JERUSALEM TALMUD, VENICE: DANIEL BOMBERG, [1522-1524]
4 parts in 1 volume (13 1/2 x 9 1/4 in.; 343 x 236 mm): Part 1 (Zera‘im): 66 folios (collation: i-vii8, viii10); Part 2 (Mo‘ed): 83 folios (collation: i-ix8, x6, xi5 [final blank removed]); Part 3 (Nashim): 66 folios (collation: i-vii8, viii10); Part 4 (Yeshu‘ot [Nezikin and Niddah]): 51 folios (collation: i-v8, vi6, vii5 [final blank removed]) on paper. Four architectural title pages; four large woodcut initial word panels, heading each mishnaic order; numerous additional woodcut initial word panels, heading each tractate; intermittent marginalia and underlining in pen or pencil; lengthy marginal comment on 2:27r. Slight scattered staining; dampstaining; episodic repairs in outer edges; outer edges of 1:[1-2] repaired, with small portions of architectural border and text replaced in facsimile. Modern blind-tooled calf, slightly scratched and worn around edges; spine in five compartments with raised bands; title, place, and date lettered in blind on spine; modern paper flyleaves and pastedowns.
The most important edition of a central text of Talmudic tradition, upon which all subsequent printings were based.
An amalgam of the teachings of the academies of Tiberias, Caesarea, and Sepphoris, the Jerusalem Talmud was compiled in the Land of Israel, though not in Jerusalem as its name would imply; in point of fact, it is more correctly, though less commonly, referred to as Talmuda di-benei ma‘arava (the Talmud of the Westerners [those living to the west of Babylonia, in the Holy Land]). As with its Babylonian counterpart, the Jerusalem Talmud is essentially the result of discussions and elaborations of the Mishnah. The extant text of the Jerusalem Talmud covers four of the six mishnaic orders: Zera‘im, Mo‘ed, Nashim, and Nezikin, plus part of Tractate Niddah from the Order of Tohorot.
The editio princeps of the Jerusalem Talmud was undertaken by Daniel Bomberg after the conclusion of the printing of the Babylonian Talmud (end of 1522) but before completing the Mishneh torah of Maimonides (mid-1524). This edition was based primarily (though not exclusively) upon the sole surviving manuscript of the Jerusalem Talmud (known today as MS Leiden, Scaliger 3), which was written by Jehiel ben Jekuthiel ben Benjamin ha-Rofe in 1289. The scribe explicitly states that he copied it from a woefully corrupt exemplar that was full of errors; begging the indulgence of his readers, he writes that although he had attempted to correct it as much as possible, “I know that I have not fixed even half of the mistakes.” All subsequent printings of the Jerusalem Talmud have reused this first edition’s text.
Midrash Perushim Ashkenazim Menahem Tsiyyon, [cost, aside from binding:] 48 grush, 22 Tammuz 609 [July 12, 1849] (1:[1r], 40r, 58r; 2:40r, 58r; 3:40r, 58r; 4:40r, 50v)
Abraham (?) ben Avigdor (1:[1r]; 2:[1r], 55v; 4:51v)
A.M. Habermann, Ha-madpis daniyyel bombirgi u-reshimat sifrei beit defuso (Safed: The Museum of Printing Art, 1978), 49 (no. 90).
Marvin J. Heller, The Sixteenth Century Hebrew Book: An Abridged Thesaurus, vol. 1 (Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2004), 148-149.
Chaim and Betzalel Stefansky, Sifrei yesod: sifrei ha-yesod shel ha-sifriyyah ha-yehudit ha-toranit (n.p.: Chaim and Betzalel Stefansky, 2019), 39 (no. 112).
Vinograd, Venice 89
Isaac Yudlov and G.J. Ormann, Sefer ginzei yisra’el: sefarim, hoverot, va-alonim me-osef dr. yisra’el mehlman, asher be-beit ha-sefarim ha-le’ummi ve-ha-universita’i (Jerusalem: JNUL, 1984), 41 (no. 138).