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Bidding Information
Lot #    21828
Auction End Date    11/18/2008 10:28:00 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Havazzelet ha-Sharon
Title (Hebrew)    חבצלת השרון
Author    R. Moses Alshekh; R. Samuel b. Judah Valero
City    Amsterdam
Publisher    Moses Frankfurt
Publication Date    1726
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   [2], 37 ff., 321:198 mm., wide margins, usual light age and damp staining. A very good copy bound in contemporary half cloth and printed paper over boards, rubbed.
   Daniel with the homiletic and kabbalistic commentary by R. Moses b. Hayyim Alshekh (c. 1520-1593), rabbi and Bible commentator, born in Adrianople or Damascus. He studied in Salonika under R. Joseph Taitazak and R. Joseph Caro, and then emigrated to Erez Israel, settling in Safed, where he gained prominence as an halakhic authority, a teacher in two talmudic academies, and a preacher. He was active in communal affairs and was a member of the rabbinical court of R. Joseph Caro, who conferred upon him the full ordination which had been reintroduced by R. Jacob Berab. The Alshekh in turn ordained in 1590 R. Hayyim Vital, who was his disciple in halakhah. His major field of interest was halakhah but, acceding to requests to preach on Sabbaths, in the course of preparing his sermons he occupied himself also with Bible exegesis. He also engaged in the study of the Kabbalah, from which he derived the fundamentals of his religious philosophy. According to one tradition, R. Isaac Luria sought to dissuade him from pursuing kabbalistic studies. About 1590 The Alshekh visited the Jewish communities of Syria and Turkey, and perhaps also of Persia, in the interests of Safed Jewry. He also sent an appeal on behalf of the Safed community to Italy and other countries. The last information about him was from Damascus. He participated there in a rabbinical court session in the spring of 1593. He passed on soon after at a venerable age.

The Alshekh reworked his sermons into commentaries to most of the books of the Bible. Several of these commentaries appeared during his lifetime: Havazzelet ha-Sharon (Constantinople, 1563; Venice, 159 1) on Daniel; Shoshannat ha-Amakim (Venice, 1591) on the Song of Songs; Rav Peninim (ibid., 1592) on Proverbs; and Torat Moshe (Constantinople, c. 1593) on Genesis. About 1597–98 there appeared in Constantinople his commentary on the first Book of Psalms under the title of Tappuhei Zahav. This edition was criticized by the Alshekh's son R. Hayyim in the introduction to his own edition of his father's commentary on the Psalms. R. Hayyim Alshekh averted that the manuscript of Tappuhei Zahav had been stolen from him and represented a first draft only of his father's commentary.

Between 1600 and 1607, R. Hayyim Alshekh reissued in Venice some of the commentaries published by his father and printed those which had remained in manuscript. They were: Torat Moshe on the whole of the Pentateuch, Einei Moshe on Ruth, Devarim Nehumim on Lamentations, Devarim Tovim on Ecclesiastes, Masat Moshe on Esther (all 1601); Helkat Mehokkek on Job (1603) and Marot ha-Zove'ot on the early and Later Prophets, with the exception of Ezekiel (1603–07); and Romemot El on the Psalms (1605).

The Alshekh's commentaries, which are permeated with religious - ethical and religious - philosophical ideas supported by ample quotations from talmudic and midrashic sources, became very popular and have often been reprinted. Some of the commentaries appeared also in abbreviated versions. Hayyim Alshekh also published his father's responsa (Venice, 1605). Alshekh was the author of a dirge on the "exile of the Shekhinah," which became part of Tikkun Hazot. Never published and subsequently lost were She'arim, a book of a religious-philosophical nature; a commentary on Genesis Rabbah; and a talmudical work. The commentaries on Avot and on the Passover Haggadah printed under the name of Alshekh, are not original works but compilations from his commentaries on the Bible.

Printed in the lower section of the page is the commentary to Daniel by R. Samuel b. Judah Valero, physician and author who lived in the Grecian Archipelago in the second half of the sixteenth century. He wrote the following works: "Yad ha-Melek," a commentary on the Book of Esther, completed at Corfu on the 6th of Feb., 1579, and published with the text at Venice, 1586; "Hazon la-Mo'ed," a philosophical commentary on the Book of Daniel, finished on the 7th of Feb., 1580, in a village near Patras, in the Morea, and published, with the text of the original, at Venice, 1586. There is an extract from the latter commentary in the rabbinical Bible of Amsterdam (1724-27). Valerio wrote also "'Emek ha-Baka," "Pi Hakam," and "Bet ha-Malkut," still in manuscript.

Paragraph 2    ... על ספר דניאל [עם הפנים] למרנא... ר' משה אלשיך זצוק"ל... ועכשיו קם... ר' אליעזר סג"ל בן... ר' ישראל סג"ל זלה"ה שהי' דיין בק"ק פוזנא יע"א חתן הרב... ר' ארי' ליב נר"ו... והיזל מכספו להביא את הספר הלז על מזבח הדפוס... הוסיף עוד פי'... מספר חזון למועד להחכם השלם הרופא... ר' שמואל ז"ל בה"ר יודא ווליריאו ז"ל... הוגה בעיון נמרץ בדקדוק הטעמים ומלות ותנועות וגם הפירוש הוגה... בשנת ואתה לך לקץ ותנוח ו'ת'ע'מו'ד' לרגלך לקץ הימין

הסכמה: ר' שלמה אאיליאן, אמשטרדם תפ"ז.

   CD-EPI 0304630; EJ; Rosanies, Togarmah, 3 (1938), 276 ff.
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Listing Classification
18th Century:    Checked
Holland:    Checked
Bible:    Checked
Kabbalah:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica