Monday, April 30, 2012

Almost a Talmud parody

This is a couple of pages toward the end of  Tapuhei Zahav - Poma Aurea, Francesco Donati's 1618 book, which contained an eclectic mixture of Hebrew studies. For example, like many Hebraists, he gives a list of Hebrew abbreviations. He also includes R. Shelomo ibn Gabirol's Kether Malkhut, with a Latin translation.

The two pages which I excerpted is a Hebrew catechism, and takes the form of a conversation between a teacher and a pupil, as these so often do. What is interesting is that Donati titles it Talmud Meshichi. A pity, because with a title like that you'd think it's going to be another one of the many Talmudic parody tractates (see here, for example, for an earlier post on a parody Talmud about the rise of Communism in the Soviet Union). Here he means Talmud in the sense of teaching.

It begins:

Melamed (teacher): Are you annointed and a believer in God's annointed?
Talmid (student): I am annointed and a believer in God's, in his grace, annointed one.
Melamed: who is called annointed?
Talmid: He who envowed to be a believer in the faith of the Messiah and his teaching.

Here's the entire Talmud Meshichi:

Pages From Poma_aurea_hebraicae_linguae Talmud Meshichi Pg. 220


  1. Interestingly, I've seen sly Christian missionaries signs posted up on pashkevile boards in Jerusalem over the past two days or so. It quotes some verse in Isaiah 53 (I forget which one), in Hebrew, with niqqud, and asks:

    על מי דיבר הנביא?
    משה רבנו X
    ישעיהו הנביא X
    עם ישראל בכלל X
    [some other options, all X'd]
    מישהו אחר √

    Then there's a telephone number.

  2. actually it starts a little earlier 52:13 they probably quoted 53:4 or 5
    this was popular in medieval times look at the ibn ezra The ramban wrote something on this together with he vikuoth


  3. Just checked. They quote 53:6.

  4. I find it interesting thar the text refers to the three persons of the Trinity as the three sefirot.



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