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 183


Migdal David [commentary to the Book of Ruth, with text]. ff. (4), 4-72. [Vinograd, Amsterdam 454; Fuks, Amsterdam 344]. Uri Phoebush b. Aaron Halevi * Shir Hilulim [poem in honor of the dedication of a new Torah Scroll]. ff. 2. [Vinograd, Amsterdam 460; Fuks, Amsterdam no.472 and see p.340].David (de Castro) Tartas. Later boards, rubbed, covers detached. 8vo

Amsterdam: v.p. 1680

Est: $1,200 - $1,800
CF: AM-JUD. According to Chaim David Azulai (CHID”A) in his work Shem Ha’gedolim,(Maarechet Hasefarim under this work), Migdal David was plagiarized from a manuscript commentary entitled Torath Chesed by the 16th century Kabbalist from Aleppo, R. Chaim Ha’kohen, a disciple of R. Chaim Vital. The name of the real author is hinted at the end of the work “kol hakathuv le-Chaim”- referring to the actual author, one Chaim. See also M.J. Heller, David ben Aryeh Leib of Lida and his Migdal David: Accusations of Plagiarism in Eighteenth Century Amsterdam in: Shofar, Winter 2001 pp.117-28. Second work: A rare 4-page poem in honor of the dedication of a new Torah Scroll. The first letter of each verse provides the name of the author - the Chief Rabbi of Amsterdam’s Aschkenazi Congregation. The printer Tartas records the name of his brother Isaac Tartas, who was burned at the stake during an Auto-da-fé. Isaac Tartas emigrated to Recife in Dutch Brazil in 1641. From there he moved to Bahia in 1644 which was under Portuguese jurisdiction. There he was seized as a judaizer and was sent to Lisbon to be tried by the Inquisition. After a lengthy trial, in which Isaac steadfastly refused to abjure his Jewish faith, he was executed. This resulted in diplomatic exchanges between the Dutch and Portuguese Governments on behalf of other Jewish captives in Brazil who originated from regions under Dutch sovreignty. See A. Wiznitzer, Isaac de Castro A Brazilian Jewish Martyr in: The Jewish Experience in America (1971) Vol. II pp.205-17. The last page of the poem records the name of the compositor: Jacob Haim ben Moses Raphael de Cordova of Brazil. A year later in 1681- and known simply as Jacob de Cordovera - he printed Rabbi Isaac Aboab da Fonseca’s Parafrasis Commentada sobre el Pentateucho. See R. Weinstein, Stones of Memory in: American Jewish Archives Vol. XLIV No.1 (1992) pp. 106-7.