Auction 16 - Judaica - Books, Manuscripts, Rabbinical Letters

Manuscript of Melechet Shlomo, Nashim and Taharot - 1604 - Handwritten Autograph by a leading commentator on the Mishna, Rabbi Shlomo Adani (disciple of Rabbi Chaim Vital and Rabbi Betzalel Ashkenazi)

Opening: $18,000
Sold for: $162,500
Including buyer's premium
A manuscript, Melechet Shlomo on the Mishnayot, Nashim and Taharot. The author, Rabbi Shlomo Adani's handwritten autograph. Hebron, 1604.
On a colophon at the end of Seder Taharot the author writes: "The book has been completed ¦ Rosh Chodesh Kislev 1604, here in Hebron, the city where our Forefathers, their merit should protect us, are buried¦ ".
This is a complete and large book of the first edition of 1604, with the author's erasings and corrections, and many additions written between the lines, on sheets and on empty leaves at beginning and end of book. An unknown edition, earlier than all the known editions.
Comparison between this manuscript and the printed edition, reveals many variations of things that are in this manuscript and have been changed or shortened in print. Also the illustrations in Tractate Keilim in this manuscript were not printed. On the other hand, some sections that were printed are not in this manuscript. [Another variation exists between all the manuscripts and that printed in the Mishnayot, since the publishers omitted a large part of the book in the printing, and they removed all that appears in the book Tosfot Yom Tov, according to what the author humbly writes in his introduction (written in 1619), see Tosfot Yom Tov (printed in Prague 1617) "and Shlomo was amazed at the sight, how in one generation it happened that one person sits alone in a corner in the city of Hebron, and is one with companions far away in the Ashkenaz countries, and they together concur to toil in Torah study and check over the Mishna and explain it almost in the same style¦ " etc. see his introduction and the publisher's introduction].
On the first leaf, the author writes more things signed several times, with a moving prayer for success: "My Elevated Master, hear my prayer and hurry to assist me, and do not be deaf to my tears¦ I am certain that I, the lowly Shlomo Adani, will not be sent away empty handed, just like from my youth until today, you have not deserted me, and allow me to offer you my toil in the Torah, my fat and blood, most of my nights and days¦ ".
The author also writes a draft of a letter in Aramaic to the heads of the Gaza community and to their renowned Rabbi Yisrael Nagara: "Shalom to our brothers and shalom to our head, our Master Yisrael, the Humble one, Chacham ben Chacham who will answer our questions¦ and will send us a good response¦ Shlomo Adana".
Rabbi Shlomo Adani (1566-1629) was born in Uzel (Tzana, Yemen). At age 4, he immigrated with his family to Safed and Jerusalem where he studied Torah from Rabbi Betzalel Ashkenazi and Rabbi Chaim Vital. He participated in the editing of the Shita Mekubetzet of his teacher Rabbi Betzalel Ashkenasi [Shita Mekubetzet on Kodshim was originally named for him: Binyan Shlomo L'Chochmat Betzalel]. In his renowned introduction to his book on the Mishna, Rabbi Shlomo Adani tells about the events and troubles of his life and about his work on the Mishna that he began when 22 years old. He also tells of his elder companion Rabbi David Amrilio of Hebron, who convinced him to copy his work from sheets and arrange them into a book for print. For this book, the author toiled in study to clarify the Mishna for decades - and the last edition known today is from 1626. The commentary Melechet Shlomo is printed today [partially] in most of the editions of the Mishna with commentaries, and Rabbi Shlomo Adani is considered one of the greatest commentators on the Mishna. (The Chida writes of him: "One of the elder rabbis of Hebron, a disciple of Rabbi Betzalel Ashkenazi and Rabbi Maharcho". He writes that the Chazon Menachem calls him "Holy" in his book, and writes that "and we have heard many things about his righteousness and his diligence in spite of his poverty").
430 Pages, c. 21.5 cm. Good quality paper, fair condition, moth damages, moisture stains and wear. Very antique worn leather binding, Yemenite binding style, with substitution with antique handwritten leaves [from the 16th-17th century?], many moth damages to binding.
See attached material: an article by Prof. Yehuda Razhabi about this handwriting (Sinai, Issue 106, 1990) and other attached material.