Page 78 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 43

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6 6
Kabbalah and its world of angels, devils, and spirits, but also an
om inous sign th a t his m ind had begun to w ande r in to
unfathomable realms.
The moment he had been looking forward to during two de­
cades finally arrived in 1896 when the firm of Veit & Co. pub­
lished the two huge folio volumes of the new concordance under
the Hebrew title
Hekhal haqodesh
(The temple of the Holy).15 It
seemed to be a fitting birthday gift for the author who was then
fifty years old. But the publication of the concordance, the fruit
of more than twenty years of work under adverse and harsh con­
ditions did not mean the end of Mandelkern’s tribulations, nor
did it allow him to rest on his laurels. Although the concordance
was hailed as a masterwork by Jewish and Gentile critics alike, it
did not become an immediate bestseller, as Mandelkern had
hoped. There had been no more than about 300 subscribers at a
price of one hundred marks (then about $24), forty of whom had
died in the meantime, or had fallen on hard times when the work
finally came off the press. The price for new buyers was set at one
hundred and fifty marks, then an exorbitant amount which pre­
vented many from buying the massive tomes. One year later the
publisher therefore brought out an abridged edition in quarto
format, comprising “only” 1010 pages, to which Mandelkern
gave the Hebrew title
Tavnit hekhal
(Structure of the Temple),
alluding to the fact that for each word only the indication of
book, chapter, and verse was given but not the passages them­
selves; otherwise, the abridged edition contained the same mate­
rial as the full one, and in the same arrangement.
Mandelkern now asked Reclam, after having toiled for them
for about fifteen years, to raise his fee of ten marks per sheet, but
they turned him down, having found another poor Russian emi­
grant who was ready to do hackwork for pennies. He thus lost his
only steady source of income, and had to take to the road in order
to promote the sale of the concordance. He travelled from city to
15 n a in a i Dwia ,m in
rpmKi nnny K’yrrnpJip Kin K^n ,unpn ton .. .
Veteris testamenti concordantiae hebraicae atque chaldaicae. . .
Leipzig: Veit & Co.,
1896. 2 v. (xiv, 1532 p.).
16 [The same.] Editio minor, exemplis omissis. Leipzig: Veit & Co., 1897. viii,
1010 p.