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Bidding Information
Lot #    12926
Auction End Date    1/24/2006 10:17:30 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Malamad ha-Talmidim
Title (Hebrew)    מלמד התלמידים
Author    [Only Ed.] R. Jacob ben Abba Mari Samson Anatoli
City    Lyck
Publisher    Mekitze Nedarim
Publication Date    1866
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   Only edition. [12], 192 ff., octavo, 220:136 mm., wide margins, light age staining. A very good copy bound in contemporary half leather boards, rubbed.
   Only edition of this important work by the thirteenth century sage, R. Jacob ben Abba Mari Samson Anatoli, on education, to inculcate the principles of faith and divine service. A second title page lists the officers of the Mekitze Nedarim Society, which specialized in printing old Hebrew classics not previously published. There is an introduction from the publisher, an approbation from the gaon R. Solomon Kluger, an introduction from the author, and then the text, which is set in a single column in rabbinic type. Malamad ha-Talmidim is divided into chapters according to the weekly Scriptural portions. In it R. Anatoli manifests a wide acquaintance not only with the classic Jewish exegetes, but also with Plato, Aristotle, Averroes, and the Vulgate, as well as with a large number of Christian institutions, some of which he ventures to criticize, such as celibacy and monastic castigation, as well as certain heretics and repeatedly appeals to his readers for a broader cultivation of the classic languages and the profane branches of learning. The work argues that observance of the commandments must rest on knowledge of the reasons underlying them and on an adequate understanding of the biblical texts as well as of the prayers. The author sharply castigates the superficial reader of the Bible and endeavors both to demonstrate the ethical value of the biblical stories and to disclose the hidden philosophical truth which, in his opinion, is inherent in the language of Scripture. Yet his sermons also contain practical admonitions. For example, he reproaches those who, like the non-Jews, permit their daughters to sing love songs, and those who indulge in incantations to obtain answers to various questions in dreams. He was an enemy of superstition and of outward piety. In addition to thinkers such as Plato, Aristotle, and Averroes he also refers to the Vulgate and cites the biblical interpretations of such contemporaries as Michael Scot and Emperor Frederick II. Anatoli contributed greatly to the dissemination of philosophical knowledge among the Jews of Italy. The Malmad ha-Talmidim was widely read in the 13th century; parts of it are quoted almost verbatim in the works of R. Zerahiah b. Isaac Gracian and Immanuel of Rome. It was also well known beyond Italy. When R. Solomon b. Abraham Adret issued his famous ban against philosophy and philosophers, he named Malmad ha-Talmidim as a dangerous work which should be proscribed.

R. Jacob ben Abba Mari Samson Anatoli was a physician, homilist, and translator. He married a daughter of R. Samuel ibn Tibbon. At the suggestion of friends in Narbonne and Beziers, R. Anatoli began translating Arabic works on astronomy and logic into Hebrew. However, before completing them, he left France for Naples where he is mentioned in 1231. There Emperor Frederick II employed him as a physician and enabled him to devote himself to scholarly work. In Naples R. Anatoli became a close associate of another favorite of the emperor, the learned Michael Scot, who had translated works by Aristotle and Averroes from Arabic into Latin. It is doubtful that Anatoli assisted Scot in his translations, as some scholars maintain. Anatoli translated Averroes' Intermediate Commentary on the first five books of Aristotle's Logic; the Almagest of Ptolemy; and the astronomical work of al-Farghani (Elements of Astronomy); the Compendium of the Almagest by Averroes. Other translations have been erroneously ascribed to R. Anatoli. He was also an active preacher. In his discourses, R. Anatoli employs allegorical and philosophical exegesis. Generally, he followed Maimonides, and his sharp public rebuke of the latter's detractors made him many enemies. This was, probably, one of the reasons which caused him to leave France. In Naples he also encountered opposition.

Paragraph 2    לרבינו יעקב ב"ר אבא מרי ב"ר שמעון ב"ר אנטולי זצ"ל לזרז באמונה ועבודה ... ספרים היוצאים לאור בפעם ראשונה ע"י חברת מקיצי נרדמים ; שנה ב, תרכ"ה-תרכ"ו

"נתתי את לבי לדרוש ולחקור קצת כתבי התורה ושאר כתבי הקדש ... הסכמתי לדרוש מעט ברבים בכל שבת ושבת ... וראיתי לחלק דברי הערה אלה על מחלוקת הפרשיות" (דף [10], ב). על הספר: ,Israel Bettan, The sermons of Jacob Anatoli-HUCA, XI .1936, p 391-424 הסכמה: ר' שלמה קלוגער, בראדי, כט סיון [תרכ"ו].

   CD-EPI 0136063; BE mem 2110; EJ; JE
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Listing Classification
19th Century:    Checked
Germany:    Checked
Other:    Faith
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica