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Bidding Information
Lot #    8248
Auction End Date    10/19/2004 10:15:00 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Sefer ha-Zohar
Title (Hebrew)    ספר הזהר על התורה
Author    [Kabbalah] R. Simeon b. Yohai
City    Jerusalem
Publisher    Israel b. Abraham Bak
Publication Date    1844-46
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   Three volumes, [6], 252, 2-19; 279; 115; [1], 117-318 ff., 214:155 mm., extra wide margins, usual light age staining. A very good set bound in contemporary leather boards, later spine, new spine labels and endpapers.
   The Zohar following the Hida's Leghorn edition with the approbation of R. Abraham Palache.

The Zohar, is arranged according to the weekly portions of the Torah, up to and including the portion Pinhas. From Deuteronomy there are only Va-Ethannan, a little on Va-Yelekh, and Ha'azinu. Basically it is a kabbalistic Midrash on the Torah, mixed with short statements, long expositions, and narratives concerning Rebbe Simeon b. Yohai and his companions. Some of it consists also of common legends. The number of verses interpreted in each portion is relatively small. Often the exposition digresses to other subjects quite divorced from the actual text of the portion, and the interpretations are skillfully constructed. The expositions are preceded by petihot ("introductions") which are usually based on verses from the Prophets and the Hagiographa, especially Psalms, and which end with a transition to the subject matter of the portion. Many stories act as a framework for the homilies of the companions, e.g., conversations while they are on a journey or when they rest for the night. The language is Aramaic, as it is for most of the other sections of the work. Before the portion Bereshit there is a hakdamah ("preface"), which would appear to be a typical collection of writings and not a preface as such, unless perhaps it was intended to introduce the reader to the spiritual climate of the book.

Israel Bak (1797–1874) was born in Berdichev, Ukraine, into a family of printers. He owned a Jewish press in Berdichev, printing about 30 books between 1815 and 1821 when the press closed down. In 1831 he emigrated to Erez Israel and settled in Safed. There he renewed the tradition of printing Hebrew works, which came to an end with the peasant revolt against Muhammad Ali in 1834. After the Safed earthquake in 1837 and the Druze revolt in 1838, during which his farm and printing press were destroyed, he moved to Jerusalem. In 1841 he established the first - and for 22 years, the only - Jewish printing press in Jerusalem. The press was financed by Sir Moses & Lady Judith Montefiore and their names appear in all Bak imprints, often a full page dedication. One hundred and thirty books were printed on it, making it an important cultural factor in Jerusalem.

Paragraph 2    על התורה ... וכפי אשר נדפס מקדם במנטובה וליוורנו [תקע"ה-תקע"ו] דף על דף ... ועתה מחדש הגהות דבש לפי (להרב חיד"א ז"ל) מרבנן קדישי ... חלק א-ד.

הסכמה: ר' חיים אברהם גאגין, ירושלם, יח [אייר] תר"ד. - חלק א הסכמה: ר' אברהם חיים פאלאגי, אזמיר, ראש-חודש תמוז תר"ד. - חלק ג

חלק א: ספר בראשית. כי מציון תצא תורה ו'דב'ר ה' מיר'ו'ש'ל'י'ם' [תר"ד]. [6], רנב, ב-יט דף. חלק א: דף [3-6]: הקדמת המדפיס. מעלה א-י הועתקו מדפוס קושטאנדינא תצ"ו-תצ"ז; פסק ר' יצחק דלטאש; מקדם לעי"ן. חלק א: "דע מאי"ן", הקדמת החיד"א מדפוס ליוורנו תקנ"א-תקנ"ג. דף יט בסוף: מפתח למאמרי הזוהר בספר הדרת מלך. מדפוס אמשטרדם תקל"א-תקל"ב. לחלק א שני שערים. בשער הראשון הפרט: והמ'שכ'י'ל'י'ם' י'ז'ה'י'ר'ו כז'ה'ר הר'קי'ע [תר"ד]. כאן גם שם המדפיס. חלק ב: ספר שמות. חש"מ. כי מצי'ון תצא' תורה ו'דב'ר ה' מי'ר'ו'ש'ל'ם' [תר"ה]. רעט דף. חלק ג: ספר ויקרא. כי מצי'ון תצא תורה ו'ד'בר ה' מי'ר'ו'ש'ל'ם' [תר"ד]. קטו דף. חלק ד: ספר במדבר - (אלה דברים). [תר"ד-תר"ו]. [1], קיז-שיח דף. חלק ד: בשער: כי מצי'ון תצא תורה ו'ד'בר ה' מי'ר'ו'ש'ל'ם' [תר"ד]. בהתנצלות המגיה" שבסוף: ובשנת קול ה'ת'"ו'ר' נשמע בארצ"ינו הטוב [תר"ו]. חלק ד: דף שי, ב: "ישמח חיים", דברי-סיום של החיד"א. דף שיא-שיח: מפתחות הזהר, שהוסיף ר' דניאל אלקלעי, מדפוס אמשטרדם תפ"ח. חלק ד:דף שיח, ב: התנצלות המגיה, ר' אברהם אשכנזי ב"ר זאב וואלף מילידי שקלאב, שזה לו "שתים-עשרה שנה אשר זכיתי שוב לשבת באה"ק ובירושלם".

   CD-EPI 0129431; Halevi, First Hebrew Books in Jerusalem index, # 22, 27, 35; EJ; JE
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Listing Classification
19th Century:    Checked
Israel:    Checked
Kabbalah:    Checked
Bindings:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica