Page 208 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 44

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
want to deal in an honest way.” The vast library, which was
intended for public use, was dispersed. Despite the danger
involved and the lack o f space in his home, Dr. Shachar held on
during the mandatory period to the illegal newspapers o f the
Irgun.
It appears also that the library o f Dr. Hayyim Bar-Dayan, who
was a well known educator in Jerusalem, was intended for public
use. Dr. Bar-Dayan was an enthusiastic and diligent collector who
succeeded in amassing many tens o f thousands o f books. Even
though his library appeared to contain a “mixed multitude” o f
items, his scholarly know-how and bibliophilic sense undoubtedly
guided him in building an important collection. His library was
transmitted to the municipality o f Jerusalem.
Special mention should be made o f Naphtali Ben-Menahem.
He was a bibliophile o f rare talent who had an esthetic sense and
took many pains to assure that his books should be finely pre­
served. He was also an expert bibliographer who headed up the
National Hebrew Bibliographic Project in Jerusalem and his
expertise helped him in his collecting. Two disparate subjects
were close to his heart: the life and work o f Abraham Ibn Ezra,
and the books printed in the land o f his birth, Hungary. He
devoted much space to them in his library. Ben-Menahem was a
lover o f books and o f beauty, so that his collection is a joy to
behold.
SOME OUTSTAND ING COLLECTIONS
I did not have the privilege o f examining the libraries o f a num­
ber o f leading collectors, especially that o f Rabbi Yehuda Leib
Maimon. I had the opportunity o f making cursory surveys o f
typical libraries o f modern scholars and researchers like Rabbi
Simha Assaf and Dr. Yehuda Even-Shmuel. O f special quality
was the folklore collection o f Rabbi Yehuda Leib Avida-Zlotnik,
which was acquired by Bar-Ilan University. The valuable excep­
tional library o f David Sassoon, containing awealth o f rare manu­
scripts, is being broken up and sold in lots at public auction. The
collection o f the late A.M. Habermann was willed by him to the
regional library at Lod, and it serves as a basic component o f the
research institute which bears his name.
Among the important collections in Israel there stands out
another library distinguished for the value o f its contents.