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Bidding Information
Lot #    18325
Auction End Date    7/10/2007 10:00:00 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Kesef Nivhar (Choice Silver)
Title (Hebrew)    כסף נבחר
Author    [First Ed.] R. Josiah Pinto (Rif)
City    Damascus
Publisher    Abraham b. Mattiyahu Bat Sheba
Publication Date    1605-06
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   First edition. 109 of 124 ff., 289:195 mm., usual age staining, wide margins, lacking ff. 51-57, 65-68, 85-88, expertly restored with loss of upper margins and several words on many ff. An extremely rare work bound in modern two-tone leather boards.
Paragraph 1    The only Hebrew book printed in Damascus. Only a handful of complete copies known in the entire world. In 1604 Safed was destroyed by the Druze and many of its Jews fled to Damascus. Two of the refugees, Isaac and Jacob, the sons of the Safed printer Abraham Ashkenazi, set up a Hebrew printing press in Damascus. Despite the large Jewish community in Damascus, the printing press closed and was never re-established.
   Sermons on the weekly scriptural readings by R. Josiah b. Joseph Pinto (1565–1648), rabbi of the Sephardi Jews in Damascus. He was born in Damascus and for the major part of his life rabbi in Damascus, but went to Jerusalem about 1617. In 1625 he decided to settle in Safed, but when his son died in the following year, he returned to Damascus. His teacher in subjects other than Kabbalah was R. Jacob Abulafia, who ordained him. In Kabbalah he adhered closely to the system of R. Hayyim Vital whose son, R. Samuel, was his pupil and subsequently married his daughter.

R. Pinto is best known for his Me'or Einayim (part 1, Amsterdam, 1643; part 2, Mantua, 1743), a commentary on Ein Ya'akov of R. Jacob ibn Habib. He also wrote Kesef Nivhar (Damascus, 1605), sermons on the weekly scriptural readings; part 2, entitled Kesef Mezukkak (Venice, 1628), sermons and explanations of unusual rabbinic comments on scriptural passages; Kesef Zaruf (ibid., 1629) on the Book of Proverbs; Nivhar mi-Kesef (Aleppo, 1869), responsa. Some of his responsa were in a manuscript of the responsa of his son-in-law, R. Samuel Vital, which was in the possession of H. J. Michael, while others were published in the responsa of R. Yom Tov Zahalon (Venice, 1694). Some, which he wrote in 1646, were published in the Yad Aharon, part 1 (Smyrna, 1735), of R. Aaron Alfandari. His Kesef Nimas, on Lamentations, and Kevuzot Kesef, on the laws of marriage and the civil laws in the Shulhan Arukh, are in manuscript. R. Joseph Delmedigo mentions a biblical commentary by R. Pinto entitled Kesef To'afot.

Paragraph 2    ... הביאו לצורף... ר' יאשיהו בן... ר' יוסף פינטו ז"ל... דרושים לכל חפציהם [על התורה, לפי סדר הפרשיות, לספר בראשית, שמות, ויקרא]... הוגה על ידי... ר' יוסף בן... הר' אברהם אלקרס נרו'. בבית אברהם בן מתתיה בת שבע, דפוס האחים יצחק ויעקב בני "הר' אברהם אשכנז[י] זלה"ה אשר פיזר ממון גדול להביא הדפוס אל מקומות הללו",

בשער: בשנת חמשת אלפים ושלש מאות וששים וחמש לבריאת עולם [שס"ה]. קולופון (דף קכג,א): ותהי השלמתו ביום א ב ימים לחדש ניסן שנת מלכים ה'ש'כ'י'ל'ו' [לפ"ג שס"ו]. בדברי הסיום (דף קכג,ב) אומר המחבר: "יגעתי... להוציא כלי למעשהו... ולא שוה לי כי אותיות הדפוס לא עלו כהוגן וכשורה... אשר על כן משכתי עצמי... מהדפסת שני הספרים הנשארים עד אשר... מצאתי און לי לשלוח הספר כולו כאחד אל העיר... ויניצייא... ויוחקו בעט שבט מישור". הוצאת ויניציאה נדפסה בשנת שפ"א. ועי': א' יערי, הדפוס העברי בארצות המזרחי, א, ירושלים תרצ"ז, עמ' 30-29. הסכמה: ר' יעקב אבואלעפייא. רבו של המחבר.

   CD-EPI 0157940; EJ
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Listing Classification
17th Century:    Checked
Other:    Syria
Homiletics:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica