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Bidding Information
Lot #    18547
Auction End Date    8/21/2007 10:15:28 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Midrash Eliyahu
Title (Hebrew)    מדרש אליהו
Author    [First Ed.] R. Elijah ha-Kohen
City    Izmir
Publisher    Yuda ben David Hazzan
Publication Date    1759
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   First edition. [2], 68 ff. folio 310:195 mm., wide margins, usual light age and damp staining, stamp. A good copy bound in contemporary boards, rubbed and split.
   First edition of these eleven discourses and commentary on Megillat Esther by R. Elijah ben Solomon Abraham ha-Kohen. The title page has an ornate decorated Sepahrdic title page. There is an introduction by R. Hayyim ben David Abulafia followed by a table of contents and then the discourses. The subject matter includes Seudot ha-Zaddikim, Tikkun Olam; Tihiyyat ha-Matim, Eshet Hayil, and Atteret Ba’alah.

R. Elijah ben Solomon Abraham ha-Kohen of Izmir (d. 1729) was one of the outstanding preachers of his time. Born in Izmir, R. Elijah spent most of his life there as a preacher, dayyan, and rabbi. He came from a family of rabbis and writers; his grandfather, R. Michael ha-Kohen, wrote exegetical works on the Torah, and his uncle, R. Isaac ha-Kohen, was also a writer. His father, R. Abraham Solomon ha-Kohen, one of the rabbis of Izmir, is known for his involvement in the rescue of Jews who had been taken captive. It would seem that he was also a scholar, as Elijah often quotes him.

R. Elijah was a prolific writer; about 30 of his works are extant, some in print, others in manuscript; his lost works are known only from references to them in his own writings. The following are among his extant works: Shevet Musar (Constantinople, 1712, and many subsequent editions), one of the most popular Hebrew works in the fields of ethics and homiletics, also translated into Yiddish. This work consists of 52 sermons, corresponding to the weekly Torah portions and to the numerical value of his Hebrew name, “Eliyahu. Me'il Zedakah (Smyrna, 1731), an ethical work dealing with the question of charity. Midrash ha-Ittamari (Constantinople, 1695; Salonica, 1725), a homiletical work consisting of sermons on various subjects, many of them ethical (e.g., charity and repentance). Because of this work, Elijah became known in Hebrew literature as Elijah ha-Kohen ha-Ittamari. Midrash Talpiyyot, novellae on various subjects, collected, according to the author, from the 300 books listed in the preface. Only the first half of this work, arranged in alphabetical order, was printed (Smyrna, 1736). Minhat Eliyahu (Salonika, 1824), 33 sermons, or chapters' on ethical subjects. The rest of his works includes several other ethical-homiletical collections, commentaries on Psalms, on other parts of the Bible, on Pirkei Avot, the 613 commandments, prayers, rabbinical sayings related to the various Torah portions, and on the aggadot of the Jerusalem Talmud. In addition, Elijah wrote several responsa, some to questions sent from far away. It is possible that he also dabbled in magic; many legends, which can be found in Ladino folktales, were related about him.

Paragraph 2    כלול בו י"א דרושים המודעים מעלת תהלת פטירת הצדיקים והחסידים זצ"ל: ובכל דרוש ודרוש פר' א' ממוסר היוצא ממאמרי הדרושים. ובסוף הדרושים פי' על מאמרי רז"ל ממגילת אסתר ... חיברו ... הדיין ... בכמה"ר[!] אליהו הכהן זלה"ה ... הביאו לבית הדפוס ע"י חוטר מגזע בן בתו ... אברהם בכמה"ר חיים חזן ... ח'ס'ד' ו'א'מ'ת'

עם הקדמת [הסכמת] ר' חיים ב"ר דוד אבואלעפייא, אזמיר, ראש חודש תמוז תקכ"א.

   BE bet 716; CD-EPI 0120639
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Listing Classification
18th Century:    Checked
Greece-Turkey:    Checked
Homiletics:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica