TYPE: Book
COMPONENTS: An important landmark in Ladino printing. Extremely rare in any condition. Ladino was the street language of the Jewish community of Spain and Portugal, just as Yiddish was the street language of the Jews of Central and Eastern Europe). From the year 1600-1729 an almost total eclipse occurred in the history of Ladino publishing, as no more than three Ladino books were published in Constantinople in that time period. Then a revival of Ladino printing began and this particular book was one of the first. Jewish law was another topic that was made more accessible to the Jewish masses in the Ottoman Empire thanks to publications in Ladino. Thus, some fifteen books on Jewish law were printed in Ladino in Istanbul, starting as early as 1733 with a compilation of regulations and laws by Assa After the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, the Ladino language–a rich blend of Hebrew and Spanish–moved to new countries, like Greece and Turkey, where Jewish refugees found new homes. As Ladino moved, a literature of its own came into being, reflecting the Diaspora experience of living as a Jew in a foreign land, and using words and stories to preserve a heritage that was not always appreciated by the wider world. Following the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, numerous Sephardi Jews settled in the Ottoman Empire. Sephardim had great cultural influence on indigenous Jews, though local customs were slow to disappear. Sephardi customs and especially their language—Ladino—eventually became the norm for most Jews in the western parts of the Ottoman Empire. Hebrew remained the language of ritual, prayer, and scholarship, but its comprehension by the Jewish masses decreased, despite the existence of communal Jewish religious education where Hebrew was taught. The early Hebrew printers in Istanbul focused on printing Hebrew classical rabbinical works and Jewish law books, which were felt to be in short supply or lacking altogether. Thus, for example, in 1493 the brothers David and Samuel Nahmias from Portugal, who pioneered Hebrew printing in the Ottoman Empire, printed in Istanbul the Hebrew language legal treatise by Jacob ben Asher, Arba‘ah t.urim. This trend continued until 1730 almost 240 years follow- ing the establishment of the first Hebrew printing house in Istanbul, by which time close to 330 books had been printed there, most of them in Hebrew. Only seven were translations, or included translations, or were original works in other Jewish languages—mainly Ladino but also Greek in Hebrew script, Judeo-Arabic, and Judeo-Persian. The run of each edition was relatively small and the Hebrew-language books were of use mainly to a limited number of scholars. The First period of Ladino printing starts off with the publication by the originally Ashkenazic Soncino family in 1547 of the Polygot Bible in Constantinople (although one Ladino pamphlet on ritual slaughtering has already been published in 1510). this edition presented the Biblical text as it was commonly used by the Sephardic Jews of the Ottoman Empire, or, as it is stated explicitly on the title page, "in the Turkish Lands". In a way, however, it is sad to see that this promising beginning of Ladino printing would never be followed by a long row of other works of practical religious use. Surely two very important Ladino books, Hanghagot Ha'hayyim by Moshe Almosnini, published in 1564 and Shulchan Hapanim, the 1569 Ladino translation of Karo's Shulhan Arukh appeared in Salonika and between 1571 and 1600 several Ladino editions of parts of the Prophets and Hagiographa appeared as well. But from the year 1600-1729 an almost total eclipse occurred in the history of Ladino publishing, no more than 3 Ladino books were published in Constantinople, and Salonika's presses were not active at all. As time passed, community leaders and scholars became concerned about the intellectual gap between the Jewish masses and their cultural leadership. The latter realized that the knowledge of most Jews regarding the essence of Judaism and its doctrines was scant: the beliefs of the masses were based on superstitions and they followed rules by rote. Furthermore, even had they wanted to, the masses had no access even to the most basic texts and did not understand their prayers and other works that were recited in the synagogue and in study groups, because these texts were in Hebrew and Aramaic. This led several Jewish scholars to conclude that in order to bring Judaism to the Jewish masses in the western Ottoman Empire it should be done in their own language, Ladino—which males could read, as it was written in Hebrew script (Lehmann 2005, pp. 33–48). This major initiative was launched in 1730 with the printing of Me-‘am lo‘ez (Lehmann 2010c), which is a thorough commentary on the Bible in Ladino. Culi (circa 1689–1732) started this enterprise (which was completed later by other scholars), with the printing of the first volume, on Genesis (Lehmann 2010b). This undertaking was carried out by Jonah ben Jacob Ashkenazi (Bornstein-Makovetsky 2010), who was the preeminent Hebrew printer in Istanbul at the time: between 1710 and 1778 his press printed close to 190 out of approximately 210 books printed in Hebrew type in Istanbul. Of these, some fifty works were printed in Ladino over the course of fifty years, compared to just six during the previous 230 years (Lehmann 2005, pp. 38–51). The printing of Me-‘am lo‘ez marked the emergence of large-scale printing activity in Ladino in the western Ottoman Empire in general and in Istanbul in particular. By the late nineteenth century, printing in Ladino comprised the majority of printing activity in the Hebrew alphabet in Istanbul as well as in other centers of Hebrew printing in the western parts of the Ottoman Empire. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, sections of Me-‘am lo‘ez for several other Biblical books were printed in Ladino (specifically, the entire Pentateuch, Ecclesiastes, the Book of Esther, and the Song of Songs)—some of them appearing in more than one edition. It was felt necessary to make these “basic texts” and their commentaries accessible for everyone, in order to raise the level of Judaic knowledge among the members of the Jewish community. Soon after the printing of the first part of Me-‘am lo‘ez, Abraham Assa’s transla- tions of the Bible to Ladino started to appear (1739–1745). (On Abraham Assa, see Yaari 1933, pp. 378–380; and Lehmann 2010a.) Jewish law was another topic that was made more accessible to the Jewish masses thanks to publications in Ladino. Thus, some fifteen books on Jewish law were printed in Ladino in Istanbul, starting as early as 1733 with a compilation of regulations and laws by Assa (Yaari 1967, p. 180, no. 343).
CONDITION: VG condition, some age staining, tiny holeson a few pages toward the end, old leather binding.
NOTES: An important landmark in Ladino printing. Extremely rare in any condition.

