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First authorized edition, with many corrections, additions and improvements by the author,
of an important work on the Jewish calendar and on Jewish customs in Palestine

SUSAN, Issachar ben Mordecai ibn.
[in Hebrew:] Sefer Ibur shanim.
Venice, Giovanni di Gara, [5]339 [= 1578/79]. Small 4to (19.5 x 15 cm). With the title set in an elaborate woodcut architectural arch and 6 round woodcut calendrical or astrological diagrams with text. Set entirely in Hebrew type, the main text in semi-cursive (rabbinical) and the headings in meruba, each of the two styles in at least 3 sizes. Contemporary limp sheepskin wrap-around cover with flap and fastened with strap. 136 ll., including the blank leaf [108].
€ 38,000
Rare second (first authorized) edition, by far the best, of an extremely important work on Jewish calendrical calculations, also in relation to the liturgy, choice of readings, customs and dates for holidays. In addition to being a seminal work on the calendar and chronology, it records customs and liturgical practices (minhagim) of the ancient Jewish communities of Palestine (including even lore about the weather), whose traditions were already threatened and in many cases were soon to be lost as a result of the influx of Sephardic Jews after their expulsion from Spain in 1492 and Portugal in 1497. It also includes similar information about the communities in northern Africa, as well as astrological and astronomical information.
Susan (ca. 1510?-1572) was a Maghribian (northwest African) Jew, probably born in Fez, in what is now Morocco. He moved to Jerusalem at an early age and studied with Levi ibn Habib, chief rabbi there from 1525, in the early years of the Ottoman control of Palestine. He studied further in Safed then briefly sought work in Thessaloniki in 1539, when he was already preparing the present work, and continued it in Damascus in 1540 before returning to Safed.
With skilful repairs and restorations in the margins of first leaves, but still in good condition and with generous margins. The best edition, prepared by the author, of an essential source for Jewish calendrical calculations and for Jewish customs surviving in Palestine in the mid-16th century. Adams, I20; Carlbach, Palaces of time (2011), pp. 47-54; A.M. Habermann, De Gara 52; hebrewbooks.org 45592; Marvin Heller, The sixteenth century Hebrew book, pp. 690-691; Steinschneider 5282.2; Zedner, p. 393.
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