Madrid & Barcelona: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas Institute Arias Montano, 1957. First edition. Softcover. 4to. Vol. 1:"Estudio Historico - Critico - Doctrinal," 392 pp. Vol. 2:"Actas," 621 pp. Original paper wrappers with red and black lettering on front cover, decorative red logo on back cover of each volume. The book is a copy of the Tortosa Dispute in Latin (see below). Wrappers have been neatly repaired with masking tape around their outer edges. Vol. 2 has the title in English written on front cover in ink. Uncut pages. Many pages unopened. Books are in overall good condition. g. Item #19819
The Disputation of Tortosa, one of the famous disputations between Jews and Christians of the Middle Ages, was held in the years 1413-1414 in the city of Tortosa, Spain. Among the participants on the Jewish side were Profiat Duran (Efodi) and Rabbi Yosef Albo as well as other Rabbinic scholars such as Rabbi Zerachia HaLevi, Rabbi Moshe ben Abbas, and Rabbi Astruc HaLevi. Each one was a representative of a different community. Vincent Ferrer, later canonized, was an important participant on the Christian side. The initiator of the disputation and representative for the Christians was the Pope's personal physician, the Jewish Christian convert Joshua Lorqui. After his conversion to Christianity, Lorqui presented his employer, Avignon Pope Benedict XIII, with a composition containing topics to contest with his former co-religionists. The aging pope, who rejoiced at religious debate, jumped at the opportunity to bring the Jews to a disputation. King Ferdinand I, then ruler of Aragon, did not stand in his way, and letters of invitation were sent to the various Jewish communities in 1413. Attempts by the Jews to free themselves of this were not successful. The Jewish representatives were at a considerable disadvantage. Joshua Lorqui, who took the name Geronimo de Santa Fé, was permitted to dispute them in any way he saw fit, whereas they were forbidden to express any sentiment of criticism or opposition to Christianity. Before them stood a former Jew who was proficient in the rabbinic literature who made use of his knowledge to justify the Christian viewpoint. The Pope, who on the face of it got an unshakable victory, gave instructions by which all books of the Talmud would be handed over to his functionaries for censorship. This order brought some comfort, indeed, there was fear that there would be a general burning of the Talmud. Most of the damage caused as a result of the disputation was to morale. Aragon Jewry suffered a hard blow and many of its dignitaries and wealthy converted. The feeling was that the Jews had gotten the worst of it in the confrontation with Geronimo. The Christian propaganda implanted rumors of the Jewish emissaries' defeat.