ZOHAR BERESHIT (various commentaries). MANUSCRIPT ON PAPER
Copied by Azriel of Krotoshin, [Central or Eastern Europe, c. 1710]
2o (320 x 190 mm). 182 leaves, with old Hebrew foliation. Dark brown ink. Semi-cursive pseudo-Sephardic and Ashkenazic scripts. With marginal annotations. (Fols. 56-112 misbound between fols. 167 and 168, browned, somewhat brittle, dampstained.) Modern blind and gold-tooled red morocco, two modern paper flyleaves at back and front, old sprinkled edges.
The commentary on the first part of Genesis is copied from Abraham ben Hezekiah Chizkuni's Shetei Yadot, which is composed of two separate commentaries called Yad El and Yad Ramah. No complete copy of this work is known, and the few manuscript copies and the only printed edition (Amsterdam 1726; Vinograd, Thesaurus, p. 59, no. 1291) include only the text found in this manuscript. The rest of the manuscript contains commentaries extracted from the works of Benjamin ben Eliezer Kohen, Moses Zacut, Simeon Lavi, Azriel ben Samuel of Krotoshin and others. Cf. M. Benayahu, Sefunot 14 (1971-1978) p. 73, note 287.
The manuscript was copied by the compiler, Azriel of Krotoshin, also known as Azriel Cracow of Friedberg. Azriel's glosses on Kabbalistic works, mainly Lurianic, are copied in nearly 50 manuscripts, many of them in his own hand. Over 25 manuscripts were copied by Azriel between the years 1705 and 1713, including No. 60 in this collection (lot 144). Azriel copied a number of manuscripts in Prague for R. David Oppenheim, whose collection is now in the Bodleian Library in Oxford. Most of Azriel's copies are in an Ashkenazic script, but he sometimes used a pseudo-Sephardic script, which attempts to imitate Sephardic writing but maintains Ashkenazic characteristics (MS Oxford Opp. 544 and London Beth Din Library, No. 60 [lot 144]).
REFERENCES: Neubauer, no. 56, p. 22; Institute of Microfilmed Hebrew Manuscripts, Jerusalem, F 4724.