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Bidding Information
Lot #    22029
Auction End Date    11/18/2008 12:08:00 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Reshimat ha-seforim d'Bet Midrash shel Hakham Tsvi
Title (Hebrew)   
Author    [Bibliography] Salomon Goldschmidt
City    Altona
Publication Date    1904
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   Only edition. 40p. 228:148 mm., wide margins, light age staining. A very good copy bound in modern cloth boards.
   A catalog of the holdings of the Hakham Tsvi, arranged by Salomon Goldschmidt (b. 1865). The catalog lists more than 1,000 books and 14 manuscripts. Arranged alphabetically by title within broad subject headings (e.g. Works of Halacha, Responsa, etc.), the catalog lists title, author, place of publication, year of publication, etc.

Hakham Zevi' [ Zevi Hirsch ben Jacob Ashkenzai ](16601718)was a rabbi and halakhist. Both his father, Jacob Sak, a renowned scholar, and his maternal grandfather, Ephraim b. Jacob ha-Kohen, had escaped from Vilna to Moravia during the 1655 Cossack uprising. It was there that Ashkenazi studied under them as a youth. He wrote his first responsa in 1676, about the time he was sent to the yeshivah of Elijah Covo in Salonika to study the Sephardi scholars' method of study. During his stay in Salonika (167678?) and Belgrade (1679), he adopted Sephardi customs and manners and, despite his Ashkenazi origin, assumed the title "hakham," the Sephardi title for a rabbi and also the name "Ashkenazi." In 1680 he returned to Ofen and continued his studies. After his wife and daughter were killed during the siege of Ofen by the Imperial army of Leopold I, Ashkenazi escaped to Sarajevo where he was appointed hakham of the Sephardi community. His parents were taken prisoner by a Brandenburg regiment after the fall of Ofen and ransomed by Jews in Berlin. It seems that only much later Ashkenazi received the news that his parents were alive. He arrived in Berlin via Venice and Prague in 1689. There he married the daughter of Meshullam Zalman Neumark-Mirels, the av bet din of the "Three Communities" of Altona, Hamburg, and Wandsbeck. He later moved to Altona where for 18 years he devoted himself to teaching in the Klaus, which was founded for him by leading members of the congregation. On the death of his father-in-law (1707), he was elected rabbi of Hamburg and Wandsbeck, although he shared the position at Altona with Moses Rothenburg. It was eventually a violent controversy on a halakhic question between them (the "chicken without a heart," see below), which compelled him to resign his position in all three communities in 1709. He continued to act as the head of the yeshivah in the Altona klaus until invited to serve as rabbi of the Ashkenazi community in Amsterdam in 1710. There, Ashkenazi's relations were initially excellent. His responsa, published in Amsterdam in 1712, were highly regarded by the rabbis of the Portuguese (Sephardi) community there, and he was on intimate terms with the Sephardi rabbi, Solomon Ayllon. This relationship, however, deteriorated with the arrival in Amsterdam of Nehemiah Hayon, the emissary of Shabbetai Zevi, who sought the help of the local Portuguese community in circulating his writings. Having been asked by the Portuguese elders (who did not rely on Ayllon) to rule on the matter, Ashkenazi and Moses Hagizwho was then in Amsterdam as a rabbinical emissary from Jerusalemdecided against Hayon and his writings and later excommunicated him. In revenge for not having been consulted about Hayyon's writings, Ayllon managed to transform the issue into one of supremacy of the old Portuguese community over the newcomers' Ashkenazi one. A new commission under Ayllon was appointed and found Hayon's writings to be in accordance with traditional Kabbalah. Upon Ashkenazi's refusal to apologize to Hayon, a bitter controversy took place between the Portuguese and Ashkenazi. As a result of his opponents' incessant personal attacks, Ashkenazi finally resigned his position in Amsterdam in 1714. After a brief stay in London (at the invitation of the Sephardi community), and a short sojourn in Emden, he proceeded to Poland and settled in Opatow. From there he was invited once more to Hamburg to take part in a complicated lawsuit. In the beginning of 1718 he was appointed rabbi of Lemberg, but he died there after a few months.

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Listing Classification
20th Century:    Checked
Germany:    Checked
Bibliography:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica