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Bidding Information
Lot #    7434
Auction End Date    6/8/2004 2:40:00 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Amudei Golah (Sefer Mitzvot Katan (Se-Ma-K)
Title (Hebrew)    עמודי גולה
Author    [Chabad] R. Isaac of Corbeil
City    Liady
Publisher    Baruch b. Elijah & Partners
Publication Date    1805
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   117 [i.e. 119] ff., 198:155 mm., light age and damp staining, nice margins, ff. 18, 76-77, 83, 106, and 119 with small repairs affecting words, bound in modern half leather boards. Printed on blue paper.
Paragraph 1    The only book printed in Liady and the only work issued with the approbation of R. Shneur Zalman of Liady, the founder of Chabad.
   Sefer Mitzvot Katan (Se-Ma-K), "Small" Book of Commandments, for which the Author is mainly known. In this work, he provided the masses with a compendium of contemporary halakhah, interspersed with ethical homilies, parables, and aggadot. He divided the precepts into seven "Pillars," corresponding to the seven days of the week, apparently intending that the work be read through every week. In his enumeration of the precepts and their details, though not in his division of the work, R. Isaac was guided by the Sefer Mitzvot Gadol of R. Moses of Coucy, but he omitted the extensive halakhic discussions of that work. The Semak achieved wide popularity, receiving recognition from outstanding scholars of France and Germany and even being included by some early authorities in the prayer book "so that the precepts could be recited daily... in place of supplications (see Tehinnah) and the reading of psalms." R. Meir b. Baruch of Rothenburg's encomium gained wide circulation for the book in Germany and it soon became an accepted source for the posekim ("codifiers"), particularly R. Aaron ha-Kohen of Lunel and Joseph Colon. In the course of time many annotations (the best known being those of R. Perez b. Elijah of Corbeil) were added; in later editions, these were sometimes merged with the original text and printed as one. The glosses of R. Moses of Zurich were known (but never published) as "The Semak of Zurich;" this consists of a selection from the works of German and French scholars which were added to the Sefer Mitzvot Katan. Sefer Mitzvot Katan was first published in Constantinople (1510) and many times later. Many manuscripts still exist, evidence of its wide popularity.

R. Isaac b. Joseph of Corbeil (known as Semak after his main work; d. 1280), one of the great French codifiers of the 13th century; son-in-law of R. Jehiel of Paris. R. Isaac was renowned for his piety which is reflected in his Sefer Mitzvot Katan. His tosafot to several tractates are also referred to in rabbinic literature. R. Isaac's other writings include his "decisions," collated by one of his disciples from his responsa.

Paragraph 2    אשר נקרא בשם ספר מצות קטן ... דפוס ברוך בן אליהו, יצחק בן שמואל ומשה בן נפתלי הערץ סג"ל, הסכמות: ר' שניאור זלמן ב"ר ברוך, לאדי, יב מנחם-אב תקס"ה; [המדפיסים בשם] ר' חנוך הענך ב"ר שמואל שיק, שקלאוו.
   CD-EPI 0136773; Vinograd, Liady 1; EJ; JE; Waxman, Literature, v. 2 (1960) 128 f.
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Listing Classification
19th Century:    Checked
Russia-Poland:    Checked
Hasidic:    Checked
Halacha:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica