Beith Midoth

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 19

Beith Midoth

FIRST EDITION ff. 72. Scattered marginal notes in various Sephardic and Aschkenazic hands. Various important owners signatures,including Yaakov b. Abraham of Portugal,Yishmael Cohen andAbraham Rovigo. Marbled boards. Edges repaired on a few leaves with some staining otherwise a fine copy. 4to. St. Cat. Bodl. No. 5660,1; Yaari, Const. 13, Mehlman 976

[Constantinople]: S. Rikomin and Astruc de Toulon [1511]

Est: $8,000 - $10,000
Anav’s Beith Midoth is renowned for its ethical insights and enumeration of the twenty-four steps necessary for character development. Such Rabbinic luminaries as R. Yaakov Emden highly regarded the work - evident from the fact that he included entire chapters of it in his own work, Migdal Oz. The book was particularly venerated by the adherents of the Mussar movement of Novardok and it has been republished many times to this very day. It should be noted that this Editio Princeps contains textual variants from the later editions. It also contains an introduction and a number of poems by the editor, Joseph Bibas which were similarly not republished in later editions. (See the article by S.H. Kook, Iyunim U-Mechkarim, vol. 2, pp. 268-269). In subsequent editions, the name of of the work was altered to Ma’aloth Ha-midoth. Especially noteworthy in this copy is the signature of R. Abraham Rovigo, the leading disciple of R. Moshe Zacuto, - celebrated for his secret Sabbatian sympathies. A host of important scholarly articles on the activities of Rovigo have been published by J. Mann, G. Scholem, I. Sonne, I. Tishby and M. Benayahu. For most of the bibliographical references for these articles see Sonne’s preface to his final article on Rovigo in Sefunot V (Sonne Memorial Volume), pp. 275-295