A NEW EDITION OF THE HISTORICAL CHAPTER IN HAYYIM HIBSHUSH'S 'RUAIA AL-YAMAN'


%d7%93%d7%9e%d7%95%d7%99%d7%95%d7%aa-%d7%99%d7%94%d7%95%d7%93%d7%99%d7%9d-%d7%9e%d7%9e%d7%a8%d7%95%d7%a7%d7%95-%d7%91%d7%99%d7%a8%d7%95%d7%a9%d7%9c%d7%99%d7%9dTHE RECORD BOOK OF THE MOHEL MJ. OTTOLENGHI (LEGHORN 1863-1879)

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  1. TOAFF
  2. Moshe Jacob Ottolenghi (Leghorn 1840 — Salonica 1900), scion of a famous Jewish Italian family, is known as the author of various Hebrew works such as comedies, poems, religious instruction, published in Salo­nica in the late 19th century. In his youth, Ottolenghi studied at the yeshiva of Leghorn, and from 1863 to 1879 served as one of the mohalim of the community. The record book of the mohel has survived, and the major portion of the text is published here. The book provides important information on the structure of the Jewish community of Leghorn in the second half of the nineteenth century, and on the demographic changes that took place in its midst.

The community of Leghorn was at the time the second largest Jewish community in Italy (only Rome was larger), with a population of ap­proximately 4,500. It appears that the North African and Eastern ele­ments (from Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Libya) had become the dominant component in terms of numbers, while the Spanish-Portuguese groups represented by the old families descended from the earliest Jewish settlers of the Tuscan harbour, were slowly relinquishing their traditional influence within the community. The picture of the Leghorn community and its development in the nineteenth century is thus enhanced.

A NEW EDITION OF THE HISTORICAL CHAPTER IN HAYYIM HIBSHUSH'S 'RUAIA AL-YAMAN'

by

  1. RATZHABI

Hayyim Hibshush's book Ruaia al-Yaman (A.H. 1251) tells the story of his travels in Yemen as travelling companion to Yoseph Halevy. It includes a historical chapter, completely unrelated to the travelogue. It has been surmised that Hibshush wrote this chapter before he wrote the travelogue. The chapter combines a detailed description of Yemenite coinage, a craft entrusted to Jewish silversmiths, with a tale of fraud and false charges levelled against the Jew appointed over the king's coinage. The heavy fine imposed on this Jew led to his suicide.

Another version of the historical chapter is published here from a manuscript edition. It contains many differences in both content and language from the printed edition. A comparison of the manuscript and the printed editions leads to the conclusion that the former is the first edition written by Hibshush. Textual variants, omissions and additions illuminate Hibshush's writing technique. His first writing style is charac­teristically natural and popular. The second edition reveals a leaning toward classic language and greater attention to stylistic polish. As a result the language becomes forced and somewhat artificial.

Here the author publishes the new manuscript edition in the original and in Hebrew translation. He presents the textual variants and attempts to explain their causes.

הירשם לבלוג באמצעות המייל

הזן את כתובת המייל שלך כדי להירשם לאתר ולקבל הודעות על פוסטים חדשים במייל.

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נובמבר 2016
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