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Bidding Information
Lot #    32505
Auction End Date    12/20/2011 12:40:55 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Halakhot Gedolot
Title (Hebrew)    הלכות גדולות
Author    [First Ed.] R. Simeon Kayyara
City    Venice
Publisher    Marco Antonio Giustiniani
Publication Date    1548
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   First edition. [4], 142 f., small folio, 308:204 mm., extra wide margins, light age and damp staining, scattered worming, old hands. A very good copy bound in modern half cloth over boards.
   The Halakhot Gedolot has an introduction - it is the first rabbinic work to have one - and it is generally held that it was directed against the Karaites and others who rejected the Oral Law. It is in two parts, the one comprising aggadic statements in praise of the Torah and its students; the other enumerating, for the first time, the 613 commandments mentioned in the Talmud (Mak. 23b). They are classified according to the degree of punishment incurred in transgressing them and according to their common character. This list of 365 negative and 248 positive commandments, which provided the basis for similar elaborations in various azharot, was severely criticized by Maimonides in his Sefer ha-Mitzvot, and defended by Nahmanides.

R. Simeon Kayyara Babylonian halakist of the first half of the ninth century came from Bozrah in Babylonia, as is attested by R. Hai Gaon. The city of Bozrah is mentioned twice in Halakhot Gedolot (in Hilkhot Hallah and in Hilkhot Eruvin) and was under the spiritual authority of Sura. Indeed, many of the laws and customs mentioned in the work conform to those of Sura, and several of its legal decisions are cited in the name of geonim of Sura. The early identification of his surname with "Kahirah," the Arabic name of Cairo (founded 980), was shown by Rapoport ("Teshubot ha-Ge'onim," ed. Cassel, p. 12, Berlin, 1848) to be impossible. Neubauer's suggestion ("M. J. C." ii., p. viii.) of its identification with Kayyar in Mesopotamia is equally untenable. It is now generally and more correctly assumed that "Kayyara" is derived from a common noun, and, like the Syro-Arabic "Kayyar," originally denoted a dealer in pitch or wax.

Marco Antonio Giustiniani , (fl. 16th century), printer of Hebrew books in Venice, Venetian patrician. His master printer Cornelius Adelkind printed a fine edition of the Babylonian Talmud (1546–51). Soon, this very active press faced a formidable competitor in the house of Bragadini which issued Maimonides' Mishneh Torah, with the notes of Meir Katzenellenbogen. Giustiniani then printed the full text of that code without R. Meir's notes. The mutual recriminations that the rivals engaged in at the Papal Court ultimately resulted in the confiscation and burning of all Hebrew books (1553).

Paragraph 2    מחובר ומיוסד להלכות כפי סדר שתא סדרי תלמוד הבבלי (שם המחבר ... נסתם ... ומצאתי דעות חלוקות בזה. אמרתי יהי מכירו ברוך ... הטרוד יהודה הלוי בן ... ר' יצחק ס"ל [סגן לויה] ז"ל מורנקבורט) ...

מעבר לשער הקדמה "בזכירת שם המחבר ותולדת זה הספר", דברי הראשונים המצטטים את הספר, מאת המוציא לאור ר' יהודה הלוי הנז'. דף [2-3] "הקדמה" של המחבר. חלקה הראשון כולל: מאמרי חז"ל בשבח התורה ולומדיה, וחלקה השני כולל: מניין תרי"ג מצוות, לפי דעת המחבר. זו ההקדמה הראשונה שבאה בראש ספר עברי. על הנוסח הקצר של הקדמה ועל הנוסח הארוך שבהלכות גדולות מהדורת הילדסהיימר, עיין: א' אפטוביצר, דרשה בשבח התורה הקדמת הלכות גדולות, סיני, ת"ש-תש"א, עמ' קעח-רך; שפא-שפב. דף [4] "סימני ההלכות על הסדר (זרעים - טהרות) שסדרם המחבר". מדברי הראשונים שהזכירו את הספר יוצא, שחלק מהם ייחסוהו לר' יהודאי בן נחמן גאון וחלק מהם ייחסוהו לר' שמעון קיירא. בזמנינו נתקבלה הדעה שר' שמעון קיירא הוא המחבר.

   CD-EPI 0127157; EJ; JE
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Listing Classification
16th Century:    Checked
Italy:    Checked
Halacha:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica