Page 59 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 47

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KAGANOFF/ RABBINIC LITERATURE IN THE UNITED STATES
5 1
Semitic scholar, probably best known for his one-volume history
of the Jews, received his doctorate at Columbia University. In
1891 he published his dissertation which consisted of a critical
study of Rashi’s commentary on the tractate Erubin. The fol­
lowing year he published a facsimile edition of the Columbia
College manuscript of the tractate Megillah.
We should also note Alexander Kohut’s major work, the
cArukh Ha-Shalem,
a lexicon of talmudic terms. Although Kohut
did not arrive in America until 1885 and the first volume of
the
cArukh
was printed in Vienna in 1878, the last three of the
eight-volume work were printed when Kohut was already in
America. The work was highly praised as one of the finest ex­
amples of Hebrew scholarship produced by a Jew in this coun­
try. The one-volume supplement entitled
Hin ha-cArukh
was also
published in New York in 1892.
SERMONICS AND RESPONSA
The largest number of works in rabbinic literature published
in the United States comes under the category of
Derush
or
sermonics, but sermons in a traditional sense, containing lengthy
explanations o f biblical, talmudic and midrashic sources. The
first such work, entitled
Marpe Arukhah,
appeared in 1881, and
was authored by Eleazar Uri Phillips as noted previously. A
second work of a similar nature by the same author appeared
eight years later, in 1889, under the title
U°Marpe BiKhenafeha.
In that same year there also appeared another book of sermons
entitled,
Toledot Ya°akov Yosef,
by the Chief Rabbi of the O r­
thodox community in New York, Rabbi Jacob Joseph.
In 1898 two sermonic books appeared, which in addition to
the traditional addresses, included sermonic material encour­
aging the nascent Zionist Movement. One,
Tsiyon,
was published
in New York and authored by Rabbi Jacob Louis Kadushin.
The second,
Ruah Ycfakov,
was written by Rabbi Jacob Hurwitz,
a native of Russia, who arrived in the United States in 1890.
Reviews of this latter work complimented the author on his un ­
usual Hebrew, his excellent knowledge of the Bible and the
Talmud, his “ingenuity in applying obscure biblical and
midrashic passages to modern conditions” and “his warm en­
thusiasm for the Jewish National spirit.”
During this period from 1881 to 1917 no less than sixty-eight