Or Zeru'a, R. Isaac b Moses of Vienna, Zhitomir 1862 (50026)

אור זרוע - First Edition - Hasidic

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Listing Details

Lot Number: 50026
Title (English): Or Zeru'a
Title (Hebrew): אור זרוע
Note: First Edition - Hasidic
Author: R. Hayyim ben Isaac Or Zeru'a
City: Zhitomir
Publisher: Hanina Lipa & Joshua Hoeschel Shapira
Publication Date: 1862
Estimated Price: $300.00 USD - $600.00 USD
Content/listingImages/20201006/cbaabe1f-a291-41ac-9a44-e442101a37a8_fullsize.jpg Content/listingImages/20201006/981f8955-1d63-46bd-a4d1-037f57fc9bca_fullsize.jpg Content/listingImages/20201006/11cb17bc-edb5-4473-ac78-20b2e0aedcd3_fullsize.jpg


Physical Description

First edition. [4], 3-232; 4, 184 pp., folio, 375:247 mm., wide margins, light age and damp staining, some foxing in ower inner margin. A good copy bound in contemporary full leather over boards, rubbed.


Detail Description

R. Isaac b Moses of Vienna, Or Zaru'a, (c. 1180-c. 1250), halakhic authority of Germany and France. He is usually referred to as Isaac Or Zaru'a, i.e., by the title of his important halakhic work. R. Isaac was born in Bohemia which he usually refers to as "the land of Canaan." In his youth he suffered from "poverty and wanderings" (Or Zaru'a pt. I, 6d), but as a result of his peregrinations he came in contact with contemporary German and French scholars, by whose teaching he was influenced. Among the scholars of Bohemia under whom he studied were R. Jacob b. Isaac ha-Lavan of Prague and R. Abraham b. Azriel, author of Arugat ha-Bosem. In Regensburg he studied under R. Judah ben Samuel he-Hasid and R. Abraham b. Moses. His chief teachers, "on whom he waited," were, according to him, R. Simhah b. Samuel of Speyer, R. Eliezer b. Joel ha-Levi (the Ravyah), and R. Judah b. Isaac Sir Leon of Paris. He noted their decisions and learned from their conduct and customs. In Wuerzburg he studied under R. Jonathan b. Isaac, and in France was a pupil of R. Samson of Coucy. He transmitted a ruling in the name of R. Samson of Coucy in connection with the decree in 1215 of Pope Innocent III compelling Jews to wear the yellow badge (ibid., pt.II Hilkhot Shabbat 84:3).

R. Isaac's monumental work Or Zaru'a shared the fate of similar halakhic works which were apparently not sufficiently copied because of their extensive nature, and as a result did not achieve large circulation. Only 600 years after his death were the first two parts of the work published (1862) from a manuscript in the possession of Akiva Lehren of Amsterdam. The first part deals with blessings, laws connected with the land of Israel, niddah and mikva'ot, laws of marriage, and a collection of responsa, mostly by the author, but some by other scholars. Part II contains topics which are now included in the Orah Hayyim section of the Shulhan Arukh. Two further parts were published at a later date (1887–90) from a manuscript in the British Museum. These contain halakhic rulings derived from the tractates Bava Kamma, Bava Mezia, Bava Batra, Sanhedrin, and Avodah Zarah. A supplement to this section, comprising decisions based on the tractate Shevu'ot, which had not been published in the previous collections because they were thought to pertain to tractate Shevi'it, was published by A. Freimann (in Festschrift zu I. Lewy... (1911), Heb. pt. 10–32). A number of abridgments have been made of the work, the best known of which is that by R. Isaac's son R. Hayyim b. Isaac Or Zaru'a, entitled Simanei Or Zaru'a which achieved a wide circulation although this work too was not at the disposal of all scholars. The quotations from R. Isaac Or Zaru'a in the Haggahot Asheri of R. Israel of Krems are from this abridgment. Although the work did not have a wide circulation, later authorities quote his views to a considerable extent from secondary sources, such as the Mordecai, the Haggahot Maimuniyyot, etc. The complete work constitutes a valuable collection of the halakhic rulings of German and French scholars, as well as being of great value for the history of Jewish communities in Europe during the Middle Ages (for instance, he discusses whether "our brothers in Bohemia" are permitted to carry arms on the Sabbath when they have to guard the city). A great part of the work is derived from his teacher R. Eliezer b. Joel ha-Levi, whose Ravyah was already available to R. Isaac. There is no definite information as to how the work was composed and edited, or the order in which the various parts were written. Before compiling the book, the author made notes and assembled data which were later written up, as he himself states (Or Zaru'a, pt. II, no. 38). He was still engaged in its compilation in 1246 (idem, Av. Zar. no. 107).

In 1847 the Shapira printing press was established by the three brothers Hanina Lipa, Aryeh Leib, and Joshua Heschel Shapira, sons of Samuel Abraham Abba Shapira, the printer in Slavuta. Until 1862 this was one of the only two Hebrew presses the Russian government permitted to operate in the whole of Russia, the other being in Vilna. This press had 18 hand presses and four additional large presses. In 1851 Aryeh Leib broke away and established his own printing press in Zhitomir. In these two establishments only sacred books of every kind were printed. During the years 1858–64 the press of the two brothers printed a beautiful edition of the Babylonian Talmud together with the Halakhot of Isaac Alfasi, while between 1860 and 1867 Aryeh Leib printed an edition of the Jerusalem Talmud.


Hebrew Description

חלק א-ב: נמצא... בכתב יד... בבית... עקיבא לעהרן ... מאמשטרדם ... ושמנו עליו... תקוני טעיות והשמטות... גם מראה מקומות לתלמוד בבלי וירושלמי והמיימוני... ואיזה הגהות.. ע"פ ספרי הראשונים אשר דברי המחבר באו בהם... גם ראינו כי נמצאו בו נוסחאות שונות מאשר נמצא בש"ס שלנו... והצגנו נוסחת הש"ס... גם נוסחת הכ"י לא זזה ממקומה. זיטאמיר, דפוס חנינא ליפא ויהושע עהשיל שפירא, תרכ"ב. [פסקי הלכות]. חברו... רבינו יצחק ב"ר משה נ"ע מווינא...

חלק א: על סדר זרעים, נשים, קדשים וטהרות. [2], 232 עמ'.

עמ' 12-5: "אלפא ביתא". "מלאני לבבי אני... המחבר... לפלפל באותיות של אלפא ביתא... לדרוש אלף האותיות שלו...".

עמ' 232-205: שאלות ותשובות.

חלק ב: על סדר מועד. 4, 184 עמ'.



Bibliography of the Hebrew Book 1470-1960 #000309285; EJ; Urbach, Tosafot, 359–70; Samet, in: KS, 43 (1968), 435.