||Drama by R. Moses Hayyim Luzzatto (Ramhal, 1707–1746). Ramhal’s prominence as a kabbalist, writer of ethical works (Mesillat Yesharim), and leader of a group of religious thinkers, overshadows his achievements as a poet and dramatist. Nevertheless, his use of the Hebrew language is masterly, revealed through rich and flowing imagery. La-Yesharim Tehillah is an evocative play, one of the last written by Ramhal. There are three title pages. The first, a half title, states the name of the work in Hebrew within a decorative border. There is an owner’s stamp in both Cyrillic and Roman letters, the latter giving his name as Saloman I. Kaplan, Bialystok. On the verso is a title page in German (with the book name in Hebrew), describing the work as der Rechtschafenheit ir Lob), ein allegorisches Drama in 3 Akten. The full Hebrew title page states that it for the wedding day of the sage Jacob ãé-âàåéù with Rachel ãà-åééâà àéðøé÷ù. In the verso of that page is the censor’s permission to publish. There is a preface from Solomon Dubno, descriptions of the allusions in the play, a list of the characters, and the play. The text is in square vocalized Hebrew. At the conclusion of the play is material from Ramhal’s first drama, Ma’aseh Shimshon, followed by his prayer and verse on the redemption from Egypt. Both sides of the last endpaper have script in a fine hand.
La-Yesharim Tehillah, Ramhal’s third and last play, was written in Amsterdam and is considered to represent the climax of his dramatic art. The play is an allegory in three acts of four, five and six scenes. It reflects his experience, and gives expression to the feelings of persecution he experienced at the time of controversy around him; at the same time it also reflects his belief in the ultimate victory of the just. Its dramatis personae are Sekel, Tehillah, Siklut, Hamon, Mehkor, etc. Emet has a son named Yosher who is the main protagonist of the story. In this work, as in his Migdal Oz, Ramhal uses commonplace love plots to give expression to poetic sentiments far beyond the conventional plots. Ramhal’s plays were accepted and admired by Hebrew writers and intellectuals in Italy and Western Europe, and many were influenced by them.