Yad Yosef, R. Joseph ben Hayyim Zarfati, Amsterdam 1700 (45056)

יד יוסף - The R. Yaakov Reischer Copy

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Listing Details

Lot Number: 45056
Title (English): Yad Yosef
Title (Hebrew): יד יוסף
Note: The R. Yaakov Reischer Copy
Author: R. Joseph ben Hayyim Zarfati
City: Amsterdam
Publisher: Immanuel b. Joseph Attais
Publication Date: 1700
Estimated Price: $1,000.00 USD - $2,000.00 USD
Content/listingImages/20171107/3450015a-f831-40c7-9e16-c9a6e7316ec8_fullsize.jpg Content/listingImages/20171107/2f994601-5dd9-40f0-b504-d8443fdefab9_fullsize.jpg Content/listingImages/20171107/63f7d5aa-757c-48e4-a52f-1ef4aebd016d_fullsize.jpg


Physical Description:

Copperplate title, 288, [12] ff., folio, 320:196 mm., light age and damp staining, extra wide margins,  old hands on title. A very good copy bound in later cloth over boards, rubbed.

The R. Yaakov  b. Yosef Reischer copy with his inscription on title. R. Jacob b. Joseph Reischer (also known as Jacob Backofen; c. 1670–1733), was born in Prague, R. Reischer studied under R. Aaron Simeon Spira, rabbi of Prague, and was known as a prodigy in his early youth. Afterward he studied under R. Spira's son, R. Benjamin Wolf Spira, av bet din of the Prague community and rabbi of Bohemia, whose son-in-law he subsequently became. His brothers-in-law were R. Elijah Spira and R. David Oppenheim. R. Reischer's surname, borne by his grandfather and uncles (see introduction to his Minhat Ya'akov), derives from the fact that his family came from Rzeszow, Poland, and not, as has been erroneously stated, because he served as rabbi of that town. While still young, he became dayyan of the "great bet din of Prague." He was appointed av bet din of Ansbach, capital of Bavaria, and head of its yeshivah in 1709, and in 1715 av bet din of Worms. There, students flocked to him from all parts of Europe. He had, however, opponents who persecuted him. About 1718, he was appointed av bet din and head of the yeshivah of the important community of Metz. There, too, he did not find peace. He related that in 1728 "malicious men, as hard as iron, who hated me without cause, set upon me with intent to destroy me by a false libel, to have me imprisoned." His first work, Minhat Ya'akov, was published, while he was still young, in Prague in 1689. In the course of time he was accepted by contemporary rabbis as a final authority (Shevut Ya'akov, vol. 1, no. 28; vol. 3, no. 61), and problems were addressed to him from the whole Diaspora, e.g., Italy, and also from Erez Israel (ibid., vol. 1, nos. 93 and 99). He made a point of defending the rishonim from the criticism of later writers, and endeavored to justify the Shulhan Arukh against its critics. But there were also those, particularly among the Sephardi rabbis of Jerusalem, who openly censured his habit of criticizing rishonim and aharonim (ibid., vol. 1, no. 22), and criticized him in their works. His replies to these criticisms were not always couched in moderate language (see Lo Hibbit Aven be-Ya'akov). The main target of his criticism was R. Joseph b. David of Breslau, author of Hok Yosef (Amsterdam, 1730). R. Jacob's only remaining son, R. Simeon, av bet din of Danzig, died in 1715.


Detailed Description:   

Discourses on the weekly Torah readings by R. Joseph ben Hayyim Zarfati (d. c. 1640). A member of the renowned Zarfati family that traced its descent to Rashi, this Zarfati is accounted among the sages of Adrianople. He is reported to have been a student of R. Solomon ha- Levi and was a member of the bet din of R. Jedidiah Abulafia.R.  Zarfati died in Jerusalem


R. Zarfati’s introduction begins by noting his great  love of constantly being occupied with Torah, and that he has written five works, the first being Yad Yosef (the hand of Ioseph), which is so entitled for two reasons. First, that he exerted himelf and examined it to the place where the hand reaches, "my might, and the beginning of my strength" (Genesis 49:3); and secondly, he did not wish to bring anything but his words, for a donkey does not bear the books of the Lord, and one who see the words of the Lord should go to the Temple of the Lord, to the citadel and courtyard. He has written only that which he accomplished with the limited strength of his hand. After the text of the introduction are eighteen line of verse in large bold letters, the initial letters forming a double acrostic of R. Zarfati's name.

The text follows, comprised of an initial entry from a rabbinic source in square letters, and then the discourse in rabbinic letters in two columns. At the end of the discourses is an epilogue, R. Zarfati writing that his intent was to write four or five discourses on every parashah, which he did, as can be seen up to parashat Tazriah, but he could not continue in this manner due to the expense of paper, sixteen litrin a sheet. He had to limit the work to two discourses a parashah. This notwithstanding, the number of discourses varies even at the beginning. Noah, for example, has two discourses, Lekh Lekha three, Vayera two, and Hayyei Saran seven. The volume concludes with an index .

Yad Yosef is the only published work by R. Zarfati. His other works, all but one including the name Yosef, are discourses on different topics. The last one' is novellae written when R. Zarfati was in Eretz Israel.


Hebrew Description:

(דרושים על סדר התורה)... ארבע' או חמשה דרושים... בכל פרשה ופרשה, ודרושי' לחופה ולמילה, [לחגים ולשבתות מיוחדות]... הכינו וגם חקרו... ר' יוסף צרפתי נר"ו, אשר אור תורתו זורח... בעיר אנדרינופולי. ... אפריין נימטייה להאלופים... ר' צבי הירש בן הר"ר משה ז"ל מפראנקפורט דאדר וכה"ר צבי הירש בן הר"ר אברהם ז"ל מווראנק וכה"ר שניאור זלמן מהור"ר יהונתן כ"ץ מקאלש... אשר הזילו זהב... להוציא לאור שנית הספר... הזה... והוגה ע"י... ר' זאב וואלף בהר"ר שמואל זצ"ל מק"ק יערסלב.

שני שערים. הראשון מצויר. בשערים בשנת ו'י'מ'ת' י'וסף (עטיאש) [ת"ס]. בהסכמות: תס"א.



EJ; CD-NLI 0184466; Fuks, Holland 408