Viku’ach Shivah Harim-Dialogo dos Montes

AUCTION 6 | Tuesday, November 17th, 1998 at 1:00
Fine Judaica: Books, Manuscripts and Works of Art The Property of Various Owners

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Lot 145

Viku’ach Shivah Harim-Dialogo dos Montes

FIRST EDITION. With thematic sermons by Saul Levi Mortara. Prepared for publication by Isaac Belifante.Text in Portuguese and Hebrew pp.(12),100. Stamps on title with upper corner taped on verso, stained. Recent cloth-backed marbled boards. Sm.4to Kayserling 89-90

Amsterdam: G.J. Janson for I. Mondovy 1767

Est: $3,000 - $5,000
The author was born Paulo de Pina in 1575 of a New Christian family in Lisbon. In 1599 he left for Rome to become a monk, en route he was persuaded by the famous physician Elijah Montalto to adopt the faith of his ancestors. After spending three years in Brazil he took a new name and settled in Amsterdam where he became a prominent member of the founding Synagogue of Amsterdam, Beth Jahacob, helping to create the institutions of the Amsterdam community In honor of the Amsterdam synagogue, Jessurun composed this remarkable drama performed on the Festival of Shevu’oth 1624. It consists of a series of dialogues between the principle mountains of the Holy Land in praise of Judaism. A reworking of the Midrashic allegory of the mountains vying among themselves to receive Moses ascent heavenward for the Law of God. “Jessurun gave literary expression to the epic of Portuguese Jewry...[he] succeeded in producing a specifically Jewish work in the Portuguese language, for which the only precedent is Samuel Usque’s Consolaçao Tribulaçoens de Israel.” For an English translation of the work see P. Polack in The American Sephardi (1970) vol. IV pp.48-88; and see C. Roth, History of the Marranos (1932) pp.312-6; Catalogue de Vente de la Succession de feu M.D. Henriques de Castro... Amsterdam, 1899, no. 993. (See lot ***); H.G. Enelow, Isaac Belifante-An Eighteenth Century Bibliophile in: Studies in Jewish Memory of A.S. Freidus (1929) pp.5-30