Menashe ben Israel
Chamishah Chumshei Torah, Nevi’im and Kesuvim, meticulously edited and proofread by the famed distinguished Rabbi and scholar, Menashe ben Israel. This was one of the first editions of Tanach to be printed in Amsterdam.
In his preface, Rabbi Menashe ben Israel attests that he meticulously proofread each word, as well as the nekudos and even the taamim (cantillation marks) of this edition.
Beautiful copy, complete, includes the chart listing the “Haftaros According to all Customs” which appears only in some copies of this edition.
The printing of this impressive edition of Tanach commenced in 1631 and took a total of four years to complete. Although the printings of all volumes were completed in 1635, on the title pages of the Nach the year 1631 was changed to 1636 by the printer in handwriting.
Chacham Rabbi Menashe ben Israel (1604-1658) was one of the great sages of 17th century Europe, a scholar and a statesman. Born in Portugal to a family of anusim, he endeavored greatly to draw the descendants of anusim back to Judaism and public observance of mitzvos. He promoted dialogue between Jews and Christians and sought to explain the tenets of Judaism through an array of books that he authored and published in several languages.
In 1627, Rabbi Menashe ben Israel gained fame for opening the first Jewish press in Amsterdam, which would swiftly become the metropolitan center for Jewish book printing.
In 1655, he led a delegation to England pleading for the resettlement of Jews in England, which was permitted unofficially
Amsterdam, 1631-1635 . Page size: 22 cm. , 369: 124,  leaf. Markings of the pesukim with handwritten numbers. In this copy, Kesuvim appears after the Torah. Good condition. Antique leather binding with new spine. Owner’s name engraved in center of binding. T.D.
Bibliography: Alfei Menashe #24. Ginzei Yisrael #35.
Provenance: William L. Gross collection
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