Auction 78 Rare and Important Items
May 25, 2021
 8 Ramban St, Jerusalem.
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LOT 6:

Fragments of a Siddur with Laws in Ladino (Presumably Only Extant Fragments) – Salonika, 1569

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Fragments of a Siddur with Laws in Ladino (Presumably Only Extant Fragments) – Salonika, 1569
Leaf fragments of a printed siddur with laws in Ladino. Salonika, [1569]. Printer unknown.
Leaf fragments (presumably found in a binding), from a siddur titled Tehillot Yisrael, printed in Salonika. The number of leaves in the original siddur is unknown.
Eight leaves: first leaf with the heading "Tehillot Yisrael", followed by a foreword in Ladino regarding the contents of the siddur (order of blessings, prayers for festivals, laws and more). The foreword extends over the next two leaves. The third leaf contains an interesting afterword by the printer (in Rashi script, Hebrew), mentioning the date and place of printing (see below). The following leaves contain supplications, blessings for Tallit and Tefillin and the beginning of the morning blessings.
In his afterword, the printer explains that the laws and instructions are usually printed in siddurim in the Holy Tongue, in "Provencal" script (Rashi script), which leads to errors amongst those who don't understand the language or can't read Rashi script (indeed, the instructions in these leaves are printed in square script, in Ladino): "I… adjure all printers… that all the siddurim they print from now on should use only this translation, so that they benefit the public and merit the blessing of good. What good are instructions… in the Holy Tongue and in Provencal script for those who don't know the script nor the language? One often hears people saying the prayer of Passover on Sukkot, and many similar occurrences, based on misunderstanding the siddur, and now with this order, it will be useful to everyone… I named it Tehillot Yisrael, and the printing began on Thursday, Rosh Chodesh Adar, 1569, Salonika".
Prof. Yeshayahu Sonne first publicized the existence of this siddur, based on leaf fragments found in the binding of an early book in Ancona (see: Y. Sonne, Siddur with Laws in Ladino, Salonica 1569, Kiryat Sefer XI, 1934-1935, p. 134). Sonne describes two leaves (corresponding to two of the present leaves), and writes that he was unable to separate and examine the rest of the leaves. The leaves he saw may have been the present leaves, and if so – these are the only known extant fragments of this siddur (Dov HaKohen, in his soon to be published book, Otzar HaSefarim BeLadino, Ben Zvi Institute, records this siddur based on Sonne's article only).
[8] leaves. 12.5 cm. Fair-poor condition. Stains. Many open tears and worming, with significant damage to text. All leaves repaired with paper and remargined (leaves were originally smaller). Bound in a new leather binding.

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