Darash Moshe [homilies]

AUCTION 21 | Thursday, December 04th, 2003 at 1:00
Kestenbaum & Company Holds Inaugural Auction of Hebrew Printed Books & Manuscripts at Their New Galleries

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Lot 4

Darash Moshe [homilies]

FIRST EDITION. Title within architectural arch, Dayan Judah Lubetzky of Paris copy, with his signatures on end-papers. Trimmed and stained, opening and closing ff. laid to size, old boards, worn, sm. folio Vinograd, Venice 959; unknown to Habermann

Venice: Giovanni di Gara 1603

Est: $300 - $400
In his commentary, Don Isaac struggled to come to terms with the catastrophic suffering that Spanish Jewry had endured. Nachlath Avoth is his testimony to the significance of that suffering. For a detailed biography of Abrabanel’s experiences and philosophical conclusions regarding the Spanish Expulsion, see B. Netanyahu, Don Isaac Abravanel, Statesman & Philosopher (1968). R. Abraham Chill produced an abridged English translation of Nachlath Avoth: Abrabanel on Pirke Avoth (New York: Sepher-Hermon Press, 1991). Chill considers Abrabanel’s commentary the most profound and comprehensive of all the commentaries to the Ethics of the Fathers. He writes, “Abrabanel is heroic and bold enough to ask questions that are challenging, and then…search for the answers.” “Abrabanel’s methodology in his commentary to the Pirkei Avoth is much the same as in his better-known commentary on the Torah. Here, as there, he formulates a number of questions at the beginning of each Mishnah and then proceeds to answer them by an innovative interpretation” (p. 12). Nachlath Avoth was first printed in Constantinople in 1505, and threafter in Venice in 1545.