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Bidding Information
Lot #    8349
Auction End Date    10/19/2004 11:56:00 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Rosh Yosef
Title (Hebrew)    שאלת תשובה ראש יוסף
Author    [First Ed.] R. Joseph ben Saul Escapa
City    Frankfort am Oder
Publisher    Michael Gottshalk
Publication Date    1709
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   First edition. [2], 38 ff., 196:155 mm., usual age staining, initial [2] ff. restored with small loss affecting border and several words on verso, bound in modern half cloth and marbled paper boards.
   First edition of responsa and novellae on Hoshen Mishpat by R. Joseph ben Saul Escapa. The title page has an attractive detailed architectural frame comprised of pillars with, at the top, two cherubim blowing horns, at the bottom an eagle with spread wings. Within the wings is a carriage and figures, and in the middle of this scenario is a depiction of Jacob meeting Joseph in Egypt, recalling “And Joseph made ready his chariot, and went up to meet Israel his father, to Goshen, and presented himself to him; and he fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a good while” (Genesis 46:29). The title page states that it is She’elot u-Teshuvot on the [Tur Hoshen Mishpat] from the gaon, the elder, R. Joseph Escapa, the Rav of Izmir and also hiddushim. It is dated with a chronogram from, “Choose wise and understanding men, known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you” (Deuteronomy 1:13). There are approbations from R. Abraham Broda of Prague, R. Aaron ben Benjamin Zev, R. Sa’adia Isaiah ben Saul Katzellenbogen, and R. Hayyim Algazi of Izmir. There is an introduction from R. Escapa and then the responsa.

R. Joseph Ben Saul Escapa (1570–1662) was the descendant of a family from Castile which settled in Salonika. He served there as head of a yeshivah, and was a colleague of R. Hayyim Shabbetai. From about 1620 he was rabbi of the Salonikan community in Smyrna, and in 1648 was appointed rabbi of all the congregations of the city. Under his leadership, the united Smyrna community became one of the most important in Turkey. Gifted with administrative ability, he introduced regulations concerning the collection of taxes and the supervision of communal affairs; these practices are followed to the present day by the community of Smyrna and surrounding territory. Escapa's enactments were collected by R. Joshua Judah and published in his Avodat Massa (Salonika, 1846). Escapa was one of the most vehement opponents of Shabbetai Zevi, who was his disciple and whom he had ordained, and proclaimed it a religious duty to put Shabbetai Zevi to death. In addition to these responsa, Escapa wrote a commentary on the Shulhan Arukh, also called Rosh Yosef, of which only sections - on Orah Hayyim (Smyrna, 1657), and Hoshen Mishpat (ibid., 1659) - were published. He also wrote a work on Maimonides which has remained in manuscript.

Paragraph 2    שאלת תשובה דשייכי לטח"ה [לטור חושן המשפט] מהגאון ... ר' יוסף אשקאפה רב המובהק דאיזמר יע"א וקצת חידושי תו' ופוסקים ...

בראשי העמודים: תשובת (גם: תשובות) ראש יוסף. דף [2]: הקדמת המביא לבית הדפוס, ר' יוסף ב"ר גרשון ממגורשי ווינא. הסכמות: ר' אברהם ברודא (על-ידי ר' יהודה ליב סופר), פראג, טו אייר תס"ט; ר' אהרן ב"ר בנימן זאב, בעל נחלת בנימן, ר' סעדיה ישעיה ב"ר שאול מבית קצנאילנבוגן חונה בק"ק מעזריטש, פראג, ה מנחם-[אב] תס"ט; ר' חיים אלגאזי, [אזמיר].

   EJ; JE; Vin Frankfort a. Oder 187; CD-EPI 0129528
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Listing Classification
18th Century:    Checked
Germany:    Checked
Responsa:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica