Responsa Zikhron Yehudah, R. Judah b. Asher, Berlin 1846 (48442)

שאלות ותשובות זכרון יהודה - Only Edition

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Listing Details

Lot Number: 48442
Title (English): Responsa Zikhron Yehudah
Title (Hebrew): שאלות ותשובות זכרון יהודה
Note: Only Edition
Author: R. Judah b. Asher
City: Berlin
Publisher: Daniel Friedlander
Publication Date: 1846
Estimated Price: $200.00 USD - $500.00 USD
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Description

Physical Description:

Only edition. [6], 2-61 ff., 220:175 mm., wide margins, light age staining. A very good copy bound in contemporary marble paper boards, spine split and taped.

Bound with Or Hadash, Maharal, Leipsig

 

Detailed Description:   

Comprising 83 responsa edited by J. Rosenberg and D. Cassel.

R. Judah b. Asher (1270–1349), was born in Cologne, Germany. His father was R. Asher b. Jehiel (the Rosh), in whose yeshiva he studied; R. Jacob b. Asher was his brother. Because of his impaired eyesight, from which he suffered all his life, he did not succeed in compiling large works. In consequence of the violent anti-Jewish outbreaks of 1283 in Germany, R. Judah left his father's house and made his way to Spain, reaching Toledo in 1285 (this according to Schechter, but according to Abrahams, in 1305). When his parents reached Spain R. Judah renewed his studies under his father. In 1314 he signed a takkanah of his father, continuing a family tradition of tithing one's income for charity, a custom that his children also undertook to observe. He married first the daughter of his elder brother, R. Jehiel, and after her death, Miriam, the daughter of his second brother, R. Solomon. In 1321 R. Judah was appointed his father's successor by the Toledo community, and on the latter's death in 1327 he immediately inherited his position as head of the bet din and of the Toledo yeshiva, serving until his death. He conducted his rabbinical office justly and impartially and was considered authoritative in his rulings. The Castilian government took account of his judgment even in non-Jewish cases. Taking into consideration the interests of the Jewish communities in Castile, he maintained that in principle the death sentence could be imposed but demanded restraint from the rabbis in imposing punishments and took care to preserve the legal autonomy of Jewish communities. From his responsa he appears to have tended toward stringency. The leaders of the Toledo community attempted to compel his bet din to give halakhic rulings only in conformity with the rulings of Maimonides, and to depart from them only where his father R. Asher had ruled accordingly in order to avoid differences of practice; R. Judah vehemently opposed them and threatened to resign his post, though he finally agreed to remain. Among his pupils were R. Menahem b. Aaron ibn Zerah, author of the Zeidah la-Derekh, and R. Machir, author of the Avkat Rokhel.

Among his' works may be mentioned Iggeret Tokhehah his testament to his children, which contains ethical sayings, an account of his family history, and instruction in the method of learning; apart from its ethical value it also has great historical importance, as it gives details of the social life of the Jews in the 14th century and the mutual relationship between the rabbi and the community in Spain. Also ascribed to him are "a confession" included in the Zeidah la-Derekh (4:5, chap. 17) and a commentary to tractate Shabbat, the last part of which is included at the end of his volume of responsa, and the Hukkat ha-Torah, consisting of an anthology of halakhot. The collection Ta'am Zekenim (ed. by A. Ashkenazi (1854) 64b–66a) contains a responsum by R. Judah "on the subject of metempsychosis and the reply of R. Asher b. Jehiel." Two piyyutim in his name have been preserved.

 

Hebrew Description:    

והוא ספר שאלות ותשובות לרבנו יהודה בן הרא"ש ז"ל ושאר גדולי זמנו, עוד איזה תשובות לגאונים קדמונים, היו בכתובים עד היום הזה ויצאו לאור הדפוס בהשתדלותי ובהוצאותי... אנכי... יהודה בן... ר' אלכסנדר זיסקינד זצ"ל ראזענבערג מראצקי אשר במדינת פולין (בכל מאמרים המובאים מהתלמוד שלנו ציינתי תחנותם... עשיתי מפתח על ענייני השאלות ... ועוד הוספתי... דעת סופרים על אנשי שם שהובאו בתוך הספר... המגיה דוד קאססעל)...

הסכמות: ר' יעקב יוסף ב"ר מרדכי עטטינגער, י אלול תר"ה; ר' אלחנן ב"ר זנוויל ראזענשטיין, ברלין, יב אלול תר"ה; ר' יעקב קאפיל ב"ב [באמברגר] הלוי, ווארמס, ח שבט תר"ו; ר' יחיאל מיכל זקש, ברלין, כ אלול תר"ה; ר' אהרן פולד, פראנקפורט דמיין, יט מרחשוון תר"ו; Dr. Zunz, ברלין, 30 יוני 1846.

 

References:   

Bibliography of the Hebrew Book 1470-1960 #000138711; B.E. 293; EJ; Michael, Or, no. 965; Judah b. Asher, Zikhron Yehudah ed. by J. Rosenberg (1846), introd. by D. Cassel; Schechter, in: Beit Talmud, 4 (1884), 340–6, 372–7; Weiss, Dor, 5 (19044), 68f., 84, 121–4; S. Assaf, Mekorot le-Toledot ha-Hinnukh be-Yisrael, 1 (1925), 25–27; I. Abrahams, Hebrew Ethical Wills, 2 (1926), 163–200; S. M. Chones, Toledot ha-Posekim (1910), 240f.; H. Tchernowitz, Toledot ha-Posekim, 2 (1947), 191f.; Waxman, Literature, 2 (1933), 295f.