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Bidding Information
Lot #    8815
Auction End Date    1/11/2005 10:19:00 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Nahalah li-Yhoshua
Title (Hebrew)   
Author    R. Joshua Soncino; R. Bezalel Ashkenazi
City    Constantinople
Publisher    Jonah b. Jacob Ashkenazi
Publication Date    1731
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   [2], 51, 2-44 ff., 304:191 mm., wide margins, light age and damp staining, inityial and final few ff. with margins extended, old hand on title. A good copy bound in modern half cloth boards.
   Responsa and novellae from R. Joshua Soncino, a dayyan of the Sephardi commumity in Constantinople, with Shitah Mekubbezet on tractate Yom Tov (Bezah) by R. Bezalel Ashkenazi. The title page has a pillared architectural frame and is dated [for from Zion] shall go forth (491=1731) Torah, and the word of the Lord [from Jerusalem] (Isaiah 2:3 Micah 4:2). The title page is followed by a brief introduction from R. Samuel Amato ben Joseph, who arranged the work and an index. An attractive woodcut is used as an end piece after the introduction, index, responsa and R. Soncinos novellae; a page length woodcut is at the beginning of the responsa. There are forty-four lengthy and detailed responsa and novellae on tractates Eruvin and Shevuot from R. Soncino. Shitah Mekubbezet is, as noted above, on Bezah. R. Joshua ben Menahem Soncino, the authors grandson, was responsible for the publication of Nahalah li-Yhoshua. R. Joshua Soncino (d. 1569) was a scion of the famous Soncino pioneer printing family. He was the rabbi of the Sephardi Great Synagogue (Sinagoga Mayor) in Constantinople. In one of his responsa he intimates that his Ashkenazi friends disapproved of his holding that post. He maintained contact with R. Isaac Luria and R. Bezalel Ashkenazi, and was a close friend of R. Moses Almosnino. R. Soncino was asked by Dona Gracia Nasi to render halakhic decisions on business matters (responsa 12,20). At the time of the proposed Ancona boycott in 155657, which caused a great stir among Turkish Jews, R. Soncino originally favored the proposals, but later took up an attitude of vehement opposition. As the representative of Italian Jews who had settled in Turkey, it was his opinion that pressure on the city by Turkish Jewry would further imperil the situation of Anconas Jews (responsa 3940). He thought that the solution to the difficulties facing Italian Jewry lay in their migration to the East.

R. Bezalel ben Abraham Ashkenazi (c. 15201592) was born to a distinguished Ashkenazi family. Nevertheless, he is considered a Sephardic rabbi, as his life was spent in a Sephardic environment. Born in Erez Israel, R. Ashkenazi went to Egypt when about twenty. He was a student of R. David ben Solomon ibn Abi Zimra (Radvaz, 14791573), whom he succeeded as Chief Rabbi of Egyptian Jewry. R. Ashkenazis students included R. Isaac Luria (ha-Ari), R. Solomon Adeni, and R. Abraham Monson. R. Ashkenazi copyied and editing old manuscripts, even hiring scribes to help him. He copied the novellae of the geonim and rishonim on the Babylonian Talmud, and these served as the basis for his classic Asefat Zekenim, better known as the Shitah Mekubbezet. Through this collection, much of the commentaries and responsa of R. Gershom b. Judah, R. Hananel, R. Joseph ibn Migash, R. Meir ha-Levi Abulafia, and others, was preserved.

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   EJ; C. Roth, The House of Nasi (1947), 13474; Vin Const. 440; Yaari, Constantinople p. 177 no. 330 and Mehkerei Sefer pp. 30911; CD-EPI 0160573
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Listing Classification
18th Century:    Checked
Greece-Turkey:    Checked
Novellae:    Checked
Responsa:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica