Page 206 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 50

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Shearith Israel congragation, which both grandfather and fa­
ther of the groom had served as
An eight-stanza, forty-eight line poem in Hebrew, “Ner
Hanukkah,” sent to “Judje Majer Sulzberger, Philadelphia” by
Rabbi Ch. A. Goldenbaum of Safed in 1902. The poet describes
himself as a descendant of the great hasidic rabbi Dov Ber, the
Maggid of Mezhirech.
Let this Hebrew poem inscribed by a Holy Land rabbi of
saintly lineage, serve to introduce the last three sections of this
sampling of the Jewish Theological Seminary’s Abraham and
Deborah Karp Collection of American Judaica: first, the
prayerbook in America; second, the very special relationship
between the Jewish community of the Holy Land and American
Jewry; and third, three pioneer Hebrew books.
The role of the American rabbi as preacher, teacher, pastor,
organizer, administrator, educator, lecturer, author and fund­
raiser has been noted, described and analyzed. Little note has
been taken of the extensive and impressive liturgical creativity
o f the Am erican rabb in a te . Among the 120 Am erican
prayerbooks in the Karp Collection are almost all the
prayerbooks fashioned — compiled, composed, translated,
adapted, edited — by American rabbis in the 19th century,
among them Isaac Leeser, Leo Merzbacher, Isaac Mayer Wise,
David Einhorn, Samuel Adler, Benjamin Szold, Marcus Jastrow,
Bernhard Felsenthal, Adolph Huebsch, Alexander Kohut, Max
Landsberg, F. De Sola Mendes, Gustav Gottheil, George Jacobs,
Aaron Wise and Joseph Krauskopf. They range from transla­
tions of the traditional prayerbook to the radical recasting of
the order and contents of the liturgy. They also represent its
reorientation from right to left in pagination in the Radical Re­
form prayerbooks of Einhorn and Landsberg.
One should also note the first American women’s prayerbook,
Ruhama, Devotional Exercises fo r Use of the Daughters of Israel,
edited by Rabbi Morris J. Raphall, New York, 1852; and the
first American Jewish children’s prayerbook,
Order of Prayers
fo r Hefzi-Bah Hebrew School, Temporarily Compiled fo r the Devotions
of the School on the Solemn Holydays and Succoth of the Year 5621 ,
San Francisco, 1860. The latter was compiled by the principal