“Phinehas Hananiah Argosi de Silva.” Ha’Orev [polemic]

AUCTION 61 | Wednesday, March 12th, 2014 at 1:00
Fine Judaica: Printed Books, Manuscripts, Autograph Letters, Graphic Art and Ceremonial Objects

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Lot 157

“Phinehas Hananiah Argosi de Silva.” Ha’Orev [polemic]

<<FIRST EDITION>> ff. 20. Modern boards. 4to. Vinograd, Salonika 435a & Vienna 79

Salonika (i.e. Vienna): n.p. 1795

Est: $1,000 - $1,200
There has been much discussion as to the veiled author of this polemic. The consensus of most scholars today is that it was written by Baruch Jeiteles (1762-1813). After a brief spell in Berlin associating with Moses Mendelssohn and the Berlin Haskalists, Baruch Jeiteles, the son of a prominent Prague physician and student of R. Ezekiel Landau, returned home to be reconciled with both his father and teacher. He spent the rest his life struggling with the conflict and isolation of the enlightened intellectual living in traditional Orthodox society and attempting to reconcile both outlooks. In his pseudonymous pamphlet Ha’Orev, Jeiteles responds to his former allies, the Berlin radicals (“Me’assphim”), who attacked him for his return to the Orthodox fold, criticizing their disrespectful attitude toward rabbinical scholars. The main subject of the pamphlet deals with Jeiteles’s response to Samuel ben Ezekiel Landau’s objections to the establishment of rabbinical seminaries in Prague. See: EJ IX cols 1330-1; I. Zinberg, A History of Jewish Literature, vol. VIII, The Berlin Haskalah p. 103. See discussion by R. Margalioth, Areshet, vol. I (1959), p. 419, no. 1290 (who was originally of the opinion that Ha’Orev was the work of R. Saul Levin, the author of Besamim Rosh).