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Bidding Information
Lot #    12892
Auction End Date    1/24/2006 10:00:30 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Nefuzot Yehudah
Title (Hebrew)    נפוצות יהודה
Author    [First Ed.] R. Judah Moscato
City    Venice
Publisher    Asher Forence at Juan DiGara
Publication Date    1589
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   First edition. 14, 239 ff., quarto, 195:147 mm., usual light age and damp staining, wide margins. A very good copy bound in contemporary full leather on wood boards, tooled in blind, neatly restored with clasps.
Paragraph 1    The copy of R. Ben Zion b. R. Jacob Ettlinger with his stamp on title.

Dedication on initial end-paper, dated 1835, by R. Jacob Meir b. Abraham Moses Lehren of Dusseldorf to R. Kopel, rabbi of Worms.

   Collection of sermons preached in Mantua on the major holidays, on the special Sabbaths, at weddings, and at funerals. The sermons, 52 in number, correspond to the number of weeks in a year, signifying a full cycle, even though the sermons were not delivered weekly. R. Moscato's sermons may be described as a revolutionary innovation in Hebrew homiletic literature. None before him and very few, if any, after him achieved such a high degree of aestheticism in the genre. His sermons clearly reveal the influence of the Renaissance on the dialectic method of Hebrew homiletics. His main purpose was not to teach or educate, but to give aesthetic pleasure to his listeners - the actual congregation sitting before him. His sermons were, therefore, not written to be published as a book; it is rather their oral delivery which is reflected at every point. It is possible that Moscato preached both in Hebrew and in Italian, for it is known that many non-Jewish scholars came to listen to his sermons. However, the sermons collected in Nefuzot Yehudah were undoubtedly delivered in Hebrew on special occasions; the fact is sometimes referred to directly, sometimes is reflected in the contents. R. Moscato's great achievement in the field of rhetoric and homiletics lies in the fact that even though his primary aim was to please his listeners, he also succeeded in being instructive, and in developing some ideas, original either in content or in formulation. He drew on his vast knowledge of philosophy and of the Kabbalah in order to develop ethical ideas and to interpret them in a new way so that they might be acceptable to Jewish culture in Renaissance Italy. Many of the great preachers in Italy who came after him, including R. Azariah Figo and R. Leone Modena, applied R. Moscato's ideas and methods of preaching, creating thus a new school in homiletics.

R. Judah Moscato (c.1530–c.1593), one of the most important rabbis, authors, and preachers of the Italian Jewish Renaissance. He was forced to leave his native town Osimo when the Jews were expelled from the main places in the papal states by Pope Pius V in 1569. R. Moscato went to Mantua, at that time one of the great centers of Jewish culture and scholarship in Italy. It seems that not long after his arrival in the city, he became the official preacher of the Mantua community, and in 1587 was nominated to the post of chief rabbi.

Paragraph 2    דרושים... מיד... ר' יהודה יצ"ו בכמ"ר יוסף מוסקאטו זלה"ה... וידו חלקה אותם למספר חמשים ושנים... הדפסנו לוח מאמרי חז"ל ומקראי קדש שעלימו תטוף מלת המחבר... במצות השר זואן ברגאדין על ידי נאמן ביתו אשר פורינץ... מעבר לשער דברי-הקדשה מאת המחבר לגיסו ר' שמואל ב"ר יהושע מינצי ביריטארו ושיר בשבח הספר מאת ר' שמואל.
   Haberman, Di Gara 109; Vin Venice 735; CD-EPI 0147055; EJ
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Listing Classification
16th Century:    Checked
Italy:    Checked
Homiletics:    Checked
Bindings:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica