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Bidding Information
Lot #    21902
Auction End Date    11/18/2008 11:05:00 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Keneset Ha'Gedola
Title (Hebrew)    כנסת הגדולה - חושן משפט
Author    [The R. Solomon Ganzfried Copy]
City    Fuerth
Publisher    Joseph b. Zalman Shnuer
Publication Date    1692
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   Second edition. 196 ff., 318:198 mm., nice margins, usual damp staining, old hands, paper repairs. A very good copy bound in modern full leather boards.
Paragraph 1    The R. Solomon b. Joseph Ganzfried (1804–1886) copy with his inscription on title. He was born in Ungvar, Hungary, where he also died. Orphaned in his childhood, he was brought up in the house of the local rabbi R. Zevi Hirsch Heller, one of the outstanding scholars of his time. From 1830 to 1849 R. Ganzfried served as rabbi of Brezewicz and subsequently as head of the bet din of Ungvar. He was one of the chief speakers for orthodox Jewry at the Jewish congress which took place in Budapest in 1869. He also published a polemic against the Reform movement. His first published work, Keset-ha-Sofer (1835; 18712 with additions by the author), was on the laws of writing a Sefer Torah, and was highly recommended by R. Moses Sofer as a necessary textbook for scribes of Torah scrolls, tefillin, and mezuzot. R. Ganzfried's fame, however, rests mainly upon his Kizzur Shulhan Arukh ("Abridged Shulhan Arukh," 1864); it achieved great popularity and widespread circulation and was accepted as the main handbook for Ashkenazi Jewry. It encompassed all the laws relating to the mode of life of the ordinary Jew living outside Erez Israel (including such subjects as etiquette, hygiene, etc.), but omitting such details as were common knowledge and practice at that time (see his introduction to ch. 80) or that were not essential knowledge for the ordinary man (see especially the laws of matrimony, ch. 145). The Kizzur Shulhan Arukh is based upon the Shulhan Arukh of R. Joseph Caro with the glosses of R. Moses Isserles. It is written in simple, popular language, with a lively style, and interest is sustained by the ethical maxims with which it is interlaced. Unlike his predecessor R. Abraham Danzig, author of the Hayyei Adam, R. Ganzfried does not detail and explain the different views but usually gives his decision without the reasoning. The book had already achieved 14 editions during its author's lifetime, and since then it has gone through scores of editions, displacing all previous abridgments of the Shulhan Arukh. It also became a basic work to which many scholars added marginal notes and novellae. The important editions of the work are: Lublin, 1888, with the commentaries, "Pe'at ha-Shulhan" by the author himself, Ammudei ha-Shulhan by R. Benjamin Isaiah b. Jeroham Fishel ha-Kohen, and Misgeret Zahav, by R. Moses Israel; Leipzig, 1924, with source references (Mezudat Ziyyon), supplements (Mezudat David) and with illustrations, edited by D. Feldman; Jerusalem, 1940, a vocalized edition with the addition of the laws and customs applying in Erez Israel at the present day, edited by J. M. Tucazinsky, and one with the additions Misgeret ha-Shulhan and Lehem ha-Panim of Hayyim Isaiah ha-Kohen Halbersberg and a summary of those precepts connected with the land of Israel in accordance with the rulings of R. Abraham Isaiah Karelitz, edited by K. Kahana (Jerusalem, 1954).

The book was also translated into many languages (English by H. E. Goldin (1928)). R. Ganzfried's other published works are: a commentary on the prayer book with notes and supplements to the prayer-book commentary Derekh ha-Hayyim of R. Jacob Lorbeerbaum (first published in the prayer book printed in Vienna in 1839); Penei Shelomo (1845), novellae to Bava Batra; Torat Zevah (1849), on the laws of shehitah; Appiryon (1864; with the author's additions in 1876), homilies on the Pentateuch and on some aggadot; Oholei Shem (1878), on the laws of names in bills of divorce and on the writing of deeds; and Shem Shelomo (1908), on talmudic themes. There have remained in manuscript Leshon ha-Zahav, on Hebrew grammar; Penei Adam, notes to the Hayyei Adam; Kelalim be-Hokhmat ha-Emet, a commentary on the Zohar; and his responsa.

