Shoresh Yishai [Kabbalistic commentary to the Book of Ruth, with text]

AUCTION 28 | Tuesday, April 05th, 2005 at 1:00
Fine Judaica: The Library of the late Professor Abraham J. Karp.

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Lot 9

Shoresh Yishai [Kabbalistic commentary to the Book of Ruth, with text]

FIRST EDITION. Title within architectural arch. On title, Hebrew inscription of former owner, “Ephraim Luzzatto.” On verso, “Raphael David Luzzatto—And now it has become my portion, Ephraim Luzzatto.” On f.60v. Italian inscription, “Angelo Salvador Luzzatto.” On f. 89v. the censor has struck the words “goyah” and “meshumadim.” On final page, signature of earlier censor, “Visto per mi Luigi del [Ordine de Santo Domenico],1600,” and later censor, “Camillo Jaghel, 1621.” See Wm. Popper, The Censorship of Hebrew Books ((1969), Pl. IV, nos. 1 and 2 ff. 96. Ex library, slight tear to top of title. Generally, a clean, crisp copy. Modern boards. Sm. 4to Vinograd, Const. 221;Yaari, Const. 163; Adams B-1327

Constantinople: Solomon ibn Usque 1561

Est: $1,500 - $2,000
THE COPY OF THE CONTROVERSIAL ITALIAN HEBREW POET, EPHRAIM LUZZATTO In a reversal of the peregrinations of English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, who spent his last years in Italy, the trajectory of Ephraim (Angelo Salvador) Luzzatto (1729-1792) took him from his native Italy to England. Luzzato was born into one of the most illustrious Italian-Jewish familes, his cousin was the Paduan kabbalist Rabbi Moses Chaim Luzzatto (Ramcha”l), and into the next generation, another relative was the Biblical exegete Samuel David Luzzatto (Shada”l). As was common among Italian Jews of the day, Luzzatto was both a poet and a physician. After completing medical studies at the University of Padua, he emigrated to England. Luzzatto’s literary celebrity rests solely on a slim volume of poetry, Eleh B’nei ha-Ne’urim (London, 1766-8), published within a few years of the author’s arrival in England. Luzzatto’s verse has been described as “one of the great lyric moments in the development of modern Hebrew literature.” Shoresh Yishai was a family heirloom passed by father Raphael Luzzatto to his son Ephraim, who in England, for whatever reason, adopted the name “Angelo.” See D. Mirsky, The Life and Work of Ephraim Luzzatto (1987) pp. 41, 44-45