First Edition of this" Book of Education," Rearranging the 613 Commandments of Maimonides
BEN JOSEPH HA-LEVI, Pinhas. BEN JOSEPH HA-LEVI, Aharon. Sefer ha-Hinnukh. Venice: Daniel Bomburg , [283, i.e. 1523].
First edition. Quarto in eights 9 1/8 x 6 7/8 inches; 230 x 175 mm). 179 leaves. Possibly lacking a final blank, but textually complete. This book being an arrangement of the 613 commandments of Maimonides was originally attributed to Aharon Ben Joseph ha-Levi, the brother of Pinhas. Text in Hebrew in two columns.

Only one complete copy that we could find in the traditional auction houses the last fifty years, which was at Sothebys on December 1, 2008 and sold for $21,250.

Full modern brick-red sheep. Boards panel-ruled in blind. Boards with gilt tooled frame and gilt woven center devices. Gilt floral corner devices to boards. Spine ruled in gilt and blind, and gilt floral devices in four compartments. Board edges ruled in gilt. Title-page, the following leaf and the final leaf with inner margin repair. Some light marginal stains to preliminary leaves and some mostly marginal dampstaining to the final 40 (approx) leaves. Small red pencil note on the verso of the title-page and some pencil notations on the verso of the final leaf. Overall a very good copy.

This text Sefer ha-Hinnukh (Book of Education) is a rearrangement of the 613 commandments of Maimonides in the Sefer ha-Mitzvot (Book of Commandments). They are listed according to the weekly Torah portion.

"Sefer Ha-Hinnikh, one of the most popular books on the reasons for the commandments written in the thirteenth century...it is directed to students ages eighteen through twenty and is a précis of Moses Maimonides work on the rational nature of the commandments. Sefer Ha-Hinnukh stresses observance of the commandments and says that performance should precede intention. A person must not try to calculate the reward for the fulfillment of a commandment but may consider its reasons. The author recommends that students read the book on Sabbath eves so that they will not run wild in the streets and states that the book is also of value to adults as a source for the study of halakhah." (The Oxford Dictionary of the Jewish Religion)

HBS # 67625 $22,500