[Book List]  

PLEASE NOTE: All bidding for the auction currently underway
at our new website at www.virtualjudaica.com/

Bidding Information
Lot #    8276
Auction End Date    10/19/2004 10:43:00 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Sha’arei Zedek
Title (Hebrew)    שערי צדק
Author    [First Ed.] Geonic responsa
City    Salonica
Publisher    Mordecai Nahman and David Yisraeligah
Publication Date    1792
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   [5], 117 ff., 218:150 mm., usual age staining, stamp on title, wide margins, few wormholes affecting letters. A good copy bound in later half leather boards, rubbed.
   First edition of this collection of 533 geonic responsa found by R. Hayyim Modai and brought to press by his son R. Nissim. The period of the geonim is considered one of the most important in the development of halakhah after the redaction of the Talmud, but much of the writings of the geonim are lost. This collection is divided into eight sha’arim by subject. The title page is dated, “the wisdom of their wise men חכמת חכמיו (552=1792) and the understanding of their prudent men” (Isaiah 29:14). The verso of the title page has prefatory remarks and lists the names of the geonim mentioned in the responsa. There is an approbations from R. Hayyim Modai (Safed) and an introduction from R. Isaac Mai (Izmir). R. Modai concludes his remarks with an expression of his longing to return to Safed, a wish that was fulfilled the following, as he returned there in 1793. The corrector was R. Hayyim Ardot. The text is set in a single column in rabbinic type excepting headers and initial words. The responsa are followed by a detailed index (100a-115a) and then errata. Sha’arei Zedek is printed on heavy clear white paper. The title page has the stamp of the Bibliothek der Lehranstadt für die Wissenschaft des Judentums. The verso of that page and the following page have the stamp of the Bibliothek der Hochschule and a very small number of pages have very brief penciled marginalia.

R. Hayyim Modai (d. 1794), Safed scholar journeyed to Europe as an emissary of the Safed community. Passing through Egypt he came across a manuscript of geonic responsa which he published 43 years later under the title Sha’arei Zedek. In 1755 he was appointed a member of the bet din in Constantinople as well as one of the pekidim ("commissioners") of Safed in the town. Following the earthquake in Safed in 1760, he was again sent to Europe in 1762 as an emissary for the town by the Constantinople commissioners, who published four letters on the subject of his mission in order to give it full publicity. After visiting various Italian towns (Mantua, Turin, and Venice in 1763) he went to Holland and England (Amsterdam and London in 1765), and Germany. In 1766 he was in Prague where he had halakhic discussions with R. Ezekiel Landau, who refers to him in respectful terms (responsa Hayyim le-Olam, YD no. 2; Noda bi-Yhudah, Mahadura Kamma, YD no. 87–88). Four years later he returned to Constantinople where he stayed until the death of R. Hayyim ben David Abulafia, when he was invited to succeed him as the rabbi of Izmir. There he remained until 1793. His works include: Tiv Gittin (1875), containing the bills of divorce arranged by him between 1737 and 1775 with the glosses of Yom Tov Israel; and Hayyim le-Olam (1878–79), responsa in two parts, including many written while on his travels; it also contains the responsa of his grandson, Nissim Hayyim Modal, entitled Meimar Hayyim. His glosses on the Shulhan Arukh, Orah Hayyim and Yoreh De'ah, and the Peri Hadash appear in the Berakh Moshe (Leghorn, 1809) of Moses b. Mordecai Galante (pp. 151–69); a responsum by him in the Ma'amar ha-Melekh (Salonika, 1806), of Raphael Abraham Mazli'ah; and an alphabetical poem on the smoking of tobacco (toton) at the beginning of the Avodah Tammah (1903) of Joshua Raphael Benveniste. From 1767 Modai was on friendly terms with R. Hayyim Azulai (Hida).

Paragraph 2    ... תשובות הגאונים... כתובים באצבע השתכח... בצרור... אבי... הרב... חיים (אשר... היה מכוין מלאכתו ועשה לה אזנים. בא סימן לכל... דברים הבאים בתלמוד ... היה דורשה ומגיהה... והרים ממנה שגיאות... יסף... נופך משלו. זער שם זער שם)... ואנא... הנה תאבתי... להוציא לאור [בתוספת הקדמה]... נסים בכמוהר"ר חיים מודעי...

קובץ זה כולל חלק שלישי וחלק רביעי ששרדו מקובץ גדול של תשובות הגאונים. הסכמות: ר' חיים מודעי, צפת, תקנ"ב; ר' יצחק מאייו, אזמיר, שלהי טבת תקנ"ב.

   EJ; S. Hazan, Ha-Ma’alot li-Shelomo (1894), 31a–32a, 39b; JE; Yaari, Sheluhei, 130–1, 451–5; Vin Salonika 422; CD-EPI 0183391
Associated Images
2 Images (Click thumbnail to view full size image):
  Order   Image   Caption
  1   Click to view full size  
  2   Click to view full size  
Listing Classification
18th Century:    Checked
Greece-Turkey:    Checked
Responsa:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica