Norzi, Jedidja Salomon Di
Norzi, Jedidja Salomon Di,
ben-Abraham, a learned Italian rabbi, was born in Mantua about 1560, and derived his family name (די נורצי) from the fact that his parents resided in Norzi, or Norica, a small town in the district of Spoleto. He studied under Samuel Cases, and, through his great piety and profound learning, was elected to he co-rabbinate, first with Luliano Shalom Cases, who died in 1630, then with Eliezer Cases, and from 16(4 up to the time of his death, which occurred after 1626, was co-rabbi with Jacob Chajim Cases. As early as 1588 Norzi was favorably known among his literary co-religionists by his work on the jurisprudence of the Hebrews (שאלות ותשובות), which was published at Mantua in 1597. The work, however, to which he consecrated all his, life was the study and expurgation of the text of the Bible, and with this design he undertook several long voyages to collect ancient MSS. of the Old Testament and of the Masorah. The, results of his patient researches, and which immortalized his name, are embodied in a critical and Masoretic commentary on the entire Hebrew Scriptures. To render his critical labors as complete as possible, and to edit the Hebrew text in as perfect a condition as thorough learning and conscientious industry could make it, Norzi left no resources untouched. He searched through the Midrashim, the Talmud, and the whole cycle of rabbinic literature, for various readings. He consulted all the Masoretic works, both published and unpublished; he collated all the MSS. to which he could get access, among which was the MS. from Toledo of the year 1277, now Cod. de Rossi 782; he compared all the best printed editions, and availed himself of the learning and critical labors of his predecessors and friends, especially of the MS. work called סיג לתורה מסרת, The Masorah, the Hedge of the Law, by Meier ben-Todros Abulfia of Borgos, and of the cooperation of his friend Menacham di Lonzano of Palestine, who also furnished Norzi with important MSS. from his own library; and though he lived to finish the work to which he had consecrated his life, — having completed it in 1626, and called it פרוֹ ודר, The Repairer of the Breach, after Isa 58:12, he did not live to see the fruit of his labors printed, as he died near 1630. His work remained iln MS. for about 112 years. The commentary was then edited by Raphael Chajim Basila, and published for the first time, with Hebrew text, under the altered title מנחת שי. A Gift- offering, the Oblation of Salomon Jedidja (the name of Norzi. שי, 'being an abbreviation of שלמה ידידיה) (Mantua, 1742-44, 4 pts. and 2 vols. 4to) Basila, the learned editor, added some notes, and also appended a list of 900, variations. A second edition appeared in Vienna in 1816. The commentary on the Pentateuch alone, with the Hebrew. text, appeared in Dobrovna in 1804; on the Prophets and the Hagiographa, with the Hebrew text, in Wilna about 1820. The work of Norzi marked great progress in Biblical exegesis, but it has no longer any value. Norzi also wrote a treatise on the accents, entitled!מאמר המארי, which he quotes in his commentary on Ge 1:11; Nu 11:15; 1Sa 15:6; Es 1:6; Es 2:8; Isa 38:12; Ec 2:7; and a treatise on the letters בגד כפת, called כללי בגד כפת, which he quotes in the commentary on Ge 1:11; but these have not as yet come to light. See Steinschneider, Catalogus Lib. Hebr. in Bibliotheca Bodleiana, col. 2376-
77; First, Bibliotheca Judaica, 3:39 sq.; Eichhorn, Einleitung in das Alte Testament; Rosenmiller, Handbuch fur die Literatur der biblischen Exegesis; and Ginsburg in Kitto, s.v.