Appended to the end are three of the fourteen “minor,” non-canonical tractates of the Talmud: Semahot (also known as Evel rabbati; ff. 38a-41a) on the laws of burial and mourning; Kallah (f. 41b) on the subjects of betrothal, marriage, chastity, and moral purity; and Soferim (ff. 43b-47a) on scribal practice when copying Torah scrolls, tefillin, and mezuzot, as well as various liturgical matters. Piskei tosafot to tractates Temurah, Tamid, Kereitot, Kinnim, and Middot are also included (ff. 42a-43a). Cornelio Adelkind’s famous colophon describing the genesis and nature of the Bomberg Talmud project closes the volume on f. 47b.
Me‘ilah and part of Tamid, like Nedarim, Nazir, Temurah, and Kereitot, are two of the “special tractates” written in a peculiar dialect of Aramaic that seem not to have benefited from final editorial polishing.
A note on collation: Scholars have shown that Bomberg’s press occasionally backdated volumes from his third edition (1543-1549) by “forging” the title page to look like an authentic first- (1519/20-1523) or second- (1526-1539) edition imprint. Such is the case with part of the present volume, whose first thirty-seven leaves, through the end of Middot, come from the third edition but whose title page bears the misleading date 288 (1528). By contrast, the final ten folios, supplied from another copy, are genuine second-edition leaves, as evidenced by the lack of dotted i’s in the signature line, the date Tevet 289 (December 1528-January 1529) in the colophon (f. 47v), and the use of the Hebrew name Karniel (as opposed to the Christianized form Cornelio) on the same page.
A.M. Habermann, Ha-madpis daniyyel bombirgi u-reshimat sifrei beit defuso (Safed: The Museum of Printing Art, 1978), 63 (nos. 118/119).
Vinograd, Venice 127
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