(“The Tosfos Yom-Tov.”) Mishnayoth. Complete set with commentaries of R. Ovadiah of Bartinura and Tosfoth Yom Tov.

AUCTION 75 | Thursday, March 08th, 2018 at 1:00 PM
Auction of Fine Judaica: Printed Books, Manuscripts, Autograph Letters, Antiquities, Ceremonial Objects & Graphic Art

Back to Catalogue View 3D Catalogue Download Catalogue

Lot 160

(“The Tosfos Yom-Tov.”) Mishnayoth. Complete set with commentaries of R. Ovadiah of Bartinura and Tosfoth Yom Tov.

<<First edition of commentary of Tosfoth Yom Tov.>> Bound in six volumes. Titles within floral borders surrounded by different appropriate verses pertaining to each order. With elaborate printer’s marks on f. 4b of vol. I and 1b of vol. II. Occasional marginalia, with stamps of Ze’ev Shachor of Jerusalem. ff. 86; 111; 108; 132; 117; 160, few leaves mispaginated. Browned and stained, several leaves neatly laid to size. Modern elaborately gilt crushed scarlet morocco. Housed in fine, custom fitted box. 4to. Vinograd, Prague 246; Heller, The Seventeenth Century Hebrew Book, pp. 308-9.

Prague: Moshe ben Yoseph Betzalel Katz 1614-17

Est: $50,000 - $70,000
The great Rabbi Yom Tov Lipmann Heller (1579-1654) became universally known as the ‘Tosfos Yom Tov’ after his major commentary to the Mishnah, of which this is the first edition. In his youth he studied in Prague under Rabbi Yehudah Loewe (the Mahara’l) and by aged 19 was asked to sit on the Maharal’s Judicial Court. By 1627 the Tosfos Yom Tov was appointed Chief Rabbi of Prague. What motivated the Tosfos Yom Tov to compose this commentary was due to the Maharal’s insistence on the necessity of Mishnah study. It was entitled so, as it acts as a supplement to the existing classical commentary of R. Ovadiah of Bartinura. Tosfos Yom Tov reconciles contradictions, elucidates obscurities, clarifies the correct reading of the text and provides Halachic conclusions. All his comments are formulated with great clarity and logical rationalization often following the footsteps of his teacher, the Mahra’l. This first edition contains the enthusiastic approbations of the two great rabbinic leaders of Prague: Rabbi Isaiah Horowitz (the Shala’h HaKadosh) and Rabbi Shlomo Ephraim Luntschytz (the Kli Yakar). The Shala’h writes here: “Happy is the eye that sees all this, he reveals all that is hidden and draws out everything that is deep…the land will become full of knowledge from this work.” The publication of this monumental first edition took two years and ten months. The colophon states the author completed the work at the age of 38. “Although I have not reached the age of ‘Understanding’ (age 40), I have not held back…because of the great benefit that students will derive from the diligent study of Mishnayoth (with this commentary)…” The colophon concludes with a poem with an acrostic featuring the name Yom Tov, in conjunction with the names of the six Orders of the Mishnah. <<EXCEPTIONALLY RARE.>> The tremendous scarcity of this first edition attests to its immediate appeal and overwhelming usage through the centuries. The National Library of Israel does not possess a complete set; Vinograd records only the final three volumes.