Thursday, June 11, 2009

A little note on the censorship of Rabbi Moshe Hagiz and Johann Christoph Wolff

See this post.

Surprise, surprise. When Mishnas Chachomim was reprinted in Chernowitz in 1864 (containing an approbation from, among others, R. Chaim Halberstam of Sanz) eight words were removed, the most prominent among them being יוחנן קרישטוף וואלף (which, as you can see, was set apart in large type in the original, in case you would miss it). So you see the entire passage below

only in 1864 there is no name.

Instead you see this:

All subsequent reprints, whether Brooklyn 1959 or Jerusalem 1974 are merely photo offsets of the 1864 edition, and are thus missing the identity of the person and his library described by R. Moshe Hagiz.

(While preparing this post I happened to see that this was already noticed by Elisheva Carlebach in her book on R. Moshe Hagiz. However, she only mentions the 1959 edition, making it appear that this is where the censorship took place. However, I see that this was simply a reproduction of the 1864 edition. As she put it, "the editors have omitted Wolf's name but retained the adulatory praise, leaving the impression that Hagiz was praising some Jewish scholar!")

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