Rare volume with midrash, published by the Amsterdam Sephardim, 1708
PIRKEI ELIEZER BEN HURCANUS (Attr.): פרקי רבי אליעזר [MIDRASHIM]. Amsterdam: Isaac de Cordova 1708.
PIRKEI ELIEZER BEN HURCANUS (Attr.): פרקי רבי אליעזר [MIDRASHIM]. With title in typographical border. Amsterdam: Isaac de Cordova 1708. 16mo. (9,5:15 cm). 70 leaves [2 nn. lv. (title, dedication), 68 lv., collation: 1-174]. Blind contemporary vellum.
Rare volume with midrash published by the early 18th century Amsterdam Sephardic community.
Contents, Author: In this early aggadic book attributed to Pirkei Rabbi Eliezer ben Hurcanus (or or Hyrcanus) one of the most prominent rabbinic sages of the 1st and 2nd ct., ethical lessons for daily life are given, mainly by teaching moral values deduced from the Biblical narrative. Embellished with historical anecdotes, moral exhortations, and practical advice in various spheres, the works’ style sometimes waxes poetic. According to Meyer Waxman, “The book is of a peculiar character; it cannot be said to be a strictly ethical book as it contains a good deal of extraneous matters, such as chapters on astronomy, the calculation of the calendar, and many exotic legends. It is best characterized…an ethical narrative book.”
With printed Portuguese dedication over two pages of publisher Moses Gomez Mesquita (1688-1751), Haham of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews of England starting from 1744, to the prominent member of the Amsterdam Sephardic community (and probably the financier of this publication) Moses Abarbanel Aredes (on f. 2).
Condition: Upper left corner of title page skilfully restored, paste downs renewed with contemporary paper, some pages with minor staines, vellum restored at corners, cover occasionally worn.
Reference: See Meyer Waxman, »A History of Jewish Literature«, Vol. I, pp. 144-145.