Auction 12 Genazym, High holidays special auction
By Genazym
Sep 11, 2022
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LOT 50:

Tanach Translated to Yiddish. Amsterdam, 1687

One of the first Yiddish translations of ...

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Tanach Translated to Yiddish. Amsterdam, 1687

One of the first Yiddish translations of Tanach!

Beautifully preserved copy with elaborately illustrated title page!

Torah, Nevi’im and Kesuvim translated to Yiddish by the great commentator Rabbi Yosef Yozelen Witzenhausen, with assistance by Rabbi Shabsai Meshorrer Bass, author of Sifsei Chachamim.

The latter’s role in this translation is discussed at length by the printer Joseph Attias in his introduction to the sefer.

Until the late-17th century, there was no proper Yiddish rendition of Tanach.

Yet precisely then, two individuals simultaneously—and separately—commenced the monumental task of translating Tanach into Yiddish.

The first translation was completed by Rabbi Yekusiel Belitz, and the second, a short while later by Rabbi Yosef Yozelen Witzenhausen.

The publication and printing of the competing Yiddish translations generated a massive conflict and debate regarding the rights to the Yiddish translation of Tanach.

The conflict swelled until it reached the Vaad Arba Aratzos, Dutch authorities and even the king of Poland himself (see Haberman, Toldos Hamadpisim HaIvriim, p. 300).

This edition features endorsements by the Rabbanim of the Vaad Arba Aratzos in Yaroslav and Lublin between the years 1677-1678.

The title page is fashioned of ornate copperplate engravings. The emblem of the Dutch Republic is surrounded by images of Moshe and Aharon, the Revelation on Mount Sinai and the reunion between Yaakov and Yosef.

Amsterdam, 1687. Joseph Attias Press. [6], 79, 150 leaves. Page size: 31 cm. 2 additional title pages, one in Latin and one in Portuguese.

Complete and beautifully preserved. Attractive copy in good condition.

Antique worn leather binding with attractive spine.

Rare to find an item like this in such good condition!
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