Mateh Dan-Cuzari Chelek Sheni.

AUCTION 88 | Tuesday, March 17th, 2020 at 1:00pm
K2 Online Sale: Hebrew & Judaic Books and Manuscripts

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Lot 184

Mateh Dan-Cuzari Chelek Sheni.

<<FIRST EDITION.>> Hebrew and Spanish text in parallel columns. Two title pages each with architectural arch incorporating portrait-roundel of Judah the Prince flanked by armor-suited angels. ff. (11), 254. Ex-library, few leaves loose, discolored. Modern boards. Large 4to. Vinograd, London 24; Roth, London 5.

London: Thomas Ilive 1714

Est: $600 - $900
Haham of the Spanish & Portuguese Synagogue in London, David Nieto (1654-1728) composed the Mateh Dan as a defense of rabbinic Judaism from the scorn of free-thinking former Marranos. Nieto considered his work as a continuation in the tradition of Judah Halevi’s Cuzari (1506) a philosophical exposition of Judaism, opposing the attacks of Karaites, heretics and other creeds. Nieto states in his introduction the reason behind his two-fold title “Mateh Dan-Cuzari Chelek Sheni” is as follows: Dan is the initials of the Author’s name and Mateh is the Hebrew word for staff. Thus the Author sought to “smite the Karaites with the rod of truth and logic" and reveal the weaknesses of their faulty arguments. The sub-title "Cuzari Chelek Sheni" highlights the fact that Nieto was following in the footseps of Judah HaLevi, author of the original Cuzari. Although the purpose of the Cuzari was to prove the validity of the Bible, Nieto concentrates on the the Oral Tradition of the Torah, which HaLevi treated only in a general manner.