Yom Tov Lipmann Heller (1578-1654), born in Wallerstein, Upper Swabia, studied with luminaries like Rabbis Jacob Ulma Günzburg (d. 1616) in Friedberg and Judah Loew ben Bezalel (Maharal; ca. 1525-1609) and Ephraim of Luntshits (1550-1619) in Prague. For over half a century, he served as rabbi and/or rabbinic judge in the Jewish communities of Prague, Nikolsburg, Vienna, Niemirów, Włodzimierz, and Kraków. Among Heller’s many scholarly writings, the best-known is his Tosefet yom tov (later styled Tosefot yom tov). In this pioneering work, written while he participated in a Mishnah study group founded by Maharal in Prague, Heller undertook to provide Tosafist-like commentary to the entire Mishnah and to one of its greatest expositors, Rabbi Obadiah of Bertinoro (ca. 1450-ca. 1516). Tosefet yom tov aims to arrive at the peshat (plain sense meaning) of the Mishnah by establishing the correct text thereof, explaining difficult words therein (sometimes via Greek etymologies), and resolving various internal contradictions. In the process, it also helpfully summarizes earlier commentaries and clarifies points of practical law. “One of the literary monuments of Renaissance culture among the Jews of Prague” (Davis ), the work quickly achieved wide popularity, even going through a second edition during its author’s lifetime (Kraków, 1642-1645), and has remained a staple of traditional study to the present day. The present lot comprises the last two (of six) orders of the Mishnah, printed together with the Bertinoro and Heller commentaries.
A.N.(?) (f. [1r])
Joseph M. Davis, Yom-Tov Lipmann Heller: Portrait of a Seventeenth-Century Rabbi (Oxford; Portland: The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2004), 66-82, at p. 66.
A.M. Habermann, “Piyyutav ve-shirav shel rabbi yom tov lipmann heller,” in Judah Leib Maimon (ed.), Li-kevod yom tov: ma’amarim u-mehkarim (Jerusalem: Mossad Harav Kook, 1956), 125-145, at p. 125 n. 1.
Vinograd, Prague 246
Leopold Zunz, “Annalen der hebräischen Typographie von Prag, von Jahre 1513 bis zum Jahre 1657,” in Zur Gechichte und Literatur, vol. 1 (Berlin: Veit und Comp., 1845), 268-303, at p. 292 (no. 176).
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.