Lot : 111

The principles of faith
Sefer Ikrim.
Soncino, 1486
Complete with wide margins

Start price: $60,000
Est. Price: $80,000 - $120,000
The principles of faith
Sefer Ikrim.
Soncino, 1486
Complete with wide margins

Sefer Yesod
Fundamentals of Jewish faith and principles of emunah by 15th century Spanish scholar Rabbi Yosef Albo.
Good copy, complete with the rare pages that were mostly removed by the censor (see below) from most copies.
Leaves 56-58 (Kuntress 8, leaves 2-4) contain material with strong arguments criticizing Christian thought and philosophy and were thus torn out of the majority of copies by the censors. The present sefer is complete and includes these leaves in their entirety.
The book opens with an introduction by Reb Yisroel Nathan Soncino, renowned as the Mechokek, who was the father of Jewish printing (as described by Gershom Soncino in the subsequent Rimini edition of this sefer (Rimini, 1528).
This first edition Sefer Ha’Ikrim was printed in a single column in block letters with headers and bookmarks. The opening words of the introduction and beginning of the book are decorated.
The end of the sefer features a fascinating colophon that reads:
“…It was completed here in Soncino in the country of Lombard under the government of…the Duke of Milan…on the twenty-first day of the month of Teves Year 5246 to the creation of the world…For Torah will emerge from Zion and the word of Hashem from Soncino.”
Rabbi Yosef Albo (circa 1380–1444) was a Spanish Rabbi, scholar and philosopher who was a disciple of Rabbi Chasdai Crescas, talmid of the Ran and author of Ohr Hashem. Rabbi Yosef authored this sefer in response to the bitter decree of 1391 when all Jews in Spain were collectively ordered to convert to Christianity. His goal was to strengthen the spirit and faith of the Jews during these difficult times.
Soncino, 1486. First edition. Soncino Sons Press. Page Count: 108 leaves. 14 booklets. Booklets 1-2: (8); Booklet 3: (6); Booklets 4-13 (8); Booklet 14: (6) leaves. Leaves 1a, 108b are blank. Page Size: 2° (29.9 cm.)
Condition: Slightly stained in margins. First leaves and last leaf professionally restored at margins. 12 leaves were shorter than the others and were re-margined professionally. New leather binding.
The first blank page in the beginning of the sefer features an antique deed (mostly erased) following with “the custom of the holy congregation as Tollitola” (as inscribed at the end of the deed). This draft of deed was common among deeds written during the era of the Spanish expulsion (see Shu”t Ohalei Tam, Ibn Yichya CH. 172). The page margins also boast frequent annotations and markings in old Italian handwriting. Leaf 7a features the owner’s inscription: “This reached our possession, the heirs of Mordechai Mamili z”l.”
Bibliography: Stefansky, Sifrei Yesod – Incunabula #i65/ P. Tishbi, Kiryat Sefer 63, 1990-1991 pp. 615-621 #36/Yakirson, Catalog of Hebrew Incunabula from the Collection of Beit Hamedrash LaRabbanim in America #27
Eternal Treasures
This sefer endured over half a millennium with all leaves intact! Fortified by the faith of thousands of Jews throughout the ages, it survived 537 years of pogroms, censors, the Inquisition, wars, persecution and public book burnings in Italy and all over the world. This sefer symbolizes the Jewish eternity.
Incunabula (plural of incunable) are books, printed in Europe prior to the year 1500. The word derives from the Latin term ‘cradle’ or ‘swaddling cloth, ’ connoting the infancy of the printed word. While the incunabula actually stretches across a half-century, from 1445-1500, the first Hebrew presses opened only two decades later, and thus the period of Hebrew incunabula is reduced to a mere thirty years, from 1469-1500.
The estimated number of Hebrew works printed during the incunable period is approximately two hundred. Incunabula are desirable collectibles, highly sought-after by antique Judaica collectors. The greatest libraries in the world vie for the number of incunabula in their treasured collections.
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