Auction 65 Judaica - Books, Manuscripts, Rabbinical Letters, Ceremonial Art
Tuesday, 12.3.19 (Your local time)
 8 Ramban St, Jerusalem.
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LOT 35:

Melechet Machshevet - Venice, 1710 - Fine Copy with an Illustrated Title Page and a Portrait of the Author

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Sold for: $1,300
Start price:
$ 1,000
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Melechet Machshevet, on the Five Books of the Torah, based upon natural sciences and philosophy, by R. Moshe Chefetz. Venice: Bragadin, [1710]. First edition. Complete wide-margined copy on high-quality paper. Includes an engraved frontispiece, a leaf with an engraved portrait of the author, and a leaf with geometric diagrams. Another diagram on leaf 57. The following caption appears beneath the portrait, alluding to the age of the author at the time of the printing: "Moshe Chefetz here in the picture, in 1710, at the age of me'ah" - at the age of 46 (numeric value of me'ah), though some misunderstood it to mean one hundred years of age (see below). R. Moshe Chefetz (1664-1711, Otzar HaRabbanim 14709), Italian rabbi, researcher and philosopher. Born in Trieste, he was raised in Venice, where he later disseminated Torah. He possessed wide ranging knowledge of Torah, G-d and nature, as is portrayed in this book - Melechet Machshevet. He composed this book to find solace for the untimely passing of his son R. Gershom, author of Yad Charuzim. R. Moshe died at the young age of 48 on 30th Cheshvan 1711 (R. Chananel Nepi in his book, printed as part of Toldot Gedolei Yisrael of R. M.Sh. Ghirondi, Trieste 1853, p. 239). Samuel David Luzzatto (Shadal) quotes a tradition transmitted by Italian Torah scholars, which maintains that the sages of his generation, upon hearing of the text of the caption R. Moshe intended to place beneath his portrait in his book, tried to dissuade him from doing so, warning him that it is not something one can make jest of. He did not heed their warning, and passed away within that year (Igrot Shadal, VII, p. 1013). Signature on the frontispiece: "Wolf son of R. Yaakov Tzvi…". Another signature (trimmed) at the top of the title page: "17th MarCheshvan 1795, Wolf ---". [11], 98 leaves. 30.5 cm. Light-colored, high-quality paper. Good-fair condition. Stains. Worming (partly repaired), affecting text, and slightly affecting the portrait and engraved frontispiece. New binding.

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