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Bidding Information
Lot #    8576
Auction End Date    12/7/2004 11:20:00 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Kuttonet Yosef
Title (Hebrew)    כתנת יוסף
Author    [Only Ed.] Joseph Ezekiel Rajpurker
City    Bombay
Publisher    Anglo-Jewish and Vernacular Press
Publication Date    1887
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   Only edition. [4], ii, 124, [2] pp., 205:120 mm., usual light browning, some chipping. A good copy bound in modern cloth boards.
   An unusual Hebrew-English handbook of Hebrew abbreviations for students in Bombay by Joseph Ezekiel Rajpurkar. The book, which reads from left to right has both English and Hebrew title pages. The former states that it is a hand-book of Hebrew abbreviations with their explanations for the use of students of the Oral Law and Rabbinical Literature. There are Hebrew and English dedication pages; Kuttonet Yosef is “dedicated to the patrons of the David Sassoon Benevolent Institution, who liberally promote the cause of education and humanity in general as a token of gratitude, affection, and respect.” There is an English preface, which Rajpurkar begins by noting that “Of all literatures, the Hebrew is, I think, the most difficult to master.” It is his opinion that, “the greatest difficulty is the short and abbreviated forms of certain words and phrases, and the names of Rabbies (sic) and their works’ which again are not used by every writer in the same uniform way.” Kuttonet Yosef is written to address this problem. Entries in the text are comprised of Hebrew abbreviations, the words they signify in Hebrew and their meanings in English. Kuttonet Yosef is an attractive and rare work from an Indian press.

Joseph Ezekiel Rajpurkar (1834–1905), scholar of the Bene Israel community in Bombay, studied at the Free Assembly School, where, in 1856, he became a teacher in the David Sassoon Benevolent Institution. After five years he became headmaster, a post which he occupied for 40 years. In 1871 Rajpurkar was appointed Hebrew examiner at the University of Bombay, which elected him a fellow in 1879. A master of Hebrew as well as of Marathi, the vernacular of Bombay, he translated over 20 works of the Hebrew liturgy and many English works of Jewish interest into Marathi. Among his translations of Hebrew liturgical works are the Daily Prayer Book (1889, 1924), the mahzor, piyyutim, and selihot. He also published a Hebrew primer for children, and prayers for various occasions. Rajpurkar was also secretary of the Bene-Israel Benevolent Scoiety.

Paragraph 2    שהיא אסיפת ראשי תיבות עם פרושיהם בלשון הקודש ובלשון אנגליש לתשוקת התלמידים העוסקים בתורה שבעל פה ודברי רבותינו ז"ל, מאת... יוסף יחזקאל...
   CD-EPI 0165714; EJ; H. S. Kehimkar, History of the Bene Israel of India (1937); The Israelite, 9 (1925), 97ff.; A. Yaari, Ha-Defus ha-Ivri be-Arzot ha-Mizrah, 2 (1940), 54n, 73–79, 82.
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Listing Classification
19th Century:    Checked
Other:    India
Dictionaries & Encyclopedias:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew, English
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica