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Bidding Information
Lot #    8237
Auction End Date    10/19/2004 10:04:00 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Arukh Ha'Katzar
Title (Hebrew)    ערוך הקצור
Author    R. Nathan of Rome
City    Cracow
Publisher    Isaac b. Aaron of Prostitz
Publication Date    1592
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   36, [47] ff., 182:144 mm., several ff. with expert repairs not affecting text, nice margins, old hands and stamps on title. A very good copy bound in modern half calf and marbled paper boards.
   Abridged edition of dictionary of words found in the Talmud. A condensed version of the Arukh by an anonymous epitomist.

R. Nathan b. Jehiel of Rome (1035–c. 1110), Italian lexicographer, also called Ba'al he-Arukh ("the author of the Arukh") after the title of his lexicon. Few biographical details are known of him. Some state that he belonged to the De Pomis or Delli Mansi family, but the view is widespread that he actually belonged to the famous Anau (Anav) family. He was taught in his youth by his father, a paytan and the head of the yeshivah of Rome, and may as a young man have studied in Sicily under R. Mazli'ah b. Elijah ibn al-Bazak, a pupil of R. Hai Gaon. However, there is reason to believe that the scanty references to R. Mazli'ah's name in R. Nathan's work are the addenda of an earlier copyist named R. Mevorakh, some of whose marginal notes, in which he also mentions that he was R. Al-Bazak's pupil, were later incorporated in the text of the Arukh. R. Nathan also studied under R. Moses ha-Darshan of Narbonne, as well as, in the view of some scholars, under R. Moses Kalfo of Bari and R. Moses of Pavia. When his father died immediately after R. Nathan's return to Rome about 1070, he and his two brothers R. Daniel and R. Abraham succeeded him as the heads of the yeshivah of Rome. With them he wrote responsa to halakhic questions addressed to him by various scholars, among whom was a R. Solomon Yizhaki, identified by some as Rashi. Noted for his charitable acts, R. Nathan built a magnificent synagogue and a ritual bathhouse for his community. It was while serving as head of the Rome yeshivah that he wrote his classical work (which he completed in 1101) the Arukh, a lexicon of the Talmud and the Midrashim, containing all the talmudic terms in need of explanation; in the course of time various additions were made to it. At the end of the Arukh there is a poem written in particularly difficult language and therefore of somewhat obscure meaning; in it the poet, lamenting his bitter lot, tells of the death of four out of his five sons during his lifetime.

Paragraph 2    ספירת דפים משובשת. מן ההקדמה: זה הספר... קצרו אחד מהקדמונים... ונדפס בקושטנטין רבתי... שנת אשובה ארע"ה... והיה הקיצור ההוא מספיק לבני דורו... גם לא הביא זכרון המסכתא או הפרק על הרוב... ועתה מחדש נתוסף עליו מאיש אחד שהתאבק בעפר רגלי העדה הקדוש' ק"ק פרנקבורט... ומצא בה ערוך קצר שקצרו אח' מגדולי אשכנז... בכתב יד ישן... לא יחסר כל בו... אף כמה תיבות חמורות שהביא ... הערוך ולא פירשם... וכן עשה גם כן בכמה תיבות חמורו' שלא הוזכרו בספרו הרחב עלה זכרונם לפניו גם... ברוב מקומות שפירש הוא בלע"ז או בלשון ישמעאל או בלשון ערבי או לא פירש בלשון ההוא כלום... החכם ההוא... עשה חסד... לפרשם בלשון אשכנז... והתחלת הספר בפרט ונ'ש'"א' נס לגוים לאסוף נדחי ישראל [שנ"א]. ברובו של אות א נוספו גם ציונים לדפי הגמרא.
   CD-EPI 0152852; Vinograd, Cracow 150; EJ
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Listing Classification
16th Century:    Checked
Russia-Poland:    Checked
Dictionaries & Encyclopedias:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica