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    First Edition of Ashkenazi's Controversial Work on the Zohar

    [Zohar] Mordechai ben Yehudah Leib Ashkenazi and Abraham ben Michael Rovigo. [Hebrew Text:]. Sefer Eshel Avraham ... be-ve'ur shiv'ah yeme Be-reshit ve-sod ta'ame Torah. Furth: Model of Ansbach in the House of Tsevi Hirsh ben Yosef Segal, 1701. First edition. Hebrew text. Folio in four sections. [1]2, [2-47] 4. Complete. 186 leaves = 392 pages. Title page in architectural copper-plate border showing Moses, Aaron, and David slaying Goliath; kabbalistic sephirot and other diagrams in text [two full-page]. Modern calf-backed imitation leather boards, boards scuffed and rubbed, spine lightly cocked, tear in front free end paper repaired with cellophane tape, smaller cellophane tape repair and ink inscription on rear free endpaper; some old inscriptions on title page; minor marginal dampstains and soiling; some light browning to a few leaves; generally a very good copy with wide margins. Scholem, Kabbalistica, 71. Vinograd, Furth, 66. Steinschneider 4299:1. Cowley 27. Zedner 709. CD-EPI 0112272. OCLC: 33109033 (One copy in New York Public Library). From the Krown & Spellman Collection.
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    [Zohar] Mordechai ben Yehudah Leib Ashkenazi and Abraham ben Michael Rovigo. [Hebrew Text:]. Sefer Eshel Avraham ... be-ve'ur shiv`ah yeme Be-reshit ve-sod ta`ame Torah. Furth: Model of Ansbach in the House of Tsevi Hirsh ben Yosef Segal, 1701.       

    First edition. Hebrew text. Folio in four sections.  [1]2, [2-47] 4. Complete. 186 leaves = 392 pages. Title page in architectural copper-plate border showing Moses, Aaron, and David slaying Goliath; kabbalistic sephirot and other diagrams in text [two full-page]. Modern calf-backed imitation leather boards, boards scuffed and rubbed, spine lightly cocked, tear in front free end paper repaired with cellophane tape, smaller cellophane tape repair and ink inscription on rear free endpaper; some old inscriptions on title page; minor marginal dampstains and soiling; some light browning to a few leaves; generally a very good copy with wide margins.                                  

    Mordechai ben Yehudah Leib Ashkenazi of Zolkiev, 1695-1702, Kabbalist and Shabbatean. Ashkenazi  wrote the Eshel Avraham "based on a new interpretation of the Zohar he received from heaven." "I have been able to prove for instance that it was written against a background of visionary dreams...The treatment of the subject remains throughout strictly objective." -Scholem, Kabbalah, page 275 and Major Trends, page 121.

    Ashkenazi states that through the principles revealed in this book one can understand more of the Zohar in three months than others have been able to do in many years. This work has the enthusiastic approbations of the great rabbis of the period even though the author was a Shabbatean. [See G. Scholem, Chalomotav Shel Ha-Shabbetai R. Mordecai Ashkenazi.] In 1702 the work was condemned by the church authorities [EJ].

    Rovigo (circa 1650-1713) Italian kabbalist and Shabbatean. "Rovigo studied in Venice, where he became one of the leading pupils of Moses Zacuto in Kabbalah... Since he belonged to a wealthy family, Rovigo was able to devote himself exclusively to his studies; he became widely known as a supporter of pious enterprises and later also of Shabbatean activities...Becoming one of the main supporters of the moderate wing of Shabbateanism, he gathered around him many secret followers of the movement... In 1700-1 he spent a whole year seeing through the press the Zoharic commentaries of Mordecai Ashkenazi (of Zolkiev, 1695-1702), in Fuerth, a place that seemed more sympathetic to secret Shabbateans than Mantua or Venice." [EJ]

    Scholem, Kabbalistica, 71. Vinograd, Furth, 66. Steinschneider 4299:1. Cowley 27. Zedner 709. CD-EPI 0112272. OCLC: 33109033 (One copy in New York Public Library).

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