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Bidding Information
Lot #    9580
Auction End Date    2/15/2005 4:39:00 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Limudei Azilut
Title (Hebrew)    לימודי אצילות
Author    [Kabbalah - First Ed.] R. Hayyim Vital
City    Mukachevo
Publisher    Samuel Kahna
Publication Date    1897
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   First revised edition. 45 ff., 242:190 mm., wide margins, usual age staining, stamps on title. A very good copy bound in contemporary half cloth boards, rubbed.
   Kabbalistic work on the Sha’ar ha-Yihudim by R. Hayyim ben Joseph Vital, as learned from the R. Isaac Luria (ha-Ari). R. Vital was the leading disciple of ha-Ari. The title page states that this holy work was published once before from a manuscript belonging to the kabbalist, the pious R. Moses Sofer of פסעווארסק, with annotations. However, there were so many errors that it was almost impossible to learn from it; furthermore, that manuscript was deficient, lacking two folios. Now, providentially, the pious R. Joseph Alter Epstein, av bet din in Margove and currently in Ozran located this manuscript among the manuscripts of the zaddik, the holy gaon מהר"ש [R. Solomon Rokeah] of Belz and it is corrected from all errors. Also another complete manuscript was located with the missing folios, which has also been extensively reviewed to ensure that it too is free of errors. There is an introduction from the previous edition, and an introduction to this edition from R. Epstein. The text follows in two columns in rabbinic type. From 37a is the commentary of the Italian kabbalist R. Israel Sarug on Sifra de-Zinnusa.

R. Hayyim ben Joseph Vital was born in Safed and studied in yeshivot there, especially under R. Moses Alshekh, his teacher in exoteric subjects. In 1564 he began to study Kabbalah, at first according to the system R. Moses Cordovero, and, after R. Isaac Luria’s (Ari) arrival in Safed, under the latter, becoming the Ari’s principal disciple. After the Ari’s death, R. Vital began to arrange the Ari’s teachings in written form, elaborating on them according to his own understanding, becoming the primary transmitter of the Ari’s teachings. R. Vital later moved to Jerusalem, serving as rabbi and head of a yeshivah from late 1577 to late 1585, where he wrote the last version of his presentation of the Lurianic system. In 1586 he returned to Safed, remaining there until 1592. In 1590 R. Vital was “ordained” as rabbi by his teacher R. Moses Alshekh, and then returned to Jerusalem in 1593 remaining several years, occasionally returning to Safed. His last move was to Damascus where he died. R. Vital was a prolific writer, his works encompassing Talmud, response, homilies, and even astronomy. R. Vital assembled his major writings into two vast works Ez ha-Hayyim and Ez ha-Da’at. The former is the inclusive name for all those writings in which he elaborated on the teaching of R. Isaac Luria. These works went through several versions and adaptations, for R. Vital began to arrange what he had heard from R. Luria immediately after his death, remained absorbed in this task for more than 20 years.

Paragraph 2    פירוש על ספרא דצניעותא ... נדפס פעם ראשונה מכ"י ... ר' משה סופר מפשעווארסק ... ויען כי רבו הטעותים ... וגם ... חסר ... שני דפים ועתה הקרה השם ... לפני הרב ... ר' יוסף אלטר עפשטיין שליט"א שהי' אבדק"ק מאגרוב וכעת הוא בק"ק אוזראן הס' ... הזה בכת"י שהי' ... אצל מרן הרב ... מהר"ש [ר' שלום רוקח ] אבדק"ק בעלז זצוקלה"ה ... וגם מצא עוד כת"י (מו"ה דוד ני' געלבאנד ... שבא לידו מזקנו ... מו"ה נתנאל ז"ל בן הרב אבדק"ק קופין הסמוך לברדיטשוב) בהשלמות שני דפים החסרים וגם ... טרח ... להגיהו ...

דף [ב]: הקדמת המעתיק מחדש, ר' יוסף אלטר ב"ר מרדכי עפשטיין מזידאטשוב. דף לד-מה: הקדמה לספרא דצניעותא מהאר"י ז"ל; פירוש על ספרא דצניעותא; פירוש שני אל המאמר ספרא דצניעותא. הוא הפירוש השלם שחיברו ר' ישראל סרוג והוא הרחבה ועיבוד פירושו של האר"י. עיין: ג' שלום , ציון, ה, ת"ש, עמ' 227; קרית ספר, יט, תש"ב-תש"ג, עמ' 191. עמ' אחרון: דברים אחדים, מאת ר' דוד ב"ר חיים צבי געלבאנד.

   BE lamed 464; CD-EPI 0130701
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Listing Classification
19th Century:    Checked
Other:    Hungary
Kabbalah:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica