||Alphabetic encyclopedia on Midrash Rabbah by R. Akiva Baer ben Joseph and R. Isaac Zeligman Levi ben Meir. Approbations are from R. Abraham ben Saul Broda of Prague, R. Issacher Berman ben David Segal [Fraenkel] of Fuerth, and R. Menahem Mendel of Bamberg. There are two prefaces, one from each of the authors, followed by the the text, which is in two columns in rabbinic type. Pi Shenayim, made up of excerpts from Midrash Rabbah, is organized by letter and topic. The volume is completed with an index of entries.
R. Akiva Baer ben Joseph, talmudist and kabbalist, was among the Jews who were expelled from Vienna in 1670. He subsequently wandered through Bohemia and parts of Germany, earning his living by teaching Talmud and delivering lectures in the synagogue on the Sabbath. He interrupted his travels when he was elected rabbi of Burgpreppach, in Bavaria. There R. Akiva Baer wrote a kabbalistic commentary to the daily prayers entitled Avodat ha-Bore (1688), comprised of five parts, each beginning with one of the letters of his name (A.K.I.B.A.). This work was sufficiently popular to be printed three times, the last with a new commentary for Sabbath and holidays. He later became rabbi of Zeckendorf, near Bamberg, where he remained for six years. From there R. Akiva Baer was called to Schnaitach, which at that time had a large Jewish community. During a riot there R. Akiva Baer was imprisoned; after his release he became rabbi of Gunzenhausen and, finally, second rabbi of Ansbach. R. Akiva Baer was the author of two works in Yiddish, which had even a wider circulation than his Hebrew works, namely: Abbir Ya’akov (Sulzbach,1700), a collection of legends from the Zohar and from the Midrash ha-Ne’elam about the patriarchs, based on the first 47 chapters of Genesis; and Ma’asei HaShem (Frankfort a. Main, 1691), a collection of wondrous stories from the Zohar and other kabbalistic books.
R. Isaac Zeligman Levi ben Meir was the learned parnass of Zeckendorf. When R. Akiva Baer was rabbi there the two met and collaborated on this work.