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Bidding Information
Lot #    15344
Auction End Date    7/18/2006 1:29:30 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Torah Or (Minhat Kohen, Part II)
Title (Hebrew)   
Author    [Only Ed.] R. Samuel b. Joseph Kohen Zedek
City    Venice
Publisher    Giovanni di Gara
Publication Date    1600
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   Only edition. 307 ff., 204:145 mm., extra wide margins, usual light age and damp staining, final three ff. expertly restored - touching several letters on final. A very good copy bound in modern half leather and cloth over boards.
   Only edition of these discourses on the weekly Torah portion in Genesis by R. Samuel ben Joseph ben Samuel Kohen Zedek of Safed. This is part two of a projected larger work to be entitled Minhat Kohen. Part one, Ner Mitzvah, derashot on the thirteen ikkarim (principles), was published earlier (Venice, 1598), also by the di Gara press. That work had an introduction for the entire opus, whereas the text of Torah Or immediately follows the title page. Set within the di Gara architectural frame, that text states that it is Torah Or, Part two of Minhat Kohen, written by the sage R. Samuel Kohen Zedek, a man of lineage and of unique quality. In it he speaks with depth on the peshat (literal meaning) on whichever incident or event is recorded in the written Torah. Behold, it is written, engraved on the tablets (cf. Eruvin 54a) in order that, all who see them shall acknowledge them (Isaiah 61:9), to learn them, adorn themselves, and bear them on their lips. Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb (Psalms 19:11). Edited with great care by the sage R. Isaac Gershom. . . . The title page is dated in the year, Your lips are like a thread of scarlet (Song of Songs 4:3) which can be understood as either the full era (5360 = 1600) or the abbreviated era (365 = 1605). Habermann suggests that in this case the former is correct, as the two parts, Ner Mitzvah and Torah Or, were printed fairly close in time. Immediately after the title page the text begins (2a), set in two columns. Each homily is in two parts, the introductory portion, which is most often a quote from a midrash with the initial word set in a frame of florets. The lengthy explanatory discourse, in a clear and lucid style, is set in smaller square letters. The early parashot are the subject of two, and sometimes three discourses, but from Vayishlach to the end there is one discourse only to a Torah portion.

This volume concludes at the end of Genesis. Rare copies are reported to include the first part of Exodus. Habermann notes that Torah Or extends to parashat Bo in Exodus. However, he continues, it appears that printing was not completed and the majority of copies lack the portion with Exodus, concluding on leaf 307. The text on 307b concludes Genesis at the top third of the page and states it is the completion of Genesis. Similarly, the copy reported in the Hebrew Bibliographic Project only records 307 ff. With Exodus the total would be 360 ff. Derekh Hayyim, and Tokhahah Mussar, parts three and four of Minhat Kohen, were never printed.

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   BE tav 572; Habermann, Giovanni di Gara, pp. 100 no. 203; Heller, see 16th Cent. 2:892-93; Yudlov, Ginzei Yisrael, p. 159 no. 899; CD-EPI 0180902
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Listing Classification
16th Century:    Checked
Italy:    Checked
Bible:    Checked
Homiletics:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica