Page 57 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 43

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SID Z. LEIMAN
Torah Scholarship Since
the Holocaust
*
T
h e
s u r v e y
t h a t
follows will attempt, in outline form, to deline­
ate the nature and direction of Torah scholarship — as reflected
in publications — since the Holocaust. By “Torah scholarship” is
meant scholarly publications whose chief aim is to advance Torah
study rather than, say,
jiidische Wissenschaft.
Such publications
usually take the form of commentaries on the Written or Oral
Law, and tend to be addressed to an audience committed to To­
rah study and practice. Thus, significant works of scholarship
such as Moshe Greenberg’s
Ezekiel
(Anchor Bible, New York:
1983) or Gershom Scholem’s
Sahbatai Sevi
(Hebrew edition, Tel
Aviv: 1967; English edition, Princeton: 1973) will not be dis­
cussed here; the former since it is addressed primarily to a non-
Jewish audience, and the latter since it is hardly a contribution
toward Torah study. Obviously, some publications will at once
serve the interests of Torah study and
jiidische Wissenschaft,
and
can properly be discussed under either of the rubrics “Torah
scholarship” or “Modern Jewish scholarship.” Despite such occa­
sional overlap, the differences between Torah publications and
modern Jewish scholarship are sufficiently pronounced in terms
of aims, form, and audience addressed, that the working defini­
tion provided above seems sufficient for the purpose of this pa­
per.
In terms of quantity, the publication of Torah materials since
the Holocaust is appropriately termed a publication explosion.
Hayyim Dov Friedberg’s
Beit eked sefarim
(Tel Aviv, 1951-1956),
comprising Hebrew titles only, listed approximately 50,000 dif­
ferent titles and editions of books in print from the advent of He­
* From a background paper for the twentieth anniversary meeting of the Me­
morial Foundation for Jewish Culture held in the summer of 1984 in Jerusalem.