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Bidding Information
Lot #    18551
Auction End Date    8/21/2007 10:11:30 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Ta’amei ha-Mizvot
Title (Hebrew)    טעמי מצות
Author    R. Menahem ben Moses ha-Bavli
City    Hamburg
Publisher    Thomas Rose
Publication Date    1707
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   [2], 16, 18-44, [1] ff. quarto 190:150 mm., wide margins, usual age staining. A good copy loose in later boards.
   Annotations on and explanations of the precepts by R. Menahem ben Moses ha-Bavli. Ta’amei Mitzvot is on the reasons for the commandments, often with kabbalistic overtones. The title page states in very small letters that it was printed with letters of, and then in very large letters Amsterdam. It does not mention that it is a Hamburg imprint. This is because of the prestige of the Amsterdam presses at the time. There is an introduction from R. Menahem in which he refers to a more extensive work on the reasons for the commandments, Ta’amei Mitzvot ha-Arukot, but it was never published and is no longer extant. A popular work, Ta’amei Mitzvot was the subject of a commentary by R. Zevi of Rimenov, printed here. R. Jacob Horowitz, brother of Isaiah Horowitz (Shelah), praises Ta'amei Mitzvot fulsomely and quotes from it frequently.

R. Menahem ben Moses Ha-Bavli (d. 1571), rabbi and author in Erez Israel. Despite his surname ("the Babylonian"), Menahem appears to have come from Italy; his ancestors probably lived in Babylon. Until 1525 Menahem served as dayyan in Trikkola, Greece. In 1527 he was living with his family in Safed, among whose scholars his name is included. There, with his brother Reuben, he engaged in business connected with the wool-dyeing industry. After 1546 he moved to Hebron, apparently being among the Safed rabbis who renewed the Jewish settlement in that city in the middle of the 16th century. Menahem achieved renown through his Ta'amei ha-Mitzvot One of his responsa on divorce was published among those of Joseph Caro to Even ha-Ezer (Salonika, 1598, 80a, Dinei Gittin ve-Gerushin, no. 10).

Paragraph 2    ... נדפס... באותיות אמשטרדם... בשנת אל תיר'א א'ב'ר'ם' א'נכ'י מג'ן לך

דף [1,ב-2,א]: הקדמת המדפיס "המגיה... אברהם בן זלמן לוי ממשפחת מנצפך מק"ק אמשטרדם". ההגהות שנדפסו בהוצאה הראשונה בצידי העמ' הוכנסו כאן, בסוגריים, לתוך הפנים. מעבר לשער: הסכמת... ר' צבי (במהור"ר יעקב [אשכנזי])... אב"ד ור"מ דק"ק המבורג... שכוונתי לדעתו להדפיס ספר טעמי מצות רקנ"ט [! לר' מנחם ריקנטי] בכן נתן לי הורמנא... להדפיסו.

   BE tet 190; EJ; Heller, 16th Cent. Book; CD-EPI 0148444
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Listing Classification
18th Century:    Checked
Germany:    Checked
Halacha:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica