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Bidding Information
Lot #    16804
Auction End Date    1/23/2007 10:21:30 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Kezat Zid el Gilam
Title (Hebrew)    קצת זיד אל גלאם
Author    [Gilded Title]
City    Baghdad
Publisher    Alotnia
Publication Date    c. 1900
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   15 ff., 16 mo., 135:90 mm., nice margins, usual age staining, faded gild title. A good copy bound in modern cloth boards.
   Popular tale in Judeo-Arabic printed in Hebrew letters. The title page has an artistic frame and two sets of crossed flags at above the text. It describes the book as a gift sent to a favored Talmud, followed by the blessing that he should merit growing to Torah, Huppa, and mitzvoth. The text follows in a single column in square letters. The contents are based on popular tales. At the end of the volume is the aggadic tale of the matron that inquired of R. Yosi ben Halita as to the time when the world was created. From Yaari it would appear that this was part of a series of similar books issued at this time.

Hebrew books from Baghdad are uncommon. The first Hebrew (lithographic) printing press in Baghdad was founded by Moses Baruch Mizrahi in 1863. The press printed a Hebrew newspaper named Ha-Dover ("The Speaker") or Dover Mesharin ("Upright Speaker") until 1870 and three small books. A second printing press with movable characters was founded in Baghdad in 1868 by Rahamim b. Reuben, a resident of Baghdad, who had previously gained printing experience in Bombay. The brothers Moses and Aaron Fetaya later formed a partnership with Rahamim, and after his death they continued his work until 1882. Fifty-five books were printed on this printing press.

In 1888 a new press was founded in Baghdad by Solomon Bekhor Huzin (1843–1892), a scholar, poet, author, journalist, bookseller, and communal worker. He brought his printing letters from Leghorn, Italy. Besides prayer books, he also printed many books which he considered useful to the members of his community. These included tales and works by Baghdad scholars which had been in manuscript until then. After his death, the printing press was taken over by his son, Joshua Huzin, and operated until 1913. Seventy-five books were printed on it. In 1904 a new press was founded in Baghdad by R. Ezra Reuben Dangoor (1848–1930), who was also hakham bashi of Baghdad. This printing press was in existence until 1921 and over 100 books were printed on it. For the greater part they were books of prayers and piyyutim according to the custom of the Baghdad Jews, but there were also some popular books in the Judeo-Arabic jargon and a Hebrew weekly, Yeshurun, of which five issues were published in 1920. This was a second and last attempt at Hebrew journalism in Baghdad. During the British Mandate in Iraq, two small Hebrew printing presses were founded in Baghdad: the al-Wataniyya al-Israiliyya (The Israel Homeland) press, which printed about 20 books between 1922 and 1927; and the Elisha Shohet press, which printed more than 40 books between 1924 and 1937. When the British Mandate ended, these printing presses declined and finally ceased operation altogether.

Paragraph 2    "סיפור זיד המשרת". בערבית, באותיות עבריות. בדף האחרון: מעשה במטרוניתה ששאלה את ר' יוסי בן חלפתא בכמה ימים נברא העולם וכו' (מאגדות חז"ל). בראשי העמודים: קצת אל גלאם. בראש השער ציור של שני זוגות דגלים. בתחתית השער ציור של סל פרחים; בעמוד האחרון: ציפור על ענף, עיין יערי, הדפוס העברי בארצות המזרח, ב, ירושלים ת"ש, עמ' 150.
   EJ; Yaari Defus ha-Ivri be-Mizrah 2:150 no. 244; CD-EPI 0315767
Associated Images
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Listing Classification
19th Century:    Checked
Other:    Iraq
Language:    Judeo-Arabic
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica