Subasta 72 Fine Judaica: Printed Books, Manuscripts, Autograph Letters, Holy Land Maps & Fine Art
17.3.17 (Your local time)
USA

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LOTE 32:

(AMERICAN JUDAICA).
Ben Sirah. Volksbuch über Moral und ...

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Ben Sirah. Volksbuch über Moral und Sittenlehre - Sepher Chochmath Yehoshua ben Sirah.
Hebrew (by Yehudah Leib Ben Ze'ev) and German (by Isaac Mayer) on facing pages. 1-116, 122; 137 (of 142) leaves, lacking three leaves, (= pp. 137-141); divisional titles for 2nd, 3rd parts; a separate divisional title for parts 4 and 5 [mis]bound at front. Some soiling and staining, losses to corners expertly repaired, ex-library. Modern gilt ruled red morocco; gilt dentelles; title and imprint gilt-stamped on spine. Housed in modern buckram clamshell case. 12mo. Singerman 1110; Goldman 1014.

Henry Frank, New York: 1850.


The First non-Liturgical, non-Biblical Hebrew Book Printed in America.

     Ben Sira is a collection of proverbs and teachings, written in poetic form, within the well-known and widespread ancient Near Eastern tradition of wisdom literature. Its closest analogue within the biblical canon is the book of Proverbs and remained a standard text for Jews during the late antique and medieval periods. Ben Sira is also well known to the rabbinic tradition, being cited in the Talmud and related literature on about a dozen occasions. Notwithstanding these testimonies to the use of Ben Sira, the Hebrew original was eventually lost, because Ben Sirah was not canonized in the Jewish tradition.
     This volume contains Yehudah Leib Ben Ze'ev's Hebrew translation of Ecclesiasticus (Ben Sira) together with Isaac Mayer's German version. Ben-Ze'ev (1764-1811) was the first Jewish scholar to apply Western research methods to the study of Hebrew (see Waxman, History of Jewish Literature, Vol. III p. 127).
     
Prior to this Ben Sira, the only earlier non-liturgical, non-Biblical Hebrew book printed in America, was published by missionaries, and not a Jewish publication.