Page 91 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 48

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Rabbi Louis Finkelstein, generally acknowledged as the lead­
ing figure in the Conservative Movement in American Judaism ,
was born in Cincinnati in 1895 and received academic degrees
from the City College o f New York and Columbia University.
He was orda ined by the Jewish Theological Seminary and held
various positions with the Seminary until he was appo in ted pres­
iden t in 1940 and chancellor in 1951. In 1926, he edited the
text o f David Kimhi’s
Commentary on the Book of Isaiah
was published by Columbia University Press. In 1927, Ju d ah
Kaufman published a critical edition o f the only surviving
manuscript o f the
Sefer ha-Eshkol
by the 15th-century polemicist
and kabbalist, Yomtov Lipmann Muehlhausen. The study was
originally subm itted to Dropsie College as a doctoral dissertation
in 1919.
In 1929, the well known diamond merchant, Nehem iah Sam­
uel Libowitz published the text o f Leon Modena’s
Ari Nohem,
a work written by the 17th-century Italian rabbi against Kab­
balah and the putative au tho rsh ip o f the Zohar by Simeon Bar
Yohai. A second edition o f this work was published in lerusalem
in 1971.
In 1932, Elias Nathan Rabinowitz published a critical edition
o f the
Midrash ha-Gadol on Leviticus
which he culled from various
manuscripts and early p rin ted sources. In 1932, Mordecai
Wechsler published a Yiddish translation o f the apologetic work
Hizzuk Emunah
by the 16th-century Karaite scholar Isaac Ben
Abraham T rok i and the following year the previously m en­
tioned Michael Higger published a critical edition o f a halakhic
decision by Isaiah T ran i, a 13th-century Italian tosafist, talmudic
scholar and decisor on divorce and kosher slaughtering. A sec­
ond edition o f his work appeared in Jerusalem in 1971.
Israel Davidson was born in Lithuania in 1870. In 1888 he
arrived in the United States and completed his studies at Co­
lumbia University. He later jo ined the faculty o f the Jewish T h e ­
ological Seminary and in 1915 was appointed professor o f Me­
dieval Hebrew Literature. He became internationally prom inen t
in this area. In 1934, the Seminary published Davidson’s critical
edition of Salamon Ben Yeruhim ’s work
Sefer Milhamot ha-Shem,
consisting o f the 11th-century Karaite’s arguments against
Saadia Gaon and his polemics against rabbinic Judaism .
In 1934, the society Mefitse Ginze Kadmoniot (The Society
for the Diffusion o f Ancient Treasures), published a new edition