Page 85 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 12

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79
GOODMAN----LOVE OF BOOKS
feld of Pressburg, Hungary. When he celebrated his eightieth
birthday, his children presented him with a set of the Tahnud
and commentaries in thirty beautiful volumes as a remembrance
of the day. He determined to donate these books to an academy
of Jewish learning in memory of his wife and parents. The above
story is found on an over-size bookplate, 8 x
inches, espe-
cially printed in 1925 for the thirty volume gift. The legend also
includes a warning which prohibits the removal of these books
from the premises of the
Bet Ha-Midrash
. This is understandable
as careless borrowers with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge
may forget to return the books.
ON STEALING BOOKS
It has been reported that in every community of Russia and
Galicia, no matter how small, where there was a Talmud Torah
there was also a library. Of course, there was no librarian. The
place was open to any Jew at any time. The only safeguard for
the protection of the books
was a large sign in Hebrew
warning: “A ban will be
placed on anyone who steals
a book.” Undoubtedly, this
is a most primitive form of
bookplate, yet it might be
considered a universal
Ex-
libris
in the fullest sense of
the word.
What naivete and what
grandeur lie in this simple
approach to
Ex-libris.
Sim-
ilar pious wishes and warn-
ings against thieving bor-
rowers are found on book-
plates. Quite forthright is
that of Meyer T. Lazar, de-
picting Moses with a rod in
one hand and the two Tab-
lets of the Law in the other.
The ten commandments appear on the tablets in Hebrew, with
the exception of the eighth — Thou shalt not steal — which is
written in relatively large English letters. An intriguing Hebrew
Ex-libris
was made for Moses Aloni. Above a caricature of a