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LOT: 052

The book Nefesh David with rare and interesting signatures and glosses – first edition, Constantinople, 1736

The book Nefesh David on the Torah and the megillot according to the Kabbalah by Rabbi David di Modena, printed during the author’s lifetime – first edition, Constantinople 1736. [4], 46 leaves. Restored title page, its top part is concealed, a few stains, good overall condition. On the title page of the book is a signature in the handwriting of Rabbi Avraham Meyuchas author of Sde Ha’Aretz who notes in his signature that he received the book as a gift from the author. Ownership signature of his son, Rabbi Yosef Meyuchas and Rabbi Yosef Adahan of Jerusalem. In addition, in the body of the book are several glosses in the handwriting of the kabbalist Rabbi Shimon Zvi Horowitz from the kabbalistic Sha’ar Shamayim yeshiva in Jerusalem. One comment seems to have been written by Rabbi Avraham Meyuchas. Calculation of gematria in the page margins. Rabbi David son of Rabbi Moshe di Modena, one of the rabbis of Safed and later of Jerusalem, wrote several works on kabbalah – Ruach David, a commentary on the Idra and Nishmat David on Shir Hashirim (Arzei Halevanon page 431). Rabbi Avraham son of Rabbi Shmuel Meyuchas (1700-1768). One of the foremost rabbis of Jerusalem, known mainly due to his book of responsa Sde Ha’aretz. He also wrote other books on kabbalah. At the age of 40 he became blind, all of his works were written before the age of 30. He was buried on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. (Arzei Halevanon page 154), Rabbi Yaacov Yosef son of Rabbi Avraham Meyuchas. Wrote an introduction to his father’s book Sde Ha’aretz. He was buried along with his other brothers alongside their father on the Mount of Olives. Rabbi Yosef Adahan, author of the book Shufriya D’Yosef and others. A scion of a pedigreed family from Morocco who have a tradition that they are direct descendants of King David. He served G-d through abstinence and purity and every night at midnight he recited Tikkun Chatzot in tears crying for the exile of the Divine Presence. He saw great visions and even managed to delve into the secret of his own soul, and one day revealed to his son that he has a spark of Nachum Ish Gamzu. His student Rabbi Shmuel Adahan wrote about him “He left several wonderous works on kabbalah and Talmud and the Arba Turim behind him…but due to the abundance of his wisdom he was unable to arrange them because his wisdom flowed like a fast flowing stream and he wrote as fast as he could…” All of his works were lost apart from the book Shufriya D’Yosef, which was printed in Alexandria by his grandson author of Ma’aseh Bereishit. In 1745, after extensive efforts and many trials and tribulations, he achieved his goal to immigrate to Israel, where he settled in Safed. His date of death is unknown. (Arzei Halevanon page 934). The kabbalist Rabbi Shimon Zvi Horowitz (1870-1947), a disciple of Rabbi Itzele of Volozhin. One of the founders of the Ashkenazi kabbalistic yeshiva Sha’ar Hashamayim. As the kabbalah states that the ten lost tribes will be discovered before the final redemption, in 1929 Rabbi Shimon Zvi was sent to Asia on behalf of the Jerusalemite kabbalists from all the different communities to investigate the matter. For two years, walking by foot or riding a donkey he discovered remains of Jewish settlements in far-flung places cut-off from the rest of the world. He even travelled as far as Tibet, but the Indian authorities suspected him of having criminal motives, and he was therefore forced to stop his journey. He recorded his experiences on his journey in his book Kol Mevaser, which was published in 1923.
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