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Bidding Information
Lot #    8321
Auction End Date    10/19/2004 11:28:00 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Mahberet ha-Tofet ve-ha-Eden
Title (Hebrew)    מחברת התופת והעדן
Author    Immanuel ben Solomon of Rome ha-Zifroni
City    Berlin
Publisher    Benjamin Harz
Publication Date    1922
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   xii, [2], 3-71, [1] pp., 155:110 mm., light age staininf, raised seal on title. A very good copy bound in contemporary boards.
   Mahberet ha-Tofet ve-ha-Eden is an account of Immanuel's journey through hell and paradise. It is the last chapter of the Mahberet, following the general concept of the Divina Commedia, some of the Dantesque episodes even serving as a model. This edition was prepared by and has an introduction from the noted bibliophile Lazarus (Eliezer) Goldschmidt. There are German and Hebrew title pages, followed by Goldschmidt’s introduction. Immanuel's guide in his journey through the netherworld and paradise is Daniel, who has been taken for Dante; others have identified him with the prominent personage whose death burdened Immanuel with the thought of his own fate in the world to come and stimulated his visionary journey through hell and paradise; or with a friend, also named Daniel, whose throne Immanuel saw in paradise. Ascending the ladder of wisdom to heaven, Immanuel sees the patriarchs, the prophets, the righteous, the sages of all the generations, and the righteous gentiles who were tolerant of other faiths. Toward the end of his journey, he is shown the seats reserved for his living contemporaries, including his relatives. The introduction is in rabbinic letters, the text of the Mahberet in square letters. At the end of the volume are variants and glosses. The front endpapers have previous owners’ signatures and the inside of the back cover has a library circulation card pasted in with names in Hebrew. This is an attractive edition of a popular medieval Hebrew belles letters.

Immanuel ben Solomon of Rome (known in Italian as Manoello Giudeo—Immanuel the Jew; c. 1261–after 1328), poet. Born in Rome, a scion of the Zifroni family, Immanuel moved in circles of scholars and poets. At times he was in charge of the correspondence of the Jewish community of Rome and addressed the community on festive occasions. The supposition that he held a high post in the community has not been proven, nor has the assumption that he was a physician been substantiated. Immanuel left Rome for unknown reasons, but his departure may have been connected with the papal edict of expulsion issued against the community in 1321. He then lived in Perugia, Fabriano, Fermo, Camerino, Ancona, Gubbio, and Verona where he probably was a private tutor in the homes of wealthy patrons. The assumption that Immanuel was a friend of Dante is not substantiated by the sources and lacks all foundation as has been shown by Umberto Cassuto and Cecil Roth. He was, however, a friend of the poet Bosone da Gubbio with whom he exchanged sonnets in commemoration of the death of Dante. Immanuel's death was the subject of an exchange of sonnets between Bosone da Gubbio and the poet Cino da Pistoia, in which the two poets eulogized him and ranked him with Dante. Immanuel's sonnets in Italian were often published, as well as his amusing "Bisbidis" describing conditions at the court of Verona.

Lazarus Goldschmidt, (1871–1950) was a scholar, bibliophile, and translator of the Talmud into German. He published the Ethiopic version of the Book of Enoch (I Enoch) with Hebrew translation (1892) and Biblioteca Ethiopica (1895). Goldschmidt published an edition of the Sefer Yezirah (1894), a Hebrew translation of the Koran (1916), and prepared a new edition of Jacob Levy's Woerterbuch zum Talmud und Midrasch (1924). On the rise of Hitler to power in 1933 Goldschmidt left Germany for England and lived in London. His bibliographical works include Hebrew Incunables (1948), and the Earliest Editions of the Hebrew Bible (1950). Goldschmidt's major contribution was his translation of the entire Babylonian Talmud into German.

Paragraph 2    ... המשתדל בהדפסתה (ע"ף [על-פי] ההדפסה הראשונה משנת הרנ"ב, אשר השויתי עם יתר ההדפסות, והטרחתי לצרפה ולנקותה משגיאות) אליעזר גולדשמידט...

Added t.p.: Hoele und Paradies nach Dantes Divina Commedia von Immanuel ben Salomo Zifroni... herausgegeben von Lazarus Goldschmidt ... בראש הספר "דברים אחדים על המחבר ומחברותיו" ובסופו "חלופים והגהות" מאת המהדיר.

   CD-EPI 0155991; BE mem 1270; U. Cassuto, Dante e Manoello (1921); S. Tchernichowsky, Immanuel ha-Romi (1925); Sonne, in: Tarbiz, 5 (1933/35), 324–40; C. Roth, in: RMI, 17 (1951), 422–46; idem, in: Modern Language Review, 48 (1953), 26–32; Waxman, Literature, 2 (1960), 65–74; Zinberg, Sifrut, 1, 1955, 388–410; S. Morais, Italian Hebrew Literature (1926); 9–51.
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Listing Classification
20th Century:    Checked
Germany:    Checked
Other:    Poetry
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica