— Boo k s fro m t h e Va l m a do n n a Tr u s t Li br a r y — 1 ABOAB, SAMUEL. Devar Shmuel [responsa]. With supplement (often lacking): Zichron LeB’nei Yisrael [concerning the pseudo-messiah Shabthai Tzvi - see below]. FIRST EDITION. Title within woodcut architectural border. Printed on thicker paper. Signature on title-page of Yehuda Mesaro. Opening and closing endpapers with seven pages of Hebrew manuscript commentary to Chumash-Rashi in a contemporary Italian hand. ff. (6), 104. Lightly browned in places. Bound in Valmadonna-custom calf-backed marbled boards. Sm. folio. [Vinograd, Venice 1533.] Venice, Vendramin, 1702. $600 - $900 ❧ In the Spring of 1668, shortly following the scandalous conversion to Islam by Shabthai Tzvi, his “prophet” Nathan of Gaza appeared in Venice on a clandestine mission heading toward Rome. Nathan was intercepted and subjected to a tribunal consisting of three judges: Rabbis Jacob Halevi, Samuel Aboab, and Solomon Chai Saraval. The cross- examination took place on the night of the 13th of the Omer 1668, at the conclusion of which Nathan was forced to sign a retraction of his beliefs concerning Sabbatianism. The proceedings, entitled “Zichron LeB’nei Yisrael” were then forwarded by the Venetian rabbis to Jewish communities abroad, in order to discredit the erstwhile “prophet” who had so ignominiously promoted Shabthai Tzvi messianism. The historical record of these deliberations are preserved at the conclusion of Aboab’s responsa here (ff. 95b-97b). See G. Scholem, Sabbatai Sevi: the Mystical Messiah (1975) pp. 763-69. 2 ABRABANEL, ISAAC. Atereth Zekenim [“Crown of the Elders”: philosophy]. Appended short essay by Abrabanel: “Tzuroth HaYesodoth” [medieval science]. FIRST EDITION. Title within wreathed architectural columns with warriors standing at base; on f. 40v. printer’s device (Yaari, Hebrew Printers’ Marks pp. 20-1). Few words censored. ff.40, (4). Bound in Valmadonna-custom mahogany blind-tooled calf, spine in compartments and titled in gilt. Sm. 4to. [Vinograd, Sabbioneta 44.] Sabbioneta, Tobias Foa, 1557. $2000 - $2500 ❧ The departure point for this slim tract is the passage in Exodus 24:9-11 which treats of the mystical vision of the Seventy Elders of Israel. Maimonides contends - as did the Midrash - that the apprehension of these Elders was improper, and that they eventually received their just punishment at Taberah (see Guide of the Perplexed I, 5). Don Isaac Abrabanel takes umbrage, writing this tract in defense of the Elders - hence the title “Crown of the Elders.” See M. Kellner, Science in the Bet Midrash: Studies in Maimonides (2009), pp. 202-3; 313 n. 82; S. Regev, The Vision of the Nobles of Israel in the Jewish Philosophy of the Middle Ages, in: Jerusalem Studies in Jewish Thought, Vol. 4 (1984-85) pp. 281-302. Lot 1 Lot 2