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Bidding Information
Lot #    7337
Auction End Date    6/8/2004 11:26:00 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Sefer ha-Yashar
Title (Hebrew)    ספר הישר
Author    Anonymous
City    Prague
Publisher    Judah ben Jacob Bak
Publication Date    c.1657-68
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   [84] ff., 180:135 mm., age staining, old hands and stamps on title, small wormholes initial 4 ff affecting single letters. A good copy ound in modern cloth boards.
   Medieval retelling of biblical stories arranged according to the weekly parshah, written in a contemporary (medieval) style. The text of the title page is set within an architectural border, and states that it is a work containing many stories and midrashim from the rabbis of blessed memory on the Torah, and parts of the books of Joshua and Judges. It is written in a clear and pleasant style that draws a person’s heart to recognize the wonders of the Lord and His kindness. There is an introduction from the printer, Joseph ben Samuel of Fez, who recounts the hardships he underwent until he reached Leghorn, where he worked on this book. The text is in two columns in square letters. There is a decorative tail piece at the end of the book. Sefer ha-Yashar is not to be confused with the work of the same name attributed to Rabbenu Tam. The anonymous author of Sefer ha-Yashar is presumed to have lived in the 11th century in Spain. He retells, at great length, the story from the creation to the time of the Judges. It is the most complete example of this type of medieval writing using biblical motifs, aggadic material, and fictional innovations to weave a new and captivating story. The literary scope of the work was unequaled by any later medieval writing. The author of Sefer ha-Yashar, together with the author of Jossipon, is credited with adding another aspect to the medieval story about biblical times: they attempted, and frequently succeeded, in incorporating non-Jewish legends, history, and mythology into the biblical story. The Jews of the Byzantine Empire, Italy, and Spain accepted the legends and history of the people among whom they lived as being part of the history of the world, and argued that as such they form part of the Bible which was believed to include all the important events in human history. These authors, and others, therefore, developed a system of synchronization and analogy to establish a connection between non-Jewish stories and biblical heroes and chronology. Reference Description EJ; Vin Prague 470
Paragraph 2    בשער "תחת ממשלת... לעפאלטוס", שהתחילה באפריל 1657. "הקדמת המדפיס" מדפוס ויניציאה נדפסה בחלקה.
   EJ; Vinograd, Prague 470; CD-EPI 0154854
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Listing Classification
17th Century:    Checked
Other:    Bohemia
History:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica