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Bidding Information
Lot #    13050
Auction End Date    1/24/2006 11:19:30 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
          
Title Information
Title (English)    Shivhei ha-Rav
Title (Hebrew)   
Author    [Frumkin: Michael Levi Rodkinson - Habad]
City    Mukachevo
Publisher    Blayer & Kohn
Publication Date    1895
          
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
          
Description Information
Physical
Description
   20 ff., 185:123 mm., light age staining, wide margins. A very good copy bound in modern half cloth boards.
          
Detailed
Description
   Collection of stories in praise of R. Schneur Zalman of Liady (Alter Rebbe, Baal ha-Tanya). Appended to it are additional stories about the Baal ha-Tanya not included in previous editions. The title page is followed by a full page portrait of the R. Schneur Zalman. This was the first of a series of similar collections of Hassidic tales written by Michael Levi Frumkin, better known today as Rodkinson. Rodkinson, at the time that he wrote these books, was, in his own words, a flaming Hasid. He later became a maskil, and denied the authenticity of the stories in these books. The validity of those denials has been challenged, perhaps made to distance himself from his Hasidic background. This edition omits any mention of Frumkin-Rodkinsons name and the introduction in which he describes his reasons for writing and publishing Shivhei ha-Rav. These collections, beginning with Shivhei ha-Rav, are important, because they have made their way into general anthologies of Hasidic tales without mention of Frumkin-Rodkinsons name, and are accepted by many who would be otherwise be skeptical if they were aware of the identity of the author. Of even greater import, is what has been described as the success of Frumkinian Hasidism, based on works such as Shivhei ha-Rav, among non-Hasidic Jewry, attributable to its submersion of the true nature of Hasidic mystical leadership and, even more importantly, to the fact that it did not stress the fulfillment of commandments, but rather, emphasized universal ethical values . . .

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. He is best remembered for his New Talmud, an early and poor translation of the Babvylonian Talmud into English. He collected, wrote, published, and perhaps fabricated, Hasidic tales, as noted above, and was, as the editor of Hebrew journals, among the pioneers of the Hebrew press, and the author of numerous monographs.

          
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Reference
Description
   Dan, A Bow to Frumkinian Hasidism, Modern Judaism XI (1991), pp. 175-193; Heller, He should be called be called Sama-el. Michael Levi Rodkinson: The Life and literary Career of a Jewish Scoundrel Revisited, Jewish Culture and History (forthcoming); CD-EPI 0180390
        
Associated Images
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Listing Classification
Period
19th Century:    Checked
  
Location
Other:    Hungary
  
Subject
Hasidic:    Checked
History:    Checked
  
Characteristic
Language:    Hebrew
  
Manuscript Type
  
Kind of Judaica