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Bidding Information
Lot #    9272
Auction End Date    2/15/2005 11:31:00 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Meain Yevo
Title (Hebrew)   
Author    [Only Ed.] R. Jacob ben Abraham Kohen of Djerba
City    Tunis
Publisher    Vezohn ve-Castro
Publication Date    1893
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   Only edition. [3] 48, [2] ff., 220:165 mm., nice margins, old hand on several ff. A good copy bound in modern half cloth boards.
   Homiletics according to peshat and derush on verses of the Torah and Prophets by R. Jacob ben Abraham Kohen of Djerba. The title page has a decorative frame and informs that the title, Meain Yevo, is a notarikon of Jacob ben Abraham ( = ). R. Jacob informs that he entitled the book Meain Yevo because the yod of Meain stands for the unity [of God] and the remainder of the word, , without the yod, equals twenty six, the value of the divine name. He writes that this is his intent, even one as him who is considered nothing, and through it he alludes to his name and the name of his father. The title page is dated with the verse, I will lift up my eyes to the mountains. From where does my help come (Psalms 121:1). The verso of the title page has a warning against reprinting the book without permission for ten years. It is followed by approbations from R. Nissan Betan, R. Rahamim Hadar, R. Nissin ha-Kohen, R. Rahamim Bochritz, R. Zakin Moses Magoz, R. David Kohen, and R. Matok Sasi Kohen Yahonason, all of Djerba, all " (Sephardi Tahor). The text, in a single column in rabbinic letters, excepting headers and initial words which are in square letters, encompasses the wekkly parshiot and books of the Bible. At the end is an addenda with additional commentary.

Djerba is an island off the coast of Tunisia. In ancient times it was an important Phoenician trading center. According to the local tradition, the Jewish settlement there dates to the reign of King Solomon. A family of priests fleeing Jerusalem in the year 70 C.E. is said to have transported one of the Temple gates to Djerba. It is believed to be enclosed in the synagogue, called al-Ghariba (the extraordinary) of the Hara al-Saghira (the Small Quarter), which is situated in the center of the island, a much frequented place of pilgrimage. The population consisted mainly of kohanim (priests) with a small sprinkling of others, although there were no levites among the residents. According to tradition, the absence of levites on the island is the result of a curse against them by Ezra because they refused to answer his request to send levites to Israel (cf. Ezra 8:15), and they all died. The history of the Jews of Djerba includes three serious persecutions: in the 12th century under the Almohads; in 1519 under the Spanish; and in 1943 under the Nazis. Maimonides, in a letter to his son, expressed a low opinion of their superstitions and spiritual capacity, but praised them for their faith. In the 19th and 20th centuries the yeshivot of Djerba produced many rabbis and writers and they provided rabbis for the communities of North Africa. In 1946 there were some 4,900 Jews in Djerba. Their number dwindled to about 1,500 by the late 1960s, the majority emigrating to Israel and settling on moshavim (many of them on moshav Eitan).

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   BE mem 92; EJ; CD-EPI 0140450
Associated Images
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Listing Classification
19th Century:    Checked
Other:    Tunis
Bible:    Checked
Homiletics:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica