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Bidding Information
Lot #    14899
Auction End Date    6/13/2006 1:45:00 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Avtalyon
Title (Hebrew)    אבטליון
Author    Aaron Wolfsohn-Halle
City    Prague
Publisher    Hrabischen Erben Buchdruckerey
Publication Date    1806
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   [4], 34, [10] pp., octavo, 160:100 mm., nice margins, light age staining. A good copy bound in contemporary boards.
   A Hebrew primer, containing the grammatical elements presented in biblical stories by Aaron ben Zev Wolf Wolfsohn-Halle, with an introduction by David Friedländer. The title page has both Hebrew and Latin text and informs that it is for Jewish youth and all who desire the Hebrew language. The text is in a single column in vocalized Hebrew with occasional notes in Yiddish in Veibertaytsch. Avtalyon, written as a school text, is noteworthy as the first written for Jewish pupils, being a pioneer attempt to relate Bible stories in simplified Hebrew prose. Avtalyon concludes with a Hebrew-Yiddish glossary.

Aaron Wolfsohn-Halle, (1754–1835) was a writer. Born in Germany, Wolfsohn-Halle taught in a Jewish public school in Breslau from 1792 to 1807, serving the last five years as its principal. Wolfsohn-Halle was a follower of Moses Mendelssohn and among the most radical of the early maskilim. He was one of the editors of Ha-Me'assef during its Berlin period, and editor in chief in 1797. Among his own various contributions to the periodical was the play Sihah be-Erez Ha-ayyim (in Ha-Me'assef, vol. 7, 1794–97), in which Maimonides and Moses Mendelssohn meet in paradise. The author praises Mendelssohn and combines his own radical views of the Haskalah with acrimonious remarks against the Talmud and the Kabbalah. In addition to Avtalyon, Wolfsohn-Halle published the books of Job (1826) and I Kings (1827) in the Mendelssohn translation, with his own commentary; wrote in German, translating some biblical books into German; and published works in Yiddish, including Reb Hanokh ve-Reb Yosefkhi, a satirical play replete with Haskalah didacticism. An earlier Hebrew version of this play, written in the 1790s, recently discovered, was published in 1955 (PAAJR, vol. 24, with notes).

Paragraph 2    והוא מבוא הלמוד לנערי בני ישראל ולכל החפצים בלשון עבר,

דומה אל ההוצאה השנייה, ווין תק"ס. הסכמה: דוד פרידלענדר, הועתקה מן ההוצאה הראשונה, ברלין תק"ן.

   BE alef 30; EJ; JE; CD-EPI 0128636
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Listing Classification
19th Century:    Checked
Other:    Bohemia
Children’s Literature:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew, Judeo-German
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica