||Ethical wills and testaments, in miniature format, of R. Jonah ben Elijah Landsofer and R. Moses ben Menahem Graf (Moses Praeger) together with the Orhot Hayyim of R. Asher ben Jehiel (Rabbenu Asher, Rosh, c. 1250-1327), brought to press R. Jacob ben Moses ha-Kohen Katz of Yanov. The title page, which describes the contents, is dated, “the wings of a dove covered with silver” (Psalms 68:14). The verso of the title page has an apologia from the printer, followed by the introduction of R. Katz, entitled a small volume with the testimony of gedolim. R. Katz also supplied an epilogue for the volume. Maaglei Kizerah, set in a single column in rabbinic type, is the ethical admonitions of the above mentioned notables.
R. Jonah ben Elijah Landsofer, (1678–1712), rabbi and author, an opponent of the Shabbateans. R. Landsofer lived in Prague and, like his father and grandfather, was a professional scribe. It has been suggested that his name Landsofer ("scribe of the province") refers to his occupation, his real family name being Bunzlau after the town where the family originated. Landsofer was a versatile personality, and studied both Talmud and Kabbalah. He was sent to Vienna by his teacher, Abraham Broda, to engage in disputations with the Shabbateans. Only some of his works have been published, among them Me’il Zedakah (Prague, 1757), responsa; Benei Yonah (ibid., 1803), a comprehensive work on all the rules of writing of the Sefer Torah, and the importance of its being written elegantly (in one place the author writes at length on bibles printed by gentiles, "which Jews do not refrain from reading," and concludes that they should be discarded); Kanfei Yonah (ibid., 1812); novellae on the Shulhan Arukh, Yoreh De'ah, up to chapter 110. In his Me'il Zedakah, he mentions his Me'orei Or on matters connected with the Sefer Torah, which was never published. At the end of Me’'il Zedakah there are notes to Euclid, proof of the author's wide interests. His ethical will, first published in Derekh Tovim (Frankfort, 1717), reflects his piety and exceptional humility. Despite his premature death, he was regarded as one of the outstanding scholars of Prague.
R. Moses ben Menahem Graf (also known as Moses Praeger; 1650–1700/1710), kabbalist born in Prague. After the conflagration in the Prague ghetto (1689), Moses moved to Nikolsburg (Mikulov), where he studied under the kabbalist R. Eliezer Mendel b. Mordecai. He was given lodging and support by R. David Oppenheim, who, like R. Samson Wertheimer of Vienna, encouraged the publication of his writings. Leaving Nikolsburg, Moses attempted to settle in various European cities, reaching Fuerth in 1696 and Dessau in 1698. It is not certain whether he died there or whether he returned to Prague in his later years. R. Graf’s published works include: Zera Kodesh, a kabbalistic work with an appendix describing the exorcism of a dibbuk in Nikolsburg (Fuerth, 1696); a second edition, without the dibbuk story, was published by R. Simeon b. David Abiob of Hebron, together with his Bat Melekh (Venice, 1712; reprinted Munkacz, 1893); and Va-Yakhel Moshe, a kabbalistic discussion of various portions of the Zohar and of the Adam de-Azilut, with a special commentary on the latter concept entitled Masveh Moshe, introduced and annotated by R. Samuel b. Solomon Kohen, cantor in Brody (Dessau, 1699). In this last work Moses often criticizes the teachings of R. Moses Cordovero and his followers.
Rabbenu Asher is a significant personality in the development of Jewish law. The outstanding student of and successor to R. Meir of Rothenberg (Maharam) as the leader of German Jewry, Rosh left Germany in 1303 for Spain due to the persecution of the Jews in the former land. He initially stayed at the home of R. Solomon Adret (Rashba) in Barcelona, moving, in 1305, to Toledo, where he became the head of the rabbinic court. More than 1,200 of Rosh’s responsa are extant, answering inquiries from as far as Russia. Rosh’s authoritative halakhic rulings in his Piskei ha-Rosh were codified by his son, R. Jacob ben Asher (Tur) in the Arba'ah Turim.