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Bidding Information
Lot #    16773
Auction End Date    1/23/2007 10:06:00 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Millei de-Avot
Title (Hebrew)   
Author    [Avot] R. Joseph ben Abraham Hayyun
City    Venice
Publisher    Daniel Zanetti
Publication Date    1600
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   68 ff. quarto 185:118 mm., closely trimmed affting running titles on several ff., light age and damp staining, old hands. A rare work bound in modern full leather boards.
   Commentary on Pirkei Avot by R. Joseph ben Abraham Hayyun (d. 1497). Hayyun was born in Lisbon and was the last rabbi to serve in that city. Hayyun left for Constantinople, his last residence, after the decree against the Jews of Portugal. Among his students were Don Isaac Abrabanel, R. Abraham ben Nissim, and R. Joseph Jabez. Abrabanel submitted questions to R. Hayyun, including whether the authorship of Deuteronomy is entirely of Divine origin or Moses also contributed to it. Hayyun, whose response (Maggid Mishneh) is cited anonymously by Abrabanel, beginning one of the great Rabbis of our times, suggests that parts are Moses formulation of the words he received from above. The title page, with the Zanetti oval frame, states that it was, Established and also well thought-out by R. Joseph Hayyun, written by him in Lisbon in 5230 (1470). Beginning of the work (of printing), the work of Heaven, refined well, purified seven times (Psalms 12:7), was on Sunday, 15 Sivan, 5360 (May 28, 1600). . .

The verso of the title page has an introduction by R. Abraham ben Solomon Hayyun, a great-great grandson of the author. He writes that he had gone up to Jerusalem, coming to the bet medrash of one of the sages of the city. Before he was able to speak words of Torah with him, that sage gave Abraham this book, the commentary of his grandfather on Pirkei Avot, which had been secreted with the sages books. Abraham writes that when I saw it my eyes lit up and I tasted its pleasant fruits (Song of Songs 4:16), sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb (Psalms 19:11). He therefore took upon himself the mizvah of bringing Millei de-Avot to press. Abraham concludes that when he saw the beauty of this book and its good reasoning (Psalms 119:66) he was filled with praise for it, writing verse, which appears below. The text follows, Pirkei Avot in the right hand column in square vocalized letters, Hayyuns commentary, at times lengthy and discoursive, in the left hand column in rabbinic letters. At the end of Millei de-Avot he writes that he entitled the work Millei de-Avot from one who wishes to be pious should fulfill the words of Avot (millei de-Avot) (cf. Bava Kamma 30a). The volume concludes with two lines of verse in praise of the book by R. Menahem Agazi, an epilogue by Abraham, additional verse, and a row of three tail-pieces.

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   BE mem 1630; CD-EPI 0151143
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Listing Classification
17th Century:    Checked
Italy:    Checked
Other:    Avot
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica