Massekhet Purim, Tel Aviv 1955 (50540)

מסכת פורים - Purim Parody - First Edition

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Listing Details

Lot Number: 50540
Title (English): Massekhet Purim
Title (Hebrew): מסכת פורים
Note: Purim Parody - First Edition
City: Tel Aviv
Publisher: דפוס תרבות
Publication Date: 1955
Estimated Price: $200.00 USD - $500.00 USD
Content/listingImages/20210117/b173448b-cc7c-4838-9f36-f68c1251780a_fullsize.jpg Content/listingImages/20210117/d689021d-de2d-45c2-85fa-34ea0d4b92c5_fullsize.jpg


Physical Description

First edition, 14 pp. quarto, 250:170 mm., light age staining. A good copy loose in the original printed title wrappers.


Detail Description

Purim parody of the Israeli Government in the form of a talmudic tractate, with Perush Ram"i. Also included is a sectionon damages. Its humor is meant to be harmless, mocking the election process, forming of coalitions, and thegovernment.

Despite their generally good natured humor these Purim parodies have been the subject of rabbinic disapproval, for example, by R. Samuel Aboab (1610-94, Devar Shemu’el (Venice, 1702), no. 193) and R. Hayyim David Azulai (Hida). R. Aboab writes,

because of moshav latzim and they transgress because of ‘Turn ye not unto the idols’ (Levitiicus 19:4), and one who writes such works, who transcribes them, and it is not necessary to mention those who print them cause the multitude to sin, etc. . . . [the Torah] clothes itself in sackcloth and says Thy children have made me as a harp upon which the scorners play . . .

The first Massekhet Purim was composed by Zevi Hirsch b. Simeon Sommerhausen (1781-1853), Hebrew philologist. He lived in Holland and Belgium, was the author of one of the best Hebrew parodies which has retained its popularity, Haggadah le-Leil Shikkorim, a parody of the traditional Passover Haggadah. It is reminiscent of the classical winesongs in the Hebrew poetry of Spain and in the poetry of the other peoples – the Greek Anacreon and the Persian Omar Khayyam. Sommerhausen's Haggadah begins with these Anacreonic rhymes:

Drink and eat, eat and drink,
Dissipate every heart-ache
Eat and drink, drink and eat
Till you don't know black from white.


Hebrew Description:    

מסכת פורים : ... (עם פירוש רמ"י) : תלמוד ישראלי סטירי בחתימת רבונא



Israel Davidson, Parody in Jewish Literature (New York, 1907, reprint New York, 1966), pp. 19-29, 117; Heller, Sixteenth Century Book; Waxman, A History of Jewish Literature, II pp. 606-08; Not in Bibliography of the Hebrew Book 1470-1960