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Bidding Information
Lot #    16860
Auction End Date    1/23/2007 10:49:30 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Sefer ha-Manhig
Title (Hebrew)   
Author    [Revised Ed.] R. Abraham b. Nathan ha-Yarhi
City    Berlin
Publisher    Kronik
Publication Date    1855
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   First revised edition. [2], 119, [5] ff., 203:130 mm., usual light age staining, nice margins. A very good copy bound in contemporary marbled paper over boards, rubbed.
   R. Abraham b. Nathan ha-Yarhi (c. 11551215), Provencal talmudic scholar. His name Ha-Yarhi is the Hebrew translation for of Lunel where he spent many years. He was born at Avignon and was related to R. Isaac b. Abba Mari. He studied with the scholars of Lunel, with R. Abraham b. David of PosquiIres, and in Dampierre in northern France, under the tosafists R. Isaac the Elder, and other scholars of his circle. R. Abraham wandered through many countries, and visited Toledo, Spain, in 1194. Later he settled there and apparently became a member of the rabbinical court (before 1204). He left Toledo again, went to France, and returned to Spain in 1211.

During his travels R. Abraham made a point of observing the customs of every country and every city and noted that they [the Jews] varied in their religious practices and that they were divided into seventy languages. He recorded various customs, particularly concerning prayer and other synagogue usages, in a book which he called Manhig Olam known popularly as Sefer ha-Manhig (Constantinople, 1519, republished by A. N. Goldberg, Berlin, 1855). This work has come down in a corrupt form. Chapters and paragraphs are omitted and the printed text contains many mistakes. Various attempts have been made (by Freimann, Toledano, and Raphael) to correct it and fill some of the lacunae. The correct text however has been preserved in the manuscripts. In this book he describes the customs of both southern and northern France, of Germany, England, and Spain. His literary sources include the Talmuds and the Midrashim, the works and responsa of the Geonim and the writings of French, Spanish, and other scholars. This work is the first book of minhagim (local customs) written in Europe. Its explicit purpose was to show that there is a halakhic basis for every minhag. The need for such a compilation was mainly the result of the spread of the halakhic works of the Spanish authorities in Provence, which took place at that time and caused confusion and misunderstanding at both places. R. Abraham also wrote a commentary to Massekhet Kallah Rabbati (Tiberias [Jerusalem], 1906; JQR, 24 [see bibliography]) and Mahazik ha-Bedek on the laws of ritual slaughtering and forbidden foods (lost). Some of R. Abraham's responsa are preserved (S. A. Wertheimer, Ginzei Yerushalayim, 1 (1896), 1932).

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   CD-EPI 0106866; EJ
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Listing Classification
19th Century:    Checked
Germany:    Checked
Customs:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica