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Bidding Information
Lot #    10453
Auction End Date    5/24/2005 10:15:00 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    She'elot u-Teshuvot
Title (Hebrew)    שאלות ותשובות
Author    [First Ed.] R. Yom Tov b. Moses Zahalon
City    Venice
Publisher    Vendramina
Publication Date    1694
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   First edition. [9], 223, 25 ff., 296:205 mm., wide margins, usual age and damp staining, small title repair. A good copy bound in modern leather boards. Includes final [5] ff. lacking in most copies, bound in front.
Paragraph 1   
   R. Yom Tov ben Moses Zahalon (1559–1619/20) was one of the distinguished rabbis of Safed. He was ordained by R. Jacob Berab II (the grandson of Jacob Berab I). He served as an emissary of that town between 1590 and 1600, visiting Italy and Holland. After returning to Safed he was sent to Egypt and Constantinople, where he wrote some 600 responsa, many of which were published by his grandson R. Yom Tov b. Akiva, a rabbi in Constantinople in the second half of the 17th century, who appended to the volume his own novellae to chapters five and six of Bava Mezia (Venice, 1694). Of interest are R. Yom Tov b. Moses' responsa to some of the communities of the Orient who sought his advice. Though himself a Sephardi, in a controversy between Sephardim and Ashkenazim he took the part of the Ashkenazim. Though a student of Joseph Caro, when the Shulhan Arukh appeared he disapproved of it, attacking it as a work for children and laymen.

Of his books the following should be especially noted: Magen Avot: Commentary on Avot de–Rabbi Natan (in the Oxford Bodleian Ms.); Lekah Tov: Commentary on the Scroll of Esther (Safed, 1577). This was the first book published in Safed; it was published for a second time in a photocopied edition (Jerusalem, 1976). This work contains a long commentary on the sages’ sermons on the Scroll of Esther, constituting both a literal and homiletic interpretation; Novellae on tractate Bava Kamma. Chapters 5–6 were printed at the end of his responsa (Venice, 1964); A total of 296 of his responsa were printed by Rabbi Yom Tov ben Akiva Zahalon in the Venice edition; another 240 responsa can be found in the Oxford Ms. and were published by the Jerusalem Institute (Jerusalem, 1980–81) in two volumes. The responsa deal mostly with subjects pertaining to Hilkhot Even ha–Ezer and Hoshen Mishpat in the Shulhan Arukh. Yom Tov Zahalon’s responsa were accepted as law. They contain historical information and details of customs and reforms in Safed and the Ashkenazi and Sephardi communities in Jerusalem, particularly the inferior position of the latter in comparison with the Ashkenzi community when it came to the distribution of charitable donations. Zahalon reveals himself as forceful, uncompromising and sometimes sharp–tongued, though he tends to accept the opinions of earlier sages. He often disagrees with the rulings of R. Joseph Caro in the Shulhan Arukh but also explains at times the language and reasoning of the Shulhan Arukh.

Paragraph 2    ... ר' יום טוב צהלון זלה"ה...

כה דף: חידושי (פרק) איזהו נשך; פרק השוכר את האומנין. דף כה,ב: דברים מאת המגיה, ר' משה ב"ר דניאל מאגורו. [5] דף בסוף: "הקדמה למפתחות הספר" והמפתחות, מאת ר' שלמה ב"ר ישעיה ניצה (תולעת שנ"י). בדברי-סיום שהוסיף, הוא כותב: "לייפות ולהדר שער הספר בצורה נאותה כמשפט הדפוס ציירו התלמידים... צורח המשכן ובית השלישי", שנדפסו בשער ומעבר לשער. ברוב הטפסים נשמטו [5] דף בסוף.

   CD-EPI 0160473; Ej; Nissim, in: Sefunot, 9 (1964), 9–20; D. Tamar, Introduction to Lekah Tov (1976), 22–26; Y. Sh. Spiegel, Introduction to Zahalon’s Responsa (1980), 13–31.
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Listing Classification
17th Century:    Checked
Italy:    Checked
Responsa:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica