Auction 42 - Rare and Important Items

Hanhagat HaChaim – The First Book Printed in Ladino – Thessaloniki, 1564

Opening: $3,500
Sold for: $5,250
Including buyer's premium
Hanhagat HaChaim – Libro intitolado rigimeinto dila vira. A composition in Ladino, "composed by the perfect Torah scholar Rabbi Moshe Almosnino", with a composition on the interpretation of dreams "written by the author himself upon the request of Minister Don Yosef Nasi…" [Thessaloniki], Elul 1564. Printed by Yitzchak ben Yosef Ya'avetz.
Apparently, this is the first original composition printed in the Ladino language spoken by Spanish Jews after the expulsion, prevalent throughout the Spanish emigrant communities in Oriental countries.
Ethics, aggada and advice. The book is written entirely in Ladino with an introduction and detailed index in Hebrew. Divided into three parts, as the author writes in his introduction. The first part: "The proper conduct…for eating and drinking, sleeping…laying down to sleep and awakening, walking and sitting, talking and keeping quiet…". The second part is about the ten categories of Aristotle: "Strength and satisfaction, generosity and wealth…largeness of heart and the quality of love of honor and patience, the quality of making others happy using one's speech, and the quality of being content and the quality of truth". The third part discusses the "justice and quality of love…wisdom and sense, understanding and work".
Introduction and index in Hebrew. The Outline and table of contents are listed in Hebrew on the page margins. Printed at the end of the book is a Ladino-Hebrew glossary.
Ladino (Española) is the unique language spoken by exiled Spanish Jews in the countries of their dispersion. The language evolved from various dialects of Spanish which were spoken by Spanish Jews before the expulsion and that preserved words, expressions and structures that don’t exist in spoken Spanish today. A large sector of the Jews expelled from Spain settled within the Ottoman Empire but for hundreds of years they continued preserving their original language and did not adopt the local tongue. For many generations,
Hebrew words and phrases as well as words originating in the many languages of the countries in which the
Spanish Jews dwelled such as Arabic, Turkish, Greek and Bulgarian, were incorporated into the Ladino language. The Ladino dialect was used for daily conversation as well as for prayer and Torah study. Much Torah literature was translated into Ladino and original compositions were written in this language. The most famous among them is the Yalkut Me’Am Loez series written by Rabbi Ya’akov Kuli and his disciples. Today, Ladino speakers are dwindling and many efforts are being expended to preserve this language.
Rabbi Moshe Almosnino (c. 1516-1580, Otzar HaRabbanim 14420) was an extraordinary Torah genius, one of the leading Thessaloniki rabbis of the 16th century and Rabbi of Thessaloniki. Halachic authority, speaker and philosopher who was well versed in science, medicine and several languages. Authored “Torat Moshe”, “Tefilla L’Moshe” and “Yede Moshe”. He also wrote a commentary on the Ibn Ezra and Rashi commentaries, and novellae, Talmud methodologies, etc. As mentioned in the introduction, Rabbi Moshe Almosnino wrote this book to fulfill the request of his niece who beseeched him to write his teachings in “a foreign language” although this was difficult for him due to his great love of Lashon HaKodesh. Apparently, this is the first time a Hebrew-Ladino glossary, such as the glossary the author added to the end of the book was composed.
162, [1] leaves (apparently, 3 of the glossary leaves are missing). 21 cm. Wide margins. Spotting. Tear on the title page (with damage to text). Worm damages and moisture stains. Binding with leather spine, worn.
Rare and Important Items
Rare and Important Items