Arba'ah Turim - Hoshen haMishpat, R. Jacob b. Asher (Tur), Zhitomir 1858 (50512)

ארבעה טורים - חשן המשפט - Hasidic

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Listing Details

Lot Number: 50512
Title (English): Arba'ah Turim - Hoshen haMishpat
Title (Hebrew): ארבעה טורים - חשן המשפט
Author: R. Jacob b. Asher (Tur) - R. Joseph Caro
City: Zhitomir
Publisher: חנינא ליפא ויהושע העשיל שפירא
Publication Date: 1858
Estimated Price: $200.00 USD - $500.00 USD
Content/listingImages/20210110/f9c5aa5d-00ba-40e8-b37f-bb08f68a78cb_fullsize.jpg Content/listingImages/20210110/0ec703b1-cf1e-4dc0-9497-2d2a8d7a567f_fullsize.jpg


Physical Description

214; 130; 62 [of 64] ff., folio, 340:204 mm., nice margins, usual age and damp staining, lacking final 2 ff. of part II.. A good copy bound in contemporary boards., rubbed.

Detail Description

Part IV, Hoshen Mishpat, 427 chapters on civil law and personal relations.

The arrangement of the book, its simple style, and its wealth of content, made it a basic work in Hebrew law, and opened a new era in the realm of halakhic codification. R. Jacob invariably quotes the text of the Talmud and its commentaries as well as the opinions of authorities who preceded him, and then lays down the halakhah, mainly following Maimonides and his own father. On questions of faith and belief, however, he does not hesitate expressly to oppose Maimonides. He was aware of the views of the Hasidei Ashkenaz, whose influence is discernible particularly in the Orah Hayyim.

The excellence of the work soon led to its dissemination throughout the Diaspora. Its authority has been recognized and accepted by all Jewish scholars throughout the generations, many of whom (including R. Joseph Caro, R. Moses Isserles, R. Isaac Aboab, R. Jacob ibn Habib, R. Joel Sirkes, and R. Hayyim Benveniste) wrote commentaries on it, and made precis of it. When R. Caro wrote his major work, the Beit Yosef, he decided to "base it upon the Turim... because it contains most of the views of the posekim." R. Jacob b. Asher (1270?–1340), was the son of R. Asher b. Jehiel (the Rosh), under whom he studied. In 1303 he accompanied his father from Germany to Toledo, where he lived in great poverty, shunning rabbinical office and devoting all his time to study. In his learning, he avoided prolixity and casuistry. Typical of his style is his first halakhic work, Sefer ha-Remazim, in which he gave the halakhic rulings deduced from his father's work, Ha-Asheri (under the title Kizzur Piskei ha-Rosh, Constantinople, 1515). R. Jacob's enduring fame rests upon his major work, the Arba'ah Turim, as a result of which, he is commonly referred to as "the Ba'al ha-Turim." Perceiving that "reasoning had become faulty, controversy had increased, opinions had multiplied, so that there is no halakhic ruling which is free from differences of opinion," he decided to compile a work to embrace all halakhot and customs incumbent upon the individual and the community.

R. Jacob also wrote a comprehensive commentary on the Pentateuch (Zolkiew, 1806), containing the best expositions of the peshat ("literal meaning") by earlier Bible commentators, such as Saadiah Gaon, Rashi, Abraham ibn Ezra, David Kimhi, and others, in particular abstracting "the straightforward explanations" from the commentary of Nahmanides and disregarding the kabbalistic ones, since "my soul has not entered its secret" (cf. Gen. 49:6). To the beginning of each section, he added "as a little appetizer, gematriot and explanations of the masorah, in order to attract the mind." Ironically, it was just these "appetizers" that were published (under the title Perush ha-Torah le-R. Ya'akov Ba'al ha-Turim (Constantinople, 1500 and 1514)) some three centuries before the main part of the work, and it was this portion only which was widely known for many generations.

R. Jacob neither served in any rabbinical post nor received any remuneration from the community but was involved in communal activities. He appended his signature to a sentence of death upon an informer (Judah b. Asher, Responsa Zikhron Yehudah (1846), no. 75). His ethical will to his children (first published Pressburg, 1885) reflects his high spiritual and cultural level. A late tradition, mentioned by H. J. D. Azulai, relates that Jacob set out for Erez Israel but died on the journey.

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    

... כאשר נדפסו הטורים הראשונים בסלאוויטא [תקע"ה-תקע"ז] ... וכעת נתוספו הגהות בטור וב"י וד"מ [ובית יוסף ודרכי משה] שהגיה הרב ... יוסף דק"ק בראניווקע ...תרי"ז-תרי"ט

טור (ד): חשן המשפט. [חלק א]: סי’ א-קעה. תרי"ט, 1858. 428 עמ’. [חלק ב]: סי’ קעו-תכה. [2], 260; 380 [צ"ל: 128] עמ’. ספירת-דפים משובשת.



EJ; JE; Waxman, Literature, index.; Bibliography of the Hebrew Book 1470-1960 #000136111