Jewish Stories from Aleppo
Aleppo Shivchei Ha’ari: Stories of R. Isaac Luria (Ari Z’l), includes the story of a bewitched widow and her miraculous recovery. Final pages are supplications for the correction of sinful evening discharges. Hebrew printing in Aleppo began in 1865 when Abraham Sasson and his sons set up a printing house, one of the sons having learned the craft in Leghorn. In 1887 Isaiah Dayyan established another printing press with the help of H.P. Kohen from Jerusalem. Two years later they had to cease operation, not being able to obtain a government license. The license was obtained in 1896 and printing resumed and continued until World War I. From 1910 to 1933 Ezra Hayyim Jouegati of Damascus set up a press, having learned the craft with Eliezer Ben-Yehuda in Jerusalem. Another printing press was founded by Ezra Bijo in 1924 and continued until 1925. Altogether, approximately 70 books were printed in Aleppo, mostly works by local scholars, ancient manuscripts found locally, and prayer books of the local rite.
According to Noam Sienna, “The title is there on the binding — Shivchei Ha’ari. It is a hagiographic collection of stories relating to the 16th century Qabbalist Isaac Luria, which were compiled from other books and edited by Shaul b. Avraham Dayyan. It was printed in Aleppo in 1872 at the press of Eliyahu Hai Sasson.”