Page 82 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 47

Basic HTML Version

7 4
JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
of the nineteenth century may be described from the
Deutscher
Volks-Kalender und Jahrbuch, insbesondere zum Gebrauch fu r
Israelites,
(1852), published in Breslau and edited by M.
Breslauer. In addition to the interleaved Hebrew calendar and
civil calendars, the Jewish reader could consult the times for
the morning and afternoon prayers, the hours of sunset for
each Sabbath in the zone of Breslau, a “Regententafel” showing
the birthdates of Europe’s reigning monarchs, and an extensive
date list of local fairs and markets in each of the cities of East
and West Prussia, Posen, Silesia, Brandenburg, Pomerania, and
Saxony. The list of fairs, appearing in identical German and
Judeo-German sections, is of special geographical interest for
anyone interested in developing a vernacular gazetteer of place
names in Hebrew characters for European towns and cities. The
literary section in this same volume sets a high standard with
a scholarly contribution by Abraham Geiger on Jewish apolo­
getics in the Middle Ages, a wedding address by the famed
Leopold Zunz, and a tale by Leopold Kompert, “Vetter
Schmul.” Closing out the volume is a conversion table for gold
and silver coins of the world and a telegraph tariff schedule.
A similar almanac, also representative of German-Jewish cul­
ture, is the
Volks-Kalender und Jahrbuch fu r Israelites
(1865),
edited by J.K. Buchner and issued in Leipzig. Buchner, about
whom very little is known in the way of biographical details,
became noteworthy in the history of Jewish journalism in the
United States for his role five years later as publisher of
Di
yidishe tsaytung
(New York, 1870-72?), the first Yiddish period­
ical in America. His
Volks-Kalender
for 1865 contains the editor’s
Hebrew poem in honor of Moses Montefiore’s eightieth birth­
day, an essay by Heinrich Graetz, the preeminent historian, this
in turn followed by two signed contributions dealing with the
Jews in Frankfurt, Henry Vidaver’s Hebrew ode for the
Rothschild family (Vidaver later served as a rabbi in New York
and San Francisco), necrologies and, of course, the dependable
Hebrew
luah,
or calendar.
AMERICAN ALMANACS
Jewish almanacs in the United States, while not common at
this time, are especially fascinating. Although the
Lunar Calen­
dar, of the Festivals, and other Days in the Year, observed by the Is­