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Bidding Information
Lot #    21446
Auction End Date    8/12/2008 12:52:00 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Penei Sha’ul
Title (Hebrew)    פני שאול
Author    [Only Ed.] R. Abba Saul ben Abba Judah Hadad
City    Djerba
Publisher    Isaac ben Shalom Hadad
Publication Date    1948
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   Only edition. [4], 82 ff. octavo 205:120 mm., usual age staining, wide margins. A very good copy bound in contemporary boards, rubbed.
   Multiple discourses on the Jewish year by R. Abba Saul ben Abba Judah Hadad of Djerba. The discourses cover the entire year, beginning with Shabbat Teshuva (eight discourses) followed by Rosh Hodesh Heshvan (five discourses), Rosh Hodesh Kislev (three discourses), Rosh Hodesh Tevet (two), Rosh Hodesh Shevat (three), Rosh Hodesh Adar (nine) including eight for Shabbat Zekhor, and Shabbat ha-Gadol (three). Penei Sha’ul has four approbations from rabbis in Djerba.

Jews in Tunisia have always tread a precarious path between social acceptance and downright oppression. From their first documented appearance in 2nd century Carthage to their current status as a tolerated minority, Tunisian Jews have been subject to shifts in regional and international politics that have dictated the relative security of their community. As the Oslo Peace Process has eased tensions between Israel and the Arab world, the Jews of Tunisia are once again able to practice their religion in public and with pride. Today, the island of Djerba, ten hours from Tunis off the southeast of the country, is a particular center of Jewish spiritualism, one of the few places where scribes still hand print the Torah and community elders chant the words of the Zohar, Judaism’s book of mysticism. Most of the Djerban Jews still live as they have for centuries, surviving by metalworking and jewelry-making, maintaining strict and spiritual Jewish practices. In Djerba some children still dress in a blusa under which they wear a small, mauve vest to protect them from the cold and belgha, goatskin slippers. Some women wear brightly colored jumpers in red, green or bronze – in public the young women wear futa, striped silk or cotton dresses. They keep their hair covered, in formal occasions, with a gold-embroidered coffia (headdress). In their long prayer robes and dark skullcaps, Djerban men appear to come from a time long past. Though contact with the secular West has begun to influence the younger generation’s dress and observances, the Djerban Jewish community is what some would describe as a living museum to the Judaism of their ancestors.

The Jewish community of Tunisia originated as home to scholars exiled from Palestine, from Talmudic sages of the 2nd to the 4th centuries to today’s Torah scribes. During the Byzantine period, Emperor Justinian excluded Jews from public life, prohibited their practice and ordering synagogues to become churches. Many Tunisian Jews fled into the mountains and the desert, joining secluded Berber communities there, and most remained there even after the Arabs conquered Tunisia in the 7th century, allowing Jews to practice again. Jews lived openly in Tunisia, albeit as second-class citizens, until the Spanish invasions of 1535-1574 chased Jews inland once again. The Jewish community returned to the coast under Ottoman and thrived under French rule until 1940, when Vichy subjected them to anti-Semitic laws. In 1942 Germans overran Tunisia, deported much of the Jewish population to labor camps and seized their property. The Tunisian Jewish community rebuilt itself through a decade of Allied rule until the country achieved independence in 1956. The new Muslim government eliminated the Jewish Rabbinical tribunal and Jewish community councils, destroying the Jewish quarter of Tunis. After the Six-Day War in 1967, Muslims laid waste to the Great Synagogue of Tunis; much of the Jewish population fled to Israel throughout the 1970’s and ‘80’s, leaving a dedicated community of about 2000 Jews, primarily in Tunis and on the island of Djerba in the towns of Hara Keriba and Hara Sghira, where Jews have been worshipping at the El Ghirba Synagogue for almost 1900 years. Today the Tunisian government watches the Jewish community closely but does not restrict Jewish practices. The government does appoint a committee which heads the community and manages most of its non-religious functions. There are five rabbis in Tunisia; there are even several kosher restaurants in Tunis and on Djerba, which has been an active, practicing Jewish community for over two millennia, where most of the community members observe Jewish dietary laws (kashrut).

Paragraph 2    ... דרושים ... על חדשי השנה מתשרי ועד אלול ... פעולת ... רבי אבא שאול חדאד זצ"ל ... אשר שימש בעי"ת בן גרדאן ... כמה ... שנים רב ומו"ץ ומגיד מישרים ... ח[לק] א.

בשולי השער: "עיקר הספר נדפס באלחארה הצג'ירה. ופתח השער והנלוה באלחארה אלכבירה, בדפוס עידאן, כהן וצבאן ... ג'רבה".
הסכמת רבני ג'רבה: ר' יוסף בוכריץ, ר' מכלוף עידאן, ר' כלפון משה הכהן, ר' רחמים חי חויתה ב"ר חנינא הכהן ור' משה בר"ש הכהן, א אלול תש"ו. - חלק א
חלק א: שבת תשובה - שבת הגדול. [4], פב דף. חלק ב לא הופיע?

   http://www.communigate.co.uk/sussex/theshulattic/page9.phtml; CD-EPI 0133162
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Listing Classification
20th Century:    Checked
Other:    North Africa
Homiletics:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica