[Book List]  

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

Bidding Information
Lot #    8290
Auction End Date    10/19/2004 10:57:00 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Ha-Rechasim le-Bikah; Ohr Torah
Title (Hebrew)    הרכסים לבקעה ; אור צורה
Author    [Only Ed.] R. Judah Loeb Spira; R. Men. de Lonzano
City    Altona; Amsterdam
Publisher    Samuel and Judah Bunn; Uri b. Aaron ha-Levi
Publication Date    1815; 1659
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   Two works in one volume. Only edition, [4], 2-76 ; 27 ff., 174:141 mm., light age staining, minor paper repairs. Good copies loose in contemporary boards, split.
   Brief notes on the Bible by R. Judah Loeb Spira (Pap), rabbi of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; officiated probably in Frankfort-on-the-Main.

Bound with: Or Torah, notes on the masorah ("text") of the Torah according to the weekly portions, comparing the printed Venice editions with important manuscripts which he knew. Because his work relates only to the Torah, it became second in importance to Minhat Shai, by his contemporary R. Solomon Norzi, which treats the entire Scripture. Despite this fact Lonzano's work was reprinted in many editions with additions and interpretations.

R. Menahem b. Judah De Lonzano (1550–before 1624), linguist, poet, and kabbalist. Little is known about his life, but it is assumed that he was born in Constantinople. At the age of 25 he emigrated to Jerusalem and later moved to Safed. Forty years later, he went to Turkey and to Italy, and in 1618 he returned to Jerusalem.

R. Lonzano was best known for Shetei Yadot (Venice, 1618), which is divided into two sections (Yad Ani and Yad ha-Melekh). The first contains his original writings and the second the midrashic literature which he intended to edit. Each section is called yad ("hand") and has five ezba'ot ("fingers"). Yad Ani includes the following: Or Torah (see above); Ma'arikh (also separately, Leipzig, 1853), additions to the talmudic dictionary He-Arukh by Nathan b. Jehiel of Rome. The work is based on his knowledge of Greek and Arabic and other languages (Turkish and Persian) used by his Jewish contemporaries. Avodat haMikdash (also separately, Constantinople, 1572), prayers for the order of worship in the Temple, with additions according to "the wisdom of the Zohar." Derekh Hayyim (also separately, Constantinople, 1573), moralistic poetry. Tovah Tokhahat, a long moralistic poem. From Yad ha-Melekh, he only managed to publish the first section, Aggedata de-Bereshit, which was reprinted many times. He intended to conclude the publication of Midrash Agur, which had begun to appear in Safed in 1587, and also planned to publish other important Midrashim according to manuscripts which he himself discovered, but this material has been lost.

R. Lonzano's other works treat Lurianic Kabbalah and aroused bitter opposition: Omer Man, a commentary on the Idra Zuta and the Sifra de-Zeni'uta (Vilna, 1883); Imrei Emet, a critique of Luria's interpretation of Sifra de-Zeni'uta and repudiations of R. Hayyim Vital. According to Lonzano, Luria wrote his commentary before he received divine inspiration and "if he could, he would have changed or hidden this work" (Ms. British Museum 9167). Other works planned by Lonzano were hidden and only parts of them were preserved in manuscripts or published posthumously. They include: a commentary on the Zohar (fragment, in manuscript); comments on Tikkunei Zohar (Ms.); Haggahot le-Zohar Hadash (Venice, 1643); Haggahot le-Talmud Yerushalmi (Warsaw, 1737); Adi Zahav, annotations on the book Ha-Levushim by Mordecai Jaffe; comments on the prayer book (lost). Lonzano's originality caused him to suffer from the attacks of his opponents. In this matter his dispute with Gedaliah Cordovero is of interest, but its background is still not clear. He was a thorough scholar. In search of manuscripts he made several trips abroad where he met with many scholars. As a poet, R. Lonzano was involved in a quarrel with R. Israel Najara whom he criticized because of his use of erotic language and words such as "adulterers say to one another" (Shetei Yadot, 142) to describe the relationship between Israel and God.

Paragraph 2    ... לברר וללבן בתורת ה' המקראות הנראים סתומים וחתומים, והענינים הנראין תמוהין... והמלים עמקי שפה... מפי... יהודה ליב לבית שפירא מכונה פ"פ [פראנקפורטער].

[הסכמות]: ר' עקיבא [ישראל] בר"א [אביגדור וורטהיימר] ברעסלוי, ליבעק, ח אלול תקע"ה; ר' מאיר בר"ש [שמחה] ווייל, ברלין, כח מרחשון תקע"ו.

והוא האצבע הראשון מספר שתי ידות [ויניציאה שע"ח] אשר חבר הרב... מנחם די לונזאנו...

   CD-EPI 0171359; 0175198; EJ
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
17th Century:    Checked
19th Century:    Checked
Germany:    Checked
Holland:    Checked
Bible:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica