Page 92 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 48

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84
JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
o f
Hasde ha-Shem
by the 15th-century kabbalist and preacher,
Joseph Ben Hayyim Jabez. T h e work is considered one o f the
earliest homiletic works in the field o f ethics and had been p r in t­
ed only once in Constantinople in 1533. By consulting the few
copies tha t had still survived, the publishers were able to re ­
produce the original text in a critical manner.
Rabbi Hayyim Isaac Bloch was born in 1864 in L ithuania and
studied in the yeshivot o f tha t country. A fter serving as a rabbi
in Bausk he moved to Russia du ring World War I and acted
as a government rabbi. In 1922, he arrived in the United States
and served as a rabbi in Jersey City, NJ until his dea th in 1948.
Bloch was elected honorary presiden t o f the Union o f O rthodox
Rabbis o f the United States and Canada. Between 1935 and
1939, he published a new edition o f the
Hiddushe ha-Ritva,
the
13th century Spanish tosafist and renowned talmudic authority.
Bloch’s edition included the Ritva’s commentary on Moed
Katan, Megillah and Makkot to which he added his own sources,
introduction and corrections. Finally in 1938, Israel Isaac Efros,
p rom inen t American Hebrew scholar and poet, who founded
the Baltimore Hebrew College and was a professor o f Hebrew
at various colleges, published a critical edition o f Maimonides’
Treatise on Logic
in the original Arabic and th ree early Hebrew
translations based on manuscripts and early editions.
T h e period between the wars seemed to have elicited a new
interest in the Zohar. Rabbi Ju d a h Rosenberg o f Montreal, m en ­
tioned in an earlier section, published a seven-volume edition
o f the Zohar with a Hebrew translation and commentary. Simon
Neuhausen published two volumes on the Zohar, one in 1923
entitled
Nirdefe Zohar,
on the linguistic style o f the Zohar, and
a collection o f sayings from the Zohar entitled
Zohare Zohar
in
1929. In 1934 the above mentioned Nehemiah Samuel Libowitz
published a topical index to the Zohar entitled
Sifra de-Aggadeta.
JEWISH LAW
During the interwar period, volumes on the practical app li­
cations o f Jewish law continued to appear. T h e re were at least
33 such titles du ring these two decades, compared to only 22
tha t appeared in the th ree and a ha lf decades p rio r to World
War I. Some achieved great popularity, if we are to ju d g e by
the several editions in which they were published. In 1918,