Sepher Tanya

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 20

Sepher Tanya

First edition. Endpapers with signatures of previous owner “Todros Debenedetti of Asti” in Italian (front) and Hebrew (back). pp. 2b and 74a, several passages thought to be offensive to Christianity excised by censor’s pen 100ff. Slight repairs to f. 94. Contemporary boards. 4to Vinograd, Mantua 16; not in Adams

Mantua: Samuel Latif 1514

Est: $2,000 - $3,000
The Sepher Tanya is a compilation of Jewish law and custom as applied by the Jews of Italy (Minhag Bnei Roma). The work was written in the thirteenth century. There is considerable overlap between the present work and another work of the same genre, Shibolei ha-Leket also composed by Zedekiah. S.Z. Havlin, writing in EJ, sums up the two opposing scholarly views regarding the disputatious authorship of Tanya: S.H. Kook definatively regards Zedekiah ben Abraham Anav as the author. Essentially the material in Tanya is the same as that as Shibolei ha-Leket by Zedekiah with but a few interpolations and additions by the copyist Yechiel Anav. However, S. K. Mirsky regards Yechiel as the true author of Tanya - any similarity to Shibolei ha-Leket by his relative Zedekiah, is due to the fact that both studied under the tutelage of their uncle, Judah b. Benjamin Anav. See EJ, Vol. II, cols. 937-938; M. Waxman, Vol. II, pp. 130-132. A genealogical tree of the ancient Italian Jewish Anav Family, may be found in EJ, loc. cit