The Jewish Bookshop of the World: Aspects of Print and Manuscript Culture in Early Modern Amsterdam
  • ISSN: 1781-7838
  • E-ISSN: 1783-1792



In the middle of the eighteenth-century, Mordechai Tama, a Jew from Hebron, left his hometown carrying a manuscript containing his grandfather’s commentary on , with the aim of printing it in Amsterdam. That plan was unsuccessful, but once in Amsterdam, Tama did become a member of scholarly circles of the Portuguese-Jewish community. He absorbed that community’s blend of Rabbinic learning and Spanish literary tastes and, in turn, was valued for his knowledge of Arabic. This article examines the encounter in Amsterdam between Western Sephardi and Levantine Jewish learned cultures by a close reading of the paratexts of the two books Tama produced in Amsterdam, published there in 1765: (a Hebrew translation of the Responsa of Maimonides from a Judaeo-Arabic manuscript that had belonged to Jacob Sasportas) and , a medieval glossary of homonyms by Solomon b. Meshullam Dapiera.


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