NewsLetter

Dear Friends,

I am pleased to announce that another, the third, volume of the Talmud Ha-Iggud has been published by the Society for the Interpretation of the Talmud.

This volume: Babylonian Talmud Eruvin tractate is on Eruvin chapter 10, ‘Ha-Motze Tefillin,’ with the analysis and commentary by Aviad Stollman. In this volume over 40 ‘sugiyot,’ issues are examined. The text is based on the Oxford Manuscript (366) and compared to seven other manuscripts. Some facsimiles of these texts are included as well as copious, serious footnotes and inclusion, discussion of tosefta, midrash and many centuries of rabbinic commentaries.

This is a very successful, important new series that employs the scholarly critical analysis and comparative approach that has been the hallmark of a major 20th century (CE) movement and school with scholars from Professors Saul Lieberman, David (Weiss) Halivny, Golinken, Wald and Shama Friedman, namely the Conservative / Masorti / JTS and Schechter Institute worlds. I apologize in advance if I have inaccurately labeled or grouped any scholar or institution, but the incontrovertible fact is that the critical scientific approach to Jewish Studies and particularly the study of Talmud has been perfected, championed and disseminated by these scholars and institutions.

The work includes an English abstract of almost 30 pages and comes with our highest recommendation as an asset for any Jewish Studies library or scholar.
ISBN 978–965–7442–02–09. Cat. #68491 $30.00

In a conscious effort to keep our newsletters short, I will report two items in almost telegraph fashion. First, there was a strike at our ports earlier this month. Ships were not unloaded and many turned away to other nearby ports when port employees defied a Labor Court order to return to work. Ultimately, the work slowdown was called off and we hope that this will have only limited effect on shipping times.

Second, I must mention that Merkaz Shazar published a two volume work on the Rambam by Aviezer Ravitzky. Isbn 978-965-227-245-4. There could be so much to say, but, (‘Res Ipsa Loquitor,’), the matter speaks for itself.
Cat. #68665 $64.50

For those who may have been away we are including our most recent newsletter which we posted in Aug. 2008. * please see that there was a typo when this originally went out – Sperber’s “Life Cycle” is $65.00 (and not $162.50) . Our apologies to those who have seen this part before:

The Hecht Museum of the University of Haifa has published the Great Revolt in the Galilee. A bilingual book (Ha-Mered Ha-Gadol Ba-Galil) by Ofra Guri-Rimon, editor and curator. The book is 122 in Hebrew and 17 pages in English and has articles on the archaeology of Zipori, comparison between Judea and Galilee at the time of the revolt against the Romans, which took place between 66-70 CE, and scholarly analysis of/from Jesephus to Vespian.

This is a scholarly yet accessible and enlightening, softcover museum catalog that I highly recommend for libraries from research and reference and all levels of Jewish education. Cat.no. 67179, $39.00

In Hebrew literature we must mention David Grossman's – "Isha Borahat me-Besorah" (his translation – Until the End of the Land). It's had
7 printings since its appearance earlier this year. Cat.no. 66910 $36.00

Sami Michael's new title - Ayida – will also likely be a modern Hebrew classic. This title should not be confused with Verdi's opera. Cat.no. 67437 $29.00

In English we have a number of good picks …

Daniel Sperber's Jewish Life Cycle - this new book from Bar Ilan is dual published with Oxford Univ. Press. Although it is printed in Israel. If you have not heard about this book yet, please google it. The isbn is 978-965-226-334-6 Cat.no. 67970 Price - $65.00

Gedalyah Nigal, Emiritus Professor of Jewish Literature, Bar Ilan University, has had his monumental work, 'the Hassidic Tale,' published by the Littman Library, isbn 978-1-904113-07-2, Portland Oregon, 2008.

This is the translation of the work previously published in Hebrew, which was highly acclaimed. (Cat. #66968) The work would be worthwhile even if only for it's introduction which describes the development of Hassidic literature from storytelling, through, beyond and beside parables, from the 18th until the early 20th Cent. (CE). The largest portion of the introduction includes a summary of significant Rabbinic texts which incorporate the many Hassidic tales. This section charts from the 'Shivhei HaBesht,' through the many important titles, by many Hassidic Rabbis, published in Lemberg. The later portions list and summarize works of R' Simha Bunim Michelson, R' Israel Berger, Kleinman, Yudel Rosenberg, including works published in the early 20th Cent. (prior to WWI) in Pietrokow.

Finally, the book Hutim Hameshulashim, by R' Avraham Stern (Montreal,
1953) which contains many tales some different versions of stories previously published is discussed.

The values and archetypes of the Tzadik are examined and the tensions between Jewish social classes, Hassidim and Misnagdim are all explored in a comprehensive, scholarly work that will be one of the significant works of Jewish History and Literature of the 21st Cen. CE. All this leaves us with a little problem. This is a not an Israeli publication. Cat. no. 68107 $78.00

And last, Tzror Hamor by Rabbi Avraham Sabba, Translated and Annotated by: Eliyahu Munk

Rabbi Avraham Sabba was born in Castile in 1440 and spent the first 50 years of his life in parts of Spain where Jews lived in prosperity and security. He wrote many books, among them the Torah commentary Tzror hamor. His genius is evident from the manner in which he selects hundreds of quotations from the Zohar, the most famous mystical text, in which he demonstrates that the author of the Zohar is capable of being understood by the average Jew, (as opposed to
scholars) and that the Zohar is helpful in understanding many difficult passages in the Torah.

He was forced into exile to Portugal in 1492, and to North Africa in
1497 after not only being persecuted and seeing many members of his family killed, but he had to rewrite this commentary completely from memory, as in Fez, Morocco he had no library at his disposal. He died on board ship on the way to Italy and was buried in Verona in 1510

The translator, Eliyahu Munk, was born in Frankfurt on Main, where he received his education at the Samson Rafael Hirsch Realschule, and the Yeshiva of the late Rabbi Joseph Breuer, of blessed memory. He continued his education at the Yeshiva in Gateshead, England. He served in Jewish education (primarily as a teacher) for almost 30 years in Toronto, Canada.

5 Vols., Hardcover, Boxed Set, ISBN: 978-965-524-013-9, Publication: 2008 Cat.no. 67530 $149.00.

We have had a couple of Yiddish titles in recent months, if you'd like more information – just ask.

We are proud that we has located many important titles on Jewish Life in Turkestan, Kazakstan, Azerbaijan in Russian by different, leading scholars who spent years studying documents in archives in those countries and Moscow. For these, please be in touch.

We would like to end with 2 new music cd's – Yasmin Levy on / in Ladino and Hava Alberstein.

Finally, we would like to wish all our friends a Happy and Healthy New Year.
Sincerely, Jeff Spitzer

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