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Bidding Information
Lot #    15453
Auction End Date    9/5/2006 10:47:00 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Rav Nahman bar Ya’akov; Giborei Yisra’el
Title (Hebrew)    רב נחמן בר יעקב - גבורי ישראל
Author    [Only Ed. - Haskalah - Ephraim Deinard]
City    Warsaw - Odessa
Publisher    Alexander Ginz - P.A. Zyelyeni
Publication Date    1883
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   Only editions. 84; 24 pp., octavo, 170:98 mm., nice margins, light age staining. Very good copies bound in later boards.
   Two independent works, both printed in 1883. The first book, Rav Nahman bar Ya’akov, by R. Nahman ben Israel Heller, is a collection of verse and stories from the Talmud about the Babylonian amora (Talmudic sage) Rav Nahman bar Ya’akov. The author dedicates the book to his late brother, Joseph Elimelekh. Nahman bar Ya’akov (he is usually referred to without patronymic; d. c. 320 C.E.) was a leading personality of his time. Born in Nehardea, where his father was a scribe of Samuel's bet din (BM 16b), Nahman sometimes quotes his father's teachings (Bezah 26a; Zev. 56a). Nahman may have studied under Samuel, since he transmits teachings in his name (Ber. 27b; Shab. 57b) and refers to him as rabbenu ("our master"; Ber. 38b, Er. 16b); but if so he must have then been very young, since Samuel died in 254. Nahman also transmits sayings in the names of Rav (Er. 72b; Pes. 13a), Adda b. Ahavah (BK 24a), Shila (Ber. 49b), and Isaac (Shab. 131b), with whom he was on close terms (Ta'an. 5a–6a). His main teacher, however, was Rabbah b. Avuha (Yev. 80b; Git. 72a) in whose name he frequently transmits statements (Ber. 36b; Shab. 17a). Rabbah b. Avuha wanted to give him his daughter in marriage (Yev. 80b), although it is not clear whether this occurred. It is known that Nahman ultimately married into the family of the exilarch (Hul. 124a) and in consequence was held in high esteem (Kid. 70a), and that his wife, Yalta, had influence in the house of the exilarch (Rashi to Git. 67b). When Nehardea was destroyed in 259 by Odenathus, Nahman went to Shekanzib, but returned to Nehardea when it was rebuilt, teaching and serving as dayyan there (Er. 34b; Kid. 70a–b; BB 153a). There are many statements by him on both halakhah and aggadah in the Talmud, and his name is one of those most frequently mentioned in the Babylonian Talmud and also appears quite frequently in the Jerusalem Talmud. Huna held him equal to Samuel as a judge in civil law (BK 96b), and Nahman regarded himself as of sufficient standing to judge cases on his own (Sanh. 5a). In later generations it was laid down that in any dispute between Nahman and a colleague, the former's opinion was to prevail (Ket. 13a; Kid. 59b). He often visited Sura (Suk. 14b; Ket. 94a) and frequently transmitted teachings in the name of Huna, who taught there (Pes. 40a), and with whom Nahman frequently disputed (Er. 42a), referring to him as "our colleague Huna" (Git. 52b). An important contemporary was Judah b. Ezekiel, the founder of the academy of Pumbedita; Nahman often differed with him (BK 27b) but held him in high esteem (BM 66a). On one occasion he summoned Judah to court. Judah was advised by Huna to overlook the discourtesy, and he appeared. It was only then that Nahman realized who the respondent was. Judah, however, plainly showed his irritation, whereupon Yalta advised her husband to settle the case quickly lest Judah make him appear an ignoramus (Kid. 70a–b). Other of his colleagues were Ammi (Ber. 47b) and Assi (Er. 32b), as well as Hiyya b. Abba (ibid). and R. Isaac of Palestine. Once, when parting from Nahman, Isaac compared him to a rich shady fruit tree growing by the side of a stream, not lacking wealth, reputation, or honor, and said that he could only pray that each shoot taken from the parent tree should be the equal of the sire (Ta'an. 5b–6a). Among his pupils were Zera (RH 20b), Rabbah (Pes. 40a), Joseph (Yev. 66b) and Rava (Ber. 23b). Some of his aggadic sayings are: "When a woman is talking she is spinning" (a web to capture the male; Meg. 14b); "Haughtiness does not become a woman" (ibid.). There is definite mention of a number of his sons, Rabbah (Shab. 119a), Hon (Yev. 34b), Mar Zutra (BB 7a), and Hiyya (BB 46a). Nahman is said to have had two daughters who were taken captive. R. Elesh, taken captive with them, wanted to take them with him when he was about to escape, but did not do so, on discovering that they practiced witchcraft (Git. 45a). On his deathbed Nahman requested Rava, who was sitting by the bed, to pray to the angel of death to spare him a painful death. He later appeared to Rava in a dream and said that though his death was not painful, he would prefer not to face the fear of it again (MK 28a).

The second work is Giborei Yisra’el by Menahem ben Abraham Litinski. It was brought to press by the renowned bibliographer Ephraim Deinard. It too is a collection of earlier stories. Both books, although entirely in Hebrew, have Cyrillic text on their title pages.

Paragraph 2    רב נחמן בר יעקב... שיר >בן יב תנועות< הולך ולוקח ממאמרי רב נחמן הסתמי אשר בתלמוד ... לתאר ... תכונת נפש ... רוחו הטובה ... מדותיו ... חכמתו ... עשרו ... בניו ... ביתו ... עם באורים הערות והארות ... מאת נחמן בר ישראל ...

שם המחבר בשולי השער ברוסית: (אותיות קיריליות)

גבורי ישראל ...ספור... יסודו בקדמוניות ישראל... מאת מנחם נחום ב"ר אברהם ז"ל ליטינסקע >המכונה מנ"ל<. יצא לאור ע"י אפרים דיינארד באדעססא...

   CD-EPI 0127317; 0144296
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Listing Classification
19th Century:    Checked
Russia-Poland:    Checked
History:    Checked
Other:    Poetry
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica