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Bidding Information
Lot #    13187
Auction End Date    1/24/2006 12:27:30 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Ha-Shorashim
Title (Hebrew)    השרשים
Author    [Haskalah] Isaac Satanow
City    Prague
Publisher    Franz Johann Scholl
Publication Date    1803
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   Parts I and II. [2], 65; 8, [1], 8-10, [5] ff., 354:225 mm., wide margins, light age staining, small title repair. A very good copy bound in modern full leather boards, tooled in blind.
   Lexicon and thesaurus in two parts by Isaac Satanow for the purpose of instructing the Jewish people in the pure holy language from the German (Yiddish) in order to be able to understand the bible with the commentaries of Rashi, Ibn Ezra, and others. The title page is printed in both red and black, and has a sub-title, Hebraeisch-Deutsches Lexicon. There are introductions from Satanow, in which he elaborates on the benefits of this book, and from the printer. A list of subscribers is followed by the text, in two columns, organized alphabetically. Words are given in square letters followed by definitions in smaller type, with, as necessary, vocalization. In the margins are biblical references. At the bottom of the page are notes in Yiddish. The second part of the book has its own title page, here called Ha-Shorashim entitled Devorim Ahadim. There is another introduction and the text follows the same format. This section concludes with nine pages of sharoshim in six columns. Sefer ha-Shorashim is one of Satanow’s major works. In addition to its lexicographic value this is a physically attractive volume.

Isaac Satanow (1732–1804) was born in Satanov, Podolia, and settled in Berlin in 1771 or 1772, where he served as the director of Society for the Education of the Youth. Among the most prolific of the early Haskalah writers, he did not restrict himself to any particular literary field, but wrote in most of those genres used by the later Haskalah writers. Satanow demonstrated a wealth of knowledge of the Hebrew language, ranking as a model stylist throughout the Haskalah period. He ascribed several of his works to earlier writers, and consequently used fictitious names for the authors of the recommendations for his own books and of their forewords. He wrote a number of books of liturgy, Tefillah mi-Kol ha-Shanah al Pi Kelalei ha-Dikduk (1785), Haggadah shel Pesah (1785); and Selihot (1785); as well as Mishlei Asaf and Zemirot Asaf (4 vols., 1789–1802), collections of proverbs in imitation of the Book of Proverbs. (Satanow adopted the pseudonym Asaf from the acrostic for Itzik Satanow.) The work, attributed to the biblical Asaph son of Berechiah, is written in the style of Proverbs and Psalms. He may have been the first Hebrew writer who sought to break out of the strict framework of biblical style, although he himself was very adept in the biblical style called melizah. Hence he demanded that new words be coined; in Iggeret Beit Tefillah he complains that the vocabulary of biblical Hebrew had not preserved its great lexical range.

Paragraph 2    [בסדר א"ב]. ללמד... צחות לשון הקודש מתורגם אשכנזי [באותיות עבריות] להבין במקרא... בביאורי המפרשים הפשטנים... כפי הפשט הניאות לדיקדוק לה"ק... בהעתק האשכנזי... אשר הונף ואשר הורם מבחורי חמד יודעי דעת (המחבר... יצחק לבית לוי איש סטנאב)...
   EJ; Raisin, Haskalah p. 99; Slouschz, Renascence pp. 43-44; Vinograd, Prag 356-67; CD-EPI 0152983; 0152962
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Listing Classification
19th Century:    Checked
Other:    Bohemia
Other:    Haskalah
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica