Page 96 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 43

Basic HTML Version

84
JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
Bible, if we may believe Wigram’s claim that among the words
beginning with the letter
alef
alone he and his collaborators had
found several dozens of errors and omissions in earlier concord­
ances against which they had checked their work.
Whether Mandelkern made use of the
Vademecum
we do not
know; it is not listed among his sources, whereas he does mention
a somewhat later and derivative British concordance, namely an
English translation of Fiirst’s and Bar’s works, prepared by Ben­
jamin Davidson (a converted Jew) in 1876.43 Davidson was able to
add a few words not included in either of his two sources, but in
order to save space, he listed the citations in abbreviated form,
with the headword indicated by a long dash instead of being writ­
ten out in full (a practice often followed in concordances to the
English Bible).
The scholarly and massive concordances produced by Fiirst
and Bar with their extensive Latin apparatus were neither in­
tended for nor were they within the financial reach of most East
European Jews. To satisfy their need for a relatively cheap and
compact concordance, a man signing himself by the Hebrew
acronymic pseudonym “Shvi-1” (later identified as Shelomo
Gelblum) published a concordance in small format, copied out of
the works of Fiirst and Bar, listing only the locators for each word
but not any citations (perhaps influenced by Wigram’s
Vademecum
?).44 Although this work was shoddily compiled, con­
tained many errors, and omitted most particles, it became very
popular because of its low price, and was reprinted several times
in Eastern Europe, even long after Mandelkern’s work had been
published in an abridged edition, also aimed at Jewish readers in
Poland and Russia who could not afford the high price of the
complete concordance.
MANDELKERN’S WORK
Following the time-honored custom of Jewish writers and com­
mentators to give their books allegorical titles taken from biblical
verses, Mandelkern chose for his work the title
Hekhal haqodesh
43 Davidson, Benjamin.
A concordance of the Hebrew and Chaldee Scriptures.
London: S. Bagster, 1876. vi, 902 p.
44
1877 ,Ktznn ...[!] unnn iparrmpjip Kin ,d
"bn
~iao .[na'jc? ,D’i‘?n’n]
Reprinted 1892, 1895, 1908.