Amsterdam: [No Publisher Listed], 1740. Item #42573
2nd edition (1st is 1827). Period Vellum binding, 12mo, 132 leaves; 17 cm. In Hebrew. Mayer Sulzberger’s copy with his bookplate. Like the Mishnah, Mishnat Hasidim is arranged in "Sedarim" which are divided into "massechtot" and subdivided into "perakim." With an introduction entitled: Olam Katan. Includes index. Title-page has ornamental border.
Raphael Immanuel ben Abraham Hai Ricchi (1688-1743) was an “Italian rabbi, cabalist, and poet….After having studied Talmud under Nathan Pinkerle, rabbi of Alessandria della Paglia, Ricchi became tutor in the houses of several wealthy Jews. He was thus successively employed at Göritz, Fiorenzuola, Finale in Modena, and Venice; in the last-named place he opened a school. He then went to Triest, where he was ordained rabbi in 1717 by Hillel Ashkenazi, rabbi of Canea, after which he was invited to the rabbinate of Görz.
Owing to his great love for cabalistic studies and to his ascetic tendencies, Ricchi resolved to settle in Palestine. He arrived at Safed in 1718, and during his stay there of two years he occupied himself with the study of the works of Isaac Luria and Hayyim Vital. He was also reordained rabbi by Hayim Abulafia. In 1720 an epidemic broke out in Palestine, and Ricchi was compelled to return to Europe.
On the voyage he and all his fellow passengers were captured by pirates and brought to Tripolitza, whence, through the efforts of Abraham Halfon, Ricchi and his family were allowed to return to Italy. He then occupied the rabbinate of Florence till 1723, in which year he removed to Leghorn, where for twelve years he engaged in business as a merchant. He spent twenty months in travel, visiting Smyrna, Salonica, Constantinople, Amsterdam, and London, and in 1735 set out for Palestine, spending two years at Aleppo and three at Jerusalem. In 1741 he returned to Leghorn, and in 1743, while traveling in Italy for the purpose of selling his works, he was killed by robbers, who buried his body by the shore of the Reno. Six days later some Modena Jews discovered the remains and brought them to Cento for burial….
Ricchi's most important work is the above-cited ‘Mishnat Hasidim,’ a cabalistic work begun in 1726 at Leghorn.
Like the Mishnah, it is arranged in orders (‘sedarim’), which are divided into treatises (‘massektot’) and subdivided into chapters (‘pera?im’), the names of the six Mishnah orders being taken in a cabalistic sense. But the chief divisions of the work are three, termed 'mafte?ot,' besides the introduction entitled '’Olam Ka?on' (= 'microcosmos'), in which Ricchi endeavors to popularize the Cabala.
The first main division is the 'Maftea? ha-'Olamot,' in which the worlds are treated. It contains: (1) the order of Zera'im, treating of the cabalistic cosmology and of metaphysics, and divided into seven massektot and eighteen chapters; (2) the order Kodashim, treating of the realm of emanation ('olam ha-azilut'), which is styled 'the holy of holies,' and containing twenty massektot and seventy-eight chapters; (3) the order ?ohorot, treating of the three other realms, namely, those of creative ideas ('beri'ah'), creative formations ('yezirah'), and creative matter ('asiyah'), and divided into nine massektot and twenty-seven chapters; and (4) the order Nezikin, treating of the demons and 'kelifot,' and divided into six massektot and seventeen chapters.
The second main division, entitled 'Maftea? ha-Neshamot,' contains the order Nashim, treating of souls, in twelve massektot and forty-eight chapters. The third main division, entitled 'Mafteah ha-Kawwanot,' contains the order Mo'ed, divided into fifty-eight massektot and 371 chapters, and treating of the Kawwanah. It will be seen that the number of massektot in this work is 112, corresponding to the numerical value of the sacred name ; and the number of chapters 547, equal to the numerical value of Ricchi's name, plus twelve, the number of its letters.
The sources for this work besides the Zohar are mostly Isaac Luria's and Hayyim Vital's writings, of which the 'Sefer ha-Gilgulim,' 'Kanfe Yonah,' and 'Shul?an 'Aruk' may be particularly mentioned. Ricchi drew also from other cabalists” (M. Seligsohn in JE, 1905).
NYU houses their copy in the Mitchell M. Kaplan Collection of Rare Judaica and Hebraica. Aviva Ben-Ur's Ladino catalog list #14. Judge Mayer Sulzberger “was closely associated with Isaac Leeser, and assisted that scholar in editing The Occident, contributing to it a partial translation of Maimonides' "Moreh Nebukim." After Leeser's death Sulzberger edited vol. xxvi. of The Occident. He was one of the founders of the Young Men's Hebrew Association, which he served as president; and he has taken great interest in the Jewish Hospital of Philadelphia, of which he has been vice-president since 1880. He was from the beginning (in 1888) chairman of the publication committee of the Jewish Publication Society of America; was one of the original trustees of the Baron de Hirsch fund; and interested himself in the establishment of agricultural colonies at Woodbine, N. J., and in Connecticut.Sulzberger had one of the best private libraries in America; it contained a very large number of Hebraica and Judaica” (WIkipedia). SUBJECT(S): Cabala -- Early works to 1800. Siddurim -- Texts. Judaism -- Ari rite -- Liturgy -- Kabbale -- Ouvrages avant 1800. Siddour -- Textes. Cabala. OCLC: 904949349. OCLC lists only 2 copies of this 1740 2nd edition worldwide (NYU & Cambridge), and only 3 copies of the first edition of 1727.
Boards slightly bowed, with front hinge starting. Remains of 19th Century paper label on spine. Lacks front blank pastedown. Jewish institutional bookplate in addition to that of Sulzberger. Paper toning but strong. About Very Good- Condition. Attractive copy of early edition of an important cabalistic text. (RAB-67-7).