SEFER BEHINAT ‘OLAM ‘IM BAKASHAT HA-ME"-MIN

Jedaiah Ben Abraham Bedersi; Eli’ezer Pavir, Safah Berura

Published by Vilna; Be-Defus Yosef Re’uven Bar Menahem Man Rom, 1850
Hardcover
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Original boards. 12mo. 168 pages. 17 cm. In Hebrew and Yiddish, with Russian on title page. "Behinat ha-'Olam’ (The Examination of the World) , called also by its first words, ‘Shamayim la-Rom’ (Heaven's Height) , a didactic poem written after the banishment of the Jews from France (1306) , to which event reference is made in the eleventh chapter. This poem is divided into 37 short chapters, and may be summarized as follows: ‘The sage, though the highest type of humanity, is liable to the vicissitudes of fortune. He is not exempt from any of the evils which assail humanity; and the sword of death stabs alike the philosopher and the boor. But, if this view be dispiriting, there is another which is consoling. The soul which lives within him, when man is bereft of this world's goods, will accompany him beyond the grave. Still, to the shame of humanity, man does not care to improve this noblest part of himself. He is entrapped by the perfidious charms of the world; and his years roll away in search of illusions. ‘Celestial by origin, the human soul, so long as it is attached to the body, groans under a shameful slavery. The occupation worthy of its noble extraction is therefore to direct all its faculties toward the worship of its Creator, the happiness of its fellow-creatures, and the triumph of truth. This result can be attained only in keeping the commandments of God. ’ Bedersi concludes his poem by expressing his admiration for Maimonides: ‘Finally, turn neither to the left nor to the right from all that the wise men believed, the chief of whom was the distinguished master Maimonides, of blessed memory, with whom no one can be compared from among the wise men who have lived since the close of the Talmud; then I shall be sure that thou, enriched with all the knowledge of religion and philosophy, wilt fear the Lord thy God. ’ This poem enjoyed the greatest success. Published first at Mantua by Estellina, wife of Abraham Conat, between 1476 and 1480, it was republished 67 times (compare ‘Bibliotheca Friedlandiana, ’ ii. 139) , with many commentaries, among which are those written by Moses ibn ? Abib, Jacob Frances, and Yom-? Ob Lipmann Heller. Four commentaries written by Isaac Monçon, Jacob (of Fano? ) , Leon of Mantua, and Immanuel of Lattes the Younger are still extant in manuscript (MSS. At St. Petersburg and at the Bodleian Library, Oxford, Nos. 502 and 1404) . The poem was translated into Latin by Uchtman; into German by Isaac Auerbach, Hirsch ben Meïr, Joel ben Joseph Faust or Wust () , Simson Hamburger, Auerbach (who made use of a translation of parts iv. And v. By Mendelssohn) , J. Levy, Joseph Hirschfeld, and (in verse) by Stern, preceded by an interesting Hebrew introduction by Weiss; into French by Philippe Aquinas and Michel Beer; into Italian in ‘Antologia Israelitica, ’ 1880, pp. 334 et seq. ; into English by Tobias Goodman; and into Polish by J. Tugendhold. " (1906 JE) Jedaiah ben Abraham Bedersi was a "Poet, physician, and philosopher; born at Béziers (whence his surname Bedersi) about 1270; died about 1340. His Provençal name was En Bonet, which probably corresponds to the Hebrew name Tobiah (compare ‘Oheb Nashim’ in the ‘Zunz Jubelschrift, ’ Hebrew part, p. 1) ; and, according to the practise of the Provençal Jews, he occasionally joined to his name that of his father, Abraham Profiat (Bedersi) . In his poems he assumed the appellation ‘Penini’ (Dispenser of Pearls) , and because of this appellation the ethical work ‘Mibhar ha-Peninim’ of Solomon ben Gabirol has been erroneously ascribed to Bedersi. " (1906 JE) . Published at the famous Romm press of Vilna, on fine ragpaper. Subjects: Jewish Ethics. Yedaya ben Abraham Bedersi, ca. 1270-ca. 1340. Musar. Poetry. Exile. OCLC lists two copies of the 1850 Romm edition (later 19th century editions by Romm more in evidence) , located at SUNY Albany and Natl Libr Israel. Hinges loose, writing on endpages, smudging and light soiling throughout; otherwise fresh. Good c. Bookseller Inventory # 31592

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Bibliographic Details

Title: SEFER BEHINAT ‘OLAM ‘IM BAKASHAT HA-ME"-MIN

Publisher: Vilna; Be-Defus Yosef Re’uven Bar Menahem Man Rom

Publication Date: 1850

Binding: Hardcover

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