Layesharim Tehillah by the Ramchal. Amsterdam, 1743
Spectacular copy with wide margins
Magnificent bibliophile’s copy! The Ramchal printed only 50 copies of this book (see below), and of these, only a handful in the present large format, with extra-wide folios that were apparently intended for the immediate relatives of the bride and groom. The present copy is one of the exclusive large-format copies of Layesharim Tehillah and is a astounding collectible!
The sefer is printed on thick, high-quality paper, with the pages in their original, uncropped format, precisely as they emerged from the printing press.
The attractive, high-quality sefer is a wonderful example of the art of 18th century Amsterdam printing.
Rabbi Shlomo Dubna wrote in his preface to the second edition of Layesharim Tehillah (Berlin, 1780):
“This sefer was printed by the author himself in Amsterdam in 1743, and he printed only fifty books, which were delivered only to the personal libraries of Sephardic philanthropists in Amsterdam. Therefore, all who seek it cannot obtain it.”
Written in the form of a parable, Layesharim Tehillah is replete with profound lessons of mussar that reveal
“The good and bad, wisdom and foolishness, righteousness and evil, truth and falsehood, one versus the other.” In his own introduction to this work, the Ramchal writes that he chose this form of prose,
“For there is none as a parable that causes truth to sprout and reveals knowledge.”
“Shir yedidus, a song of friendship” replete with mussar and ethics published on the occasion of “the wedding day of the wise and intelligent Rabbi Yaakov de Gavish with the praised bride Rachel de Weige Inkrish. Composed by the youth Moshe Chaim Luzzatto.”
Amsterdam, 1743. First edition.  leaves. Page size: height: 30 cm; width: 23.5 cm. 2 title pages .The margins of several pages are lightly stained; and Leaf 26 has a small marginal tear. Bound in rich new green leather binding with gilded engravings.
Rabbeinu Moshe Chaim Luzzatto
Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto (1707-1747), author of the landmark Mesilas Yesharim and many other acclaimed seforim, was born in Padua, Italy, where he studied in the hailed Padua Yeshivah under the guidance of Harav Yeshayahu Bassan, author of Shu”t Lachmei Torah and son-in-law of the Rabach (a disciple of the Ramaz, one of the leading Italian kabbalists).
Before long, he became fluent in all realms of Torah, including the Oral Torah of the Arizal, which he knew by heart by the age of fourteen. At an exceedingly young age, he joined a chaburah of kabbalists known as Mevakshei Hashem where he ascended in Torah and piety until the heavens dispatched a Maggid to teach him profound secrets in kabbalah.
His contemporaries exalted him with praises such as, “He conducted himself with holiness and piety, purity and abstention; and his appearance was as a heavenly angel, truly awe-inspiring, and his holiness is miraculous” (Kerem Chemed Vol. 67).
In 1743, he fulfilled his lifelong dream of journeying to Eretz Yisrael. However, only four years later, on 26 Iyar, 1747, he passed away at the age of forty in Acco and was laid to rest near the tomb of the Tanna Rabbi Akiva in Teveria.
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