Tzemah Tzaddik, R. Judah Aryeh (Leone) Modena, New York 1899 (50496)

צמח צדיק; מאמר מגן וצנה

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Listing Details

Lot Number: 50496
Title (English): Tzemah Tzaddik; Ma’amar Magen ve-Zinnah
Title (Hebrew): צמח צדיק; מאמר מגן וצנה
Note: Second work first edition
Author: R. Judah Aryeh (Leone) Modena
City: New York; Breslau
Publisher: A. H. Rosenberg; Hirsch Sulzbach (A. Hohendorf, Liegnitz)
Publication Date: 1899; 1855
Estimated Price: $200.00 USD - $500.00 USD
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Description

Physical Description

Portrait, [4], xv, 77, [2], portrait pp., octavo, 194:124 mm., light staining, wide margins, gloss paper. A ery good copy bound in later cloth over boards.

Bound with second work by Modena, first edition, with historical review in German by Dr. Abraham Geiger.

 

Detail Description

Zemah Zaddik is an ethical work, translated by Modena from the popular Italian Fior di virt&uacute; (Flower of the Virtuous), with moral sayings taken from Bible and Talmud. In his autobiography he describes Zemah Zaddik as being concerned with the improvement of ethical qualities, stating, although not completely accurately, that, “I substituted a saying of the Talmud for every reference from their Scriptures or saints. It was printed in [5]300 [1599/1600], and there too, my name is mentioned in an acrostic only.” The volume begins with a front piece with a portrait of Modena, followed by English and Hebrew title pages, a preface from Jacob Druckerman, who edited and brought this edition to press, a biography of Modena and then the text. There are numerous small illustrations throughout the book. The English title page describes Zemah Zaddik as, “A small treatise on ethics and morality, with explanatory illustrations by Rabbi Leon Modena. Reprinted from and edited from the first (Venice 1600), with additional references and notes, revised and supplemented with the authors biography and portrait.” <p>R. Judah Aryeh (Leone) Modena (1571–1648), Italian rabbi, scholar, and writer, is one of, if not the most fascinating Jewish personality of the Italain Renaissance. He was a child prodigy in both Jewish religious studies and music, becoming a scholar of stupendous productivity and a famous rabbi of the Venetian community. He wrote many books, in Hebrew and Italian, and his fame spread far beyond Venice. His eloquent sermons gained popularity even among non-Jews. Priests, diplomats and princes listened to them and were eager to receive his instruction. In the manner of his age, Leone also practiced a number of other occupations, such as teacher, interpreter, musician, editor-printer, proof-corrector, bookseller and letter-writer. His writings seem to express the conflict between Jewish tradition and the rational criticism of a seventeenth-century humanist. His life was marred by personal instability and ill fortune. Not only was he in perennial difficulties because of gambling, he also lived to see three of his five children die and his wife become insane. Despite these tribulations, he was a prolific writer. His works include religious poems, biblical exegesis, a defense of traditional Judaism, an attack on traditional Judaism, a Hebrew-Italian dictionary, and one of the earliest autobiographies written in Hebrew.<p>Modena’s sermons, collected in Midbar Yehudah, are also unrivalled examples of the rhetorical and homiletical art which developed in Renaissance Italy. Although not always original in content, they are consummate in form and influence later Hebrew homiletics. However Modena's main contribution to Hebrew literature was in polemics. In Magen ve-Zinnah he attacks systematically the views of Uriel da Costa, and defends the oral tradition and talmudic literature; the Kol Sakhal, on the other hand, which is attributed to him, makes the most bitter and complete case against oral tradition to be written in Hebrew until the Reform movement of the 19th century, when many of the arguments were repeated. In Ari Nohem Modena followed the tradition of anti-kabbalistic polemic started in Italy by Elijah Delmedigo in the 15th century. His Magen va-Herev is one of the most effective anti-Christian polemics to be written in Hebrew (even in the incomplete form in which the work has been preserved). Modena used contemporary scientific and historical critical methods, as well as traditional exegesis, to show the superficiality of the Christian interpretation of Scripture and the illogicalities in its dogma. Modena regarded his life as a failure, especially because he felt that he had lost the battle against his own shortcomings. However, his literary achievements disprove his own evaluation. Modena's published writings, many of them embodying the word aryeh ("lion") or Yehudah in the title in reference to his name, include: Beit Lehem Yehudah, an index to the Ein Ya'akov (Venice, 1625); Bat Yehudah (Venice, 1635, subsequently incorporated in the Ein Ya'akov, to which it is a supplement); Zemah Zaddik, a translation of the Italian ethical work Fior di Virt— (Venice, 1600); Galut Yehudah (Novo dittionario hebraico e italiano; Venice, 1612; Padua, 1640); Midbar Yehudah, sermons (Venice, 1602); Lev Aryeh, mnemotechnical (Venice, 1612); Sur me-Ra, against gambling (Venice, 1595); Hayyei Yehudah, autobiography (see above; ed. A. Kahana, Zhitomir, 1911); Historia de' riti Ebraici (in Italian), written at the request of the English ambassador in Venice for presentation to King James I (Paris, 1637).

Added t.p.: Tsemah Tsaddiq <A righteous offspring> ... on ethics and morality... by Rabbi Leon Modena. Reprinted... in the form of the first edition... with... references and notes... the authors biography and portrait by Jacob Druckerman...

 

Hebrew Description

צמח צדיק... עם ציורים... כתבנית ההוצאה הראשונה... בהוספת מראה מקומות בפנים הספר והערות והגהה מדויקת, תולדות המחבר ותמונתו על ידי יעקב דרוקערמאן (נלקח... באביב ימיו... ולא זכה לראות נדפס הספר)...

מאמר מגן וצנה (בעד חז"ל), להר"ר יהודה אריה ממודינא. ונוסף עליו קצור שני חבוריו מגן וחרב עם חיי יהודה. הוצאתים לאור אני... אברהם גייגר חפק"ק ברסלא.

"מגן וצנה" כולל: שאלות "מאיש... חכם בעיניו [אוריאל דא קוסטא]... היה דר אז באמבורגו ושלח פה [ויניציאה] שאלותיו אלה, ש[נת] השע"ו", ובצידן תשובותיו של המחבר.

[2], יז דף; 63, [1] עמ’.

Leon da Modena ...und seine Stellung zur Kabbalah, zum Thalmud und zum Shriftenthume, von Dr. Abraham Geiger ...

 

Reference

Bibliography of the Hebrew Book 1470-1960 #000138699; 000138679; EJ; Leone Modena,  The Autobiography of a Seventeenth-Century Venetian Rabbi: Leon Modena's Life of Judah, (Princeton, 1988), Edited by Mark R. Cohen,  p. 124, 217, 224, 268;