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Obj. ID: 35351
Jewish printed books
  Michlol Yofi with Lekket Shikhah, Amsterdam, 1684

© Gross Family Collection, Photographer: Unknown,

The following description was prepared by William Gross:

Grammatical commentary on the Bible by R. Solomon ibn Melekh (16th C), with the commentary Lekket Shikhah by R. Jacob ben Joseph Abendana (1630-1685). First published in Constantinople, Mikhlol Yofi covered the entire Bible. This volume is on the Torah portion, Joshua, Judges and Chronicles only.
Abendana was likely born in Spain to a Marrano family, taken from there at an early age to Hamburg, later relocating to Amsterdam, where he held a prominent position in the Jewish community. In 1681 he became the Hakham of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue in London. Abendana’s brother, Isaac, was an instructor in Hebrew at Cambridge University and prepared a Latin translation of the Mishnah that remains unpublished. Both brothers published Mikhlol Yofi.
This is the first Hebrew book by Jewish authors with approbations in Latin from Christian scholars, done to attract subscribers among Christian-Hebraists. There is a Latin title page and the Latin approbations, the first from Johannes Buxtorfius (Buxtorf), the second from four professors in Leiden.
Elaborate architectural title page topped by King David playing his harp, flanked below by winged trumpeting angles. Other decorative elements include the use of florets and several decorative tail-pieces.
The volume was published by David de Castro Tartas, a Portuguese-Jewish printer in Amsterdam. David was one of three sons of Portuguese "New Christians" who had escaped from Bragança, and settled, under the Catholic names Cristóvão Luís and Isabel da Paz in the French town of Tartas. In 1640 they moved to Amsterdam to live freely as Jews, retaining the surname "Tartas." David's older brother Isaac de Castro Tartas (ca. 1623-1647) stayed only 1 year in Amsterdam, emigrated to Brazil, and later was martyred in Lisbon.
David de Castro Tartas started as a typesetter in the printing house of Menasseh Ben Israel, where his name is mentioned in 1647. He later appears in 1662 as owner of his own press and in 1678 as a member of the Amsterdam Printers' Guild. His press competed with that of Uri Phoebus Halevi and the press of Joseph Athias.

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Name/Title
Michlol Yofi with Lekket Shikhah | Unknown
Object Detail
Monument Setting
Unknown
Date
1684
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Unknown
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Congregation
Unknown
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Site
Unknown
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Unknown|
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Unknown
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Paper, Ink, Letterpress, Woodcut
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3.4 cm
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Unknown
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0
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Custom
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