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Bidding Information
Lot #    18704
Auction End Date    8/21/2007 11:36:00 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Hemdat Yisrael
Title (Hebrew)    חמדת ישראל
Author    [Ms. - Kabbalah] R. Samuel Vital of Damascus
City    Middle East
Publication Date    18th cent.
Item of
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   [185] ff., 214:158 mm., ink on thick paper, expert repairs to ff. 3-112, 174, 180-185, 29 plus lines per page, title in period colors, bound in contemporary blind tooled leather boards, later spine.
   Kabbalistic definitions of the year round liturgy and new liturgies by R. Samuel Vital of Damascus (1598–c. 1678), kabbalist, youngest son of R. Hayyim Vital. R. Vital grew up in Damascus where he studied under his father and other rabbis. He married a daughter of R. Josiah Pinto. R. Vital was considered among the important talmudic authorities of Damascus. For many years he reedited his father's writings and added many of his own annotations (which begin Amar Shemu'el: "Samuel said"). Many kabbalists went to Damascus to study these writings at his home, but they were not given permission to copy them. From 1650 on R.Samuel prepared copies, some of which have been preserved. Around 1664 he went to Cairo where he served as rabbi. He was in close contact with the wealthy R. Raphael Joseph Chelebi. During the heyday of the Shabbatean movement (in 1666), he was responsible for the tikkun of repentance of the faithful in Egypt, "going about fasting, praying, and practicing flagellation from the beginning of these events." A protocol on his exorcism of an evil spirit (dibbuk) in the summer of 1666 was published at the end of Sha'ar ha-Gilgulim (1903), fol. 77–78.

R. Samuel's writings include: Hayyim Shenayim Yeshalem (Ms. Guenzburg 283), his own and his father's novellae on the Talmud, the Shulhan Arukh, Sifrei ha-Levush, and Maimonides. The novellae appear in the Vilna edition of the Talmud, published in Jerusalem; Be'er Mayim Hayyim, responsa, is arranged according to the dates of the replies, in the handwriting of the author (MS. Oxford 832; Ha-Maggid, 15 (1871), 45). In his introduction to the responsa R. Samuel also mentions Sha'ar ha-Shamayim, a collection on astronomy and astrology, and Ta'alumot Hokhmah, amulets, practical Kabbalah, and incantations - which have been lost; Toze'ot Hayyim, sermons on the Torah, was written between 1630 and 1648. The author's own manuscript copy from 1674 is found in the Alliance Israelite Universelle Library, Paris, 128. The author's copies from previous years were in the library of the rabbi of Gur, 284 and 285; Mekor Hayyim (Leghorn, 1792), sermons for the new moon (Rosh Hodesh), was completed in 1649; Hokhmat Nashim (Badhab MS. 112, Jerusalem), on the laws of divorce, was completed in 1659; Hemdat Yisrael (Munkacs, 1901), on the kavvanot ("intentions of prayers") according to Isaac Luria, was completed in 1663, apparently still in Damascus; another part of Hemdat Yisrael, still in manuscript (in the library of the rabbi of Gur), contains special prayers for epidemics and locust plague, and also piyyutim.

Paragraph 2    חמדת ישראל, [והוא] כוונות האריז"ל [ר' יצחק לוריא] שסידר ... ר' שמואל וויטאל ... בן ... מו"ה חיים וויטאל ... שקיבל מפי רבו האר"י ...
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Listing Classification
18th Century:    Checked
Other:    Min-East
Kabbalah:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Other:    Book
Kind of Judaica