Zimrat ha-Arez, R. Jacob ben Hayyim Berab, Mantua 1745 (45554)

זמרת הארץ - First Edition - Ladino

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Listing Details

Lot Number: 45554
Title (English): Zimrat ha-Arez
Title (Hebrew): זמרת הארץ
Note: First Edition - Ladino
Author: R. Jacob ben Hayyim Berab
City: Mantua
Publisher: Raphael Hayyim mi-Italia
Publication Date: 1745
Estimated Price: $600.00 USD - $1,000.00 USD
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Description

Physical Description

First edition. 16 ff., 202:164 mm., clean sheets, wide margins. A very good copy bound in contemporary paper wrappers, spine split.
 

Detail Description

A detailed account of the resettlement of Jews in Tiberias in the eighteenth century and the many miracles done at that time R. Hayyim ben Moses Abulafia, by R. Jacob ben Hayyim Berab. R. Berab accompanied his father-in-law, R. Abulafia, who, in 1740, helped found the new Jewish community in Tiberias. He records their travels, all the events that befell them on their journey and their subsequent settlement. Also noted are interesting details of the wars between the governor of Damascus, Soliman Pasha (1741–43), and the sheikh of Galilee, Dahr al Amr. At approximately the same time that R. Abulafia came to Tiberias, Soliman Pasha came to Tiberias planning to level the city. R. Hayyim Parchi, Minister of the treasury in Damascus warned R. Abulafia, instructing them to flee and thus save their lives. R. Abulafia did not heed the advice, but instead remained in Tiberias. During the protracted war that ensued, lasting for several months, many miracles occurred, credited to R. Abulafia. These miracles were obvious to all, and were even acknowledged by non-Jews. Zimrat ha-Arez, which is dated, “he gives goodly words שפר (580 = 1820)” (Genesis 49:21), begins with an approbation from R. Isaac Abulafia, and introductiond by the editor, R. Jacob Hayyim Castile Franco, the author, R. Berab, and R. Hayyim Solomon Abulafia. This is followed by several leaves of verse in Ladino, and then the text, which is set in rabbinic letters, excepting headers and initial words which are in square letters. Some of these poems were, until recently, sung to a special folk tune in the Balkan countries. The purpose of Zimrat ha-Arez was to call to the attention of the Diaspora the importance of the resettlement in Tiberias.

R. Jacob ben Hayyim Berab (Beirav), (end of 17th–18th century) was a poet and hymnologist. A descendant of R. Jacob Berab, Berab was born in Safed. He left Palestine with his father-in-law R. Hayyim ben Moses Abulafia before 1710 and settled in Izmir, Turkey.

R. Hayyim ben Moses Abulafia, (c. 1660–1744), studied with R. Moses Galante and others. In 1699 he went on a mission to Salonika, and in 1712 he served as rabbi in Izmira and in 1718 in Safed where he remained until 1721, when he was reappointed rabbi of Izmir, living there for almost 20 years. R. Abulafia believed in the imminence of the messianic era and considered the restoration of Tiberias, which had been in ruins for almost 70 years, a necessary prerequisite to it. In 1740 he moved from Izmir to Tiberias. Despite his advanced age, R. Abulafia began rebuilding the city, and he sent his sons and sons-in-law abroad to enlist aid for the restoration. In 1742–43 war described in Zimrat ha-Arez broke out between Suleiman, pasha of Damascus, and Dahir. R. Abulafia encouraged the Jews to remain in Tiberias and gave full support to the sheikh. In the two campaigns which ensued - the first of which ended on the 4th of Kislev 1743 and the second ending with the death of Suleiman on the 5th of Elul - the sheikh was victorious. R. Abulafia declared these two dates as holidays, which the Jews of Tiberias continued to observe annually.

 

Hebrew Description

והוא שבח וזמרה ומעשה רב ... מעשי ניסים נתהוו מחדש בעיר טבריא ... ושירות ותשבחות לארץ ולדרים עליה בקבורתם ... חברו ... ר' יעקב בירב נר"ו ... בשנת ע'ל'ת'ה' ארוכת בת עמי

סיפור המצור על טבריה בשנים תק"ב-תק"ג ופעולותיו של ר' חיים אבולעפיה (מחדש הישוב היהודי בעיר), ושירים לכבוד טבריה, לכבוד ר' חיים אבולעפיה ולכבוד התנאים והאמוראים הקבורים שם. השירים רובם לאדינו ומקצתם עברית. דף ב-ג, א: הקדמת ר' יצחק ב"ר חיים אבולעפיה, דברי המגיה ר' יעקב חיים קאסטילפראנקו והקדמת המחבר. המחבר היה חתנו של ר' חיים אבולעפיה. דף ד,ב-ח,א: שבעה שירים בלאדינו לשבח התנאים והאמוראים. שירים אלה נדפסו לאחר מכן בפני עצמם בשם "זמרת הארץ" [שאלוניקי] תרי"ג, ובשם "שבחי התנאים", סאלוניקו תרכ"ה. הסיפור נדפס גם בפני עצמו, בתרגום לאדינו, בשם "זמרת הארץ", [קושטא תרנ"ב].

 

References

BE zayin 565; EJ; CD-NLI 0202417