Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Important New Book from the Ba'alei haTosafot

What follows is a press release from Ofeq Institute regarding their new book

תוספות ר"י הזקן ותלמידו

וראשוני בעלי התוספות

על מסכת שבת

Tosafot R. Isaac b. Samuel of Dampierre

(Ri the Elder)

and early Tosafists on tractate Shabbat

edited for the first time from

MS Guenzburg, Mos 636


references, notes and comments


Rabbi Avraham Shoshana

Rabbi Yehuda Amitai Shoshana

Volume I

Introduction · Chapters 1-6 · Indices

This is a unique collection of the early Tosafists, a treasure trove of first-generation Tosafot from France and Germany. Published for the first time from Guenzburg Manuscript 636, considered by scholars to be the most important manuscript extant in the world today, especially in the field of Tosafot literature. The collection includes Tosafot Ri ha-Zaken and his disciple and first-generation Tosafists, such as RIBA, R. Porat, Rashbam, Rabbenu Tam, etc. [Volume II of this collection, to be published shortly, will include Tosafot Ri ha-Zaken and his disciple on chapters 7-17, and the Tosafot R. Yehuda Sir Leon of Paris, and Tosafot Riva, written by his disciple, R. Moshe b. R. Yoel Zaltman of Regensburg on the remainder of the tractate.]

This collection of Tosafot preserves complex and novel material which served as the foundation for the redaction of all later collections of Tosafot on Tractate Shabbat. As proven in the scholarly introduction to this volume, Rishonim, such as Ramban, Rashba, Ritva and Tosafot Harosh, used these very Tosafot or a close genre. The author was a disciple of Ri ha-Zaken who transmitted his lectures in the Yeshiva and wrote down verbal exchanges he had with his mentor dealing with complex matters. Aside from his mentor’s Torah, the author included material from earlier Sages of Tosafot, such as Rabbenu Tam, Riva, Rashbam, Rabbenu Porat, etc. Another outstanding feature of this manuscript is the outstanding and profuse glosses (gilyonot) that accompany it. These glosses were intended to serve as supplementary material. They are drawn mainly from the early Sages of Ashkenaz. It may be said with certainty that there isn’t one passage in this collection that does not introduce novel ideas which open up new vistas for the understanding of the vast Tosafot literature and matters relating to Tractate Shabbat. All in all, this is an outstanding discovery of great consequences to rabbinical literature.

The volume is accompanied by source references, comparisons to Tosafot literature and other Rishonim, notes and expanded illuminations, which comprise a comprehensive commentary to the entire work. The volume also includes a substantial scholarly introduction dealing with the manuscript provenance and its contents, the identification of the authors and an analysis of first-generation Tosafot in general. The discovery of Tosafot of Rabbi Yehuda Sir Loen of Paris included in this manuscript, is a first and a delightful surprise.

The volume provides detailed indices. They include index of sources of the work itself, sources discussed in the notes, and an index of subjects classified by topics.

Edited by Rabbi Avraham Shoshana and Rabbi Yehuda Shoshana

58 + 479 double-columned pages

Available now at Biegeleisen’s in Boro Park. It will have wider distribution after Pesach in bookstores or directly from Ofeq Institute.


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