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LOT: 065

Manuscript of Shemesh Tzedakah by Rabbi Shimshon Morforgo. Probably the handwriting of the author

Around 185 pages from the book of Q&A, Shemesh Tzedakah. Throughout the book are questions and answers that he received from his generation’s sages, including Rav Yehuda Briel, Rabbi Yitzhak Lamfronti (HaPachad Yitzhak), and more. Unfortunately no manuscript by the author exists, so there is no way to be sure that this is his handwriting, but it would seem according to the erasures and corrections that this is an autograph edition written by the author himself. He lived from 1681-1740, was a great posek and rabbi of Italy in the 17 th century. Rabbi Moshe Chagiz, the biggest opponent of the Ramchal, in 1730, ordered that three rabbis, headed by Rav Shimshon Morforgo, discuss the issue. He delved deeply into the matter, and despite in the majority of his collections he supports Rav Chagiz, his relationship to the Ramchal was of the sort where “the left pushes away and the right brings it back.” Seeking peace, he tried with all his heart to quiet the disagreement. He supported Rabbi Yeshaya Basan (rabbi of the Ramchal and one of his supporters) to bury the collected writings of the Ramchal, but refused to see him as a Shabtai’ist or to excommunicate him. In his letter to Rav Chagiz, he expresses his opinion: “we must feel not to banish him—to dig under his throne and open an opening for teshuva without pushing him with both hands, but to take from him the evil spirit.” In 1736, after the Ramchal moved to Amsterdam and the collection of his writings was burned and buried, he wrote that “I am sure of the justness and worth of Rav Basan.” He died on the first day of Pesach, 1740, before age 60. His sudden death caught the Jews of Italy by surprise, and great rabbis such as Rabbi Yitzhak Lamfronti said eulogies for him. Ancona’s Jews had a tradition to go to his grave on Erev Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and even wrote a special prayer for this event. This book has original binding, which is coming apart. Pages disconnected and not organized chronologically. Light moth damage, ok to good condition.
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