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Bidding Information
Lot #    10479
Auction End Date    5/24/2005 10:41:00 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
          
Title Information
Title (English)    Haggadah Shel Pessah - Zevah Pessah
Title (Hebrew)    זבח פסח
Author    [Haggadah] Don Isaac Abravanel
City    Venice
Publisher    Marco Antonio Giustiniani
Publication Date    1545
          
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
          
Description Information
Physical
Description
   67 ff., 208:147 mm., wide margins, usual age, damp, food and wine staining, corners rounded. A very good copy bound in modern half vellum and marbled paper boards.
          
Detailed
Description
   Haggadah with the commentary of the Abravanel.

Don Isaac b. Judah Abravanel (1437-1508), received a careful education and was a pupil of R. Joseph Hayyim, rabbi of Lisbon. Well versed in Talmudic literature and in the learning of his time, endowed with a clear and keen mind, and full of enthusiasm for Judaism, he devoted his early years to the study of Jewish religious philosophy,and when scarcely twenty years old wrote on the original form of the natural elements, on the most vital religious questions, on prophecy, etc. His political abilities also attracted attention while he was still young. He entered the service of King Alfonso V. of Portugal as treasurer, and soon won the confidence of his master. Notwithstanding his high position and the great wealth he had inherited from his father, his love for his afflicted brethren was unabated. When Arzilla, in Morocco, was taken by the Moors, and the Jewish captives were sold as slaves, he contributed largely to the funds needed to manumit them, and personally arranged for collections throughout Portugal. He also wrote to his learned and wealthy friend Jehiel, of Pisa, in behalf of the captives. After the death of Alfonso he was obliged to relinquish his office, having been accused by King John II. of connivance with the duke of Bragança, who had been executed on the charge of conspiracy. Don Isaac, warned in time, saved himself by a hasty flight to Castile (1483). His large fortune was confiscated by royal decree. At Toledo, his new home, he occupied himself at first with Biblical studies, and in the course of six months produced an extensive commentary on the books of Joshua, Judges, and Samuel. But shortly afterward he entered the service of the house of Castile. Together with his friend, the influential Don Abraham Senior, of Segovia, he undertook to farm the revenues and to supply provisions for the royal army, contracts that he carried out to the entire satisfaction of Queen Isabella. During the Moorish war Abravanel advanced considerable sums of money to the government. When the banishment of the Jews from Spain was decreed, he left nothing undone to induce the king to revoke the edict. In vain did he offer him 30,000 ducats ($68,400, nominal value). With his brethren in faith he left Spain and went to Naples, where, soon after, he entered the service of the king. For a short time he lived in peace undisturbed; but when the city was taken by the French, bereft of all his possessions, he followed the young king, Ferdinand, in 1495, to Messina; then went to Corfu; and in 1496 settled in Monopoli, and lastly (1503) in Venice, where his services were employed in negotiating a commercial treaty between Portugal and the Venetian republic (Zurita, "Historia del Rey Don Fernando el Católico," v. 342a).

Marco Antonio Giustiniani was a Christian printer of Hebrew books in Venice in the 16th century. His master printer Cornelius Adelkind printed a fine edition of the Babylonian Talmud (1546–51). Soon, this very active press faced a formidable competitor in the house of Bragadini which issued Maimonides' Mishneh Torah, with the notes of R. Meir Katzenellenbogen. Giustiniani then printed the full text of that code without R. Meir's notes. The mutual recriminations that the rivals engaged in at the Papal Court ultimately resulted in the confiscation and burning of all Hebrew books (1553).

          
Paragraph 2    ... פירוש בהגדות הפסח כולל פרשיות ודרושים וטעמים נכבדים ... חברו ... דון יצחק אברבנאל זצל ...

הגדה עם פירוש. מעבר לשער שיר ר' יהודה אברבנאל. פותח: יחיה שנות עולם יחי עור[!] נצח.

          
Reference
Description
   Yudlov 13; Yaari 10; CD-EPI 0118963
        
Associated Images
2 Images (Click thumbnail to view full size image):
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Listing Classification
Period
16th Century:    Checked
  
Location
Italy:    Checked
  
Subject
Haggadah:    Checked
  
Characteristic
Language:    Hebrew
  
Manuscript Type
  
Kind of Judaica