Divre David ve-Hon Yosef, R. David Ibn Abi Zimra, Livorno 1828 (49319)

שאלות ותשובות רדב"ז - ח"ג - First Edition

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Listing Details

Lot Number: 49319
Title (English): Divre David ve-Hon Yosef (She'elot u-Teshuvot Radbaz - Part VII)
Title (Hebrew): דברי דוד וספר הון יוסף (שאלות ותשובות רדב"ז ח"ז)
Note: First Edition
Author: R. David Ibn Abi Zimra
City: Livorno
Publisher: דפוס יהודה יוסף חיים ואליעזר רפאל סעדון
Publication Date: 1828
Estimated Price: $300.00 USD - $600.00 USD
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Description

Physical Description:

First edition. [5], 27, 109 ff., folio, 304:200 mm., wide margins, light age and damp staining, some worming, stamps. A very good copy bound in modern cloth over boards

 

Detailed Description:   

Responsa of the Radbaz, part seven and novellae by the editor R. Joseph Zamiro. R. David ben Solomon Ibn Abi Zimra (Radbaz, 1479–1573), talmudic scholar, halakhic authority, and kabbalist. Abi Zimra was born in Spain into a wealthy family, but by the age of 13 was in Safed (possibly going via Fez). The most eminent of his teachers was R. Joseph Saragossi of Sicily who left Spain in 1492 and eventually settled in Safed. R. Abi Zimra moved to Jerusalem but shortly before 1513 emigrated to Egypt, apparently due to bad economic conditions in Palestine. There he stayed for 40 years, first in Alexandria, then in Cairo where he joined the bet din of the nagid, R. Isaac Sholal. After the conquest of Egypt by the Turks (1517) and the decline of the office of the nagid, Radbaz became the official head of Egyptian Jewry. He was not only dayyan but also head of a yeshivah, trustee of the hekdesh, and administrator of charity collections. He held all of these offices in an honorary capacity, as he was financially independent. Apart from his inherited wealth Radbaz was apparently successful in business and as a moneylender to non-Jews. His library, containing rare manuscripts, was famous. His was an open house; R. Isaac Akrish lived there for many years and was the tutor of his children and grandchildren. Radbaz exercised a great influence upon his contemporaries which can be seen from his success in settling a quarrel between the Mustarabs (the indigenous Jewish community) and the Maghrabis (the community with origins in other parts of North Africa), and in issuing many ordinances beneficial to Egyptian Jewry. The most famous of them are: the abolition of the dating of legal documents according to the Seleucid era (minyan shetarot), and its replacement by dating according to the era of Creation; formation of a hevra kaddisha (burial society; previously the dead had to be buried secretly to avoid attacks from the non-Jews); and the prohibition of the employment of non-Jews as dancers and musicians at Jewish weddings. He also tried to reintroduce into the public liturgy the recital of the Amidah by both the congregation and the reader (from the time of Maimonides this had been said by the reader only).

His reputation extended beyond the boundaries of Egypt and legal and religious questions were sent to him from many communities. Radbaz often engaged in disputations with Muslim and Karaite scholars, and his initially lenient attitude to the Karaites became more stringent. Shortly before 1553 he decided to return to Palestine. He settled first in Jerusalem where he was dissatisfied with the local governor as well as with some of the Jews, and moved to Safed, where he remained until his death. Although Radbaz praised Jewish scholars who were versed in natural sciences and spoke with warm appreciation of the contribution of Jewish philosophers in promoting Jewish belief, he discouraged his students from studying philosophy. In Radbaz’s view, the aggadah, which he regarded as equal in holiness to other parts of the Oral Law, can bear two meanings, one literal (nigleh) and one esoteric (nistar). He strongly criticized the Bible commentary of R. Abraham ibn Ezra and R. David Kimhi who referred to a certain aggadah as irrational.

