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Menasseh ben Israel, rabbi, scholar, philosopher, diplomat and Hebrew printer, 1604-1657

Menasseh ben Israel imprint
Explore the work of Menasseh Ben Israel, rabbi, scholar, philosopher, diplomat and Hebrew printer, through books in the Cecil Roth Collection.
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Biography of Menasseh ben Israel
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Vindication of the Jews crop
Early printed witnesses to Menasseh ben Israel’s mission to England, including Christian responses.
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Apologia por la noble nacion de los Iudios y hijos de Israel
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Mikveh Yisra’el, Esto es, Esperança De Israel: : Obra con suma curiosidad conpuesta
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Light of the Jews
Arise Evans, Light for the Iews
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William Prynne, Short demurrer to the Jewes long discontinued remitter into England:
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Manasseh ben Israel, Vindiciae Judeorum
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Birkbeck 32.4
Margaret Fox, A loving salutation to the seed of Abraham among the Jewes
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Untitled
Imprints from Menasseh’s press and its Christian publishers, in Spanish, Portuguese and Hebrew (with Latin) with those of his Jewish competitors.
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Hamishah Humshe Torah: Menasseh ben Israel’s Liturgical Bible: Pentateuch, Five Scrolls and the Prophetic Portions (1)
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Hamishah Humshe Torah: Menasseh ben Israel's Liturgical Bible: Pentateuch, Five Scrolls and the Prophetic Portions (3)
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TheTratado del Temor Divino: A mystical treatise on the fear of God
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Esrim ve-arba’ah: Complete Hebrew Bible
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Thesouro dos dinim: que o povo de Israel, he obrigado saber, e observar: A Treasury of [religious] Laws which the people of Israel is obligated to know and keep.
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Hamishim derushim yekarim; va-yikra et shemo Giv’at Sha’ul: Fifty precious sermons by Amsterdam’s senior rabbi
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Sefer Asarah ma’amarot: The book of ten [kabbalistic] Addresses
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Shevet Yehudah: The Sceptre of Judah
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Untitled
This section is devoted to Menasseh as author in the context of Jewish-Christian intellectual contacts in Holland.
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The Conciliator (1)
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Conciliador, o de la conveniencia de los Lugares de la S. Escriptura que repugnantes entre si parecen: The Conciliator (2)
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Strong Room for. 8vo 1633/MAN_001
the Latin translation of the Conciliator
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De creatione problemata XXX: Thirty problems concerning Creation
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De resurrectione mortuorum libri III: Three books on the resurrection of the dead (1)
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De resurrectione mortuorum libri: Three books on the resurrection of the dead (2)
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De resurrectione mortuorum libri: Three books on the resurrection of the dead (3)
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Of the term of life
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Sefer Nishmat hayim: treatise on the immortality of the soul
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Retrato del tabernaculo de Moseh: Portrait of the Tabernacle of Moses
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Retrato del tabernaculo de Moseh: Portrait of the Tabernacle of Moses (2)
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Retrato del tabernaculo de Moseh: Portrait of the Tabernacle of Moses (3)
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Research Resources on Menasseh ben Israel
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Copyright University of Leeds

Menasseh ben Israel bridged the Jewish and the Christian worlds. He was a rabbi, a scholar and a publisher, who authored and printed works in Latin, Portuguese, Spanish and Hebrew. He also collaborated with Rembrandt, who etched his portrait.

Menasseh ben Israel is particularly interesting to Hebrew scholars and librarians. He revolutionised Hebrew printing and made Amsterdam the capital of Hebrew publishing. He helped create a new standard of Hebrew typography that became widely known, imitated, and pirated as “Defus Amsterdam” (Amsterdam print) and “Otiyot Amsterdam” (Amsterdam Letters). What is also striking is the multilingual nature of his world, publishing in Hebrew, Spanish, Portuguese, Latin, Dutch and English.

Menasseh’s work appears in Leeds University Library’s Special Collections in the collection of Cecil Roth. Roth was born in London in 1899 and died in Jerusalem in 1970. He was a British Jewish historian and collector of Hebrew books and manuscripts. He was honoured as a “Friend of the Sephardic Community”, and had a special interest in Menasseh ben Israel.

Roth’s monograph ‘A Life of Menasseh ben Israel: Rabbi, Printer, and Diplomat’ was first published in Philadelphia by the Jewish Publication Society of America in 1934. By the time he began his career as a collector, some of Menasseh’s imprints were already extremely rare.

Roth’s collection contains 12 books authored or printed by Menasseh ben Israel, spanning the years 1630 to 1710. They carry the shelfmarks Roth Collection 104, 111, 534, 629 to 636, and 889.

This resource reunites Roth’s rare works by Menasseh for the first time since they entered the Brotherton Library, and displays them together with treasures from other collections in the same library.

This resource was curated by Dr Eva Frojmovic, lecturer in the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies, and director of the Centre for Jewish Studies.