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Bidding Information
Lot #    9461
Auction End Date    2/15/2005 2:40:00 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
          
Title Information
Title (English)    Hamisha Humshei Torah
Title (Hebrew)    חמשה חומשי תורה [נביאים וכתובים]
Author    [Bible - Reform] Moses Mendelssohn
City    Basle
Publisher    Wilhelm Hess
Publication Date    1822
          
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
          
Description Information
Physical
Description
   Two volumes. 283:228 mm., extra wide margins, light age and damp staining. A very good copy bound in the original paper wrappers.
          
Detailed
Description
   Moses ben Menahem Mendelssohn (Moses of Dessau, 1729–1786), philosopher of the German Enlightenment in the pre-Kantian period and spiritual leader of German Jewry. He is credited as being the first Jew to bring secular culture to those living an Orthodox Jewish life. He valued reason and felt that anyone could arrive logically at religious truths. He argued that what makes Judaism unique is its divine revelation of a code of law. He wrote many philosophical treatises and is considered the father of the Jewish Enlightenment. As a child, Mendelssohn suffered from a disease that left him with a curvature of the spine. The son of a Torah scribe whose family was poor but learned, Mendelssohn received a traditional Jewish education under R. David Fraenkel, the rabbi of Dessau. When R. Fraenkel became rabbi of Berlin, the 14-year-old Mendelssohn followed him and studied in Fraenkel’s yeshiva in Berlin. He soon became a promising scholar of Talmud and rabbinics. Mendelssohn was a relative of R. Samson Raphael Hirsch, the founder of modern Orthodoxy and a stalwart opponent of Reform. He received free meals from neighborhood families and took on odd tutoring jobs. In addition to learning German and Hebrew in Berlin, Mendelssohn also studied some French, Italian, English, Latin and Greek. He took up other secular subjects, in which he excelled, including mathematics, logic and philosophy. In the mid-1750s, he developed friendships with the philosopher Immanuel Kant and also with Gotthold Lessing, a dramatist, literary critic and advocate of enlightened toleration in Germany. With Lessing’s encouragement, Mendelssohn began to publish philosophical essays in German.

In 1750, Mendelssohn began to serve as a teacher in the house of Isaac Bernhard, the owner of a silk factory. That same year, Frederick the Great gave him the status of "Jew under extraordinary protection." In 1763, the Prussian Academy of Sciences awarded him a prize for his treatise on "evidence in the metaphysical sciences." Four years later, he became the bookkeeper of Bernhard’s firm and eventually a partner. Throughout his life, he worked as a merchant while continuing to write. In 1779, Lessing wrote the play Nathan the Wise in which a Jewish hero, modeled after Mendelssohn, appears as a spokesman for brotherhood and love of humanity. At the height of his career, in 1769, Mendelssohn was publicly challenged by a Christian apologist, a Zurich pastor named John Lavater, to defend the superiority of Judaism over Christianity. From then on, he was involved in defending Judaism in print. In 1783, he published Jerusalem, or On Religious Power and Judaism. This study posited that no religious institution should use coercion and emphasized that Judaism does not coerce the mind through dogma. He argued that through reason all people could discover religious philosophical truths, but what made Judaism unique was its divinely revealed code of legal, ritual and moral law. He said that Jews must live in civil society but only in a way that their right to observe religious laws is granted. He recognized the necessity of multiple religions and respected each one.

Mendelssohn wanted to take the Jews out of a ghetto lifestyle and into secular society. He translated the Bible into German, although it was written in Hebrew letters, with a Hebrew commentary called the Biur. He campaigned for emancipation and instructed Jews to form bonds with the gentile governments. He tried to improve the relationship between Jews and Christians as he argued for tolerance and humanity. He became the symbol of the Jewish Enlightenment, the Haskalah.

          
Paragraph 2    ... עם תרגום אשכנזי [גרמנית, באותיות צו"ר]... הוגה... ע"י ר' שלמה קאשעלסבערג מפה. [א-ד].

המקור והתרגום נדפסו עמודה מול עמודה. התרגום לפי תנ"ך "כתבי קודש", ווין 1818-1817. מעבר לשער של נביאים אחרונים נאמר שהתרגום עובד מחדש בשפה קלה. [א]: חמשה חומשי תורה... תקון סופרים, עם תרגום... מאת... משה דעסוי. תקפ"ב. [2], 364 עמ'. [ב]: נביאים ראשונים עם תרגום... יהושע, שופטים, שמואל [מאת] ר' מאיר אברניק, מלכים - ר' אהרן וואלפסזאהן. תקפ"ד. [3], 704-366, [2] עמ'. [ג]: נביאים אחרונים עם תרגום... ישעיה, ירמיה, יחזקאל [מאת] ר' דוד אטטענזאסער. הושע, יואל, חבקוק - ר' משה ארנסוואלד [פיליפזון]. עמוס, נחום, חגי, זכריה, מלאכי - ר' ישראל נייאמאן. עובדיה, מיכה, צפניה - ר' וואלף במו"ה יוסף דעסוי. יונה - ר' יואל ברי"ל. תקפ"ה. [3], 1095-706 עמ'. [ד]: כתובים עם תרגום... תהלים, שיר השירים [מאת] רבנו משה בן מנחם... משלי - ר' איצק אייכל. קהלת - ר' דוד פרידלענדער. איוב, רות, איכה, אסתר - ר' אהרן וואלפסזאהן. דניאל, עזרא, נחמיה, דברי הימים - ר' שמואל דעטמאלד. תקפ"ז. [3], 1564-1098 עמ'.הסכמה: ר' נפתלי הירש לקא"ב [לבית קאצנלנבוגן], ווינצהיים, ה אייר תקפ"ב.

          
Reference
Description
   CD-EPI 0202278; EJ
        
Associated Images
3 Images (Click thumbnail to view full size image):
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Listing Classification
Period
19th Century:    Checked
  
Location
Holland:    Checked
  
Subject
Bible:    Checked
Reform:    Checked
Other:    Haskalah
  
Characteristic
Language:    Hebrew, Judeo-German
  
Manuscript Type
  
Kind of Judaica