Ladino was the street language of the Jewish community of Spain and Portugal, just as Yiddish was the street language of the Jews of Central and Eastern Europe). From the year 1600-1729 an almost total eclipse occurred in the history of Ladino publishing, as no more than three Ladino books were published in Constantinople in that time period. Then a revival of Ladino printing began and this particular book was one of the first.

Jewish law was another topic that was made more accessible to the Jewish masses in the Ottoman Empire thanks to publications in Ladino. Thus, some fifteen books on Jewish law were printed in Ladino in Istanbul, starting as early as 1733 with a compilation of regulations and laws by Assa

After the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, the Ladino language–a rich blend of Hebrew and Spanish–moved to new countries, like Greece and Turkey, where Jewish refugees found new homes. As Ladino moved, a literature of its own came into being, reflecting the Diaspora experience of living as a Jew in a foreign land, and using words and stories to preserve a heritage that was not always appreciated by the wider world.

Following the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, numerous Sephardi Jews settled in the Ottoman Empire. Sephardim had great cultural influence on indigenous Jews, though local customs were slow to disappear. Sephardi customs and especially their language—Ladino—eventually became the norm for most Jews in the western parts of the Ottoman Empire.

Hebrew remained the language of ritual, prayer, and scholarship, but its comprehension by the Jewish masses decreased, despite the existence of communal Jewish religious education where Hebrew was taught.

The early Hebrew printers in Istanbul focused on printing Hebrew classical rabbinical works and Jewish law books, which were felt to be in short supply or lacking altogether. Thus, for example, in 1493 the brothers David and Samuel Nahmias from Portugal, who pioneered Hebrew printing in the Ottoman Empire, printed in Istanbul the Hebrew language legal treatise by Jacob ben Asher, Arba‘ah t.urim. This trend continued until 1730 almost 240 years follow- ing the establishment of the first Hebrew printing house in Istanbul, by which time close to 330 books had been printed there, most of them in Hebrew. Only seven were translations, or included translations, or were original works in other Jewish languages—mainly Ladino but also Greek in Hebrew script, Judeo-Arabic, and Judeo-Persian. The run of each edition was relatively small and the Hebrew-language books were of use mainly to a limited number of scholars.

