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Pilpula Harifta, R. Yom Tov Lipmann Heller, Hanau 1716

פלפולא חריפתא

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  • Lot Number 54416
  • Title (English) Pilpula Harifta
  • Title (Hebrew) פלפולא חריפתא
  • Note Hasidic
  • Author R. Yom Tov Lipmann Heller
  • City Hanau
  • Publisher Ba’usang
  • Publication Date 1716
  • Estimated Price - Low 300
  • Estimated Price - High 600

  • Item # 2610560
  • End Date
  • Start Date

Physical Description

[2], 29, [1 marked 29], 33-64 ff. folio 306:180 mm., wide margins, usual age and damp staining, worming touching letters, bound in contemporary boards, rubbed.

Detail Description

Commentary on Piskei ha-Rosh (R. Asher ben Jehiel) on Seder Nezikin by R. Yom Tov Lipmann ben Nathan ha-Levi Heller. The title page has a decorative frame and lengthy text that begins this toldot “the greatest man among the giants” (Joshua 14:15) refined seventy times “statutes that are good, and judgments” (cf. Ezekiel 20:5). There is an introduction by the author and then the text, beginning with Bava Mezia.

R. Yom Tov Lipmann ben Nathan ha-Levi Heller (1579–1654) was a Moravian rabbi, and best known for his commentary on the Mishnah. R. Heller was born in Wallerstein, Bavaria. He received his education in the home of his grandfather, R. Moses Wallerstein, as well as, among others, from R. Judah Loew b. Bezalel (the Maharal) of Prague. Besides his great talmudic knowledge, he engaged in the study of Kabbalah, religious philosophy, and Hebrew grammar and also acquired an extensive general knowledge, particularly of mathematics, astronomy, and natural sciences. In 1597, when only 18 years of age, he was appointed dayyan in Prague, and served in this office for 28 years, during which period he acquired renown for his profound knowledge and for his integrity. In 1625 he was appointed rabbi of Nikolsburg (Moravia) but in that same year moved to Vienna where he was elected av bet din. Through his endeavor the suburb of Leopoldstadt (at that time still outside the boundaries of Vienna) was confirmed as a special residential quarter for Jews. Heller saw to its communal organization and orderly administration, until the settlement became "a city filled with the qualities of wisdom, wealth, and honor" (Megillat Eivah). In 1627 he returned to Prague. When, during the Thirty Years' War (1618–48), it was decreed that the Jews of Bohemia must pay a heavy tax to the government, the leaders of the Prague community, including R. Heller, imposed taxes upon its members to repay the loan which the community had borrowed to pay the impost. Several of the poor who opposed the assessment accused Heller of favoring the wealthy and, when their plot to remove him from office failed, slandered him to the emperor Ferdinand II, accusing him of contempt of the state and of insulting Christianity. He was imprisoned on June 25, 1629, and transferred to Vienna. When during the investigation he was asked how he dare defend the Talmud since it had been ordered to be burned by the pope, he replied: "Jews are obliged to obey the Talmud which is the main Oral Law." The sentence of death passed upon him by a court of Catholic priests was, "by grace of the emperor," commuted to a large monetary fine. Through the efforts of the Jews of Prague the other heavy penalties imposed were partly reduced. Instead of his books being banned, only the fragments on which he was condemned were erased, and the prohibition imposed on his serving in the rabbinate throughout the Austrian Empire was limited to the district of Prague. After spending 40 days in prison he returned to Prague in August 1629. He appointed the fifth of Tammuz, the day on which the order for his arrest was issued, as a fast day for all the members of his family. The details were described by R. Heller in his autobiography, Megillat Eivah.

In 1631 he removed to Poland, living first in Lublin and subsequently in Brest-Litovsk and Nemirov (among other things he composed a eulogy on the destruction of Nemirov in the Chmielnicki massacres). From 1634 to 1643 he served as rabbi of Vladimir-Volynski. Heller took part in the rabbinical activities of the Council of Four Lands and was one of the members of the permanent battei-din and one of the chief speakers at the conventions during the fairs in Lublin, Jaroslaw, and other places. He demanded that the takkanot and bans of 1587 prohibiting the purchase of rabbinic office be renewed and strengthened. This incited against him the anger of "those that hate without cause, and mendacious enemies." As a result of a calumny, a decree of expulsion from Vladimir was issued against him, but this decree too was rescinded through the efforts of his influential friends in Warsaw. In 1643 he was called to serve in the Cracow rabbinate and after the death in 1648 of R. Joshua b. Joseph , author of the Meginnei Shelomo, he also headed the Cracow yeshivah. During his residence in Cracow, R. Heller prepared a second edition of his Tosefot Yom Tov (Prague, 1614–17; Cracow 1643–442). Following the persecutions of 1648–49 he concerned himself with the amelioration of the lot of agunot . On his death R. Zelig Margulies testified of him that "he did not leave the wherewithal to purchase shrouds even though he was the av bet din of Cracow… all this, because he never took dishonest money" (Introd. Ḥibburei Likkutim (Amsterdam, 1715)). Contrary to popular belief, R. Heller was married only once. His wife's name was Rachel. In his commentary Tosefot Yom Tov, Heller mentions in various places his four sons, Moses, Samuel, Abraham, and Levi.


Hebrew Description

... על רבינו האשר"י [רבינו אשר ב"ר יחיאל] מסדר נזיקין ... הקים ... מוה"ר יום טוב ליפמן ... נדפס ... בשנת ב'א' ש'ל'ו'ם' [שע"ט] בק"ק פראג וברבות עתים וימים נקרעו ... גם זאת בשריפה גדולה שהי' בק"ק הנ"ל נשרפו כל מחמודי עין ספרי הקדש ובכללם ספר הנחמד הנ"ל ... העיר ה' את רוחו של ... מוה"ר עזריאל (בא"א מוה"ר משה מעשיל זצ"ל) מווילנא ... ובנו כהרר ניסן ... להדפיסו שניות ...

דף מט, ב-נח, א: קצור פסקי הרא"ש. דף נח, ב-סד: סימני פסקי הרא"ש. על פי ההוצאה הראשונה שנדפסה בשם "מעדני מלך".



EJ; CD-EPI 0127259