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Ta’alumot Sofrim, R. Levi Isaac ben Moses Kravtsov, Berdichev 1894

תעלומות סופרים - Only Edition

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  • Lot Number 53980
  • Title (English) Ta’alumot Sofrim
  • Title (Hebrew) תעלומות סופרים
  • Note Only Edition
  • Author R. Levi Isaac ben Moses Kravtsov
  • City Berdichev
  • Publisher חיים יעקב שעפטיל
  • Publication Date 1894
  • Estimated Price - Low 200
  • Estimated Price - High 500

  • Item # 2502432
  • End Date
  • Start Date

Physical Description

Only edition. 4, 38, [1], 16 pp., octavo 204:124 mm., usual age staining, some chipping, bound in modern cloth wrappers.


Detail Description

Only edition of this work on safrut, that is the laws applying to the writing of tefillin by R. Levi Isaac ben Moses Karabzov of Berdichev. The title page informs that Ta’alumot  Sofrim addresses the making of the batim (boxes) of tefillin and the ink for stam (sefer Torah, tefillin, and mezuzot). The laws and the material sutable for both the tefillin shel rosh and shel yad (head and hand), all in proper order. There is an introduction in which R. Kravtsov explains that it is an explanation of the words of the gedolim, namely R. Zalman Margolious of Brod and R. Mordedai Benet, Next is a lengthy preface and then the detailed text. Below the text are glosses entitled Mishpahot Sofrim.<p>Of interest is that in 1968, Yigael Yadin acquired the only known capsule of the head tefillin of this period, found together the portions of the text. It was almost certainly found in one of the Qumran caves, probably Cave 4, and its importance lies in the fact that exhaustive scientific tests proved that of the four passages, all tied, three were in the original positions in the capsules in which they were found, and they thus afford undeniable evidence of both the manner in which the slips had been folded and tied, and the materials used for the tying. Of additional importance is the fact that they include the text of the Decalogue. This last discovery confirms an assumption which was made on the basis of certain passages in the Talmud. According to the Mishnah (Tam. 5:1), in the Temple the priests used to recite the Decalogue together with the three paragraphs of the Shema , but the addition of the Decalogue to the Shema, which "according to the law should be part of the daily service," was discontinued "because of the errors of the sectarians that they should not say 'these alone were given to Moses in Sinai'" (TJ, Ber. 1:8, 3c; cf. also TB, ibid., 12a). The Nash Papyrus of the second century (JQR, 15 (1902–03), 392–408) contains the Decalogue with the first paragraph of the Shema. The Sifrei to Deuteronomy 4:6, which deals with the tefillin, used two exegetical interpretations to justify the exclusion of the Decalogue from the tefillin, and it was plausibly assumed that originally, or in some quarters, the tefillin actually included the Decalogue, but it was excluded for the same reason as from the daily service, the exegetical justifications for the exclusion being merely a rationalization. The order of the passages in those tefillin, apart from their additions, follow the order given by Rashi, with one exception, that the order given by him for the second and third paragraphs is transposed, a change which is expressly permitted in the Talmud (Men. 34bf.). S. Goren (see bibl.) has examined the tefillin of the Dead Sea Scrolls from the point of view of the halakhah, and has established that whereas the tefillin of Murabba'at accord with the halakhah, those of Qumran 1 and 4 are sectarian in nature. It therefore seems probable that during the first century there were considerable variations and differences of custom as to the order, and additions to, the four basic paragraphs of the tefillin, but by the beginning of the second century, uniformity was established as to the text, while two traditions remained and persisted as to the order in which these paragraphs were to be written. The form of the tefillin and the materials used, both the parchment and the tendons used for tying the passages, not only confirm the regulations given in the Talmud but in many cases throw new light on obscure passages.


Hebrew Description

... על דבר עשיית הבתים לתפילין והדיו הכשר לסת"ם. ויבואר בו איזה דברים קשי ההבנה בהרא"ש ז"ל וביו"ד [יורה דעה] הלכות ס"ת [ספר תורה]... ממני... בעל המסדר תקון סופרים וויהם כסף [פיעטרקוב תרמ"ט] לוי יצחק (בלא"א מהר"ם [משה] Kravtsov)  ש"ץ וסופר בברדיטשוב. (חלק [א-] ב).

שם משפחת המחבר באותיות קיריליות.  בשער ובאישור הצנזור שמעבר לו: 1894, ובאישור הצנזור שבשולי הפתיחה: 1895.  

ספירה שניה, בלא שער: חלק ב מקונטרס תעלומות סופרים.  ראינו טופס בלא חלק ב. 



BE tav 1491: EJ; Bibliography of the Hebrew Book 1470-1960 #000180227