The First period of Ladino printing starts off with the publication by the originally Ashkenazic Soncino family in 1547 of the Polygot Bible in Constantinople (although one Ladino pamphlet on ritual slaughtering has already been published in 1510). this edition presented the Biblical text as it was commonly used by the Sephardic Jews of the Ottoman Empire, or, as it is stated explicitly on the title page, "in the Turkish Lands". In a way, however, it is sad to see that this promising beginning of Ladino printing would never be followed by a long row of other works of practical religious use. Surely two very important Ladino books, Hanghagot Ha'hayyim by Moshe Almosnini, published in 1564 and Shulchan Hapanim, the 1569 Ladino translation of Karo's Shulhan Arukh appeared in Salonika and between 1571 and 1600 several Ladino editions of parts of the Prophets and Hagiographa appeared as well. But from the year 1600-1729 an almost total eclipse occurred in the history of Ladino publishing, no more than 3 Ladino books were published in Constantinople, and Salonika's presses were not active at all.

As time passed, community leaders and scholars became concerned about the intellectual gap between the Jewish masses and their cultural leadership. The latter realized that the knowledge of most Jews regarding the essence of Judaism and its doctrines was scant: the beliefs of the masses were based on superstitions and they followed rules by rote. Furthermore, even had they wanted to, the masses had no access even to the most basic texts and did not understand their prayers and other works that were recited in the synagogue and in study groups, because these texts were in Hebrew and Aramaic. This led several Jewish scholars to conclude that in order to bring Judaism to the Jewish masses in the western Ottoman Empire it should be done in their own language, Ladino—which males could read, as it was written in Hebrew script (Lehmann 2005, pp. 33–48).

This major initiative was launched in 1730 with the printing of Me-‘am lo‘ez (Lehmann 2010c), which is a thorough commentary on the Bible in Ladino. Culi (circa 1689–1732) started this enterprise (which was completed later by other scholars), with the printing of the first volume, on Genesis (Lehmann 2010b). This undertaking was carried out by Jonah ben Jacob Ashkenazi (Bornstein-Makovetsky 2010), who was the preeminent Hebrew printer in Istanbul at the time: between 1710 and 1778 his press printed close to 190 out of approximately 210 books printed in Hebrew type in Istanbul. Of these, some fifty works were printed in Ladino over the course of fifty years, compared to just six during the previous 230 years (Lehmann 2005, pp. 38–51). The printing of Me-‘am lo‘ez marked the emergence of large-scale printing activity in Ladino in the western Ottoman Empire in general and in Istanbul in particular. By the late nineteenth century, printing in Ladino comprised the majority of printing activity in the Hebrew alphabet in Istanbul as well as in other centers of Hebrew printing in the western parts of the Ottoman Empire.

During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, sections of Me-‘am lo‘ez for several other Biblical books were printed in Ladino (specifically, the entire Pentateuch, Ecclesiastes, the Book of Esther, and the Song of Songs)—some of them appearing in more than one edition. It was felt necessary to make these “basic texts” and their commentaries accessible for everyone, in order to raise the level of Judaic knowledge among the members of the Jewish community. Soon after the printing of the first part of Me-‘am lo‘ez, Abraham Assa’s transla- tions of the Bible to Ladino started to appear (1739–1745). (On Abraham Assa, see Yaari 1933, pp. 378–380; and Lehmann 2010a.)

Jewish law was another topic that was made more accessible to the Jewish masses thanks to publications in Ladino. Thus, some fifteen books on Jewish law were printed in Ladino in Istanbul, starting as early as 1733 with a compilation of regulations and laws by Assa (Yaari 1967, p. 180, no. 343).
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Compilation of Jewish Laws of Daily Living

DATE
Year: 1733
Decade: 1730s
Century: 20th (1901-2000)

Includes introductions by Avraham Assa and David Ben Forno. Poems in Ladino by Assa appear after the introduction and at the end of the book.

In his introduction, Assa writes that the reason he produced this work was t counteract the ignorance among his people. The people, he wrote spend their time gambling , playing cards and gossiping in the winter and walking in the gardens in summer. They look into books only to remove leaven from their pages before passer, but they hardly know the difference between a Pentateuch and a prayer book.

ARTISTS
Name: Kalev Bar Yehuda Magia, Avraham Bar Yosef Menashe and Folohoran Bar Yitzhak
Type: Editor