Bi’ur al HaTorah [commentary to the Pentateuch].

AUCTION 74 | Thursday, November 09th, 2017 at 1:00
Fine Judaica: Printed Books, Manuscripts, Autograph Letters & Graphic Art

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Lot 20

Bi’ur al HaTorah [commentary to the Pentateuch].

Individual letters of opening word of each Book historiated, initial page of Genesis within full elegant woodcut border, printed throughout in two columns. Few marginal notes. ff. (274). A made-up copy. Opening leaf laid to size with two words supplied in facsimile, following four leaves and final ten leaves remargined, stained in places, few paper repairs, passages censored in places. Modern blind-tooled calf. Folio.


Est: $5,000 - $7,000
R. Bachiah ben Asher ibn Halawa (1255-1340) was one of the most eminent Iberian exegetical writers to the Bible. His work derives heavily from unsourced Kabbalistic material, as well as from the writings of Nachmanides. Bachiah saw himself as a spiritual heir to the latter, as he was taught by Nachmanides’ student, R. Solomon ben Adret (RaSHB”A).Although this volume underwent the censor, an 18th-century hand has provided the effaced text (ff. 26a, 63b, et al). In any event, the censor’s ink has now worn out to the point that the words beneath are easily visible. Especially detested by the censor were descriptions of Divine retribution against Israel’s oppressors, as well as negative references to Edom (i.e. Rome), the symbol of Christian Europe.