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Bidding Information
Lot #    10631
Auction End Date    5/24/2005 1:14:00 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Seder ha-Tena'im
Title (Hebrew)    סדר התנאים
Author    [Liturgy] R. Israel ben Moses Najara of Damascus
City    Lemberg
Publisher    Karl Budweiser
Publication Date    1874
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   [1], 7 ff., 110:85 mm., light age staining. A very good copy bound as published.
   The concept of marriage between G-d and his people, Israel, dates from the Prophet Hosea and the allegorical interpretation of Songs of Songs. However, it was the mystics who first used the metaphor of the ketubah, or marriage contract, to give expression to the idea of G-d's love for Israel. The first ketubah of this kind was written by Yitzhak ben Reuben in the eleventh century in the introduction to his Azharoth (liturgical poem for Shavu'ot) and concretized the idea of a contract between G-d and Israel, solemnized at Mt. Sinai, in which G-d promised to care for Israel and Israel promised to follow G-d's laws. R. Israel Najara was the first to write such a ketubah following exactly the form of the Jewish marriage contract. His poem writes of G-d as the groom and Israel as the bride. The Torah is the dowry given to Israel; the bride's dowry is "the promise to make pilgrimages to the Sanctuary, and to' bring 'a knowing heart, ears to listen, and eyes to see'" (Davidson, Parody, p.36). The witness are Heaven and Earth and the date is the day the Torah was given on Sinai, the sixth day of Sivan, 2448 from the creation of the world. R. Najara's poem was written in all earnestness, without a trace of humor. In later years, his work was parodied by Enlightenment humorists in Eastern Europe. One such parody was published in Lemberg in 1878.

The reading of a Ketubah on Shavuot is a custom only of Sephardic Jews. The Ashkenazim read Akdamut. There are at least four different Hebrew versions of the Ketubbah for Shavu'ot. The first and most widely accepted one was written by R. Israel ben Moses Najara of Damascus; one was written by Joseph Almosnino, a late seventeenth-century rabbi of Belgrade; one was written by the Sephardic scholar R. Saadiah ben Joseph and one was written by R. David Pardo. The only Ladino version was written by R. Judah bar Leon Kalai and is an original creation, not a translation of any of the known Hebrew version.

Paragraph 2    בין ישראל לאביהם שבשמים מהרב ר' ישראל נאגארא ... הובא לבית הדפוס ע"י האברך ר' יהושיע גאלדמאן.
   Davidson, Parody p.55; EJ; CD-EPI 0179292
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Listing Classification
19th Century:    Checked
Russia-Poland:    Checked
Liturgy:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica