23 23 ROFEIH, CHIYA. Derush HaMazel. Autograph Manuscript in Hebrew, written in a cursive Sephardic hand, on paper. Watermarks are similar to Briquet 7580 (1594), 7592 (1586) and Briquet 7594 (1589). ff. 28. Slight worming along inner margin of opening three leaves. Modern boards. Sm. 4to. Safed, c. 1590. $40,000 - $50,000 ❧ A COMPLETE, UNPUBLISHED AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT with corrections and notations in the margins in the same hand (in a different ink), implying that the author corrected and added to the work at a later date. The author notes before the title of his work (f. 1a) “Hu Be’er Eisek.” The treatise commences on the next page as follows: “Said the melancholic and grieving Chiya, for I have encountered these times as deceitful… my honor is distant from me… hence I said to myself, such an examination is not to be avoided by those who are determined to perceive and to understand.” R. Chiya examines here one of the most challenging philosophical issues man faces - an effort to resolve the contradiction between free will and one’s given lot in life, as well as concepts relating to reward and punishment in the hereafter. The very last page carries an index of Rabbinic statements within the work and is entitled: “A Sermon on the Investigation of the Righteous Who Suffer.” Born in Safed, R. Chiya Rofeih (c.1550-1617) studied under both R. Chaim Vital and R. Shlomo Sagish, alongside such great scholars as R. Tuvia HaLevi (author of Chen Tov, Venice 1605) and the Mahari’t - R. Yoseph Metrani (son of the Mabi’t) and was one of the six rabbis ordained by R. Yaakov Beirav (II). R. Chiya may have also studied under R. Yoseph Karo, who is cited within his works (Ma’aseh Chiya, Venice 1652), although is not stated as being a personal mentor. Subsequent to R. Yoseph Karo, the next generation of leading Halachic experts in Safed were Rabbis Chiya Rofeih, Moshe Galante and Yom Tov Tzahalon. For an analysis of R. Chiya and his works, see M. Benayahu, Aresheth Vol. II, (1960) pp. 109-129. The present text is unknown to Benayahu. AN IMPORTANT UNRECORDED AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT BY A LEADING SEPHARDIC AUTHORITY OF THE 16TH CENTURY.