Page 86 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 12

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
80
thief in flight, dropping books from under his arms as he flees, is
the assertion “In vain you run away!” and beneath the illustration
is the warning “Moses Aloni will find you.”
While not truly
Ex-libris
, the rhymed pleas, threats and protests
that have been written as special messages to borrowers who may
neglect to return books are interesting to note for they too reflect
the owners’ love of books. The following is an example of a
doggerel that was found in many places of White Russia on the
fly-leaves of Hassidic books:
םימשה
םימש ׳הל
ץראהו
ןתנ
ינבל
.םדא
בייח םדא
םותחל ומש לע
;רפסה
בייח
?המל אלא
ןנישייח
ינפמ
:םיאמרה
אמש אבי שיא
םירצממ
חקיו
רפסה
יתשב םידי
השעיו
הטילפ לע
םימה
הנקיו
ש״יי
רמאיו
!םייחל
The words of the Psalm 115.16 begin the poem: “The heavens
are the heavens of the Lord; But the earth hath He given to the
children of men,” indicating biblically that a man is entitled to
the possession of books. The doggerel continues:
Man is obligated to write his name on the book;
Why is he so obliged? Because we fear the crook.
Lest a man come from Egypt’s lands,
Take the book with his two hands,
Make an escape upon the sea,
And say “
Le-Hayyim
/ ,” with whiskey.
ON PRIDE OF BOOK POSSESSION
This substitute formula for
Ex-libris
which won widespread
popularity among Jewish school pupils in the Ukraine could have
been found inscribed in many textbooks:
To whom does this book belong?
?
ימל ףייש הז
רפסה
To whomever it belongs — it belongs.
.
ימל
ךיישש — ךייש
Nevertheless, to whom does it belong?
?
ףאו לע יפ ןב — ימל ךייש
It belongs to the owner of the book.
.
אוה ךייש
לעבל
רפסה
And who is the owner of the book?
?
ימו אוה לעב
רפסה
Whoever bought it.
.
ימ
הנקש
ותוא
And who bought it?
_
?
ימו הנק
ותוא
Whoever had money — he bought it.
.
ימ
היהש ול ףסכ — הנק
ותוא