Page 81 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 48

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KAGANOFF /RABB IN IC LITERATURE IN THE U.S.
73
to become more acculturated to American life; perhaps they
were more successful in transp lan ting the life style to which
they were accustomed in Europe to the New World. Ano ther
interesting phenom enon in the rabbinic literature that appeared
in these two decades was the fairly large num ber o f world p rom ­
inen t and recognized scholars who published in America. Al­
though we have noted the fairly sophisticated na tu re o f many
o f the items tha t were listed in the earlier section, none o f those
authors who published in America p rio r to World War I had
achieved fame as scholars o f world renown.
TALMUD AND MIDRASH
No doub t one o f the most significant accomplishments in this
area o f rabbinic scholarship occurred in 1919. The Union o f
O rthodox Rabbis o f the United States and Canada published
a full set o f the Babylonian Talmud . The set was p rin ted in
Canada by the Eagle Printing Company o f Montreal and con­
sisted o f eighteen volumes. T h e Union o f O rthodox Rabbis was
very p roud o f its achievement which filled a serious void in
American religious and scholarly circles. Because o f the war,
it was difficult to obtain books prin ted in Europe and there
were ju s t not sufficient copies o f the Talmud available for study
in the various schools that were in existence. However, this edi­
tion has not gone down in history as one noted for its textual
accuracy. I t has become quite popu lar as a collectors’ item and
a bibliographic oddity which is difficult to obtain, being the only
full Talmud ever published in the New World.
In 1923, Meyer Freeman, a p rom inen t lay scholar in New
York, noted previously as the au tho r o f a book o f talmudic com­
mentaries, published a book on the Babylonian and Jerusalem
Talmuds entitled
Mata‘e Meir.
Ano ther work on this subject ap ­
peared in 1929 entitled
Nahalat Meir.
The following year, Rabbi
Tobias Geffen, who served as the rabbi in Atlanta, Georgia for
over sixty years and was considered the most p rom inen t O r­
thodox religious leader and scholar in the South, published the
first o f several talmudic volumes entitled
Lev Yosef.
A second
work appeared in 1935 und e r the title
Karne ha-Hod.
Rabbi Moses Mordecai Epstein, the internationally renowned
and prom inent talmudic scholar and Rosh Yeshiva, was appo in t­
ed head o f Keneset Israel Yeshiva in Slobodka, Lithuania. In