Page 82 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 46

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74
JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
o f th e MSS in Russia have been pho to co p ied . On ly a trick le
o f scho lars have been allowed to visit th e lib ra r ies an d they
a re he ld u n d e r close check a n d no t always allowed access to
all th e m a te r ia l available. Some o f th e lib raries , such as th e L en in
S tate L ib ra ry w he re th e G u e n z b u rg co llection is s to red , have
b een closed to all visitors fo r years. Fo r J u d a ic s tud ies th e Rus­
sian collections rem a in the last g re a t f ro n t ie r .
Num erically , th e la rge s t collections o f H eb rew MSS a re fo u n d
in Israe l an d in th e U n ited States. J e ru s a lem houses th e Jew ish
N a tiona l an d Un iversity L ib ra ry w ith ove r 8 ,000 H eb rew MSS
an d th e In s t i tu te o f M icrofilm ed H eb rew M anusc r ip ts with co p ­
ies o f ove r 45 ,000 MSS from alm ost all th e co llections ou ts id e
the Soviet Un ion . Most fam ou s am o n g th e MSS in th e JN U L
a re the 13 th -cen tu ry W o rm s M ahzo r, th e 10 th -cen tu ry D am as­
cus K e te r T o r a h a n d o n e o f th e a u to g r a p h vo lum e s o f
M a im on ides’ comm en ta ry on th e M ishnah . J e ru s a lem also h o u s ­
es th e Ben-Zvi In s t i tu te , which owns th e A leppo Codex , the
o ldes t an d m ost exac t copy o f th e en t i re Bible, an d ove r 3 ,000
MSS, mostly f rom th e N e a r East; th e lib ra ry o f Mossad ha-Rav
Kook with ove r 1,400 MSS, mostly recen t; th e Israe l M useum ,
hom e o f th e richly i llum ina ted Ro thsch ild M iscellanea an d ove r
100 o th e r MSS, mostly o f artistic value; an d the H ekha l She lom o
M useum with 100 MSS. Am ong th e m any p r iva te lib ra r ies in
Je ru s a lem th e best known is th e Schocken L ib rary , which houses
several h u n d r e d MSS, inc lud ing th e i llum in a ted N u rem b e rg
H agg ado t an d the N u r em b u rg M ahzor. W ith th e ex cep tion o f
a few o f th e ra re s t books an d most p rec iou s m anu sc r ip ts th e
lib rary was acqu ired by th e Jew ish T heo log ica l S em ina ry o f
Am erica , th o u g h it rem a in s in J e ru s a lem . T h e r e is no p r in te d
ca ta logue o f th e m anu sc r ip ts a n d th e ca rd -ca ta logues a re no t
com p le te , thu s few scho lars a re aw are o f w ha t m a te r ia l is avail­
able. W ith th e re c e n t a p p o in tm e n t o f a new d i re c to r p lans a re
be ing m ade to m ake th e lib ra ry an d its t re a su re s m o re acces­
sible. Prof. M eir B enayahu has ab o u t 1,000 MSS, mostly from
th e N e a r East, an d th e late Pro f . N eh em iah A llony left a lib ra ry
o f ove r 300 MSS. O u ts id e o f J e ru s a lem th e re a re dozen s o f
sm a ller p riva te an d public collections, th e la rge s t b e ing in th e
B a r-I lan L ib ra ry in Ram a t Gan (350 MSS).