Tuesday, January 16, 2018

A manuscript of Shadal's Work on Hebrew Grammar, Grammatica ragionata della lingua ebraica

I was lucky enough to acquire recently a beautiful manuscript, being Samuel David Luzzatto's work on Hebrew Grammar, titled Grammatica ragionata della lingua ebraica, del Professore S. D. Luzzatto.

The manuscript appears to be one used by one of his students or perhaps the copy that was used for it's publication, which appeared in the year 1853 under the title Grammatica della Lingua ebraica, by Samuel David Luzzatto. The handwriting is beautiful and very readable, and an index appears at the end as well. The text has many variations from the printed text, I hope to fine the manuscript a home where it will be analyzed and compared to the printed edition.

Many Thanks to Shimon Steinmetz. for his assistance in researching the manuscript.


  1. I found it intriguing to behold how on the lined paper the scribe wrote the Hebrew words along the top of the lines–as the Yemenites were accustomed to do (see Dr. Uri Melammed's comment in https://www.academia.edu/28200498/שיחת_דקלים.pdf p. 14 "הכתיבה תלויה על גבי השורות כדרכם של סופרים ומעתיקים מתימן.")–while writing the Italian along the bottom of the lines as we are accustomed to write today.

    It happens to be that the above reference to Rav Yosef Qafeh's שיחת דקלים is quite apropos in the context of Shadal; in his שיחת דקלים the former severely castigates the latter's scholarly guile, up to the point of his conclusion that it's but only appropriate to call him שלד–a skeleton of knowledge devoid of יראת ה'.

  2. R' Mizrahi,

    Do you have any details as to the scribe of this manuscript?

    Also, if you have any familiarity with or come across non-Yemenite manuscripts with the Hebrew text written aligned to the top of the lines I'd be gratified if you'd post about that, in your characteristic informative style.

    Thank you

    1. Unfortunately I don't have any knowledge yet of the scribe. I have on occasion seen other Non-Yemenite manuscripts written in the same fashion, though it was definitely not the norm.