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Bidding Information
Lot #    12629
Auction End Date    12/20/2005 12:19:30 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
          
Title Information
Title (English)    Prospectus, Babylonian Talmud
Title (Hebrew)    New Talmud Publishing Company
Author    [Only Ed.] Michael Levi Rodkinson
City    Lynn, Mass
Publisher    Perry & Searle Co.
Publication Date    [1904]?
          
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
          
Description Information
Physical
Description
   Only edition. 27, [1] pp., 233:153 mm., wide margins, usual light age stainming, stamps. A very good copy bound in the original paper wrappers. Rare - no copy in NYPL
          
Detailed
Description
   Prospectus for the Babylonian Talmud by Rodkinson. His objective was to translate the entire Talmud, not only to making it accessible to English speakers, but also to transform that “chaotic” work, through careful editing, into “a readable, intelligible work.” The translation was supported by Dr. Isaac Mayer Wise, (1819-1900) President of Hebrew Union College (HUC), and, from 1889 to his death, president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, who wrote in a letter dated March 24, 1896, “I beg leave to testify herewith that I have carefully read and revised the English translation of this volume of the ‘Tract Sabbath,’ Rodkinson's reconstruction of the original text of the Talmud. The translation is correct, almost literal, where the English idiom permitted it.” Nevertheless, most reviewers were highly critical. Kaufman Kohler (1843-1926), a leader of the radical branch of Reform Judaism and, from 1903 to 1921, president of HUC, wrote that he “must entirely disagree with the venerable President of the Cincinnati College,” that is, Dr. Wise, for “in almost every uncommon word a degree of ignorance is displayed which is simply appalling.” Nevertheless, the Rodkinson New Talmud is important as a pioneer effort.

Michael Levi Rodkinson (1845-1904) was the scion of a distinguished Hasidic family who became a radical proponent of haskalah at an early age. He was a prolific writer. In addition to his New Talmud, he collected, wrote, published, and perhaps fabricated, Hasidic tales. He was, as the editor of Hebrew journals, among the pioneers of the Hebrew press, and the author of numerous monographs.

          
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Listing Classification
Period
20th Century:    Checked
  
Location
America-South America:    Checked
  
Subject
History:    Checked
  
Characteristic
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    English
  
Manuscript Type
  
Kind of Judaica