity of R. Bahya's style and his easy exposition have made his books (which draw their material from a variety of sources) popular with the public, particularly his commentary on the Pentateuch which has been published frequently from 1492. In his work R. Bahya interprets the Pentateuch in four ways: literal, homiletical, rational, and according to the Kabbalah. He uses many different sources, beginning with talmudic and midrashic literature, exegetic and philosophic literature, and ending with kabbalistic literature. R. Bahya is considered of great importance in Kabbalah and is one of the main sources through which the kabbalistic sayings of Nahmanides' contemporaries have been preserved. As a rule, Bahya does not divulge his kabbalistic sources. With the exception of the Sefer ha-Bahir, which he considers an authentic Midrash, and Nahmanides, who is his guide in Kabbalah, he rarely mentions other kabbalists, although he uses extensively the writings of R. Jacob b. Sheshet Gerondi, R. Asher b. David, R. Joseph Gikatilla, and others. He treats the Zohar in a similar manner. Parts of the Zohar were known to him, and he copied from them. However, he mentions it only twice (as "Midrash Rabbi Simeon b. Yohai"). Kad ha-Kemah contains alphabetically arranged clarifications on the foundations of faith and had a wide circulation.

Paragraph 2    בשער: והיתה התחלת מלאכתו בר"ח סיון בשנת מ'ב'ש'"ן' אשיב [שנ"ב]. קולופון: נגמר לפרט ולפרשה א'"ז' ישיר מ'ש'"ה' ובני ישראל את השירה [שנ"ג]. דף רמו, ב: שיר. סימן משה. פותח: מי ימלל גבורות. מי יזמר זמירות. אוצר השירה והפיוט, ג, עמ' 119, מס' 1096.
   CD-EPI 0122013; Vinograd, Cracow 147; EJ; Yudlov, Mehlman Collection 641
Associated Images
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Listing Classification
16th Century:    Checked
Russia-Poland:    Checked
Halacha:    Checked
Kabbalah:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica