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Bidding Information
Lot #    18428
Auction End Date    7/10/2007 10:50:30 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Succinct Account of the Rites and Ceremonies
Author    [First Ed.] David Levi
City    London
Publisher    J. Parsons
Publication Date    [1784]
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   First edition. 312, 7 pp., [1 plate], 205:122 mm., usual browning. A very good copy bound in contemporary calf, rubbed and split on hinge.
   Full Title: A Succinct Account of the Rites, and Ceremonies of the Jews, as observed by them.

David Levi, (17421801), English Hebraist and polemicist. Born in London and intended by his parents to be a rabbi, Levi instead was apprenticed to a cobbler, and later worked as a hatter. However, he continued to pursue Jewish studies and interests. He published new translations of the Pentateuch for synagogal use (1787), of the Sephardi liturgy (6 vols., 178993) and the Ashkenazi (179496); and Lingua Sacra (178587), a Hebrew grammar and dictionary. He also wrote Rites and Ceremonies of the Jews (1783). Levi was the first Jew to write, in English, polemics in defense of Jews and Judaism. In his Letters to Dr. Priestley (1787) he rejected the attempts of the noted scholar Joseph Priestley to convert Jews to Christianity. In the same vein, he answered Thomas Paine's attacks on the Bible and the authenticity of prophecy (Letters to Thomas Paine in Answer to his "Age of Reason," 1797). He also opposed millennarian theories in Letters to Nathaniel Brassey Halhed in Answer to His Testimony of the Authenticity of the Prophecies of Richard Brothers and His Pretended Mission to Recall the Jews (1795). Levi's whole life was a struggle to devote himself to scholarship in spite of poverty, and he was ultimately given a small pension by a group of supporters headed by the Goldsmids.

   Roth, Magna p. 331, # 17; EJ
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Listing Classification
18th Century:    Checked
England:    Checked
Customs:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    English, some Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica