Monday, April 27, 2009

Some Google Books gems

(I'm trying to avoid posting things that are to be found online in other places. Thus, while it is great that the Dikduke Soferim and Arukh Ha-shalem are now appearing on Google Books, both are available elsewhere.)

1) Benjamin Blayney's edition of the Samaritan Pentateuch in Hebrew letters, Pentateuchus hebreao-samaritanus, charactere hebraeo-chaldaico, 1790.

2) Transactions of the Parisian Sanhedrim (not a typo), 1807.

3) The American Hebrew issues of 1896.

4) Several issues of Bickure Ha-ittim

5) The original 1839 edition of Ha-kesav ve-ha-kabbalah; same commentary, different introduction.

6) Torah She-be'al Peh, subtitled "Is the Oral Law of Divine Origin and Therefore Binding Upon the Jews?", 1842, by an anonymous British would-be Reformer of Judaism. However, Cecil Roth revealed that the author was Benjamin Elkin. This book is bound together with some highly interesting materials, not to be missed.

7) If your French is good, enjoy this discussion from 1782 which mentions the Chida ("du rabbin Haim-Joseph Azulai") and Noda Be-yehuda ("Ezechiel Lande, grand rabbin de Pragues") (link).

8) Samuel Aaron Romanelli's Grammatica ragionata Italiana ed Ebraica, or Hebrew grammar in Italian, 1799; mostly because I love the English quote that adorns the :

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Actually, I love appearances of English in old books in other languages. I always wonder if the author knew English or was just pretending. In Romanelli's case, I truly don't know. He is primarily known for his adventures in Morocco. Read about him here.

Here is an excerpt for his lament for Mendelssohn:

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9) Three volumes (so far) of Joh. Chris. Wolff's landmark Bibliotheca Hebraea, 1720s-30s.

10) The most famous 19th century Karaite Abraham Firkowitsch's Masah u-meriva, 1838. Interesting in itself, but people who enjoy lists will love the appended list of subscribers, perhaps two hundred Karaites. It would have been nice to find a name like "Akiva" slipped in, but true to form, every name is Biblical, or at least neutral ("Simcha" is quite popular). However, there are a couple of Rabbanites snuck in there, or at least that's what I suspect. You tell me what "Yosef Sissmann ben Simcha Rothmann" sounds like.

11) A short account of Lord George Gordon (previously posted about here) that actually mentions the name of his mohel, of all things,1851:

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and here's part of a poem about Gordon (1793):

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12) The American Phrenological Journal, 1868, has some biographical information about American rabbis, and, of course, their heads:

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Finally, it would be fun if this Moses Schreiber, given here in 1779, was the Chasam Sofer but it's not. (
It's from a list of early 17th century burghers.)

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1 comment:

  1. see my new post here



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