(Attributed to Nathan of Gaza). Chemdath Yamim ["Delight of Days:” Kabbalistic homilies through the year].

AUCTION 76 | Thursday, June 14th, 2018 at 3:00 PM
Fine Judaica: Printed Books, Manuscripts, Autograph Letters, Ceremonial & Graphic Art

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Lot 190

(Attributed to Nathan of Gaza). Chemdath Yamim ["Delight of Days:” Kabbalistic homilies through the year].

Four volumes. Lengthy Hebrew manuscript notes in an Italian hand on front and back endpapers of vol. I discussing the nature of this work and recording that writes that in Germany and Poland authorities stated that this work should be burned. Printed on thicker paper. ff. 109; 128, (1); 96 (i.e. 97); 103. Light wear, title of vol. II repaired, slight worming in places. Contemporary calf-backed boards, spines gilt. 4to. Vinograd, Venice 1963

Venice: n.p. 1763

Est: $400 - $600
Rarely has a single book generated such controversy as the anonymously penned Chemdath Yamim. There are those who cannot lavish enough praise on the work’s superior literary style and content, which is held to be conducive to sincere piety. At the other extreme, there are those, especially in the Aschkenazic community, who regard the book with deep suspicion, viewing it as the illegitimate brainchild of some lingering post-Sabbatian elements. Suspected within the text are cryptic references to the supposedly fallen “Messiah” that found their way past internal rabbinic censorship. Nonetheless, the Chemdath Yamim became a favorite within the Sephardic literary world and no warnings of the anti-Sabbatian R. Jacob Emden could wean Sephardic Jewry away from this literary masterpiece. Chemdath Yamim first appeared in Izmir in 1732 and then Constantinople in 1735; the present four volume third edition is by far the most elegant.