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Baruch, Jacob ben Moses ḤAyyim


BARUCH, JACOB BEN MOSES ḤAYYIM (late 18th century), editor and author. Baruch lived in Leghorn. In 1875 he edited (Leghorn, Castello & Saadun) Shivḥei Yerushalayim ("The Praises of Jerusalem"; or Shabbeḥi Yerushalayim, from Psalms 147:12, "Praise, O Jerusalem"), an anthology of texts on the Land of Israel containing extracts from the following works: (1) Tzaḥve-Adom by Raphael Treves (Constantinople, 1740), on the holy places in the Land of Israel; (2) Imrei Kadosh from the Sha'ar ha-Gilgulim of Samuel ben Ḥayyim Vital, on the graves of sainted rabbis; (3) an Eretz Israel travelogue, whose author remained unknown until the scholarly edition of the manuscript by Izhak Ben-Zvi (1938), who identified him (after A. De Rossi's indication in Meor Einayim, ch. 46, ed. Cassel 449–50) with the rabbi Moses *Basola. Ben-Zvi criticized Baruch's publication, which omitted the beginning and the end of the manuscript, and was sometimes inaccurate; 4) Masa'ot of Benjamin of Tudela; (4) prayers of kabbalistic inspiration concerning the pilgrimage to the graves of the sainted rabbis, opposite the Temple Mount (also from Basola's travelogue), etc.; (5) Kitzur Shenei Luḥot ha-Berit of Yehiel Epstein; (6) a list of currencies and weights. Shivḥei Yerushalayim had considerable success and was published at least six times until the late 19th century.

In 1790 Baruch edited (and financed publication of) Sha'ar ha-Ḥeshek ("The Portal of Delight," Livorno, Falorni), a large part of Shir ha-Ma'alot, the introduction to Johanan *Alemanno's Ḥeshek Shelomo on Song of Songs, an elaboration on King Solomon's wisdom. Baruch added an introduction in which he praised the religious value of science (quoting Y. Del Medigo's Sefer Elim) and many notes to the text (under the name Ashiv, "Amar Shafel Ya'akov Barukh," "said the humble Jacob Baruch"), in which he emphasizes the Jewish origin of all the sciences (esp. p. 12a). These notes refer mainly to kabbalistic literature (from *Sefer Yetzirah to Ḥayyim Joseph David *Azulai) but also take into account the Italian, rationalist tradition (A. De Rossi, p. 55a; A. *Portaleone, p. 23b). Sha'ar ha-Ḥeshek was published a second time in Halberstadt in 1862.


I. Ben Zvi, Masot Eretz Yisrael le-R. Moshe Basola (1938), 7–11; A. David, In Zion and Jerusalem. The Itinerary of Rabbi Moses Basola, 15211523 (1999), 7, 28–29; M. Steinschneider, Hebraeische Bibliographie 5 (1862), 28–29.

[Alessandro Guetta (2nd ed.)]

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