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Bidding Information
Lot #    19591
Auction End Date    1/8/2008 11:12:30 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Ez ha-Da’at on Behinat Olam
Title (Hebrew)    עץ הדעת - ביאור לבחינת עולם
Author    [First Ed.] R. Samson ben Joshua Moses Morpurgo
City    Venice
Publisher    Vendramin
Publication Date    1704
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   First edition of commentary. 38 ff., 244:180 mm., extra wide margins, light age and damp staining, clean crisp sheets. A very good copy bound in contemporary half cloth and marbled paper over boards.
   Commentary on the Behinat Olam of R. Jedaiah ben Abraham Bedersi (ha-Penini) by R. Samson ben Joshua Moses Morpurgo. Behinat Olam is a popular poetical and philosophical work on the vanity of worldly things, addressing the uncertainties of fortune and the correct path to be followed. Behinat Olam is a lyrical, ethical monograph on the theme of the futility and vanity of this world, and the inestimably greater benefits of intellectual and religious pursuits. Behinat Olam, written in florid prose and rich in imagery, combines philosophic doctrine and religious fervor with a good measure of asceticism and pessimism. Ez ha-Da’at is a a philosophical commentary on Behinat Olam. The title page, set in a border of florets, is dated, “A time to be born ללדת (464 = 1704)” states that ti is (Ecclesiastes 3:2). There are introductions from R. Bedersi and from R. Morpurgo followed by an index. The text is set in the center of the page in vocalized Hebrew with Ez ha-Da’at on the sides in rabbinic type. Reference are at the bottom of the page. There are approbations at the end of thevolume, which concludes with verse from R. Jacob Pransis against Kabbalah. This is an unusually attractive edition with commentary of Behinat Olam.

R. Jedaiah ben Abraham Bedersi (ha-Penini, c. 1270–1340) was a poet and philosopher. Possibly a native of Beziers, R. Jedaiah is known to have spent time in Perpignan and Montpellier. Little is known of his personal history. He may have been a physician. R. Jedaiah's intellectual interests were literary and philosophic, although the two spheres were not clearly separated. In his youth, he composed a poetic prayer of 1,000 words entitled Bakkashat ha-Memim, every word of which begins with the letter mem (in Olelot ha-Bohen, 1808). He is also credited with a similar composition, every word of which begins with alef, but many believe that this latter poem was written by Jedaiah's father. In popular style he composed Ohev Nashim. Jedaiah also wrote Sefer ha-Pardes (Constantinople, 1516), reflections on isolation from the world, divine worship, the behavior of judges, grammar, and astronomy. Jedaiah also wrote a number of works which are more strictly scientific and philosophical.

R. Samson ben Joshua Moses Morpurgo, (1681–1740) was an Italian rabbi and physician. Bborn in Gradisca d'Isonzo, Friuli, he was taken by his parents to neighboring Gorizia, where he studied under R. Jacob Hai Gentili, the rabbi of the community, and his son, Manasseh. At the age of 12 or 13 he moved to Venice and there received a thorough education in the yeshivah of R. Samuel Aboab as well as from his old teacher R. Manasseh Gentili who had meanwhile moved to Venice. After some years he went to Padua to study medicine in the university there and in 1700 received the degree of doctor of philosophy and medicine. From then on he devoted himself to the study of Talmud, traveling between Padua and Venice and between Gorizia and Mantua where he studied under the outstanding scholar Briel, who in 1709 ordained him rabbi. In that year he was appointed a member of the bet din of the kabbalist R. Joseph Fiametta (Lehavah) whose daughter Rebecca he married. On the death of his wife in 1716 he married her sister, Judith. On the death of his father-in-law in 1721 Samson succeeded him as rabbi of the community, a post he held until his death. The following of his works, in addition to Ez ha-Da’at, have been published: Confutazioni alle Saette del Gionata del Benetelli (Venice, 1703–04), a polemic against the Christian priest Luigi Maria Benetelli who wrote Le Saette di Gionata scagliate a favor degli Ebrei (1703), a book filled with hatred of the Jews and their religion; and Shemesh Zedakah (ibid., 1743), a collection of responsa published posthumously by his son Moses Hayyim.

Paragraph 2    ... והוא... ביאור לבחינת עולם שחיבר ר' ידעיה הפניני הבדרש"י [עם הפנים]... ובשפת היריעה... מקום מאמריו בספרי הקודמים [מאת ר' שמשון מורפורגו]... שנה כעת ל'ל'ד'ת'

דף לה, ב - לו, א: שיר מאת ר' יעקב פראנשיס, נגד הקבלה. פותח: אשר הגוי בחר לו יה (אוצר השירה והפיוט, א, עמ' 379 מס' 8390). השיר נדפס תחילה על דף בודד [מנטובה תכ"א, בערך]. עיין: אגרות שד"ל, חלק ה, פרזעמישל תרמ"ב, עמ' 640. רובו של השיר נדפס אחר-כך על ידי חיים בראדי בספר מתק שפתים, מאת עמנואל פראנשיס, קראקא תרנ"ב, עמ' 73-72. שמו של מחבר הביאור "עץ הדעת" נרמז בדברי השבח, שבהן מודגשת המלה 'שמש' (ראשי התיבות: שמשון מורפורגו). ועיין אגרות שד"ל, שם. דברים בשבח הספר (הסכמות. בסוף הספר): מאת ר' דב"ש [דוד בן שלמה] אלטאראס ור' יהושע יוסף ב"ר דוד הלוי.

   EJ; Vin Venice 1548; CD-EPI 0138628
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Listing Classification
18th Century:    Checked
Italy:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica