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Bidding Information
Lot #    6111
Auction End Date    11/18/2003 2:04:00 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Teshu’at Yisrael (Vindiciae Iudaeorum)
Title (Hebrew)    תשועת ישראל
Author    [First Heb Ed.] Manasseh (Menasseh) Ben Israel
City    Vienna
Publisher    Anton Schmid
Publication Date    1814
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   First edition. [2], 72 pp. octavo 170:95 mm., light age staining. A good copy bound in modern boards.
   Defense of Judaism by Manasseh Ben Israel. Written in English and entitled Vindiciae Iudaeorum in 1656, the title page of that edition states, “in Answer to Certain questions propounded by a noble gentleman, touching the reproaches cast on the nation of the Jews; wherein all objections are candidly, and yet fully cleared.” Vindiciae Iudaeorum was translated into German by Dr. Marcus Herz, and retranslated from that edition into Hebrew by Samson (Simson) ben Isaac ha-Levi Bloch as Teshu’at Yisrael. This, the first edition of Teshu’at Yisrael has a letter from Moses Konetz [2], a word to the reader (1-21) which is an introduction to the work, followed by a biography of Manasseh Ben Israel (22-28) and then the text. The issues addressed are blood libels, excessive reverence to the ark and Torah scrolls, cursing Christians and their faith in prayers, disloyalty of Jews to their countries of residence, and sharp dealing in business. Manasseh systematically and logically refutes each of these charges. He also notes that the blood libel was first used by pagans against Christians. This book contributed greatly towards reducing bigotry against Jews in learned circles. The importance of this work can be noted from the fact that it was translated into many other European languages.

Manasseh Ben Israel (1604–1657), was born a Marrano in Madeira and baptized as Manoel Dias Soeiro. His father, Gaspar Rodrigues Nunez, escaped from Lisbon after appearing as a penitent in an auto-da-fe and settled in Amsterdam, where he took the name Joseph ben Israel and renamed his two sons Ephraim and Manasseh. Manasseh became a member of the Hevrah for Talmud Torah at the age of 12, began to frequent the yeshivot when he was 14, made his first public oration in Portuguese when he was 15, and at 17 wrote his first book, Safah Berurah, a grammatical work (unpublished). Manasseh succeeded R. Isaac Uzziel as preacher to the Neveh Shalom congregation in 1622. He founded the earliest Hebrew printing press in Amsterdam (1626), where he continued to publish works in Hebrew and Spanish (Portuguese) for the remainder of his life. He was a prolific and influential author. He is also remembered for his attempts to gain entry for the Jews into England.

Paragraph 2    (מכתב ... כולל תשובות על שאלות חכם ... מענגלאנד בעניני האשמות אשר נאשמו היהודים). חברו הרב ... מהו' מנשה בן ישראל נ"ע, חכם קהל ספרדים דק"ק אמשטרדם, בלשון ענגאלי, ונעתק [בתוספת הערות] ללשון אשכנז ע"י ... הרמבמ"ן [משה בן מנחם מנדלסזאהן] נ"ע ועתה [הועתק עם ההערות הנז'] ללשון הקודש על ידי שמשון בלאך הלוי [שהוסיף הקדמה והערות נוספות] ... על ידי שמשון בלאך הלוי [שהוסיף הקדמה והערות נוספות] ...

עמ' [29-36]: תולדות ... ר' מנשה בן ישראל ... כתבה ... דוד חפשי [פראנקו-מנדס] ז"ל ונדפסה בהמאסף תקמ"ח [עמ' קסז-קעב]. כאן נוספו הערות מאת שמשון בלאך. המקור האנגלי: Vindiciae Judaeorum or A letter in answer to certain questions ... on the Nation of the Jewes, [London] 1656. התרגום הגרמני: .Rettung der Juden, Berlin und Stettin 1782

   C. Roth, Life of Menasseh ben Israel; Vinograd, Venice 406; Waxman II pp. 695-99; Wolf, Menasseh ben Israel's Mission to Oliver Cromwell (1901); CD-EPI 0122394
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Listing Classification
19th Century:    Checked
Other:    Bohemia
History:    Checked
Other:    Philosophy
Blue Paper:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica