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LOT 32:

Mishneh Torah by the Rambam – Complete Set, Venice 1574-1575 – First Edition of the Kesef Mishneh Commentary – ...

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Mishneh Torah by the Rambam – Complete Set, Venice 1574-1575 – First Edition of the Kesef Mishneh Commentary – Signed Glosses by Rabbi Avraham Hayun, Disciple of Rabbi Yosef Karo and Rabbi Moshe Alshech, a Safed Torah Scholar in the Times of the Arizal and the Beit Yosef
Mishneh Torah by the Rambam, with Hasagot HaRaavad and Maggid Mishneh, and the Kesef Mishneh commentary by R. Yosef Karo. Venice: Bragadin, 1574-1575. Complete set, four parts in four volumes, each with its own title page.
First edition of the Kesef Mishneh commentary, mostly printed in the lifetime of the author. On the title pages of parts I, II and III, R. Yosef Karo is mentioned as amongst the living; whilst on the title page of part IV, he is already mentioned as deceased ("zatzal"). At the end of part IV, there is a postface from the proofreader, R. Chizkiyah Fano, informing of the passing of the author R. Yosef Karo during the course of the printing (on 13th Nisan 1575). A poem composed by R. Avraham Hayun disciple of the author, in praise of the Kesef Mishneh composition, is printed following R. Chizkiyah Fano's postface.
The third volume is replete with many dozens of glosses handwritten by the aforementioned R. Avraham Hayun, a Torah scholar and kabbalist of Safed in the times of the Arizal and the Beit Yosef. Most of the glosses are lengthy, and some begin with his initials "A. Ch." [=Avraham Hayun]. On p. 87a, for instance: " So says A. Ch., until this day in Safed it is called Somech and it is half an hour distance from Pekiin, and there the son of R. Moshe Segrin was murdered"; and on p. 167a: " So says A. Ch., one can also smooth them… and so it is practiced until this day in Damascus and Aleppo".
In most glosses, R. Avraham relates to the words of his teacher in Kesef Mishneh, and discusses his teachings. In several instances however, he deletes or corrects the words of the Rambam, and in a few places he even corrects the text of the Kesef Mishneh.
An interesting gloss was recorded on p. 87b, relating to the famous polemic surrounding the laws of Terumot and Maaserot on produce grown by non-Jews, which erupted in Safed at the end of the Beit Yosef's life. The Kesef Mishneh wrote there: "And now, a certain scholar arose, and it appears that he is acting virtuously by going against the accepted custom, separating Terumot and Maaserot from produce which grew on land belonging to a non-Jew…", to which R. Avraham adds in his handwriting: "So says A. Ch. …I was also in Safed when this rabbi arose, and since the rabbi did not reveal his name, I too will not identify him". It has already been revealed that the scholar in question was R. Yehosef Ashkenazi – a Safed Torah scholar in those times. One of the supporters of R. Yehosef Ashkenazi was the Mabit, who was R. Yosef Karo's opponent in several affairs. At the height of the polemic, the Safed Torah scholars issued a ban forbidding the separating of Terumot and Maaserot from non-Jewish produce (see: Benayahu, The Schools of Thought of the Mabit and of Rabbi Yosef Karo and the Clashes Between Them, Asufot III, Jerusalem 1989).
R. Avraham Hayun, Torah scholar and kabbalist in Safed during the times of the Arizal and the Beit Yosef. At the end of vol. IV of this edition of Mishneh Torah with Kesef Mishneh, there is a poem composed by R. Avraham Hayun in praise of the Kesef Mishneh. The poem forms an acrostic of his name: "Avraham Hayun". The introduction to the poem states that its author was a disciple of R. Yosef Karo. He was also a disciple of R. Moshe Alshech. Meir Benayahu published glosses by R. Avraham Hayun on the Zohar (Benayahu, Toldot HaAri, pp. 344-354), consisting of kabbalistic teachings, practices of the Arizal, and important testimonies on the Arizal and Safed kabbalists of his generation. In his glosses, R. Avraham Hayun relates that he was young at the time the Arizal perished in a plague, and that he himself was also struck by that plague, yet recovered from it. A different gloss discloses that he was also a disciple of R. Moshe Alshech.
At the time of publishing the glosses, Benayahu had not yet identified their author, who signed his glosses "A. Ch.", but in his book Yosef Bechiri (p. 319), Benayahu surmises that it was R. Avraham Hayun, and even refers there to this volume containing R. Avraham Hayun's handwritten glosses: "…I saw in the possession of Mr. Chaim Schneebalg in Jerusalem a Kesef Mishneh filled with his glosses, but due to its high price, I was unable to purchase it…".
Ownership inscriptions and signatures on the title page of vol. III: "My acquisition, which I purchased from the wise and exalted R. Moshe Egozi, through the elevated Torah scholar R. Yitzchak HaLevi Ashkenazi, today, 28th Shevat 1725, I, Moshe Algranati" (presumably R. Moshe Algranati the second, a Torah scholar of Izmir, whom R. Chaim Benveniste addresses in Responsa Ba'ei Chayei, Choshen Mishpat, section 74); "This Rambam part III is mine, therefore I inscribed my name in it, Emanuel son of Shlomo Shalem".
The first volume contains a few glosses from several writers. A gloss in early Ashkenazic script on p. 311b, signed: "Feiss Katz". Two glosses in Sephardic script on p. 314b. Additional glosses in late Ashkenazic script. Signatures and ownership inscriptions in the first volume: "Avraham Ashkenazi", "Shlomo", "Belongs to… R. Yechiel [--]", and others.
Glosses in the fourth volume in neat, semi-cursive Sephardic script, corrections to the text of the Rambam, brief commentaries and sources.
Vol. I: [22], 316 leaves. Vol. II: [10], 219 [i.e. 218] leaves. Vol. III: [20], 451, [1] leaves. Vol. IV: [10], 297, [9] leaves. 27.5-29 cm. Most volumes with light-colored, high-quality paper. Overall good to good-fair condition. Stains, dampstains. Worming, tears and minor damage to three title pages and to several other leaves, primarily at end of volumes (slightly affecting text in a few places), professionally repaired with paper. Severe dampstains to some leaves of vol. II, traces of past dampness and mold (to lower part of leaves). Stamps. New, matching leather bindings.

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