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Bidding Information
Lot #    16977
Auction End Date    1/23/2007 11:48:00 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Behinat ha-Kabbalah
Title (Hebrew)   
Author    [Polemic] R. Leone (Judah Aryeh) Modena
City    Gorizia (Goritiae)
Publisher    Joh. Bapt. Seitz
Publication Date    1852
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   [2], xviii, 268, [1] pp., 217:140 mm., wide margins, light age staining. A very good copy bound in later half leather and cloth boards, rubbed.
   Two works by or ascribed to R. Leone (Judah Aryeh) Modena, Shaagat Aryeh and Kol Sakhal, published under the title Behinat ha-Kabbalah. There are two title pages, the first, headed Examen Traditionis, is in Latin, followed by a Hebrew title page, which is dated, behinat ha-kabbalah (612=1852). Behinat ha-Kabbalah was published by Isaac Samuel Reggio, who also wrote the introduction. Shaagat Aryeh and Kol Sakhal comprise the first part of Behinat ha-Kabbalah. The second part (pp. 71-268), with its own title page is Reggios arguments that R. Modena was indeed the author of Kol Sakhal.

Shaagat Aryeh has been described as a gentle but comprehensive defense of rabbinic Judaism against the anti-rabbinic treatise called Kol Sakhal. Whether R. Modena also wrote Kol Sakhal is a matter of considerable dispute. Kol Sakhal was, apparently mistakenly, ascribed to R. Modena by Reggio and Abraham Geiger, an accusation strongly refuted by E. Rivkin. Kol Sakhal may in fact have been written by Amitai bar Yedaiah ibn Raz, a Jew from the Spanish city of Alcala (de Henares?).

R. Leone (Judah Aryeh) Modena (da Modena, 15711648), described as an infant prodigy and hoary prodigal is among the most fascinating Jews of the Renaissance. He was born in Venice, to a distinguished family of French origin settled in Italy from the 14th century, and raised in Ferrara. Well educated in rabbinic and secular subjects, including music and dance, Modena had, by early adolescence, written a rabbinic responsum on prayer, translated Ariostos Orlando furioso and prepared a work on gambling (Sur Mera, Venice, 1595). In 1592 R. Modena moved to Venice where, among the twenty six occupations listed in his autobiography, are serving in the rabbinate, teaching, writing letters, and preaching regularly. He was a prolific writer on a wide variety of subjects. His first two published books are Sur Mera - its topic not withstanding R. Modena was a compulsive gambler- and Sod Yesharim on segulot.

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   Cohen, ed. The Autobiography of a Seventeenth-Century Venetian Rabbi pp. 238-39; EJ; Rivkin Leon Modena and the Kol Sakhal; Vinograd, Gorizia 3; CD-EPI 0138662
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Listing Classification
19th Century:    Checked
Italy:    Checked
Polemics:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica