David ben Aryeh Leib of Lida and his Migdal David: Accusations of Plagiarism in Eighteenth Century Amsterdam.
Hayyim ha-Kohen ... Migdal David on Ruth, printed by others but certainly [written] by him.
Migdal David commentary on Ruth. In truth, the author was Hayyim ha-Kohen, author of Tur Bareket ... (Shem ha-Gedolim). 
David ben Aryeh of Lida (c. 1650--1696) is an arresting but enigmatic figure. A person of considerable stature, chief rabbi of several communities, among them the Ashkenaz community of Amsterdam, he was the author of highly regarded books, often reprinted to this day.  This image is offset, however, by the controversy and charges that tarnished his reputation, foremost that he was a follower of Shabbatai Zevi, and, secondarily, that he was a slanderer and plagiarist.
Given Lida's prominence, and that his books are still current and available, it is somewhat of an anomaly that he is so little known. It is the purpose of this article to briefly recount the essential features of David ben Aryeh of Lida's life, the charges and disputes that clouded his reputation, and, in greater detail, to review the charge of plagiarism brought against him. Lida has had both defenders and detractors; it has not, however, been previously recognized that he clouded the issue, issuring disclaimers, informing readers that a text was not original, while, simultaneously and more prominently, taking full credit for a disputed work's authorship.
Lida was born into a family with rabbinic antecedents in the Lithuanian community of Zwollen. His father had been rabbi in Zwollen,  and he was a nephew of R. Moses ben Naphtali Zevi Rivkes,  and among the leading students of R. Joshua Hoeschel ben Jacob of Cracow, one of the preeminent rabbinic figures of the time.  Lida officiated as rabbi in a number of communities in eastern Europe, beginning, in 1671, with Lida, in Grodno, Byelorussia, the source of the family name--his son Petachiah and his grandson, David Benjamin, also served there in the same capacity--and subsequently in Ostrog and Mainz, Germany. These were followed by his appointment, in 1681, as the chief rabbi of the Ashkenazic community in Amsterdam, succeeding Meir Stern of Fulda (d. 1679).
The Jewish community of Amsterdam, originally of Sephardic composition, saw an influx of Ashkenazim after the Thirty Years War in Germany and the Chmielnicki massacres in Poland, so that by 1674 the Jewish population of Amsterdam numbered 2,500 Sephardic and 5,000 Ashkenazic Jews.  In addition to the existence of separate Sephardic and Ashkenazic communities, the latter were, if formally united, riven by dissension between the German and Polish elements. The Poles had, in 1660, formed their own congregation, but in 1673 the Amsterdam authorities ordered them to rejoin the German community.
Lida was, when he became chief rabbi of the Ashkenaz congregation of Amsterdam, only thirty-one. He had achieved a degree of prominence and had begun to publish his works. Lida, however, soon became embroiled in a dispute with leaders of the congregation, foremost among them Nissan ben Judah Leib, brother-in-law of Isaac Benjamin Wolf ben Eliezer Ashkenazi (Wolf b"r Lippman), chief rabbi in Berlin and later in Landsberg and Slotzk, and author of Nachlas Binyamin (Amsterdam, 1682). At one point in their altercation, Nissan ben Judah Leib claimed that he had found, on a trip to the city of Wessel, defamatory letters of a most serious nature written about him and Wolf b"r Lippman, which he attributed to David Lida. Copies of the letters were submitted to the Sephardic rabbinic court of Amsterdam. Noting that Lida denied writing the letters, they requested more complete information from Wessel. Subsequently, in a responsa written by Jacob Sasportas and signed by Isaac Aboab da Fonesca and Solomon de Oliveyra, ha khamim of the Portuguese community, Lida was found innocent of the charges, and the letters were proclaimed forgeries. 
These accusations were followed by charges of literary piracy and Sabbateanism, based on allusions in his writings to Shabbetai Zevi, made in the synagogue and printed for public distribution. The rabbis of the Amsterdam Portuguese, who had initially supported Lida, now opposed him on the basis of these later charges. 
Forced to leave his position in Amsterdam, Lida appealed to the Va'ad Arba Artzot (Council of the Four Lands) in Poland.  Their support and vindication of Lida, which included excommunicating his opponents within the Ashkenazic community, resulted in Lida's being restored to his position. Although he returned to Amsterdam, his position was untenable, and he left, after reaching a financial settlement, for Lemberg (Lvov), where he died in 1696.  Lida defended himself in a small work entitled Be 'er Esek (Well of Contention), based on "and he called the name of the well Esek; because they strove with him" (Genesis 26:20), printed in Lublin [Frankfort on Oder], Monday 4 Elul, [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (attribute of justice, 444-1684). Be'er Esek is primarily a compilation of the pronouncements of the Va'ad Arba Artzot and letters written by prominent rabbis on Lida's behalf. Lida remained highly regarded in rabbinic circles, even after his troubles in Amsterdam, evidenced by the fact that his approbations appear in the works of important rabbinic figures, most significantly Abraham Gombiner's Magen Avraham (Dyhernfurth, 1692).
These are, in brief, the main points of Lida's biography. While the other charges have faded with time, it is the accusation that he was a plagiarist that has haunted his reputation. The first such charge was leveled against his authorship of Migdal David, a kabbalistic commentary on the book of Ruth. Its acceptance by authoritative souces such as Hayyim Joseph David Azulai (Hida, 1724-1806) and Hayyim Michael (1792--1846), the former using terms such as "certainly" and "in truth," in ascribing that work to Hayyim ha-Kohen, has resulted in the widespread acceptance of the charge, so that it is often repeated, and the entry for Migdal David found in major bibliographic works makes mention of its disputed authorship. 
Migdal David was published in 1680, when Lida was still rabbi in Mainz, at the Amsterdam press of Uri Phoebus. The title page informs us that it was
written and brought to press [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] by the rav, the great, the lamp of Israel, "a valiant man of many achievements from Kabzeel" (Samuel 1123:20), the honorable rabbi David [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] [may the Merciful One watch over and bless him], who has spread Torah in numerous holy communities in the lands of Poland and Lithuania and now is Av Bet Din and Rash Mesivta (Head of the Rabbinical Court and Yeshiva) in...Mainz.
The book has seventeen approbations from leading rabbinic figures from central and eastern Europe.  Several of the approbations do not specifically mention Migdal David, but rather praise Lida. Even a cursory reading of the other approbations indicates that the writers believe Migdal David is an original work. Aaron Samuel ben Isaac of Cracow describes Lida as "'a fast writer' (Psalms 45:2), in his work, the work of the Lord, and he builds for him a tower of David (migdal David)...." Similarly, Isaac ben Abraham of Posen, "a tower of David (migdal David) that he builds with turrets, 'loving kindness is poured into your lips' (Psalms 45:3)," and Nachman ben Solomon Naphtali of Vilna, "he called it Migdal David, built with turrets for the generations, for," paraphrasing Psalm 12:7, "his words are pure words, purified seven times (Psalms 12:7)...."
The book was prepared for press several years prior to its publication. It has been noted that Nachman ben Solomon Naphtali's approbation, although not dated, appears to have been written in 1673-1674.  Although a majority of the approbations are close to the publication date, there are still other early approbations, for example that of Israel ben Nathan Shapiro of Kalisz, explicitly dated 1674, Mordecai ben Benjamin Wolf Ginzberg of Brest-Litovsk, dated [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (1673), and Jacob ben Mordecai of Lubomla, given as "Your neck is like the tower of David" [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (=438=1678).
Lida confirms his authorship of Migdal David on the title page of Ir Miklat (Dyhernfurth, 1690), which states, "[our teacher the Rav and Rabbi] David ben Aryeh Leib, author of Migdal David and Ir David that he built and planted while he was Av bet Din and Rosh Mesivta (Head of the Rabbinical Court and Yeshiva) in Mainz," and in the introduction to Ir David, homilies on the Torah, where he concludes with the supplication that he should not encounter the difficulties that befell him with "my book Migdal David," for he relied on the editors, being preoccupied with communal matters, and when he looked into it afterwards found it to be replete with nettles and omissions, beyond number. 
What truly befell Lida was that Nissan ben Judah Leib also accused him of "wearing a Talit that was not his own," that is, he identified Migdal David as Torat Hesed by Hayyim ben Abraham ha-Kohen (1585-1655).  Hayyim ha-Kohen, a leading disciple of Hayyim Vital, was, for two decades, rabbi in Aram Zova and author of a number of books with kabbalistic content, among them sermons, Torat Hakham (Venice, 1654) and Mekor Hayyim, a kabbalistic commentary on the Shulhan Arukh (various locations), as well as a number of works still in manuscript.  His commentary on Ruth, Torat Hesed, the work Lida is accused of plagiarizing, was a also never published. 
It has been suggested that there are allusions to Hayyim ha-Kohen in the introduction to Migdal David, where Lida writes that one who wishes to relieve his spiritual thirst may do so with this small work, which "gushes [derives] from mekor mayyim hayyim... kahana raba [Kohen Godel=high priest]." The Hida, who ascribes this book to Hayyim ha-Kohen, questions the allusion, noting that it does not explicitly say "mekor hayyim kahana raba."
I would suggest another allusion, to be found in the introduction, where we are informed why the book is entitled Migdal David, and that there is another, closer, redeemer:
I named it (MIGDAL DAVID) for in it will be explained, "He is a tower of [our] king's salvation" (Samuel II 22:41), our anointed, the breath of our nostrils, David, or a son of David, and He will redeem us. "Now while it is true that I am a redeemer, there is also another redeemer closer than I." (Ruth 3:12)...
Jacob Emden attacks Lida's authorship of Migdal David in his Torat ha-Kena 'ot while simultaneously finding Sabbatean references in Shir Hillulim, bound
with the former work.  Shir Hillulim, a poem comprised of verses to be recited responsively by a cantor and congregation, was written in honor of the dedication of a Torah scroll (Amsterdam, 1680). It consists of a title page and three pages of text. The first word of each line forms an acrostic, spelling out David ben Leib [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. Between the lines beginning with the initial letters daled and lamed is a line beginning with a mem; its purpose is unclear. The printer was David de Castro Tartas, who, parenthetically, notes on the title page, together with his name, that his brother Isaac was burned at an autode-fe sanctifying the name of God. 
The cantor's last line concludes with the words, [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Tishby will redeem us). It has been suggested that these references were not in Lida's manuscript but rather were added by the printer.  Emden comments, "also Tishby [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] is called Shabbetai [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], as can be seen in Shir Hillulim," a play on Hillulim [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (song of praise, with a heh), by calling it [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (song of blasphemy, with a het) "at the end of Migdal David, as the one who brought the book to press misleadingly calling it by his own name, and mumbles and does not know what he mumbles, for the name of the true author signed it at the end, concluding 'le-hayyim,' and he signs himself to death, where he writes: 'Tishby will redeem us' who he explains as David, who is Tishby, but where do the sages ever mention the redeemer as Tishby...." 
It has been suggested that a defense of Lida can be found in the approbations to Ir David, printed decades after his death and written by leading rabbinic figures, such as Gershon ben Isaac Ashkenazi (Ulif, d. 1693), chief rabbi of Metz, and author of Avodat ha-Gershoni and Tiferet ha-Gershoni (Frankfort on Main, 1699), and Hiddushei ha-Gershoni (1710).  Ashkenazi compares Lida and his books to an expert in the writing of amulets, having proven both himself and his works, so that he may be called an expert (Shabbat 61b), which should be proclaimed publicly. Ashkenazi continues (Shir ha-Shirim, 4:4), that his books are "desirable as 'the tower of David (migdal David)' built as a 'magnificent structure,' and he displays his strong hand in hidden knowledge (kabbalah) and in the writings of the Ari [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], which is his style.... I can say with surety, that the benefit of the public is dependent upon the publication of his writings...." The later publication date of Ir David notw ithstanding, these words, and similar language in other accompanying approbations, were written in 1681.
A more recent defense against the charge of plagiarism is provided by Abraham Abba Eisner, a descendent of Lida. Eisner writes that he did not actually see Migdal David, due to its rarity. He attempts to discredit Jacob Emden, and argues that the fact that the other charges against Lida were dismissed as groundless is proof that the charge of plagiarism too was found to be without substance. Eisner observes that Lida's reputation as a kabbalist is attested to by the notorious antisemite Johann Andreas Eisenmenger (1654-1704), who, in his Entdecktes Judentum (Judaism Unmasked [Frankfort on Main, 1700]), reports that he visited Lida in Amsterdam in 1681 and found him to be a scholar and great kabbalist. 
These defenses and allusions are unnecessary. Lida himself, despite the attribution on the title page and elsewhere of Migdal David to himself, informs us, by parable and even more explicitly in the introduction to the book, that it is not an original work.
The allegory, taken from the Zohar and elsewhere, is of a rooster pecking about seeking food, which uncovered a beautiful, bright pearl. Startled by the pearl's brightness and beauty, the rooster recoiled, wondering how such a beautiful object, fit to be in a place of honor, came to be concealed. A man, observing the rooster recoil, came to see what had disturbed it and, finding the pearl, took it in his hand. Appreciating its great value he presented the pearl to the king to be placed as a diadem on his crown. The king, too, rejoicing in this precious stone, honored the rooster, who had not found the pearl of his own volition, but by chance while seeking food.
Lida continues, "so is this matter, for I found in this scroll blossoms and fruit which give forth a brightness, delightful to the sight and desirable to the eye, 'its fruit is good for food' (Genesis 2:9)... when this distinguished book comes to the hand of one who appreciates its value . . . and also he who publishes it will be remembered for good before the King, King of the universe," language understood to refer to a publisher rather than an author.
Migdal David is not the only book by Lida where his authorship is suspect. Questions have been raised concerning his first title, the ethical treatise, Divrei David (Lublin, 1671). The authorship of Divrei David, or perhaps more correctly, the work from which it was taken, is a fascinating subject in its own right. Lida concludes the title page of the first edition with, "these are the words of David (divrei david), the insignificant, son of the honorable Aryeh Leib, currently in Lida..." We are then informed, in a brief introduction: And I called it DIVREI DAVID, as it is culled from the words (divrei) of the rishonim (early sages), with additions of my own, which draw the hearts of man and bring them close to their father in heaven, to keep His statutes and His Torah, to observe them, for that is man's duty (Ecciesiastes 12:13), "the earth will be filled with knowledge of the Lord" (Isaiah 11:9).
The first bibliographer, according to N. Brull, to realize that there was a problem was J. Zedner, who, in his catalogue of the British Library, records Divrei David (Offenbach, 1723) under Lida's name with a reference to "Aryeh Judah Loeb ben Chayim Priluck." That entry, referring to Prilik's Sefer Yireh (Berlin, 1724), concludes, "[Being [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] by David ben Aryeh; the whole edited by A. J. L. ben C.]."  Michael writes that Divrei David was reprinted by Aryeh Judah Loew ben Hayyim in Berlin, as part of his Sefer Yireh, as Sefer Mussar, omitting the name of the author. 
Sefer Yireh is composed of three parts, Medrash Conan, Perushei Mamrei Zohar, and Sefer Mussar, the last identical to Divrei David.  Prilik states, in the introduction to the Sefer Mussar, that this book is, "small in quantity but large in value. See this new work, which was not extant before. Found in manuscript, the author is anonymous.... He was undoubtedly a righteous person...." Sefer Mussar, or Divrei David, includes personal information; for example, the author refers to his book on the weekly Torah readings (no. 72), stating, "see what is written in my Zer Zahav, on parsha Vayikra, in the verse 'nor shall you allow the salt of the covenant [of your God] to be lacking'" (Leviticus 1:13). He also had made several visits to Jerusalem (nos. 46, 77, and 85), had served as head of a rabbinical court outside of Jerusalem (no. 46), and had been in Turkey (75).
Prilik's introduction, according to Eliakum Carmoly, was written in haste, without research or investigation, for, given all of the personal references in the Sefer Mussar, it is clear that the author was David of Parobyz.  Carmoly makes no mention of Divrei David. Brull, aware of the existence of both works, not only accepts Carmoly's identification of David of Parobyz as the true author, but explicitly adds that this is but one example of Lida's plagiarism.  Lida was not the author; he does not mention visiting Jerusalem or Turkey in any of his other writings, although he had ample opportunity to do so, nor was he the author of a work entitled Zer Zahav. In a later attempt to identify the author of Sefer Mussar, B. Dinaburg, also without mentioning Divrei David, suggests Jacob Zemah, based on the above references to the author's Zer Zahav and his visits to Jerusalem. 
These identifications are challenged by Gershom Scholem, who observes that Zemah's Zer Zahav is a halakhic commentary on the Shulhan Arukh, whereas the Zer Zahav suggested by Carmoly and Brull is arranged alphabetically, in contradistinction to the Zer Zahav referenced in the Sefer Mussar, a Torah commentary arranged according to the weekly Torah readings. Furthermore, Zemah was a resident in Jerusalem, not a visitor, and never headed a rabbinical court outside of Jerusalem, as did the anonymous author. Scholem observes that at the beginning of the section on Shabbat is a possible numerical allusion to Shabbetai Zevi, suggested by the interchange of the Hebrew letters spelling Shabbat [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and Tishby [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] common among his followers. Parenthetically, this is followed by "Elijah, Messiah, son of David," Tishby normally being understood as a reference to the prophet Elijah. Scholem remarks that while Luria's books are replete with such allusions, a nd he was suspected of Sabbateanism, in this case neither he nor the other individuals suggested was the author of the work in question. 
Scholem's observation as to the Sabbatean tendencies of the author are rejected by Haim Liberman, who observes that the suggested allusion had appeared earlier, in Nathan Nata ben Solomon Spira's Megalleh Amukkot (Cracow, 1637), prior to the birth of the Sabbatean movement. Furthermore, he defends Lida, writing that the author of Divrei David explicitly states in his introduction that "it is culled from the words of the early sages with additions of my own." 
However, even if we excuse Lida for not attributing that which he has taken from the "early sages," there remains the difficulty that a compiler culls his work, something not evident in Divrei David, with its references to a book not written and trips not taken by Lida. More important, if Prilik is to be believed, and there is no reason not to believe him, Sefer Mussar was printed from a manuscript by an anonymous author, with the result that Lida has not "culled," but rather expropriated another's work.
One additional defense of Lida must be noted. Eisner writes that the date of Lida's supposed trip to Jerusalem (no. 46) "He will fulfil the desire of those who fear him; he also will hear [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (=1660) their cry, and will save them" (Psalms 145:19) is to be found in the Sefer Mussar but not in Divrei David.  While this phrase appears in (some) later editions of Divrei David with the word ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) in parentheses rather than enlarged and in bold letters, in the 1671 Lublin edition it is in the identical manner as in the Sefer Mussar. The entries pertaining to Jerusalem are also in that edition. 
Yet another work was attributed to Lida, the Asarah Hillulim, on Psalms, which he did not write. Asarah Hillulim is included in the Yad Kol Bo (Frankfort on Main, 1727), a collection of fourteen of Lida's writings, published by his son Petachiah and son-in-law Moses ben Zalman Mireles.  It appears that in this instance it was the publishers who included and incorrectly attributed the Asarah Hillulim to Lida. The author was, in fact, the Calvinist Christian-Hebraist, Heinrich Jacob van Bashuysen (1679-1750). While it is not clear how such an error could have been made, it seems plausible, given that Bashuysen was only seventeen when Lida died, that Lida was not responsible for the error. 
What to make of all this? We know that his career was interrupted, or more correctly curtailed, by groundless hatred, charges of slander and Sabbateanism, charges found to be baseless by eminent authorities. Brilliant and talented, considered by many to be the leading student of Reb Hoeschel, rabbi of several important communities at a young age, he was the unquestioned author of a number of highly valued books. Was David ben Aryeh Leib of Lida a plagiarist, or were these charges also unfounded?
It would seem, although the case is not overwhelming, that there is substance to the charge of plagiarism. As we have seen, Lida takes credit on the title page, and elsewhere, for a work, while providing a disclaimer in the introduction. I would suggest, and this is highly speculative and certainly not a justification, that Lida's acts of literary piracy were youthful improprieties, albeit of a most serious nature. A young man, inexperienced, perhaps immature, from whom much was expected, hoping to impress others and to further a burgeoning career, erred and claimed authorship of works he had not written, but rather discovered in manuscript. These acts occurred at a relatively early age, especially if we allow that the manuscripts were found and prepared for press some time prior to actual publication. Divrei David was published in 1671, when Lida was only twenty-one. It has been noted that several approbations for Migdal David were written earlier, in 1673-74. He postponed printing Migdal David, but, that t itle being already known and with approbations already written, publication could not be delayed further without good reason.
Did Lida have regrets, repenting these early acts of plagiarism? I would suggest, and this too is speculative, that he was ambivalent from the beginning as to what he was doing, which, perhaps, is why he initially added disclaimers, rather than just protecting himself in case of disclosure, although that too. Afterwards, he did express regret for these misdeeds, never repeating them, the other, later books bearing his name, all highly regarded, being accepted unchallenged as his own work. More significantly, in the introduction to Ir David, Lida writes: "Whoever repeats a saying in the name of the one who said it brings redemption to the world" (Megillah 15a; and Hullin 104b). He continues, casuistically explicating the apparently superfluous "to the world," and explaining the relationship of redemption to repeating a saying in the name of the one who said it, concluding that doing so causes
"one's lips to move in the grave" (Yevamot 97a, Sanhedrin 90b, and Bekhorot 31b), as if he were alive, as King David says "I will abide in Your tent for ever" (Psalms 61:5), as if he were alive and sixty myriads stand alive, ready to accept influences most high through sixty myriads channels, and then the redemption is suitable for the world.
Marvin I. Heller, an independent scholar, writes on Hebrew bibliography and printing. His most recent book is Printing the Talmud. A History of the Individual Treatises Printed from 1700 to 1750 (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1999).
(1.) Hayyim Yosef David Azulai, Skein ha-Gedolim ha-Shalem with additions by Menachem Mendel Krengel (Jerusalem, 1979), Marakhet Gedolim het 33 and Marakhet Seforim mem 32 [Hebrew].
(2.) Lida's other works, many printed posthumously, include Sod HaShem: (Amsterdam, 1680); Be'er Esek (Frankfort on Oder/ or Lublin, 1684); Shomer Shabbat (1687); Ir Miklat (Dyhernfurth, 1690); Helkei Evenim and annotations to Jehiel Melli's Tappuhei Zahav (Fuerth, 1693); Ir David (Amsterdam, 1719); and Yad Kol Bo (Frankfurt am Main, 1727). He also wrote a commentary, Be'er Mayyim Hayyim, on the Tur Shulhan Arukh O.H., for which he received approbations but which was never printed.
(3.) Abraham Abba Eisner, Toledot ha-gaon Rabbi David Lida (Breslau, 1938), p. 8, who also notes that Lida quotes Torah in the name of his grandfather in Helkei Evenim.
(4.) Moses ben Naphtali Zevi Rivkes (d. 1671-1672) was the author of Be 'er ha-Golah (Amsterdam, 1660-61) on the Shulhan Arukh, reprinted in all subsequent editions of that work.
(5.) Joshua Hoeschel ben Jacob (1595-1663), rabbi and rosh yeshiva in Lublin and afterwards in Cracow, numbered among his students Shabbetai ben Meir ha-Kohen (Shakh) and Samuel Koidanover. Among his published works are Toledot Aaron (Lublin, 1682), republished with additions as Hiddushei Halakhot (Frankfurt, 1725), and Hanukkat ha-Torah (1880). Other works remain in manuscript. Concerning Lida and Joshua Hoeschel see Hayyim M. Dembitzer, Kelilat Jofi (Cracow, 1893), I, p. 68a and II, p. 59a-59b.
(6.) Concerning Jewish immigration to Amsterdam see Joseph Kaplan, "Amsterdam and Ashkenazic Migration in the Seventeenth Century," pp. 22-44, and Jonathon Israel, "Sephardic Immigration into the Dutch Republic," pp.45-53, Studia Rosenthaliana (Str), special issue published together with Vol. 23, No. 2 (Amsterdam, 1989).
(7.) Jacob Sasportas, Chef Ya'acov (Amsterdam, 1737; reprint Bnei Brak, 1986), no, 75. Sasportas (1610-1698), head of the yeshiva Etz Hayyim and rabbi of the Portuguese community, wrote Toledot Ya'acov, an index of the Aggadic material in the Jerusalem Talmud, responsa Ohel Ya-acov, edited and published by his son Abraham Sasportas. An unrelenting opponent of the Sabbatian movement, his correspondence against that movement are recorded in Zizczt Noel Zevi, reissued in abridged form by Jacob Emden as Kizzur Zizat Noel Zevi (Altona, 1757). Parenthetically, Migdal David is dedicated, at the end of the introduction, to "the sage, the complete Torah scholar, Av Bet Din and Rosh Mesivia of the holy community of Amsterdam, the honorable R. Isaac Aboab.
(8.) Concerning the early phases of the dispute, public complaints, and excommunications within Amsterdam, see Eisner, Toledot ha-gaon Rabbi David Lida, p. 12.
(9.) Israel Halperin, The Records of the Four Lands. Vol. I: 1580-1792 (Jerusalem, 1989), p. 179 no. 394, pp. 186-93 no. 410, and pp. 198-201 nos. 417-419. Also see L. Fuks, "The Amsterdam Rabbi David Lida and the Council of the Four Counties (1680-1684)," Sir VI, pp. 166-79; idem., Sir (1972), X pp. 189-94; and Sasportas, no. 76.
(10.) Fuks, Str VI p. 174. Concerning the correct date of Lida's death see Solomon Buber, Anshche Skem (Cracow, 1895), p. 56 [Hebrew] and Gabriel b. Isaac Polak, Kil bat Gallim (Amsterdam, 1867), pp. 2-3 [Hebrew).
(11.) Azulai, Shem ha-Gedolim ha-Shalem, and Hayym Michael, Or ha-Hayyim (Frankfort on Main, 1891; reprint, Jerusalem, 1965), pp. 318-19, n. 700 and pp. 376-77, no. 844 [Hebrew).
