NEUSTADT, Isaac b. Abraham (ed.), Zohar Hadash…

Amsterdam, Moses b. Abraham Mendes Countinho, 1701.




£ 3,000


4to. pp. 89 [91], misnumbered. Hebrew letter, with title-page. Some browning throughout with foxing and wormholes occasionally affecting the letters. Bound in contemporary blind-ruled, blind-stamped calf on thick boards with fleur-de-lys design and central oval medallions on both covers. Spine in five compartments divided by raised bands covering sewing support. Original brass clasps in working order. A bit rubbed at head of spine and at outer corners; a little cracked to top hinge.


The ‘Sepher Zohar’ (‘Book of Splendor’) is the fundamental text of Kabalah. This collection of texts was compiled in the 13th century by Moses de Leon, who presumably transcribed pre-existing oral traditions. This work was strongly condemned by Orthodox Jews, who were doubtful of its authenticity. However, the book enjoyed a wide circulation among Jewish communities in Europe and its teachings were absorbed and expanded by other rabbis for centuries. Far from being the product of an enclosed cultural circle, the compilation of this text has received various influences from neo-platonism to Christian mysticism.


This is a rare first edition of the ‘Zohar Hadash’ (‘The New Zohar’) by Dutch cabalist Isaac of Neustadt, who commented upon the traditional texts composing the work. After the issue of the first printed version of the Zohar in 1558, further manuscripts appeared, which included other commentaries on the Torah and other books of the Tanakh. Rabbi von Neustadt allegedly owned one such manuscript and used it to expand the standard printed text.


Bibliography: Steinschneider, M., Cat. Libr. Hebr. Bodl., no. 3500; col. 1074. Zedner, J., Catalogue of Hebrew Books in the British Museum, p. 706; Wolf, Bibl. Hebr. i., No. 1147; Jellinek, in Orient, Lit. vii. 254. Lajb-Fulks R. Hebrew Typography in the Netherlands, vol. 2, p. 428.


Only nine copies recorded on WorldCat.