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Bidding Information
Lot #    9122
Auction End Date    1/11/2005 3:22:00 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Ari Nohem
Title (Hebrew)    ארי נוהם
Author    [Polemic] R. Leone (Judah Aryeh) Modena
City    Jerusalem
Publisher    Darom
Publication Date    1929
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   First edition of commentary. xxxi, 167, [1] pp., 221:155 mm., wide margins, light age staining. A very good copy bound in contemporary half cloth boards.
   Anti-kabbalistic treatise by R. Leone (Judah Aryeh) Modena. This work, by one of the most prominent Jews of the Renaissance, questioning the authenticity of the Kabbalah, was once seen by many as an attack on rabbinic Judaism and a proof of R. Modena’s heretical views. This position was resoundingly disproved by Ellis Rivkin. In his autobiography, R. Modena writes that he entitled it Ari Nohem – the Roaring Lion – because of his great anger at a kabbalist for speaking against great luminaries, particularly Maimonides. R. Modena’s anti-kabbalistic views developed gradually after meeting the kabbalistic emissary from Safed, R. Israel Sarug. In this work he elaborates on ideas expressed earlier and new concepts in response to developments in Kabbalah. Despite his views on Kabbalah, R. Modena had many intimate friends who were kabbalists, as was his son-in-law. In defense of R. Modena, Rivkind notes that evidence of R. Modena’s “sincere loyalty to rabbinic teaching is evident on virtually every page of the Ari Nohem, a work in which Leon tirelessly draws sharp contrasts between the divinely revealed Oral Law and the man-made Kabbalah.”

R. Judah Aryeh (Leone) Modena (1571–1648), Italian rabbi, scholar, and writer, is one of, if not the most fascinating Jewish personality of the Italian Renaissance. He was a child prodigy in both Jewish religious studies and music, becoming a scholar of stupendous productivity and a famous rabbi of the Venetian community. He wrote many books, in Hebrew and Italian, and his fame spread far beyond Venice. His eloquent sermons gained popularity even among non-Jews. His life was marred by personal instability and ill fortune. Not only was he in perennial difficulties because of gambling, but he also lived to see three of his five children die and his wife become insane. Despite these tribulations, he was a prolific writer. His Magen va-Herev is one of the most effective anti-Christian polemics to be written in Hebrew (even in the incomplete form in which the work has been preserved). R. Modena used contemporary scientific and historical critical methods, as well as traditional exegesis, to show the superficiality of the Christian interpretation of Scripture and the illogicalities in its dogma. R. Modena regarded his life as a failure, especially because he felt that he had lost the battle against his own shortcomings. However, his literary achievements disprove his own evaluation.

Paragraph 2    ... יצא לאור בהוצאה חדשה עפ"י כתבי יד עם הגהות ר' שמשון בלאך הלוי והערות ר"מ [ר' משה] שטיינשניידער הנמצאות בכתב ידם. והוספה מיוחדת: טענות ומענות המקובלים ותשובות גאונים מתנגדים, מבוא והערות מאת נחמיה שמואל ליבאוויטש...

עמ' [V]-XX: תוכן הענינים ומפתח, מלאכת שלמה ראזינטהאל מפעסט, מן ההוצאה הראשונה. עמ' XXVI -XXV: הקדמת... יש"ר [יצחק שמואל ריגייו ] מגוריציאה, מתוך: כרם חמד, ג, תקצ"ח, עמ' 195-194. עמ' ק - קיח: הערות ונוספות מאת... יש"ר מגוריציאה ור' שלמה ראזענטהאל מפעסט, מן ההוצאה הראשונה. עמ' קלח-קמב: מכתב אחוז לר' יוסף שלמה דלמדיגו... כפי שנדפס על ידי ר"א [ר' אברהם] גייגר בספרו מלא חפנים, ברלין ת"ר. עמ' קמג- קמט: מכתב המיוחס למרן הרמב"ם ונודע בשם מגילת סתרים... נדפס בהמאסף חמדה גנוזה, קאניגסבערג תרי"ו, ונדפס שנית בתשובות הרמב"ם [בקובץ תשובות הרמב"ם ואגרותיו], לפס"א תרי"ט.

   Cohen, ed. The Autobiography of a Seventeenth-Century Venetian Rabbi pp. 153, 261; EJ; Rivkin Leon Modena and the Kol Sakhal; CD-EPI 0138660
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Listing Classification
20th Century:    Checked
Israel:    Checked
Kabbalah:    Checked
Polemics:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica