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Reprinting Ban for Bedek Ha-Bayit, Venice (1606)

Source: hebrewbooks.org

Reprinting Ban for Bedek Ha-Bayit, Venice (1606), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer, www.copyrighthistory.org

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Chapter trans Page 1

Whereas, there have appeared before us the wise, the perfect one, etc., Isaac Gershon, and his worthy associate, Menahem Jacob Ashkenazi, and have testified that they have gone to much labor and trouble, have expended great sums, and have spared no expense, all in order that they may bring to light, in as beautiful and excellent an edition as possible, the secrets of a work of great worth, through which the public good will be advanced, viz., the book called "Sefer Bedek ha-Bayit," by that sage, that wonder of his generation, our master and teacher, Joseph Caro of blessed memory;
And whereas, the work is to be completed, as a service to God, with the utmost beauty and perfection;
And whereas, they fear lest they sow and another reap, doing all their work in vain, and lest they make all their expenditures only "to leave to others their wealth";
Therefore they have sought and have been granted aid from the city through the uttering of a ban, and the publishing of a rabbinic notice to the effect that no injury or harm shall come to them through any man.
And whereas, permission has likewise been granted them by the nobles, the Cattaveri (may their majesties be exalted!), that their desire and wish should be fulfilled;
Now, therefore, we decree, under threat of excommunication, ban, and anathema through all the curses written in the Bible, that no Israelite, man or woman, great or small, be he who he may, shall purpose to publish this work, or to aid anyone else in publishing it, in this or any other city within ten years, except it be by the will and permission of the associates above mentioned;
And let it be likewise understood that by this decree no Israelite is allowed to receive any copy of the book mentioned from any man, Jew or Christian, be he who he may, through any manner of deceit, trickery, or deception, but only from the above-mentioned Menahem Jacob Ashkenazi. For thus it is desired by the scholar, etc., mentioned above, that all copies of the above-mentioned book shall be published and sold by Menahem Jacob.
Upon any one who may transgress against this our decree—may there come against him "serpents for whose bite there is no charm," and may he be infected "with the bitter venom of asps"; may God not grant peace to him, etc.
But he that obeys—may he dwell in safety and peace like the green olive-tree and rest at night under the shadow of the Almighty; may all that he attempts prosper; may the early rain shower with blessings his people and the sheep of his pasture.
"And ye who have clung to the Lord your God are all of you alive this day."
Thus sayeth Ben-Tzion Tzarfati, and thus sayeth Leb Sarvil, Baruch ben Samuel.
On the 17th day of Nisan, 1600 [1606], I published this ban, by command of the associates mentioned above, in every synagogue in the community of Venice.
Eliezer Levi, Beadle of the Community.

Translation by: Richard Gottheil and J.M. Hillesum


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