58 71 (MISHNAH). Pirkei Avoth [Ethics of the Fathers]. With commentary Lechem Yehudah by Judah ben Samuel Lerma, with text. Second edition of commentary. Title surrounded by intricate floral motif. The Adolph Lewisohn copy (with his morocco book-label). Introduction recounts the burning of the Talmud in Italy. ff. 163 (lacking last unpaginated leaf containing the printer’s mark, (see Habermann, HaMadpiss Cornelio Adel-Kind 121). Inner margin of title tape repaired, first three and last three leaves old tape repairs, marginal worming, some stains. Contemporary vellum, worn. Sm. 4to. [Vinograd, Sabbionetta 21; S.J. Weiss, Pirkei Avot, 14.] Sabbionetta, Cornelio Adel-Kind for Tobias Foa,1554. $1200 - $1800 ❧ Of Spanish origin, Judah Lerma’s commentary, philosophical in nature, draws upon the classic works of the Spanish Jewish philosophers: Maimonides, Albo, Arama and Abrabanel. Lerma originally printed this commentary in Venice in 1553. However by Papal decree, one Sabbath in the month of Mar-Cheshvan that same year, all copies of the Talmud, including Eyn Ya’akov, Alfas, and Mishnah, were publicly burned in Venice - and with them, all 1500 copies of Lerma’s Avoth commentary. Undaunted, Lerma set out to reconstruct his work from memory. In time, he was able to obtain a single copy of his Lechem Yehudah plucked from the pyre by a Gentile. Upon comparison, Lerma regarded this, his second version, superior to the first. 70 (MISHNA H). Seder Nashim [women]. With commentary by Moses Maimonides (Ramba’m). Printer’s mark on title (see Yaari, Hebrew Printers’ Marks 16). Initial words historiated. Scattered scholarly Hebrew marginalia. On final page, in a Yemenite hand, a lengthy entreaty that the Redemption arrive this coming year of 5369 [1608] signed “Zechariah ben Sa’adyah ben Jacob.” On title, also in Yemenite square characters, a prayer on behalf of a sick individual that he recover from his illness, dated Rosh Chodesh Nisan, 5380 [1620]. ff. 44. Title and ff. 2-3 laid to size. Light stains. Modern calf. Folio. [Vinograd, Venice 280; Mehlman 103] Venice, Marco Antonio Giustiniani,1547. $5000 - $7000 ❧ Most uncommon edition. Practically all copies of this Mishnah were destroyed pursuant to the Bull of Pope Paul IV ordering the Talmud and related literature be consigned to flames. See M.J. Heller, The Printing of the Talmud (1992) pp. 217-28.