Monday, August 13, 2007

More on Rabbi Da Modena and gilgul - follow up on previous post

Yesterday, I came across a book in Hebrew entitled Or Hachayim, which is a listing of Rabbinical biographies organized in alphabetical order and written by one R’ Chaim (ben Yosef) Michel (1792-1846) . R’ Michel was a Habmburg-born wealthy merchant who spent his leisurely time -and beyond- authoring works of Jewish and scholarly interest. He was friendly -and often corresponded- with the Wissenschaft scholars of his day such as Zunz, Shir and Shadal.

In the bibliography for the entry 'Yehuda Aryeh Mimodena' [1] he lists the latter's seforim, among which is a work entitled Ben David against the popular belief in gilgul (the book is also mentioned in his seminal anti-kabbalistic work Ari Nohem). Under the entry Chayei Yehuda -the book in question- he writes, (translation mine):

And know that in the manuscript that I have before me, there is absolutely no mention of the story brought down by the Chida (pictured) in Shem Hagedolim about the sick infant who said 'Shema Yisrael'. It is also not found in the manuscript version of Rabbi Uri Chai Sarval. Therefore Yashar is certainly correct in his assertion that that particular manuscript which Chida saw, was undoubtedly written by on of his (Da Modena’s) disciples who was partial to belief in Kabballah and he added it to the manuscript to show that in his later days Da Modena recanted. [2]


[1]. in the margins, he points out that the proper way to write the name is ‘mimodena’ and not 'da modena', as the Rabbi himself wrote “I sign my name Leone Modena Da Venezia and not Da Modena”, See Graetz, B.X.S. 141 (p. 439 (אור החיים, הוצאת מוסד הרב קוק, תשכ"ה

[2]. Ibid, p. 443

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At Tuesday, August 14, 2007 3:46:00 AM, Blogger David Guttmann said...

I happen to own the Ohr Hachayim and it is a quite respected well known History book.

At Sunday, August 19, 2007 10:16:00 PM, Blogger Joels W. said...

It's an interesting book to be sure, but it was new to me.

At Sunday, August 26, 2007 5:17:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You shouldn't let 'eagle eye z' bother you. Obviously, he is a very sick individual.


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