[Book List]  

PLEASE NOTE: All bidding for the auction currently underway
at our new website at www.virtualjudaica.com/

Bidding Information
Lot #    6497
Auction End Date    1/13/2004 3:26:00 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Ari Nohem
Title (Hebrew)    ארי נוהם
Author    [Polemic] R. Leone (Judah Aryeh) Modena
City    Leipzig
Publisher    Karl Tauschnitz
Publication Date    1840
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   First edition. [2], xxxii, 97 pp., 169:95 mm., light damp staining. A good copy bound in modern cloth boards.
   Anti-kabbalistic treatise by R. Leone (Judah Aryeh) Modena. This work, by one of the most prominent Jews of the Renaissance, questioning the authenticity of the Kabbalah, was once seen by many as an attack on rabbinic Judaism and a proof of R. Modena’s heretical views. This position was resoundingly disproved by Ellis Rivkin. Ari Nohem was brought to press and edited by Julius Fuerst. There are German and Hebrew title pages, a lengthy introduction by Fuerst, a second introduction ascribed to Paloni Almoni, and a detailed table of contents. In his autobiography, R. Modena writes that he entitled it Ari Nohem – the Roaring Lion – because of his great anger at a kabbalist for speaking against great luminaries, particularly Maimonides. R. Modena’s anti-kabbalistic views developed gradually after meeting the kabbalistic emissary from Safed, R. Israel Sarug. In this work he elaborates on ideas expressed earlier and new concepts in response to developments in Kabbalah. Despite his views on Kabbalah, R. Modena had many intimate friends who were kabbalists, as was his son-in-law. In defense of R. Modena, Rivkind notes that evidence of R. Modena’s “sincere loyalty to rabbinic teaching is evident on virtually every page of the Ari Nohem, a work in which Leon tirelessly draws sharp contrasts between the divinely revealed Oral Law and the man-made Kabbalah.”

R. Judah Aryeh (Leone) Modena (1571–1648), Italian rabbi, scholar, and writer, is one of, if not the most fascinating Jewish personality of the Italian Renaissance. He was a child prodigy in both Jewish religious studies and music, becoming a scholar of stupendous productivity and a famous rabbi of the Venetian community. He wrote many books, in Hebrew and Italian, and his fame spread far beyond Venice. His eloquent sermons gained popularity even among non-Jews. His life was marred by personal instability and ill fortune. Not only was he in perennial difficulties because of gambling, but he also lived to see three of his five children die and his wife become insane. Despite these tribulations, he was a prolific writer. His Magen va-Herev is one of the most effective anti-Christian polemics to be written in Hebrew (even in the incomplete form in which the work has been preserved). R. Modena used contemporary scientific and historical critical methods, as well as traditional exegesis, to show the superficiality of the Christian interpretation of Scripture and the illogicalities in its dogma. R. Modena regarded his life as a failure, especially because he felt that he had lost the battle against his own shortcomings. However, his literary achievements disprove his own evaluation.

Paragraph 2    ספקות וריבות על תולדות ס' הזהר עם ויכוח נגד בעלי הקבלה, חובר מאת הרב... יהודה אריה דא מודינא. ואחריו נוספות הערות ומפתח והקדמה מאיש פלוני אלמוני [שלמה ראזענטהאל. בתוכן הערות יש"ר מגוריציאה, הוא יצחק שמואל ריגייו]. הובא לדפוס פעם ראשנה בתוספת פתיחה גדולה ממני... יוליוס פירסט...

עיין: פירסט, .III, B. J, עמ' 139. עם העתקת "דברי צונץ בענין הקבלה וספריה... כתוב בלשון אשכנזי [גרמנית, בספרו] קדמוניות יהודיות בענין הדרש והאגדה". על הוצאת הספר ונסיבותיה עיין: אגרות לשד"ל, מאת יצחק חיים קסטיליוני , קראקא תר"ס, עמ' 56-55; תולדות משפחת ראזענטהאל, מאת ר' יקותיאל יהודה גרינוואלד, בודאפעשט תר"ף, עמ' 104-101.

   Cohen, ed. The Autobiography of a Seventeenth-Century Venetian Rabbi pp. 153, 261; EJ; Rivkin Leon Modena and the Kol Sakhal; Vinograd, Leipzig 78; CD-EPI 0138659
Associated Images
1 Image (Click thumbnail to view full size image):
  Order   Image   Caption
  1   Click to view full size  
Listing Classification
19th Century:    Checked
Germany:    Checked
Kabbalah:    Checked
Polemics:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica