Page 106 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 30

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9 4
J
e w i s h
B
o o k
A
n n u a l
the pattern of how the study should be pursued. He complained
that the great luminaries of the
Wissenschaft des Judentums
had
only a superficial knowledge of the Talmud and of halakhic
literature, and therefore neglected the field. The traditional rab­
binic scholars possessing a thorough knowledge lacked the critical
apparatus the modern approach requires. Prof. Ginzberg com­
plains: “How much the study of both Talmuds would have
profited through the Talmudic learning of the Eastern Talmudist
and the philologic-historical approach of the student of the
Wissen­
schaft des Judentums
”10 A parallel to this is Dr. Louis Finkelstein’s
necrology remark: “The first student of our time who had really
mastered the domain of
halakhah
as well as Western method, he
felt a deep responsibility to impart to his pupils and to succeeding
generations not only the results of his discoveries, but—no less
important—concern for the field.”11 He was the rare combination
of the traditional
lamdan
who had a thorough command of rab­
binic literature, the product of the Yeshivah, and the modern
scholar with the scientific critical approach, the product of the
university, and he was respected by both.
Professor Ginzberg’s virtues as a scholar are evident also in the
lanes and byways into which he often made excursions. An
example is his work based on a Genizah fragment about an early
Jewish sect that lived in Damascus, which he describes in
Eine
Unhekannte Judische Secte
.12
Since the discovery of the Dead
Sea Scrolls, his ideas about the sect assumed a new relevance. His
book
Students, Scholars and Saints
makes pleasant reading; written
in a lucid style, it shows great scholarship as well as Prof. Ginz­
berg’s pet loves, and the personalities who influenced his life most.
His lofty plateau in the scholarly world is reflected in the large
number of authors of scholarly works who, in their introductions,
profess their indebtedness to his help and encouragement; also in
the frequency of the initials L.G. that appear in the notes of these
books. To name a few: George Foote Moore, Simchah Assaf,
Salo W. Baron, Chayim Schauss, Jacob Neusner, Louis Finkel-
stein, Boaz Cohen, Max Kadushin, Solomon Goldman, Herman
Hailperin, Israel Efros, among others.
It was no surprise that Harvard, at its tercentenary celebration,
chose to honor him among the sixty-six aristoi of the intellect. His
great achievements as a teacher will live so long as his students
and his disciples bear his image in their minds and hearts; his
scholarship enshrined in his written works, has made a permanent
mark in the world of the intellect.
10
Introduction to Jerusalem Talmud, p. LXIII f.
11 Proceedings of the American Academy of Jeiuish Research (New York,
1954
) vol.
23
, p. XLIX.
13
New York,
1922
.