His methods were scientific. He examined texts critically, comparing the different versions and tracing them back to their original sources, investigating their authenticity, and emending them only when necessary and no other solution could be found. Abi Zimra composed a treatise on the methodology of the Talmud (Kelalei ha-Gemara, printed in Me-Harerei Nemerim, Venice, 1599; separately Zolkiew, 1749), and some of his responsa are devoted to methodological principles. Although he was a kabbalist, he introduced Kabbalah in decisions only when not in contradiction with the Talmud, or where no definite decision is laid down in the Talmud. When Kabbalah conflicted with the Talmud preference was to be given to the latter. In his kabbalistic system gematriot and the doctrine of metempsychosis played important roles, the latter being reflected even in his legal decisions (e.g., on halizah). He was one of the most open defenders of the doctrine of cosmic cycles in creation (Shemittot).

Radbaz’s most important work is his collection of responsa (Teshuvot ha-Radbaz, 1882) in seven parts. Other of his responsa appear in the works of his contemporaries. Various individual responsa have been published from manuscript. Radbaz’s novellae are quoted by his pupil R. Bezalel Ashkenazi in his Shitah Mekubbezet and he himself refers to his novellae to tractate Shabbat (Magen David, Introd.). His other works Yekar Tiferet (Smyrna, 1757), a commentary on those portions of Maimonides' Mishneh Torah on which there is no Maggid Mishneh commentary, i.e., on the sections Hafla'ah, Zera'im, Kedushah, and Shofetim, were published in the Romm (Vilna) editions of the Mishneh Torah, and on Sheluhin ve-Shuttafin, and Avadim by S.B. Werner (Jerusalem, 1945); Mezudat David (written 1556, Zolkiew, 1862), an explanation of the traditional 613 commandments, both rational and kabbalistic; Migdal David (written 1560, Lemberg, 1883), a kabbalistic commentary on the Song of Songs; and Keter Malkhut, a piyyut for the Day of Atonement, which has been frequently published and is included in the Heidenheim Mahzor. His other works are still in manuscript.

 

Hebrew Description:   

וספר הון יוסף ... [מאת] מוהרדב"ז זללה"ה >כי קרוב ... אל משפחתי ואל בית אבי ...<, שו"ת על חלק אה"ע ... קרא שמו דברי דוד ... מעט אשר היה לפני שו"ת על ח' אה"ע ... ואבנה גם אנכי ... דברי הרב ... מראש ... דברי יוסף אחרונים ... וקראתי שמו הון יוסף ... פי המדבר ... יוסף ... בלא"א ... זכריה זאמירו זללה"ה ...

כולל תשובות ר' דוד אבי זמרא בעניני אבן העזר בשם "דברי דוד", ונספחו להן תשובות באותן ענינים מאת ר' יוסף זאמירו, בשם "הון יוסף". עד תשובות. מסימן סו: שו"ת לשונות הרמב"ם ז"ל. קט דף: ספר הון יוסף. ר' יוסף זאמירו הוסיף גם הערות וחידושים משלו בתוך תשובות הרדב"ז. בהוצאת ווארשא תרמ"ב (והמהדורות שנדפסו על פיה) נקראאות תשובות הרדב"ז הללו בשם חלק ז.

הסכמות: רבני תונס: ר' יצחק טייב, ר' יצחק הכהן טנו'גי, ר' שלמה זרקא, ר' נתן בורגיל, ר' ישועה בסיס, ר' יוסף אריכס, ר' יאודה ב"ר אברהם הכהן טנו'גי ור' יצחק הכהן, בחדש השלישי תקפ"ח; רבני ליוורנו: ר' שלמה ב"ר דוד חיים מלאך, ר' דוד מועטי ור' יהושע ב"ר שלמה ליאוני, שלהי חדש תשרי תק"ץ.

 

References:   

EJ; JE; Waxman, Literature, 2, 179–81; Bibliography of the Hebrew Book 1470-1960 #000132632