[Book List]  

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

Bidding Information
Lot #    7621
Auction End Date    7/13/2004 2:02:00 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Birkat ha-Shem - Semikhat Hakhamim
Title (Hebrew)    ברכת ה' - סמיכת חכמים
Author    [First Ed.] R. Naphtali ha-Kohen (Katz)
City    Frankfort am Main
Publisher    Johannis Wust
Publication Date    1704-05
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   First edition (only 7 ff. are known of an earlier Frankfurt am Oder edition). 79; [1], 140 [i.e. 141] ff., 327:201 mm., wide margins, foldout f. reinforced, light age staining, stamp on title. A very good copy of a rare book bound in modern half leather and cloth boards.
   Hadran and introduction to the Talmud connecting the close and opening of each tractate and Kedushah u-Verakhah, novellae to the tractate Berakhot.

R. Naphtali b. Isaac ha-Kohen (Katz) (1645–1719), rabbi and kabbalist. R. Naphtali was born in Stepan (Volhynia), where his father was rabbi. In his youth he was taken captive by the Tatars but managed to escape. He succeeded his father as av bet din of Stepan and then served as rabbi of Ostrow (1680–89), Posen (1690–1704), and Frankfort on the Main (1704–11). In the latter year a fire broke out in his house, destroying the whole Jewish quarter of Frankfort. After he had been maliciously charged with preventing the extinguishing of the fire because he wanted to test his amulets - in the use of which he was expert - he was imprisoned and compelled to resign his post. He went to Prague, staying in the house of David Oppenheim, where he met Nehemiah Hayon and even gave approbation to his book Oz le-Elohim (also called Meheimnuta de-Kalla; Berlin, 1713). From 1713 to 1715 he lived in Breslau, where together with R. Zevi Hirsch Ashkenazi he excommunicated Hayon after realizing his true character. In 1715, after King Augustus of Poland had rejected his application to be restored to his post as rabbi of Posen, he returned to Ostrow where his son Bezalel was rabbi. While journeying to Erez Israel he was taken ill in Constantinople and passed on there.

Among his works are Pi Yesharim (Frankfort, 1702), kabbalistic comments to the word bereshit ("in the beginning"); and Sha'ar Naftali, poems and piyyutim (Bruenn, 1757). Several works are still in manuscript. R. Naphtali was one of the important halakhic authorities of his generation and one of the greatest kabbalists of Poland. His image persisted in the memory of the people, and many legends and wondrous tales about him circulated for many generations. He conducted his rabbinate high-handedly and as a result met much opposition from the leaders of the communities, which was apparently the cause of his frequent wanderings. Despite this he had a sensitive soul which found expression in his poems, piyyutim, and prayers which have been published in various places. His well-known ethical will (Berlin 1729) contains profound thoughts and moral instruction and some see in it one of the first sparks of practical Hasidism.

Paragraph 2    על מסכת ברכות... על סדר זרעים... דף ג-עט: "הקדמה סמיכת חכמים", "מפרש... קריאת שמות הסדרים והמסכתות וסמיכותם זו לזו". דף עח, א: "וחלקתי הספר לשלשה חלקים... גוף הספר בכללותי'... נקרא... בשם ברכת ה'... החלק הראשון שהיא ההקדמה בשם סמיכות חכמים... וחלק השני שהוא החבור על מסכת ברכות קראתי בשם קדושה וברכה... וחלק השלישי אשר הנחתי ועדיין לא נדפס הוא החבור על סדר זרעים... בשם משך הזרע".

[1], קמא דף, עם שער מיוחד: קדושה וברכה... [שנת] ובנעימ'ה' ק'ד'ו'ש'ה' ו'ברכה [תס"ו].

   CD-EPI 0141537; EJ
Associated Images
3 Images (Click thumbnail to view full size image):
  Order   Image   Caption
  1   Click to view full size  
  2   Click to view full size  
  3   Click to view full size  
Listing Classification
18th Century:    Checked
Germany:    Checked
Halacha:    Checked
Kabbalah:    Checked
Novellae:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica