Page 34 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 44

Basic HTML Version

2 2
JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
study by Yitshak bar Eliyahu Pesach Goldhar (1847-1925), a sur­
veyor who was employed by Baron Rothschild in the Galilee, enti­
tled
AdmatKodesh
(Holy Land, 1913). Goldhar’s purpose in study­
ing the historical boundaries of the land was the desire to make
use of talmudic sources rather than Christian ones, since the
Sages are a trustworthy historical source. In his approbation,
Rabbi Kuk, for example, wrote: “And we the people of the land,
the people for which the land was created . . . have thus far done
little in this most valuable and exalted work.”
JEWISH APPROACH
Since the beginning of the century research in the history of the
Jewish settlement in Eretz-Israel was sparked by a definite histor­
ical national motivation in order to stress the Jewish presence and
the continuity of Jewish settlement in the land. It therefore did
not concentrate merely on the biblical period and that of the Sec­
ond Temple — both central yet differing from each other in
character, problems and sources — but turned to later times in
order to fill the vacuum which had been left in Jewish historiogra­
phy up to that time. Much attention was given to establishing the
boundaries of the land, to identifying the places mentioned in the
Bible and in later literature and to delineating the geographical
and topographical material in the Bible and Talmud. The major­
ity of studies therefore dealt with these aspects and stressed the
Jewish settlement. Among these, for example, were the works of
Yeshayahu Press (1874-1955),
The Land
(Hebrew, 1911) and
Geography of Eretz-Israel
(Hebrew, 1926). They included also a
book by the Bilu activist Israel Belkind (1861-1929), entitled
Eretz-Israel at This Time
(Hebrew, 1928), which had been written
earlier in Russian for the Hovevei Zion; the previously published
work by Yehoseph Schwarz entitled
The Produce of the Land
(Hebrew, 1845); and
Luah Eretz-Israel
(Eretz-Israel Almanac),
published by Luncz for the years 1896-1916.
A pioneering role in the field of Palestinography was that of
Professor Samuel Klein (1886-1940), who began his scholarly
activity in Vienna with his
Beitrege zur Geographie und Geschichte
Galilaeas
(Contributions to the Geography and History of Galilee,
Leipzig, 1909). Among his Hebrew volumes are:
Eretz-Israel
(Vienna, 1922),
EretzHa-Galil (1946) andEretzYehudah
(1939). Of
great value also are his Hebrew works,
History of theJewish Settle
-