(12.) The approbations are Aaron Samuel ben Isaac of Cracow; Isaac ben Abraham of Posen; Zevi Hirsch ben Zechariab of Lemberg; Isaac ben Zev Wolf of Apt; Mordecai ben Benjamin Wolf Ginsberg of Brest-Litovsk; Moses ben Abraham of Grodno; Moses ben Israel Jacob Isserles of Pinsk; Nahman ben Solomon of Vilna; Eisik ben Eliezer Lipman Heilprun of Tiktin; Israel ben Nathan Shapiro of Kalisz; Jacob ben Mordecai of Lubomla; Mordecai ben Nathan Note Kohen of Amstibovo; Isaiah Aboab of Amsterdam; Isaiah ben Shabbetai Sheftel Hurwitz of Frankfort on Main; Benjamin Wolf ben Jacob Epstein of Friedburg; Susskind ben Moses Rothenburg of Witzenhausen; Judah Leib ben Solomon of Rotterdam.
(13.) Nathan Simha Straschun, ha-Carmel (Vilna, 1861), I: no.47, p. 377 n.3.
(14.) Ir David, begun in 1683, was discontinued after a third only had been printed. Lida writes, at the end of Helkei Evenim, "The enemies of the Lord pursued me and overtook me in the midst of [my] distress (Lamentations 1:3). They destroyed my house and caused me monetary loss of many thousands," lamenting his inability to complete the printing of Ir David. The first edition, then, is that of Solomon Proops (Amsterdam, 1719).
(15.) Aaron Freimann, "R. David Lida and His Apologetics in Be'er Esek" in Sefer Iza-Yovel for Nahum Sokolow (Warsaw, 1904), p. 457.
(16.) Concerning Hayyim ha-Kohen's adventures, or more correctly travail, in printing his works, see my "Jedidiah ben Isaac Gabbai and the First Decade of Hebrew Printing in Livorno, Part II," Los Muestros, No. 34 (Brussels, 1999), pp. 28-29.
(17.) It has not been possible to determine how Nissan ben Judah Leib identified Migdal David as Torah Hesed. Given the very scarce, or, possibly, now not extant literature, ephemera really, plentiful and widely distributed during the dispute, it is worthwhile to repeat Freimann's remarks on the rarity of such works in his introduction to the reprinting of Be'er Esek. He compares them to Jonah's gourd, "which lived one night and perished after one night" (Jonah 4:10). So are these pamphlets widely distributed and read, which afterwards perish and are lost" (Freimann, p. 455). It has also not been possible to locate a copy of the manuscript of Torat Hesed for comparison purposes. That work is not listed in the catalogue of the Institute of Microfilmed Hebrew Manuscripts, Jewish National and University Library, which has copies of more than 90 percent of known Hebrew manuscripts.
(18.) Jacob Emden (Yavets, 1697-1776), son of the Hakham Zevi and one of the outstanding Jewish personalities of the eighteenth century. He served as rabbi in several communities, was a prolific writer, operated a printing press, and was an indefatigable opponent of Shabbateanism, which resulted in his engaging in several highly public disputes with members, real and perceived, of that movement.
(19.) Jacob Emden, Torat ha-Kena'ot (Altona, 1752), pp. 71b-72a notes that the Shir Hillulim he saw was bound with Migdal David. Hayyim Michael, Or ha-Hayyim, p.319, says the two works were printed together. The two copies of these works examined for this article were also bound together. M. Landshuth, Ammude ha- Avodah (reprint, New York, 1965), p.59, suggests that Shir Hillulim was printed both with Migdal David and separately. The predominant practice at the time, as in earlier periods, was to sell books unbound, to be bound by the buyer. For another work printed in two print-shops and bound together see my "Observations on the Reprinting of Kesef Nivhar," Sir 31, no. 1-2 (Amsterdam, 1997), pp. 168-74.
(20.) Tiferes Yisrael Zuta, quoted in Buber, p.55. I have not been able to locate a copy of this work. Also Eisner, Toledot ha-gaon Rabbi David Lida, p. 12. The printer, David de Castro Tartas, was in fact an ardent supporter of Shabbetai Zevi. Nevertheless, it is difficult to accept that a printer would so obviously modify a small work, written by one of Amsterdam's chief rabbis and meant for immediate distribution. Even more unlikely is that if Tartas had supplemented Lida's text with Sabbatean material, Lida would have allowed him to print another of his works, which he did with Shomer Shabbat (1687).
(21.) Jacob Emden, Torat ha-Kena'ot 71b(1697-1776), reprinted in Straschun, pp. 377-378 n. 3.
(22.) Azulai, with additions by Menachem Mendel Krengel marakhet Seforim mem 32 n. 17.
(23.) Eisner, Toledot ha-gaon Rabbi David Lida, pp. 11-12, n. 3. Eisner also quotes from or reprints, pp. 12ff., almost the entire corpus pertaining to the dispute favorable to Lida, from contemporary responsa and pronouncements to more recent references. He does not, however, add anything not previously known.
(24.) N. Brull, Jahrbucher fur Judische Geschichte und Literatur (Frankfort on Main, 1876), II p. 171. Joseph Zedner, Catalogue of the Hebrew Books in the British Museum (London, 1867; reprint Norwich, 1964), pp. 54 and 197. It should be noted, however, that Moritz Steinschneider, Catalogus Liborium Hebraeorum in Bibliotheca Bodleiana (Berlin, 1852-60), cols. 876-77 no. 4826.4 was also aware of the problem, for he writes under Lida's Divrei David, "[anon. Sub. Tit. [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] L. Ethicae]; ad c. Arje b. Chajjim: L. Timoris q.v. (1724)."
(25.) Michael, p.319, n. **. More recent bibliographies repeat these entries; see Ch. B friedberg, Bet Eked Sepharim (Tel Aviv, 1951), I daled 218 and II yod 920 [Hebrew] and Yeshayahu Vinograd, Thesaurus of the Hebrew Book Listing of Books printed in Hebrew Letters Since the Beginning of Hebrew Printing circa 1469 through 1863 (Jerusalem, 1995), vol. II pp. 113 no. 99. Also, Bibliographical Project of the Jewish National and University Library (Jerusalem, 1992) [Hebrew].
(26.) I was able to examine the Sefer Mussar in the Library of Agudas Chassidiei Chabad Ohel Yosef Yitzhak. I would like to express my appreciation to R. Yitzhak Wilhelm, librarian, for his assistance.
(27.) Eliakum Carmoly, Ha-Carmel, VI: no. 50, 1868, p. 403. Concerning David of Parobyz see the Carmoly entry, Michael, p. 344 n. 769, and Steinschneider col. 545, the latter identifying Baruch ben David as the author of Zer Zahav (Cracow, 1657 vel 1647), an alphabetic index of Midrashim and the Zohar.
(28.) Brull, II 171-72.
(29.) B. Dinaburg, "The Beginnings of Hasidism and its Social and Messianic Elements," Zion (Jerusalem, 1943), IV, p. 111 n. 14. Jacob ben Hayyim Zemah (c. 1570-1665), a Marrano who returned to Judaism in his thirties, became a student of Samuel Vital, son of Hayyim Vital, and a leading kabbalist. Zemah was an early opponent of Shabbetai Zevi. He wrote, utilizing Hayyim Vital's manuscripts, several kabbalistic works, among them Nagid u-Mezaveh (Amsterdam, 1712) and Zohar ha-Raki'a (Korzec, 1785). Among his unpublished works is Zer Zahav, a detailed kabbalistic commentary on the Shulhan Arukh O. H.
(30.) Gershom Scholem, "Sefer Mussar of R. Jacob Zemach?," KS 22(1946), pp. 308-10. At the end of this article Scholem notes and dismisses other suggestions as to the author of the Sefer Mussar.
(31.) Haim Liebermann, "Hebrew Printing at Munkacs," KS 27 (1951; reprint in Ohel R"HL, Brooklyn, 1980), I, pp. 262-63 no. 229 [Hebrew).
(32.) Eisner, p. 10, n. 3.
(33.) I would like to thank R. Y. Rosenes of the Judaica Archival project/Machon Mekorot for providing me with a copy of the 1671 edition of Divrei David.
(34.) Among these works is a super-commentary on Rashi, also entitled Migdal David.
(35.) Bashuysen wrote books reflecting his interest in rabbinic literature and translated classical rabbinic texts into Latin, among them portions of Maimonides' Mishneh Torah and the Abrabanel's Torah commentary. These titles were published at the Hebrew print shop in Hanau established by Bashuysen in 1708, which is credited with publishing more than 100 Hebrew titles. Among Bashuysen's own works are the Psalms, in Hebrew, with a Latin commentary drawn from rabbinic sources (1712), and a Latin translation of Moses ben David Rohatin's Sugyot ha-Talmud as Clavis Talmudica in 1714.
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|Author:||Heller, Marvin J.|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2001|
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