Rare Book Acquisition: Choice of Pearls (1484)

Leather book open to Hebrew text

Mivachar Ha-Peninim
(Choice of Pearls)
by Solomon Ibn Gabirol
(1484)

Library and Archives Canada is honoured to announce a new rare book acquisition for the Jacob M. Lowy Collection. Mivachar Ha-Peninim (Choice of Pearls) by Solomon Ibn Gabirol was first published in 1484, making it one of the oldest books in our collection!

Choice of Pearls

Mivachar Ha-Peninim (Choice of Pearls) is a collection of proverbs, moral reflections, and maxims. The Jewish Encyclopedia states that this work “has often been cited by philosophers, exegetes, Talmudists, and moralists. It is very similar to the Florilegium of Ḥunain and other Arabic and Hebrew collections of ethical sayings, which were highly prized by the proverb-loving Arabs and Jews.”

The Soncino Press

This work is also important from a publishing perspective. The printer, Soncino Press, is one of the most influential printers in the history of Jewish books. This work is either their first or second production; according to Soncino Press, the printing of their Talmudic treatise Berakhot was completed one month earlier and published on February 2, 1484, while the Mivachar Ha-Peninim was published in January.

Thank you to our donors

Closed leather book with case

Mivachar Ha-Peninim
(Choice of Pearls)
by Solomon Ibn Gabirol
(1484)

Recently purchased in an auction from the Valmadonna Trust Library, the world’s largest private collection of rare Judaica, this acquisition is possible due to the generous support of Ruth and Arnon Miller. We encourage you to read more by browsing the Jacob M Lowy Collection.

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