Lot 73: "Ma'aseh Tuvia". Venice, [1707]. The first Jewish book of medicine!

Winner's Auctions & Exhibitions

March 27, 2017
Jerusalem, Israel

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Description: Comprehensive work regarding the upper spheres - the zodaic etc, and the "small world," the human body, and all topics of illnesses and cures, including the wisdom of surgery, by Rabbi Tuvia Rofei.Specifications: [6], 158 leaves. 22 cm. Three title pages, author's portrait, first edition.Unique features: Complete copy; with all the introductory leaves, poems, indexes, sketches and illustrations. Prominent approbations. This is considered the first Jewish book of medicine to be printed. It features unique content and an unusually large number of interesting illustrations. The back of the title page features a portrait of the author when he was 48-years-old. Dozens of sketches throughout the work. Leaf 106 features a unique sketch of the human body. Leaves 27-29 are titled "Zichron L'Vnei Yisrael," and include the episode of Shabtai Zvi and the interrogation of Natan of Gaza by the rabbis of Venice. The last leaf features the approval of the censor of Padua, in Italian.Owner signature: Avraham Chaim Finzi of Ferrara ... and others.Background: Rabbi Tuvia HaRofei studied medicine in the University of Padua. There he met non-Jews and debated with them about religon and belief and heard the negative things they said about Judaism and the Jews. He authored this work to show the nations that even though the Jewish Nation is in exile, they were also endowed with many wisdoms. Condition: Very fine. Professional repair to title page. Minimal aging stains. Simple binding.
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