   Resposa and novellae to the Tur, Hoshen Mishpat, chap. 1-156. R. Hayyim b. Israel Benveniste (1603–1673), Sephardi rabbinic scholar and codifier, studied in his native Constantinople mainly under R. Joseph b. Moses of Trani, and also under Joseph Samegah. In 1624, when he was only 21, he began to write his detailed commentary on the Sefer Mitzvot Gadol of Moses b. Jacob of Coucy, which he called Dina de-Hayyei ("Law of the Living"). The same year he was appointed to decide cases dealing with ritual law (Issur ve-Hetter). Benveniste was rabbi in Tirya, near Smyrna, from 1643 to 1655 when he settled in Smyrna. When Chief Rabbi Joseph Escapa of Smyrna reached an advanced age, Benveniste was appointed in 1661 to act for him in matters of ritual and matrimonial law, and succeeded him after his death the following year. In 1665 the council of the city's scholars (with Benveniste's consent) appointed Aaron Lapapa in charge of civil cases, but at the end of the same year the latter was deposed by the many admirers of Shabbetai Zevi, whom Lapapa had excommunicated and condemned to death. After Shabbetai Zevi's conversion to Islam a small section of the Smyrna community unsuccessfully attempted to reinstate Lapapa. As a result, Benveniste became involved in a dispute with Lapapa. Benveniste's attitude to the Shabbatean movement as a whole was entirely negative, but he sought to avoid controversy in the interest of communal harmony, and was not resolute enough in certain instances to oppose openly the majority of his community, who followed Shabbetai Zevi and his followers.

Benveniste's role in this episode however did not detract from his dignity and authority as one of the greatest of the Jewish codifiers. Among his many disciples were Solomon ibn Ezra, Isaac Algazi, Hayyim Algazi, and Abraham b. Aaron de Boton. His principal work Keneset ha-Gedolah, was accepted by both Ashkenazi and Sephardi rabbis as an authoritative work of great practical value. In his work, which comprises eight large volumes, Benveniste cites and methodically explains all the conclusions and legal novellae to be found in the responsa and other halakhic works of the outstanding authorities after the time of Joseph Caro, as well as some of the decisions of earlier scholars whom Caro had failed to cite.

In Benveniste's lifetime only three parts of the work were printed: on Orah Hayyim (Leghorn, 1658); Sheyarei, addenda on Orah Hayyim (Smyrna, 1671); and on Hoshen Mishpat (part 1, Smyrna, 1660). After his death there appeared the volume on Yoreh De'ah (3 parts, Constanti—nople, 1711–17); on Even ha-Ezer (Smyrna, 1731, new ed. Lemberg, 1861); on Hoshen Mishpat, part 2, with several appendixes by other authors (Smyrna, 1734). Also his Dina de-Hayyei was published posthumously from a defective manuscript (Constantinople, 2 pts. 1747). Additional legal novellae on the Hoshen Mishpat are to be found in Hayyim b. Menahem Algazi's Benei Hayyai published in Orta-koi (near Constantinople) in 1712. Benveniste also wrote important responsa (Ba'ei Hayyei, "Needs of the Living"), on the four parts of the Turim, the following of which have been published: on Orah Hayyim (part 2, Salonika, 1783), on 211 sections of Yoreh De'ah and on 24 of the Even ha-Ezer (ibid., 1788), as well as on the Hoshen Mishpat, in two parts (ibid., 1791). Benveniste also wrote novellae on a number of tractates: that on Sanhedrin which he called Hamra ve-Hayyei, only part of which is extant, was published, together with notes and extracts from the manuscripts of the novellae of the earlier halakhic authorities, under the title of Hemer Hivver Attik (Leghorn, 1802). Benveniste's son Israel (1644–1729) succeeded him as chief rabbi of Smyrna.

Paragraph 2    ...לחשן המשפט [סי' א-קנו, מהדורא קמא] ... (מלאנו לבנו להדפיסו שנית) ... לפרט ו'א'ת'"ם' ה'דבקים בה' אלקיכם חיים כלכם היום

מעבר לשער: "אמר המגיה", ר' שמואל זנוויל ב"ר יעקב פפיטש ז"ל מקראקא, זעירא דמן דיינא ק"ק פירדא. דף [ב]: הקדמות בן המחבר ואחיו, שהועתקו מכנסת הגדולה, אורח חיים, ליוורנו תי"ח. עם הסכמת ר' שמואל [ב"ר אורי שרגא פייביש מוויידיסלוב] אב"ד ור"מ פירדא, פירדא, יט כסלו תנ"ג.

   CD-EPI 0129774; 0129779; EJ;JE
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Listing Classification
17th Century:    Checked
Germany:    Checked
Halacha:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica