69 89 YA’AVETZ, JOSEPH. Ohr HaChaim [“The Light of Life”: philosophical polemic]. FIRST EDITION. Title set within architectural arch with the printer’s device of a spherical astrolabe resting on a scroll with a verse from Psalm 130:5. ff. (28). Trace stained. Modern gilt-ruled crushed morocco. Sm. 4to. [Vinograd, Ferrara 23.] Ferrara, Abraham ibn Usque,1554. $10,000 - $15,000 ❧ The author (d. 1507), respectfully referred to as HeChassid Ya’avetz, lived through the Spanish Expulsion of 1492. The tragic events and the pitiful state of the remnants of Spanish Jewry, left Ya’avetz traumatized and he spent his remaining years attempting to understand why such a tragedy occurred. From his newfound home in Mantua, Ya’avetz penned this fiercely anti-philosophical treatise in which he argues that rationalism, a byproduct of a distorted view of Maimonidean intellectualism, is what led so many Spanish Jews choose to embrace the Church rather than face a life of exile. Ya’avetz posited that the resulting weakening of religious observance and the avoidance of personal religious sacrifice had destroyed Spanish Jewry long before the expulsion physically dispersed them. Hundreds of years later, with the spread of the Haskalah in Central Europe, Ohr HaChaim enjoyed a resurgence in popularity as its anti-rationalist doctrine resonated with conservative groups determined to stem the tide of modern ways of thought. The Chassidic master R. Tzvi Elimelech Spira of Dinov wrote a commentary to the Ohr HaChaim, explaining how Ya’avetz’s words encouraging simple faith stood in contrast to the machinations of the Maskilim of the day (Ma’ayan Ganim, Lublin 1912). 90 YA’AVETZ, JOSEPH. Peirush Masecheth Avoth [commentary to Ethics of the Fathers]. FIRST EDITION. ff. (96). Browned and stained, margins of few leaves touch frayed toward end, inscriptions on opening leaf including the name Shmuel Pinto. Bound in VALMADONNA-custom blind-tooled maroon crushed morocco, spine in compartments and titled in gilt. Housed in slip-case. Sm. 4to. [Vinograd, Adrianople 3; Mehlman 132; S.J. Weiss, Pirkei Avot no. 15.] Adrianople, Solomon & Joseph Ya’avetz (grandsons of the Author),1555 . $10,000 - $15,000 ❧ One of only four books printed at Adrianople (Turkey) ALL UNCOMMONLY SCARCE. Solomon and Joseph Ya’avetz, the authors’ grandsons, set up a Hebrew press in Salonika in 1546. Fleeing Salonika in 1554, likely due to plague, they reestablished their press in Adrianople (presently named Edirne on the Turkish- Greek frontier). A year later, Solomon went to Constantinople and Joseph returned to Salonika where he was active as a printer until 1572 when he rejoined his brother in Constantinople. Lot 89 Lot 90