Page 66 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 47

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
New York in 1899 under the title
Tsemah Tsaddik.
The text was
edited and annotated by Abraham Hayyim Rosenberg.
In 1904 Samuel Nahum Marat of New York published the
Ramban’s
Sefer Ha-Geulah
from a manuscript in the British Mu­
seum. The work was issued under the title
Heshbon Kets Ha-
Ge’ulah leha-Ramban
with annotations by Rabbi Abraham Abba
Werner of London and consists of Nahmanides’ interpretations
of various biblical references to the “end of days.”
In 1907 a prominent American Orthodox rabbi, Bernard
Drachman, who was a founder of the Jewish Theological Sem­
inary and taught both at that institution and at Yeshiva College
and served for many years as president of the Union of O r­
thodox Jewish Congregations of America, edited and published
the text of a unique manuscript found at the Seminary library.
It consisted of the acrimonious exchange of letters between two
12th-century tosafists, Rabbi Zerah iah ben Isaac Halevi
Gerondi, known as the Baal Ha-Maor, and the Rabad, Abraham
Ben David of Posquieres, concerning the proper interpretation
of a talmudic text.
In 1912, Rabbi Joseph I. Gorfinkle published a critical edition
with an English translation of the Rambam’s
Shemonah Perakim.
The translation was not made from the original Arabic but from
Samuel Ibn T ibbon ’s Hebrew version, and consisted o f
Maimonides’ famous introduction to his commentary on Pirke
Aboth.
The period before World War I saw the appearance of other
types of rabbinic publications as well. O f value especially for
future historians are the several volumes of biographical dic­
tionaries prepared by Benzion Eisenstadt. Volume 5 of his five-
volume work
Dor Rabanav Ve-Sofrav
was published in New York
in 1903 under the title
Hakhme Yisrael Ba-Amerika,
and his other
three-volume work,
Dorot Ha-Aharonim,
was published in New
York between 1913 and 1915.
We previously mentioned Jechiel Judah Levinsohn, the author
of the first Hebrew book published in Chicago in 1875. In ad­
dition to this work, he also published in 1885 an essay on the
medieval philosopher, Bahya Ibn Pakuda, entitled
Or Hayye Ha-
Levavot.
One writer’s evaluation of this latter work points out that
Levinsohn possessed a great familiarity with medieval philosophic
works and knew Arabic since he often quoted from the Arabic
original. O f interest also is the physical make-up of the book which