Lot 9
  • 9

Notes and Homilies on the Bible and on Rabbinic Sayings, Joseph Taitazak [16th Century]

15,000 - 20,000 USD
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  • printed book
121 leaves (8 ½ x 6 ¼ in.; 216 x 159 mm). [i], 120.  Written in black ink on paper in Sefardi Hebrew cursive script, early foliation in ink in Hebrew letters, modern foliation in pencil; fols. 16v, 49r, 59v, 118v, 119r blank, catchwords, dampstaining, especially at beginning and end of manuscript, not affecting text, loss of lower corner of fol. 65, not affecting text. Montefiore collection inkstamps on ff. 1r, 120v. Library buckram. Montefiore Library paper lettering piece on spine.


Samuel Pinto (owner’'s entry, verso of front flyleaf and fol.1r);— Isaac Israel di Ferasto (?) (owner’'s entry, fol. 39r);— Solomon Halberstam (shelf no. 256, notes on front flyleaf); Montefiore Collection (with stamps of Yeshivat Ohel Moshe ve-Yehudit-Judith Lady Montefiore College), among the 412 volumes acquired from Halberstam in 1892 by Moses Gaster); Purchased by the present owner: Important Hebrew Manuscripts from the Montefiore Endowment, Sotheby's NY, October 27, 2004. lot 55.


Hartwig Hirschfeld, Catalogue of the Hebrew MSS. of the Montefiore Library and of the Hebrew Manuscripts in the Jews' College, London, 1904  (ms. no. 62); Sefunot, 11, 1971-1978 (The Book of Greek Jewry), with articles relating to Taitazak by G. Scholem, M. Benayahu and others

Catalogue Note

The present manuscript is a collection of various sayings, explanations, and quotations by Joseph Taitazak, a sixteenth-century talmudist, bible scholar, and kabbalist from Salonica, and by other members of his circle. Joseph Caro helped establish the authority of Taitazak, calling him "the light and the holy one of Israel, the crown of the Diaspora." In his Maggid Meisharim, Caro referred in laudatory terms to Taitazak's "scholarship and saintliness" and credited him with “raising many disciples." These students included Isaac Adarbi, Samuel de Medina, Eliezer Ashkenazi, Isaac Arollia, and Solomon Alkabez.  Taitazak's biblical commentaries are notable for their philosophical bent and their rigorous adherence to the scholastic system of Thomas Aquinas.  Taitazak's chief importance was as a kabbalist and he may be considered one of the founders of the kabbalistic circle established by his disciples in Safed.  


Fol. 1r: Noseim be-parashiyot  [Topics in the weekly portions].

Fol. 4r: hakdamah [introduction].

Fol. 6v: Simeon bar Zemah [Duran]'’s introduction to Magen Avot .

Fol. 39v: Amar maharit [Rabbi Joseph Taitazak].

Fol. 49v: Commentary on Psalms by harabyg, Rabbi Eleazar ben Judah of Garmaiza [Worms].

Fol. 69r: Perush Haggadah, commentary on Aggadic passages.

Fol. 75r: Eulogy by Taitazak (ha-Rit) on R. Elijah Mizrahi, 1526.

Fols. 76v, 87r: Eulogy.

Fols. 77v, 86r: Homilies for a bridegroom.

Fols. 92r-100v, 103r-116r: Homilies by Taitazak on the Torah.

Fol. 101r: The name Abraham ben Isaac appears at the end of passage

Fol. 101v: Sermon upon leaving Constantinople (Abraham ben Isaac?).

Fol. 117r: Index to some Psalms by Taitazak (maharit).