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Bidding Information
Lot #    8511
Auction End Date    12/7/2004 10:15:00 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Sefer Teshuvot
Title (Hebrew)    ספר תשובות
Author    [First Ed.] R. Menahem Azariah da Fano
City    Venice
Publisher    Daniel Zaniti
Publication Date    1599-00
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   First edition. 143 ff., 185:128 mm., usual age and damp staining, old hand on 2-3 ff., minor inner margin worming. A good copy bound in modern half cloth and marble paper boards.
   Important responsa.

R. Menahem Azariah da Fano (1548–1620), Italian rabbi and kabbalist. The scion of a wealthy family and a prolific author, he was a recognized authority on rabbinic law and the foremost exponent in the West of the kabbalistic system of R. Moses Cordovero. Under the influence of R. Israel Sarug, who during his stay in Italy spread the knowledge of the mystical system of R. Isaac Luria, R. Menahem Azariah became an admirer of the latter, though without departing from the system of R. Moses Cordovero. A pupil of R. Ishmael Hanina of Valmontone in Ferrara, he was active in Ferrara, Venice, Reggio, and Mantua. Together with his brothers he aided the victims of the earthquake of 1570. He was a patron of Jewish learning, contributing funds for the publication of such works as R. Cordovero's Pardes Rimmonim (Salonika, 1584) and R. Joseph Caro's commentary Kesef Mishneh (Venice, 1574–76) on Maimonides' Code.

His fame as a talmudist is borne out by the collection of 130 responsa bearing his name which was published in 1600 in Venice and in 1788 in Dyhernfurth. His style of writing was precise and he displayed considerable originality in the views he expressed. He enjoyed great popularity as a teacher, attracting students from far and wide, from Germany as well as Italy. One of his disciples compared him to an angel of G-d in appearance. His gentleness and humility showed themselves in his refusal to answer adverse criticism leveled against him by a contemporary scholar on account of certain statements he made with regard to the ritual of the lulav on the festival of Tabernacles. Amadeo Recanati dedicated to him his Italian translation of Maimonides' Guide of the Perplexed; R. Isaiah Horowitz praised his theological treatise Yonat Elem (Amsterdam, 1648) saying of it, "the overwhelming majority of his words, and perhaps all of them, are true, and his Torah is true" (introduction to Novelot Hokhmah (Basle, 1631) by Joseph Delmedigo). Seventeen of his works have been published. These include a summary of the legal decisions of R. Isaac Alfasi and his own major work on the Kabbalah, entitled Asarah Ma'amarot (only parts have been printed, Venice, 1597); Kanfei Yonah (Korzec, 1786), a kabbalistic work on prayer; and Gilgulei Neshamot (Prague, 1688) on the transmigration of the soul. Many of his kabbalistic interpretations must have been made for the first time in the course of sermons delivered by him. Extant in manuscript are liturgical poems, elegies, comments on the teachings of R. Isaac Luria, and a voluminous correspondence. He passed on in Mantua.

Paragraph 2    ופירוש סוגיות ומשניות עמוקות ושמועות חמורות... (שחבר מורי ורבי החכם) מ"ע (מנחם עזריה יצ"ו מפאנו) הביאו אל הדפוס... ר' יצחק בכ"ר מרדכי זצ"ל איש פולונייא. והוגה... על יד... ר' יצחק גרשון...

דף קכט, ב-קלז: אלו ג הלכו' ממסכת כתובות שיעד הרב ([ר' יצחק] האלפסי) זצ"ל להרחיב בהן הבאור בלשון ערבי והעתיקו אותן לי ללשון הקדש... בויניציאה... ה"ר מצליח מהגליל העליון וה"ר שלמה מערבי זצ"ל (סי' קכז-קכט). ר' מנחם עזריה הוסיף הגהות משלו. על התרגומים העבריים השונים של שלוש הלכות אלו, עיין: ש' שפר, הרי"ף ומשנתו, ירושלים תשכ"ז, עמ' 147. דף קלז, ב-קמ (סי' קל): פרק אנדרוגינוס. אמ"ע [אמר מנחם עזריה] הדין פרקא ודאי תנא ברא תנייה... ברם עקר שרשוהי בתוספת' דמדאשתבוש... תריצנא ליה ברישא והדר נפרש. "פרק אנדרוגינוס" נספח למשנה כפרק ד של מסכת בכורים. שנת הדפוס על-פי ההקדמה: ועוד לו להדפיס אחר זה פלח רמון.

   Vinograd, Venice 913; CD-EPI 0148617
Associated Images
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Listing Classification
16th Century:    Checked
Italy:    Checked
Responsa:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica