Page 60 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 47

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
works falling in this category were published. The publication
o f so many sermon books reflected a phenomenon commonly
occurring at this time. Individuals who had no source of income
published a volume of sermons which they then offered for
sale as they traveled throughout the country. These productions
were often critically received by contemporaries. During the
three-and-a-half decades under discussion, six volumes of re-
sponsa literature were published in the United States.
BIBLE STUDIES
At least fifteen books in the area of Bible criticism or Bible
studies appeared between 1881 and 1917. Rabbi Benjamin
Szold, born in Hungary in 1829, arrived in America in 1858
to become rabbi of Congregation Oheb Shalom in Baltimore.
The synagogue was on the verge of becoming Reform but Szold,
by allowing some innovations, pursued a more traditional ap­
proach. In 1886 he published a scholarly commentary on the
Book of Job in Hebrew.
Twelve years later a valuable Bible encyclopedia entitled
Otsar
Ha-Shemot,
by Abraham Hayyim Rosenberg, began to appear.
The author, who was born in Pinsk in 1837, arrived in America
in 1891. The ten volumes of this encyclopedia appeared be­
tween 1898 and 1921. Although Rosenberg was considered a
Hebrew scholar of the highest calibre, he made his living as
a printer. His Hebrew press was very popular in New York
City and probably accounted for the printing of more works
in Hebrew than any other similar establishment. A second edi­
tion of his encyclopedia appeared in 1923.
Arnold Bogumil Ehrlich was born in Russia in 1848. He ar­
rived in the United States at age 30. A major biblical exegete,
his main work was
Mikra Ke-Pheshuto,
a Hebrew commentary
on the Bible published in Berlin between 1899 and 1901. Al­
though suspected by Jews because of his close connections with
the German scholar Franz Delitzsch and ignored by Christian
scholars who could not read Hebrew, his comments and insights
are highly original and his works are considered a major con­
tribution to modern biblical scholarship.
In 1904 the internationally famous Lithuanian talmudic schol­
ar, Rabbi Jacob David Ridbaz (then called Willowski), who
served as chief rabbi of Chicago between 1903 and 1904, pub-