AUCTION 12 | Tuesday, March 13th, 2001 at 1:00
Important Hebrew Printed Books and Manuscripts From the Library of the London Beth Din

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Lot 155


Hatzahah Al Eiduth Ha’get [collected responsa]. FIRST EDITION. Printer’s device on title (Yaari’s Printer’s Marks no. 32). ff. 77. Signed by censor on final leaf. [Vinograd, Venice 515; Mehlaman 1688; not in Adams]. Venice, Giorgio di Cavali, 1566. * BENVENISTE, CHAIM BEN ISRAEL. Shailoth Uteshuvoth [responsa]. FIRST EDITION. Title within typographical boarder. ff. (1),52. [Vinograd, Const. 531; Yaari, Const. 401]Constantinople, Reuben and Nissim Aschkenazi,1743. Stained in places. Recent boards. Sm 4to.

v.p.: v.d.

Est: $1,200 - $1,800
This rare volume deals with the infamous Tamari-Venturozzo divorce scandal. The controversy, which hinged on matters of Jewish law, roused the Jewish public throughout Italy and was fuled by the argumentative spirit of the Renaissance in Christian Italy. In 1560, Samuel ben Moses of Perugia, known as Ventura or Venturozzo, betrothed Tamar, the daughter of Joseph ben Moses Ha’cohen Tamari, the chief physician of Venice and a powerful man, well connected to the Venitian government. As was then customary in Venice, the marriage vow was made at the time of betrothal. Three months later, after a quarral had broke out between Venturozzo and his future father-in-law, the younger man left Venice. Venturozzo spent four years persued by Tamari who insisted that he divorce his daugther. After extensive legal deliberations, Venturozzo returned to Venice and and divorced his betrothed. However, he later claimed the divorce had been extracted under duress and was thus invalid. Tamari accused Venturozzo of mercenary motives and moreover, contended that to cast an aspersion on a divorce after it had been granted did not render it invalid. The insuing controversy embroiled most of the Italian rabbis as well as several rabbis from Turkey and the Eastern countries including the Mabit and the Alshich. Tamari’s suporters were led by the rabbis of Venice and Venturozzo’s party was headed by R. Moses Provenzali of Mantua. In due course, almost all the prominant Italian Rabbis became embroiled. Tamari used his political influence to have Venturozzo outlawed. Venturozzo had the Duke of Florence and the Duke of Mantua intercede on his behalf. The city governments and the Cardinals of Ferrara and Bologna were also involved. An inscription in the hand R. Tzvi Hirsch Berlin on the final leaf of this volume, cites a number of the other published responsa from other works concerning this case, including those of the Marshdam, Mabit and others. For a detailed discussion of the backgound of the Tamari-Venturozzo divorce scandal, see S. Simonson, The Scandal of the Tamari-Venturozzo Divorce, in Tarbiz, Vol. 28 (1959) pp. 375-392 and in History of the Jews in the Duchy of Mantua, (1965), pp. 501-504. See also, E. Kupfer, Further Clarifications Concerning the Scandal… in Tarbiz, Vol. 38 (1969) pp. 54-60 and Y. Yudlov, Bibliographical Notes on the Tamari-Venturozzo Affair, in Alei Sefer, Vol. 2 (1979) pp. 105-120. According to Yudlov, this volume which represents the Tamari side of the controversy, was issued in a few phases- first a preliminary version and then fuller, more complete versions. This copy is the full, complete version.