Page 116 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 51

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108
JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
from Lieberman points to a possible direction for the hasidic
style in the many writings of hasidic preachers and maggidim.
Lieberman’s own style includes the Hebraisms and
loshn-
koydeshdike
locutions that Shmeruk delineated in his essay on
the
Tsene-rene.
Interestingly Lieberman’s research supports Max
Erik’s contention that Yankev ben Yitzkhok, whom Lieberman
calls
Reb Yankev bar Yitzkhok fun Yanov,
was himself a maggid.34
SOME TRANSLATIONS
As noted earlier, there have been a number of translations
of the work. Among the most interesting was a translation of
the first chapter of Genesis into Latin in 1660. Not surprisingly
the most faithful German translation is Bertha Pappenheim’s
who had already translated Glikl of Hameln’s
Memoirs
in 1910
and
Di Maase-Buch
in 1929. Her translation of the Book of Gen­
esis from the
Tsene-rene
appeared in 1930, but subsequent vol­
umes never appeared after the Nazis took power. One recent
(1984) translation in Hebrew, also of the Book of Genesis, in­
cludes critical commentary and footnotes.35 An English trans­
lation published in Brooklyn and distributed in Israel and Eu­
rope has been widely distributed among Orthodox Jews. The
following excerpt from this translation is followed by my trans­
lation of the same passage from the 1622 edition of the
Tsene-
rene.
THE FOLLY OF IDOLATRY
Haran died in the presence of his father Terah, in the land of his
birth, Ur Casdim
(1:28). How could the Torah proceed to tell
us how God spoke to Avram without first telling us what self-
sacrifice made him deserving of such a privilege? For Avram
allowed himself to be thrown into the fiery pit for the sake
of God. His father Terach was a merchant of idols, and wanted
Avram to sell them for him. A person came in to buy an idol,
and Avram asked him his age. He answered that he was fifty
or sixty years old, whereupon Avram said, “You poor man! You
34. Lieberman, “Nokh a vort vegn
Sefer hamagid
un zayn mekhaber,”
Yidishe
shprakh,
vol.29 (1969) 76.
35. See note 3.