Page 59 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 43

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In general, Torah publications have been wide ranging, cer­
tainly touching all the important bases in Torah scholarship. In
this sense, Torah publications can be said to be more successful
than publications in modern Jewish scholarship. This is because
the agenda of Torah publications is largely developed by its read­
ership. As demand grows for a new printing (or reissue) of
Mikra’ot gedolot,
Talmuds, commentaries on specific tractates,
Maimonides’ Code, etc., these tend to appear. This contrasts
sharply with the agenda of modern Jewish scholarship which has
a limited readership, and which is shaped largely by the interests
of individual scholars. Little attempt is made here to touch all the
important bases that need to be touched. Thus, for example, a
history of American Jewry has yet to be written; a catalogue of all
books in Yiddish does not exist; critical editions of Mishnah,
Talmud, and most Midrashim remain a scholarly desideratum. A
consequence of this difference is that a young Torah scholar —
who can afford it — can accumulate a major Torah library in a
relatively short time. Virtually all the Torah classics are available
in reprints. A young scholar of
jiidische Wissenschaft,
on the other
hand, would find it more difficult to gather the classics of Jewish
science. The reprints — even where they exist — tend to be lim­
ited editions that quickly go out of print and are often prohibitive
in cost.
It would clearly be beyond the scope of this paper to list all (or
even the most significant) works of Torah scholarship published
since the Holocaust. Instead, we shall survey by topic the major
areas of Torah scholarship and offer a representative listing of
what has appeared in reprint form and as original works. In each
area, we shall attempt to delineate the lines of continuity between
the pre-modern and modern eras, thus highlighting the con­
necting links between classical, medieval, and modern Torah
scholarship. Where appropriate, we will briefly comment on the
strengths and weaknesses of a particular area.
I. Torah and Commentaries
Without question the most enduring work in this area is
Menahem M. Kasher’s
Torah shelemah
(New York-Jerusalem:
1949-1983, 38 volumes to date). It is the most comprehensive an-