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Ein Yisrael Part I-II, Amsterdam, 1725

עין ישראל - The copy of R. Mordecai Banat & son R. Ya’akov Avraham Aber’l Banet

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  • Lot Number 54531
  • Title (English) Ein Yisrael Part I-II
  • Title (Hebrew) עין ישראל
  • Note ה"ק אביר במ"ה מרדכי בנעט נ"י מיארמיט [חתימת בנו בכורו רבי יעקב אברל בנעט, תקל"ט-תרכ"ה].... יום ג' ' ח"י מנחם  תקנ"א לפ"ק
  • Author R. Jacob b. Solomon ibn Habib
  • City Amsterdam
  • Publisher דפוס שלמה פרופס
  • Publication Date 1625
  • Estimated Price - Low 500
  • Estimated Price - High 1,000

  • Item # 2632963
  • End Date
  • Start Date

Physical Description:

150; 174 [of 175] ff., octavo, 180:110 mm., lacking title and final ff., nice margins, light age and damp staining. A very good copy bound in contemporary  boards, rubbed.

Inscription on fly: ה"ק אביר במ"ה מרדכי בנעט נ"י מיארמיט [חתימת בנו בכורו רבי יעקב אברל בנעט, תקל"ט-תרכ"ה].... יום ג' ' ח"י מנחם  תקנ"א לפ"ק among several other inscriptions. Face of fly leaf carries an eulogy for R. Mordecai Banet by his son (see below).


Detailed Description:   

Ein Yisrael [Ein Ya’akov] is the classic collection of aggadah in the Talmud compiled by R. Jacob ben Solomon ibn Habib (c. 1445-c.1515). Ein Ya’akov was among the titles proscribed and burned together with the Talmud after the pope’s bull of August, 1553, and subsequently placed on the Index librorum prohibitorum. The Council of Trent, which permitted the publication of the Talmud in 1564, and certain other works as well, did so by imposing onerous conditions, primarily concerning the expurgation of passages inimical to Christianity, and the substitution of acceptable terms for objectionable ones. Among the other conditions imposed was the prohibition of Hebrew books under their original names. The Talmud, for example, could not be reprinted as such, but could be reissued only if that name were omitted, it now being called shas, and Ein Ya’akov only as Ein Yisrael. Graetz, commenting on this situation, writes, “Strange, indeed, that the pope should have allowed the thing, and forbidden its name! He was afraid of public opinion, which would have considered the contradiction too great between one pope, who had sought out and burnt the Talmud, and the next, who was allowing it to go untouched.”

Ein Ya’akov continued to be published under the name Ein Yisrael in places where Hebrew printing was not restricted by the Inquisition. While many of these imprints may be so named simply because they are copies of earlier editions named Ein Yisrael, those printed in other places, such as this Frankfort a. Main edition, were named Ein Yisrael so that the work might be exported to Italy. Ein Ya'akov remained on the Index librorum prohibitorum until the very end, appearing on the last edition of the Index, issued in 1948.

R. Ya’akov Avraham Aber’l Banet (c. 1776-1865) spent years after R. Mordechai’s death editing and printing his works, including a biography with assorted Torah thoughts (Toldoth… Mordechai Banet, Nikolsburg, 1832) and Magen Avoth on the Sabbath prohibitions (Pietrkow, 1835). Aber’l was unable to complete the editing of his father’s seminal responsa, Har HaMor, which was printed in his old age (Vienna, 1862) by others. Aber’l’s dedication to the legacy of his father is reminiscent to the reverence displayed by R. Ya’akov Emden to his own father, R. Zvi Hirsch Ashkenazi, the Chacham Zvi.

R. Mordechai Banet (1753-1829) served as Chief Rabbi of Nikolsburg for 40 years. His tenure was marked by increasing communal discord between traditional and Reform groups. A fierce opponent of the Reform, Banet fought tirelessly against its advocates, most notably Aaron Chorin of Arad, Romania. At the same time, despite his antagonism to the movement, Banet’s approach was more nuanced than that of his contemporary, R. Moses Sofer (the Chasam Sofer), who advocated the complete ostracization of Reform Jews. In contrast, R. Banet sought to mitigate the threat of Reform ideologues, while ‘saving’ the lay-people who were most at risk of defecting to the new movement.


Hebrew Description:

עין ישראל : עם פירוש המלות ונוסף בו הספר בית יהודא ... מה שהשמיט בעל המחבר עין יעקב

עיני ת'מ'י'ד' א'ל' ה' [תפ"ה]

בקולופון: בשנת תפ"ז לפ"ק נשלם

ה"ק אביר במ"ה מרדכי בנעט נ"י מיארמיט [חתימת בנו בכורו רבי יעקב אברל בנעט, תקל"ט-תרכ"ה].... יום ג' ' ח"י מנחם  תקנ"א לפ"ק