Page 22 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 39

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
1513; Venice, 1552), o r
Mili de-Bedikhuta Li-Yme Hanukkah
(Ven­
ice, 1617) — but even later items o f the 18th century are scarce. In
his book
BeritMatteh Moshe
(an Haggadah with two commentaries,
Berlin, 1701), Moses Katz Wengrov o f Przemysl complained bit­
terly against the frivolous
Massekhet Purim
which parodies the
talmudic style. He probably had in mind the edition o f this work
which had appeared in Sulzbach in 1698 and which today is very
rare. Also scarce are 19th-century parodies which were p rin ted in
Calcutta, such as
Seder Manot Purim
(1889), and
Seder Haggadah
Shel Purim
(1889). Purim plays as well, even o f the 18th century,
such as
Dos Shpilfu n Mordekhai un Esther
(Amsterdam, 1718) have
almost completely disappeared.
A special literary form — polemics and controversies — suf­
fered greatly due to suppression, bans and destruction. Polemical
works, and especially brochures and handbills, were consigned to
the flames when they fell into the hands o f the opposition. Practi­
cally all the writings o f Jacob Emden and his disciples which deal
with the controversy against Jona than Eibeschutz are scarce. The
writings o f Nehemiah Hiyya Hayyim, who remained a follower o f
Shabbateanism, were condemned to the flames.
In the heated controversy which developed concerning the rise
and spread o f Hasidism, there were bu rned the books o f the
Mitnaggedim, especially those o f the disciples o f the Gaon o f
Vilna. Even the polemical writings o f hasidic sects in the 19th-
20th centuries (for example, the Sanz-Sadigora or Belz-Munkacz
controversies) became scarce. A number o f polemical and prop-
agandistic writings which appeared in the early days o f Zionism
are in part rarities today. Many o f the polemics concerning com­
munities, kolelim and personalities which were printed about a
century ago are today very rare. For example, the controversy
concerning the rabbinical post in Hebron , and similar events.
(d)
Format.
As a general rule, books tha t are limited in num ber
o f pages and small in size, as well as thin brochures and b ro ad ­
sides, disappear at times within a few years o f being prin ted . A
three-page book, like
Gezerat Oestreich Ve-Kak Vienna
by Yehiel
Marptshik (Cracow?, 1601?), o r an eight-page item like
Kleider
Ordnung
(Fuerth, 1768) have been preserved only in a few copies.
Very scarce are single-page broadsides (or two- or three-page
items) tha t contain the texts o f enactments, legal decisions,
poems, proclamations, and the like, and the ir number is legion.