Page 113 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 25

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93
A b r a m o w i c z
—YIVO
L i b r a r y
sidered the most important original historical work in old-Yiddish
literature.
The Haskala Literature
The Jewish Enlightenment or Haskala is represented in the
YIVO library by both its Western and East European founders
and adherents. The library has complete sets of
Ha-Me’assef
(Ber-
lin, etc., 1784-1811),
Bikkure ha-Ittim
(Vienna, 1820-31),
Kerem
Hemed
(Vienna, etc., 1833-56), some first editions of the Bible
translation by the Biurists, first prayer book translations into
German by David Friedlander (
Gebete der Juden auf das Ganze
Jahr,
Berlin, 1786), which included Moses Mendelssohn’s trans-
lation of the Psalms and Isaac Abraham Euchel’s
Gebete der
Hochdeutschen und Polnischen Juden
(Vienna, 1799). There is
also the second enlarged edition of Moses Mendelssohn’s biogra-
phy by Euchel and the first editions of Naphtali Hirz Wessely’s
works. Notable are some of the early Hebrew readers and primers,
such as
Abtalion
(Prague, 1806), by A. Halle Wolfsohn with a
preface by David Friedlander, and
Imre Shefer
(Vienna, 1808),
by Herz Homberg. Very rare is the first edition of Halle Wolf-
sohn’s
Leichtsinn und Frdmmelei,
published in a volume en-
titled
Lustspiele zur Unterhaltung beim Purim-Feste
(Bresslau,
1796), the first comedy of the Haskala period and also the first
to use Yiddish.
The East European Haskala is very well covered in the YIVO
collections. Included are first editions of the works of Isaac Baer
Levinsohn, A.D. Lebensohn and his son Micha Joseph, Mordecai
Aaron Ginzburg, S.J. Finn, and a host of others. To the same
epoch belong A.D. Lebensohn’s and Isaac Ben-Jacob’s edition
of the Mendelssohn Bible translation and two volumes of
Pirhe
Zafon
(Vilna, 1841-44), considered the first Hebrew periodical
in Russia. The Galician “maskilim” are represented by the works
of Isaac Erter, Judah Loeb Mieses and Joseph Perl, to mention
a few leading figures. Especially rare is the first edition of Joseph
Perl’s
Megale Tmirin
(Vienna, 1819). Quite interesting are the
early pamphlets, dictionaries and text books designed to dissemi-
nate enlightenment and education among the masses. Here belong
a Hebrew-Russo-German dictionary
Ha-Shoroshim Ivri-Rusi-Ash-
kenazi
by Yehuda Leyb Germayze (Vilna, 1835), a handbook on
hygiene and child care for young mothers
D i Glikelkhe Muter
by Malka Berlant (Vilna, 1836), a textbook to study Polish
Safa
Brurah u-Talmud Loshn Polonia
by Osher Leml ben Meir (Wil-
na-Grodno, 1834), and another to study German
Yidish-Daytshes
Leze Bukh
by Jacob Muszkat (Warsaw, 1853), dedicated to
Mathias Rosen, a philanthropist active in work for Jewish
orphans, and many others.