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Bidding Information
Lot #    8612
Auction End Date    12/7/2004 11:56:00 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Shefa Tal
Title (Hebrew)    שפע טל
Author    [Kabbalah] R. Shabbetai Sheftel Horowitz
City    Bialozorka
Publisher    Mordechai b. Samuel & Son
Publication Date    1807
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   [1], 92 ff., 340:213 mm., wide margins, blue paper, usual age staining, several mionor wormholes affecting single letters, old hands on fly, censor on title. A very good copy bound in contemporary leather boards, rubbed. One of only three books printed in this city.
   Shefa Tal (whose title recalls his name Sheftel; first ed. Hanau, 1612), the Author's major kabbalistic work, with commendations by, among others, R. Isaiah Horowitz and R. Ephraim Luntschits. The central feature of the book is the Iggeret ha-Te'amim of the kabbalist R. Aaron Abraham b. Baruch Simeon ha-Levi. This is accompanied by a short commentary, Shefa, and a detailed one, Tal, which together are called Petah Einayim.

R. Shabbetai Sheftel b. Akiva Horowitz (c. 1561–1619), called "the holy," and a cousin of R. Isaiah Horowitz, author of Shenei Luhot ha-Berit. He was born in Prague where he practiced as a physician. Considering Kabbalah the only source of human happiness, he sought to make this esoteric teaching accessible to many, and had many disciples. He rejected the philosophy of religion, attaching importance only to Maimonides. Although he did not know him personally, he declared R. Moses Cordovero, the kabbalist, to be his chief teacher, comparing him to Maimonides. R. Horowitz' writing is based on the ideas of R. Cordovero and he apologized if he sometimes added something. The main addition concerns his detailed exposition of the doctrine of zimzum ("withdrawal") which he took over from R. Isaac Luria's teaching basing himself (without acknowledgment) on the version of this doctrine preserved by R. Joseph ibn Tabul.

He also wroter: Nishmat Shabbetai ha-Levi (Prague, 1616), a continuation and, according to R. Horowitz, an inseparable part of the former work, also carrying the approbations of the same two scholars. It deals essentially with the kabbalistic teaching about the soul. In the preface, R. Horowitz says that this work is based on "four pillars" of the Kabbalah; namely, Moses, R. Simeon b. Yohai, and the later kabbalists Nahmanides and R. Elijah b. Moses de Vidas. The commentary to R. Samuel Gallico's Asis Rimmonim, which Fuerst and Benjacob (Ozar 485 no. 889) attribute to R. Horowitz and which they say was published in Korets in 1793 with the title Pelah ha-Rimmon, was actually written by R. Mordecai b. Jacob of Prague. It is entitled Pa'amon ve-Rimmon and was published in 1786 in Korets (see Benjacob, Ozar, 492 no. 1043; and Friedberg, Eked, 3 (1954), 806 no. 989). In the preface to Shefa Tal, R. Horowitz refers to his unpublished commentary to Maimonides' Guide of the Perplexed. He died in Prague.

Paragraph 2    מן ההסכמה: "ראה ראיתי כמה דפין...מהדפוס אשר הוקם בק"ק בליזורקע אצל...מוהר"ר מרדכי במוהר"ר שמואל אשר כבר הי' לפני עסק דבר משפט יורשי המנוח מוהר"ר משה מדפיס דק"ק מינקאוויץ ובעת חלוקת העזבון עלה לחלק יורשי המנוח הנ"ל אשר המה בק"ק בליזורקע אצל מהר"ם [ר' מרדכי] הנ"ל לקבוע כיון בדפוס בק"ק הנ"ל והנה בא לפני...מוהר"ר יהושיע אב"ד דק"ק הנ"ל ובידו כמה דפין דפוסין בדפוס הנ"ל...והוספתי...לזרז את הרב הנ"ל לחזק מלאכת הדפוס...והנה העיר ה' את רוח האנשים...מוהר"ר זאב וואלף מק"ק בליזורקע עם השותפים...מק"ק לעחווץ להזיל זהב... להדפיס ספר טהרת הקודש וספר...שפע טל".

שני ספרים אלה ועוד שנים אחרים, שנדפסו בין תקס"ו-תקס"ח, הם הספרים היחידים שנדפסו בבליזורקע. עיין: א' יערי, הדפוס העברי במינקאוויץ - קרית ספר, שנה יט, תש"ב-תש"ג, עמ' 268

   Vinograd, Bialozorka 3; EJ
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Listing Classification
19th Century:    Checked
Russia-Poland:    Checked
Kabbalah:    Checked
Blue Paper:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica