Page 95 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 3

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Joseph David Azulay) who was born in Jerusalem in 1724 and
died in Livorno in 1806, his travels and his accomplishments as
a scholar and bibliographer are told in an article by Rabbi Samuel
K. Mirsky under the general heading, Book Lovers in Israel.
HI DA compiled a comprehensive list of all Hebrew books produced
before his day.
HIDA and his book (entitled, Shem Gedolim — The Names
of the Great) figures in a story of Buki ben Yogli (Dr. Judah Leib
Katzenelson) printed in this section. In this story of the well-
known Hebrew writer of the late nineteenth and early twentieth
century, an ignorant but wealthy Jew of Teheran, the capital of
Persia, is disturbed that the Jews of his country fail to accord him
proper respect. Upon inquiry, he learns that the masses show
respect only to the learned no matter how poor they may be. He
therefore conceives a scheme to eradicate learning by gathering
up all the Jewish books in the land and burying them. In this
manner, he hopes to bring the entire people down to his own level.
For the purpose of collecting the books he uses HIDA’s Shem
Gedolim, which is an extensive bibliography, as a guide. In the
end his efforts are frustrated as a result of a visionary figure of
HIDA that appears to him.
Two other pieces are a poem by A. H. Friedland, The Librarian,
and a collection by S. J. Agnon of tales about books and authors
taken from various old Jewish sources.beginning with the Talmud.
Menahem G. Glenn tells the story of the library at Dropsie
College, a library intended primarily for the staff and the student
body of the College but serving also many outside visitors and as
an information bureau on Jewish scholarship.
P. Daniel gives a list of the most important Hebrew books
published in America during the past year. Many books are still
published at the author’s expense, but there is an increase in
communal or private commercial publishing activities.
The problem of the restoration of Jewish libraries in Europe
by organized book donations in this country is raised by Dr.
Federbusch in another article, while Daniel Persky, in a light essay
discourses on the delight of rambling through a library. The
latter also contributes a fascinating miscellany of Curiosities in
Hebrew Literature, which is a continuation of his article in the
1943 Jewish Book Annual.
Rabbi S. I. Sheinfeld’s On the Inheritance of Hebrew Books
deplores the lack of interest in the great heritage of Israel.
The Hebrew Section is concluded with a classified Guide to
Hebrew Literature by Akiva ben Ezra.
In this section there are three articles devoted to the history of
the Yiddish press in America. In March, 1870, I. K. Buchner
established the first Yiddish-language periodical in New York.
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