This book, תורת שפת עבר: ללמד בני ישראל דרכי לשון הקודש ומשפטיה, published in New York in 1904, was written by Simon Hertz, the father of Rabbi Joseph H. Hertz (1872-1846). He lived from 1846 to 1913 (see) having emigrated to the United States from Slovakia in 1884 (see). According to Meirovich's book on the Hertz Pentateuch, he was a musmach of R. Esriel Hildesheimer in Eisenstadt (where the latter resided prior to
The book is aimed at children, and so illustrates each lesson with a little poem (in English and
Letters of the "Holy Tongue"
Are Twenty-Two by name;
Every Hebrew while yet young,
Should strive to know the same.
It contains other ditties like
Paragogic of no benefit
Unless a better sound to obtain,
Why in the Scriptures they did admit,
These אהוי"ן 'tis hard to explain.
and this classic:
שוא as a vowel you must not count,
No power of vowels does it possess;
Its existence is paramount,
To a display of vowel-lessness.
There are a few interesting features of this Hebrew grammar (in English with Yiddish on facing pages). For one thing, although the author calls the Yiddish language 'Jewish-German' in English, he calls it אשכנז in Hebrew. For another, in Solomon Schechter's הסכמה (see below) rather than Yiddish or Jewish-German, it is called 'German.'* Make of that what you will.
Also interesting is the list of patrons who donated $10, $5 and $3 towards publication of the book (funds total less than $300).