19 39 (CHRISTIAN MISSIONARY TRACT). (Roberto Francesco Romolo Bellarmino). Limmud HaMeshihim BeKitzur / Dottrina Christiana Breve. FIRST EDITION. Text in Hebrew and Italian. Hebrew prepared by Giovanni Battista Jona. ff. (4), 64. Lightly foxed. Contemporary limp vellum, light wear. 4to. [Vinograd, Rome 32.] Rome, Sacra Congregatione di Propaganda Fide, 1658. $400 - $600 ❧ Giovanni Battista Jona, formerly, Judah Jonah of Safed, was a Jewish convert to Christianity who, along with the censor Domenico Gerosolimitano (originally, Rabbi Samuel Vivas of Jerusalem), served as scribe to the Vatican. 40 DE VIDAS, ELIJAH. Reishith Chochmah [“Beginning of Wisdom”: ethics]. Second edition. On title, printer’s device of three crowns (Yaari, Hebrew Printers’ Marks 18). Section headings within engraved vignettes. Last page with Hebrew manuscript in an Italian hand featuring a meditative prayer composed by Nachmanides to be recited for husband and wife prior to sexual relations, along with a related Kabbalistic incantation. ff. 391, (blank, 31, index). Signatures removed from title, stained in places. Bound in Valmadonna-custom mahogany calf. Thick 4to. [Vinograd, Venice 788.] Venice, Giovanni di Gara, 1593. $1500 - $2000 ❧ Elijah de Vidas (1518–87) was a disciple of R. Moses Cordovero, doyen of the Kabbalists in Safed. Despite its mystical overtones, Reishith Chochmah has become an important classic of ethical/pietistic literature. The work focuses upon the moral aspects of Jewish life, linking the motifs of Aggadic and Mussar literature with that of Kabbalah, thus broadly disseminating mystical ideas. Lot 39 Lot 40