In July 1713, however, Nehemiah Hiyya Hayon (ca. 1655-ca. 1730), an Egyptian-born kabbalistic adept and charismatic itinerant teacher, arrived in Amsterdam and submitted his recently published books for review by the Sephardic lay leadership of the city so that he could receive permission to distribute them. The laymen remanded the works to their rabbi, Solomon Ayllon (ca. 1655-1728), who formed a committee together with six prominent leaders to study the question. Before the body could issue its ruling, the local Ashkenazic rabbi, Zevi Hirsch Ashkenazi (1660-1718), and Rabbi Moses Hagiz (1672-ca. 1751) excommunicated Hayon on the grounds that his books contained Sabbatian heresies, and sent letters to rabbinic colleagues asking for their support in the matter. Of particular concern was Sefer oz le-e-lohim (Berlin, 1713), a work containing two commentaries by Hayon, entitled Beit kodesh ha-kodoshim (The House of the Holy of Holies) and Oz le-e-lohim (Strength unto God), to a Sabbatian work Hayon referred to as Mehemanuta de-kolla (The Faith of Everything).
By mid-September, Ashkenazi and Hagiz had gathered enough letters to publish a small pamphlet denouncing Hayon’s works. This affront to their authority provoked a stinging rebuttal from Ayllon (also a crypto-Sabbatian) and the Sephardic beit din (rabbinic court), which had already acquitted Hayon of all charges, in both Hebrew (Kosht imrei emet) and Spanish translation (Manifiesto) in late 1713. The present lot is a well preserved copy of the latter document, one of only a small number still extant.
Elisheva Carlebach, The Pursuit of Heresy: Rabbi Moses Hagiz and the Sabbatian Controversies (New York: Columbia University Press, 1990), 75-121.
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