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Lot 7

Sefer Shechitot U'Bedikot – Mantua, 1556 – A Complete Copy Printed on Vellum

Sefer Shechitot by Rabbi Ya'akov Weil, "with glosses, printed in the name of Rabbi Avraham bar Peretz HaCohen", and Sefer Bedikot, by Rabbi Ya'akov Weil, with glosses and "laws of 'nikur' of the meat according to Rashi". Mantua, Rosh Chodesh Iyar 1556. Printed by Ya'akov Cohen of Gazulo.
Complete copy printed on vellum.
The title page text is framed with a woodcut decoration, bearing the priestly symbol (hands). Separate title page for the book Bedikot. At the beginning of each book are woodcut adornments framing the opening words. Leaves 5-6 have printed illustrations of knives [to illustrate the flaws which invalidate a shechita knife].
Colophon at the end of the book Shechitot: "All the glosses of the Shechitot…proofread by the scribe Rabbi Meir ben Rabbi Efraim of Padua on the 4th of the month of Iyar 1556…". A similar colophon can be found at the end of the book Bedikot.
On the reverse side of the title page are ownership inscriptions and curly signatures: "I have bought it… Yisrael Moshe Chazan" [Rabbi Yisrael Moshe Chazan, Av Beit Din of Rome, Corfu and Alexandria, author of Krach Shel Rome, Iye HaYam glosses on the responsa of the Ge'onim, etc]; "Este libro --- Eliezer Yerucham Elyashar and G-d should give him children and grandchildren, Amen" [perhaps Rabbi Eliezer Yerucham Elyashar, dayan and rabbi in Safed, father of the Rishon L'Zion Rabbi Ya'akov Shaul Elyashar]. "Masod Bitton". (On the reverse side of the second title page is an inscription [incomplete] of Shiviti).
The books Shechitot and Bedikot by Rabbi Ya'akov ben Yehuda Weil, a disciple of the Maharil and one of the leading Ashkenazi Torah authorities, were printed in Venice 1559 as part of the book of responsa by Mahari Weil and afterwards they were printed separately in more than 100 editions by various printers. Eventually, glosses, comments and commentaries by leading rabbis such as the Rama, the Maharshal and others were added to the various editions. This book has become a basic text for halachic rulings of laws of shechita and trefot and the Rama included it in his commentary to the Tur and in his Mapa on the Shulchan Aruch.
During the 14th century, the use of paper spread throughout Europe and slowly replaced vellum. This development made a great contribution to the invention of the printing press which needed an inexpensive material for copying multitudes of books. Hebrew books were usually printed on paper but sometimes, printers prepared a special copy or a small amount of copies which were printed on vellum instead of paper. Due to the high price of vellum, the majority of such printings were ordered specially by affluent people and therefore they are very rare. This is a complete copy of the book Shechitot V’Bedikot printed on vellum.
4 signatures of 4 leaves. [16] leaves. 15.5 cm. Good-fair condition. Spotting and wear. Tears on first title page. Detached leaves. Without binding.
Only one other copy on vellum is known; kept in the collection of the British Library.