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Bidding Information
Lot #    8936
Auction End Date    1/11/2005 12:18:00 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Sha'arei Ziyyon
Title (Hebrew)    שערי ציון
Author    [Kabbalah] R. Nathan Nata Hannover
City    Amsterdam
Publisher    Uri & Phobeus ha-Levi
Publication Date    1671
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   First revised edition. 54 ff., 177:135 mm., wide margins, age and damp staining, title and final 2 ff. with tape repairs, bound in modern cloth boards.
   R. Nathan Nata Hannover (d. 1683), preacher, kabbalist, lexicographer, and chronicler. During the Chmielnicki massacres which started at the end of 1648, he had to leave his birthplace in Volhynia and he wandered through Poland, Germany, and Holland for several years. His sermons, delivered during those years of wandering, were compiled into a book covering the entire Pentateuch. In 1653 he went to Italy. In the same year in Venice, he published Yeven Mezulah ("Miry Pit"), dealing with the Chmielnicki persecutions. He associated with the great kabbalists of the period: Samuel Aboab and Moses Zacuto of Italy; and those who had come from Erez Israel - R. Hayyim Cohen, R. Nathan Shapira, and R. Benjamin ha-Levi of Safed. He studied the Kabbalah doctrines of the school of R. Isaac Luria for a number of years and enjoyed the munificence of patrons in Leghorn in 1654 and in Venice in 1655–56.

In 1660 in Prague, Hannover published Safah Berurah ("Clear Language"), a Hebrew-German-Latin-Italian conversation lexicon, text, and guidebook for travelers, and in 1662, Sha'arei Ziyyon ("The Gates of Zion"), a collection of prayers for tikkun hazot ("midnight prayers"), and for other kabbalistic rituals of the Lurianic school. These two books were the result of his studies in Italy. In 1662, he was appointed president of the bet din and head of the yeshivah in Jassy, Walachia, which was then a Turkish province. He was still in Jassy in 1666, the "year of redemption," when the Messiah was due according to the beliefs of the Shabbatean movement. He is mentioned among those who wrote to Lithuania to announce the event. He spent about ten years in Jassy and, according to tradition, in Pascani too. He then moved to Ungarisch Brod, Moravia, on the Hungarian border, where he was preacher and religious judge. He was killed, while praying with the community, by Turkish soldiers who raided the town. Hannover was a prolific writer, but most of his works, sermons and writings on the Kabbalah, were lost. Apart from the sermon Ta'amei Sukkah, printed in Amsterdam, 1652, and a kabbalistic writing on Purim, preserved in manuscript, only the three books published in his lifetime are extant. The subject matter and the style of these works are diverse, yet each had considerable influence for a long time. The prayer book, Sha'arei Ziyyon, was reprinted over 50 times, chiefly in Italy, Holland, and Central and Eastern Europe. The book served as a channel for introducing into the ordinary prayer book certain elements of the Lurianic Kabbalah, such as the Berikh Shemei prayer. Safah Berurah also had several editions, being published both under its own title and other titles in its original form and in a modified version. Up to the 19th century, it was used for the study of foreign languages in Central and Eastern Europe. It is still an important source for research into the Yiddish and the Hebrew used in the author's time. The small book Yeven Mezulah, on the Chmielnicki pogroms of 1648–52, has relatively few personal experiences of the author. It is mainly based on eyewitness accounts of others and hearsay evidence (including information Hannover found in print). This was the manner of writing of chroniclers of the period. Hannover's broader vision, lucid language, and simple and graceful manner of relating events gave the book an appeal it still retains. Among the Ashkenazi Jews, it was reprinted in the original version and in Yiddish translation, in almost every generation (including Hebrew edition, 1945; Yiddish edition, 1938), It was translated into French (1855), German (1863), Russian (1878), Polish (1912), and English (Abyss of Despair, 1950).

Paragraph 2    ... ושלח הרב המחבר את אחיו... ר' מרדכי גומפריכט (מק"ק גוואזדיץ הסמוך לק"ק קאלמי) בן הקדוש מהור"ר משה (וטרח... להדפיס הספר... הזה)... בהוספת כמה תפלות ובקשות...

בהוצאה זו נוספו תפילות, פיוטים והנהגות, לעיתים קטעים קצרים ולעיתים חטיבות ארוכות. כך נוספה בשער ג (בדפים יז-כז) חטיבה ארוכה הכוללת "תפלות על דרך הקבלה" מהאר"י לשבעת ימי השבוע, "שבעים ושתים פסוקים עם ע"ב שמות", תפלה ליושב בבית האסורים מאת ר' יהודה אריה ממודינה ו"תפלה להתפלל על החולים". "תקון ערב ראש חודש" (בשער ו) שבהוצאה הראשונה כלל עמוד אחד בלבד הורחב מאוד (דפים כג-מז,א). בסוף הספר נוספו "קדיש וברכו" (תפילות במקום קדיש, ברכו וקדושה בציבור) "שסדר... ר' יעקל בן... ר' אברהם שעפטלש [הורוויץ]" ו"זמר נאה כשנותנין ספר תורה לבית הכנסת", "יסדו... ר' ירמיה [ב"ר יהודה] בק"ק ווערטום במדינת אשכנז", שאר-בשרו של המחבר. פותח: אשירה לה' ואזמרה. בקהל עם עזוזו להספרה (אוצר השירה והפיוט, א, עמ' 362, מס' 8012). נשלם בחצי כסליו תל"ב.

הסכמות ר' יצחק ב"ר אברהם מפוזנא, ר' נחמן ב"ר מאיר כ"ץ רפאפורט, ר' שמואל שמעלקא [ז"ק] ב"ר מאיר מאוסטרה ור' ישראל ב"ר אהרן בן ציון מסאטנב, שהועתקו מן ההוצאה הראשונה, פראג תכ"ב.

   CD-EPI 0301344; EJ; I. Nacht, in: Reshumot, 1 (1946), 164–7; N. Prylucki, in: YIVO Bleter, 1 (1931), 414ff.; I. Shatzky, in: Gezerot Tah (1938), 9–159; Elbogen, Gottesdienst, 200, 390.
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Listing Classification
17th Century:    Checked
Holland:    Checked
Kabbalah:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica