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Bidding Information
Lot #    8883
Auction End Date    1/11/2005 11:27:00 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Emek Berakhah
Title (Hebrew)    עמק ברכה
Author    R. Abraham Horowitz
City    Amsterdam
Publisher    Hirtz Levi Rofeh
Publication Date    1729
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   First revised edition, second edition. [22], 166 ff., 200:124 mm., wide margins, gild edges, light age staining. A very good copy bound in the original leather boards, spine, split and partially lacking.
   R. Abraham b. Shabbetai Sheftel Horowitz (c. 1550–1615), one of the most eminent talmudists of his day in Poland, a pupil of R. Moses Isserles. R. Horowitz resided in Cracow and Lvov, and in 1595 was elected a dayyan for the province of Lvov. R. Horowitz, who was a keen student of Maimonides in his youth, took issue in a forcible polemical tract with R. Aaron, av bet din of Poznan, who wished to restrict Jewish instruction to the Talmud alone. R. Horowitz also argued for the teaching of secular subjects because of their general importance. Indicative of R. Horowitz' aristocratic attitude, in both the spiritual and social sense, is his view that beliefs and ideas cannot be explained to "the simple folk living in ignorance... [who] have no need of knowledge, not apprehending what it is," and that it is unnecessary to instruct them other than to enjoin them against committing "common offenses such as fraud, false oaths, calumny and slander." His rationalistic approach is reflected in the first version of his commentary to Maimonides' Shemoneh Perakim (1577). When he grew older, however, R. Horowitz increasingly turned to mysticism and practical ethics. In this spirit he wrote a second version of the commentary (1602) in which the emphasis on rationalistic principles is reduced, and he states that this is "the principal [version], supersed ing the earlier one." To serve as an ethical guide he wrote Berit Avraham (Cracow, 1602?) which sets out practical examples of the transgressions enumerated in the Viddui. His book Emek Berakhah (ibid., 1597) is mainly a halakhic exposition of the benedictions for enjoyments, prayers and prayer ritual. In his ethical will, Yesh Nohalin (Amsterdam, 1701), R. Horowitz formulates his conception of the spiritual and social attributes of the ideal Jewish leader in Poland: he should combine religious reverence and respect for the individual, honor for the family and its status, and responsibility in his economic and communal obligations with the duty to submit to the disciplinary requirements of the leadership. The book became highly popular as an ethical guide. His son was R. Isaiah Horowitz (the Shelah).
Paragraph 2    ... הובא לבית הדפוס ע"י ... מהו' אברהם דיין מפוזנן בהגאון מוהר"ר ישעיה סג"ל זצ"ל (בן ... ר' שעפטיל ... בן ... ר' ישעי' ... בן ... המחבר מוהר"ר אברהם ... פעם שנית, עם תוספות מרובה חדושי דינים והנהגות מהגאונים הנ"ל) ... (חלק א-ב).

שני שערים. דף [7,ב-10]: הקדמת ר' אברהם המביא לבית הדפוס, בה מפליג בשבח אבותיו וחיבוריהם ומביא מה שדרש "ברוב עם בק"ק פוזנן" ומה שדרשו אביו ואבי-אביו. דף קכד, ב-קמ, א: "אמר אברהם ... שמצאתי כתיבות יד ... אבי זקני ... ר' שבתי שעפטל סג"ל זצוק"ל כמה חדושים ... וחדושי דינים ... על הש"ס ועל הרב רבינו יונה ועל הרי"ף והרא"ש השייכים לעיל". דף קמ, א ואילך: חידושים על מסכת ברכות "מחיבור הגדול שחיבר אא"ז בעל של"ה על הרב מרדכי". חיבור זה של ר' ישעיה הורוויץ נדפס אחר כך בשם בגדי ישע, אמשטרדם תקי"ז, על סדר מועד. המביא לדפוס ר' אברהם שילב בתוך "עמק ברכה" חידושים, דינים ומנהגים משלו ובעיקר מאת ר' ישעיה (השל"ה) בן המחבר (נוספות על הנדפס ממנו בהוצאה הראשונה), מאת ר' שבתי שעפטיל ב"ר ישעיה הנז' ומאת אביו ר' ישעיה ב"ר שבתי שעפטיל הנז'. הוספות אלו הן מכתבי אבותיו שנמצאו בידי המביא לדפוס. כמו כן יש בהוצאה זו השמטות ושינויי-עריכה רבים.

   CD-EPI 0119603; EJ; H. H. Ben-Sasson, Hagut ve-Hanhagah (1959), index;
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Listing Classification
18th Century:    Checked
Holland:    Checked
Customs:    Checked
Halacha:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica