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Bidding Information
Lot #    16837
Auction End Date    1/23/2007 10:38:00 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Toldot Ya'acov
Title (Hebrew)    תולדות יעקב
Author    [First Ed.] R. Jacob Castro
City    Jerusalem
Publisher    Israel b. Abraham Bak
Publication Date    1865
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   First edition. [4], 96 ff., 212:172 mm., light age and damp staining, wide margins. A good copy bound in contemporary half leather and marbled paper boards.
   Novaelle on Tractate Bei'eh by R. Jacob Castro, rabbinical authority; lived in Egypt; died there in 1610. He was a nephew, not a son, of the master of the mint, Abraham de Castro. On a pilgrimage to Safed he was the guest of R. Joseph Caro, by whom he was highly esteemed. De Castro corresponded among other of his contemporaries with R. Samuel de Medina, and was the author of several works, which were published after his death.

Israel b. Abraham Bak (1797–1874) was born in Berdichev, Ukraine, into a family of printers. Later he owned a Jewish press in Berdichev, printing about 30 books between 1815 and 1821 when the press closed down. In 1831, after various unsuccessful efforts to reopen the works, he emigrated to Palestine and settled in Safed. There he renewed the tradition of printing Hebrew works, which had come to an end in the last third of the 17th century. During the peasant revolt against Muhammad Ali in 1834 his printing press was destroyed and he was wounded. Later he reopened his press, and also began to work the land on Mount Yarmak (Meron), overlooking Safed. His was the first Jewish farm in Erez Israel in modern times. After the Safed earthquake in 1837 and the Druze revolt in 1838, during which his farm and printing press were destroyed, he moved to Jerusalem. In 1841 he established the first - and for 22 years, the only - Jewish printing press in Jerusalem. One hundred and thirty books were printed on it, making it an important cultural factor in Jerusalem. Bak also published and edited the second Hebrew newspaper in Erez Israel, Havazzelet (1863). After a short time its publication stopped and was renewed only in 1870 by his son-in-law I. D. Frumkin and others. Israel Bak was a leader of the hasidic community; as a result of his efforts and those of his son Nisan, a central synagogue for the Hasidim, called Tiferet Israel (after R. Israel of Ruzhin), came into being. In Jerusalem it was also known as "Nisan Bak's synagogue." It was destroyed in 1948 during the War of Independence.

Paragraph 2    ... שיטה...על מסכת ביצה... אשר פעל ועשה... מוהריק"ש (רבינו יעקב קשטרו)... הובא לבה"ד ע"י... ר' אפרים בכר משה (המגיה, [שהוסיף הערות וחידושים משלו])...

הסכמה: ר' חיים דוד חזן, ירושלים, תרכ"ה.

   Halevy, Jerusalem Imprints 118; CD-EPI 0161669; EJ
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Listing Classification
19th Century:    Checked
Israel:    Checked
Novellae:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica