Page 62 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 47

Basic HTML Version

5 4
JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
prominent 18th-century Rabbi Ezekiel Landau and a hasidic
Tzaddik over the merits o f Hasidism. The second was
Zemir
Aritzim,
published in 1899 by Ephraim Deinard. The work, a
classic anti-hasidic diatribe, has been attributed to David of
Makow, an 18th-century hasidic leader who rejoined the
Mitnaggedim. An earlier edition appeared in Warsaw in 1798.
Deinard published a critical text of the famous pamphlet and
a second American edition appeared in 1904.
Deinard was also responsible for the appearance of two other
anti-hasidic works in 1904. One was ascribed to the prominent
18th-century Lithuanian preacher and dayyan, Israel Loebel, who
was an outspoken opponent to the newly founded hasidic move­
ment. When Loebel’s brother became a Hasid, he obtained ap­
proval from the Vilna Gaon to preach or publish against this
group whenever possible. Deinard published
Herev Hadah,
a He­
brew translation of an anti-hasidic tract written by Loebel in Ger­
man. Deinard also published another anti-hasidic work from a
manuscript of Isaac Baer Levinsohn, the famous 19th-century He­
brew author known as the “Russian Mendelssohn.” The work was
entitled
Megillah cAfah.
Works directed against the efforts of missionaries and Chris­
tianity in general also made their appearance. In 1889 there
was published
Hokhmat Yehudah,
by David Kohn, describing a
dispute between a Jew and a Christian over matters of religion
and faith. In 1898 another work defending Judaism appeared.
It was authored by Abraham Leib Benjaminson, a native of Rus­
sia who came to America in 1892. The title of the work was
Milhamah be-Shalom
and was a defense of Judaism against the
attack of missionaries. It was written in the form of a debate
between a priest and rabbi and provided Jews with the argu­
ments they could use against the missionary efforts then taking
place in New York.
The very prolific Deinard also published two polemic works
against Christians in 1904. The first was a revised edition (noted
as the second on the title page, but actually the third) of Joseph
Ben Shem Tov’s Hebrew translation of Hasdai Crescas’ classic
work against the principles of Christianity written originally in
Catalan in the late 14th century. The title was
Bittul cIkkare Ha-
Notsrim.
For some strange reason, the book was printed on green
paper. The other title was a new edition o f David Nasi’s
Hora3at
Bacal Din,
which first appeared in Frankfurt in 1866. Deinard