17 17 MASOUD, YEHUDAH. Zohar. Translation and Commentary. Autograph Manuscript in Hebrew, written in a semi- cursive Sephardic hand, on paper. ff. 103 (numbered 60-162). Few pinprick wormholes, trace stained. Recent boards. 4to. (Egypt), 16th century. $30,000 - $50,000 ❧ AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT OF AN IMPORTANT UNPUBLISHED TRANSLATION AND COMMENTARY OF THE ZOHAR. This manuscript contains the Hebrew translation and commentary to the Zohar from the end of the Torah portion of Yithro, Mishpatim, until the beginning of Terumah. All additional, marginal notations are in the hand of R. Masoud. The identification of R. Yehudah Masoud is based upon two other manuscripts in the same hand and focusing upon other parts of the same text, one of which (dated and signed) is contained in the Library of JTSA, New York (ms. 1769). It is clear they once comprised a single textual volume. R. Yehudah Masoud was a leading Rabbi in Egypt during the period of Isaac Luria and was an outstanding scholar in all parts of the Torah. In 1558 he is signed a document along with the Ar’i and other sages (see Shu’t R. Meir Gabizon, Mechon Yerushalayim, intro. n. 286; and see Y. Avivi, Kabbalath Ha’Ari, Vol. II p. 876 par. 11). It is clear from the present text that R. Masoud diligently searched and studied many other Zohar manuscripts in order to provide the most accurate version of the text. He cites earlier commentaries including R. Moshe Cordovero, as well as ideas he heard from R. Chaim Vital “who studied with the Godly R. Yitzchak Aschkenazi” (see f. 132b). The Hebrew translation by R. Yehudah Masoud is noted by Joseph Sambari in his Seder HaChachamim VeKoroth HaYamim (Neubeuer ed. Oxford, 1888) p. 160. See also Ahalei Ya’akov by R. Yaakov Kastro (one of the leading sages of Egypt) who brings several responsa for R. Yehudah Masoud; and the recently published collection of responsa: Seridei Teshuvoth MeChachmei HaImperia HaOttomanit MeGenizat Kahir (Bar-Ilan University, 2016). THE ONLY EXTANT COPY OF THIS WORK.