Sefer Tefilla LeMoshe, homilies on the virtue of the Torah and order of bedtime Kriat Shema, by Rabbi Moshe Almosnino.

Salonika, 1563. First edition. At the press of Yosef son of Yitzchak Yavetz. 

“Which I, the young Moshe Almosnino, have composed as requested… bedtime Kriat Shema… explaining the virtue of the Torah and those who study it…”. Third article contains text of bedtime Kriat Shema in vowelized letters.

In the colophon the printer, Yosef Yavetz, refers to the printing of the Babylonian Talmud in his printing press during that period: “He who has merited us… will merit us to complete the entire Talmud which we have begun”.

76 leaves. 19 Cm.

Marginal notations in a old Italian hand.

Vinograd, Salonika 63; Mehlman 900; not in Adams.

Overall Good condition, stains, small marginal tear to title page, original binding has rubbed out edges and spine.

Rabbi Moses ben Baruch Almosnino (c. 1515-c. 1580) was a Salonikan preacher, whose numerous publications demonstrate extensive knowledge of science, philosophy, history, and rhetoric. Almosnino’s halachic responsa appear in the collections of his contemporaries such as Rabbi Samuel de Medina (MaHaRaSHDa”M), and Rabbi Jacob di Boton. Besides Hebrew comentaries to the Five Scrolls (Yedei Moshe, 1582), Almosnino also authored works in Judeo-Spanish. See EJ, Vol. II, cols. 669-671.

In 1565, he formed a delegation to petition Sultan Selim II for a confirmation of the privileges previously granted to the Salonika Jews in 1537. His efforts procured a favorable decision and in 1568 the Salonika community were granted the status of a self-governing entity, a prerogative it enjoyed for centuries thereafter. See EJ, II cols. 669-71
The printer, Joseph Ya’avetz, was the grandson of the famous Rabbi Joseph Ya’avetz, known as “He’Chasid Ya’avetz” (the Pious Ya’avetz), author of several works. The latter blamed rationalist Jewish philosophy for weakening the religious fiber of Spanish Jewry and making them rife for conversion to Christianity at the time of the Spanish Expulsion. He contended that only those Jews whose purity of Faith had not been tainted by intellectual sophistry withstood the theological perils of the time.

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Tefilla LeMoshe – Thessaloniki 1563. First Rare Edition! Marginalia.

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