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Bidding Information
Lot #    16956
Auction End Date    1/23/2007 11:37:30 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Thamar; Roman aus dem biblischen Alterthum
Author    [First Ed.] Solomon Mandelkern
City    Leipzig
Publisher    Wilhelm Friedrich
Publication Date    1885
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   First edition. 238; 196 pp., 182:120 mm., light age staining, wide margins. A very good copy bound in contemporary boards, rubbed and split.
   Translation of Mapu's Ahavat Ziyyon into German by Solomon Mandelkern (18461902), Russian lexicographer, Hebrew poet, and translator. Mandelkern was born in Mlynow and in his youth was among the Hasidim of Menahem Mendel of Kotzk. However, he soon came under the influence of Haskalah. At the age of 19 he divorced his very pious wife and went to study at the newly founded rabbinical seminaries of Vilna and Zhitomir. He also studied Semitic languages at the University of St. Petersburg. From 1873 to 1880 Mandelkern served as assistant to the government-appointed rabbi at Odessa, being one of the first to preach in Russian. During this period he studied law at the university and compiled a history of Russia, Divrei Yemei Rusyah (3 vols., 1875), on behalf of the "Society for the Propagation of Culture among Russian Jews." Because of his personal animosity toward its editor Alexander Zederbaum Mandelkern submitted a false report of a blood libel in Bessarabia for publication in the periodical Ha-Meliz. When it was discovered, the periodical was forced to suspend publication, and Mandelkern, to leave Russia. He studied at Jena and afterward settled in Leipzig, where he devoted himself to research. An early supporter of Hibbat Zion and Herzl's Zionism, he attended the first Zionist Congress in Basle in 1897. Mandelkern's great contribution to Jewish scholarship is his monumental Bible concordance Heikhal ha-Kodesh (1896, 1959; abridged edition, Tavnit Heikhal, 1897), the fruit of 20 years of scholarly labor. This concordance was a great improvement on its predecessors and was the first to follow the Jewish arrangement of the Hebrew Bible. In later editions of the work by F. Margolin and M. Goshen-Gottstein (1967) and H. M. Brecher and A. Avrunin (1955, with an English introduction by A. M. Freedman and Hebrew bibliographical essay on concordances by A. R. Malachi) many of its imperfections were corrected. Mandelkern had also begun to work on a Talmud and Midrash concordance, which, however, remained fragmentary and has not been published. Mandelkern's output as a writer, poet, and translator of poetry was equally considerable. They include an early ode to Czar Alexander II, Teshu'at Melekh Rav (1866), on his escape from an attempted assassination; a love poem Bat Sheva (1866), which earned him praise from Adam ha-Kohen (1896); aphorisms, Hizzim Shenunim (1864); and an anthology Shirei Sefat Ever (3 vols., 18821901), which contained apart from his own poetry translations of great poets from various languages. He also translated Byron's Hebrew Melodies into Hebrew as Shirei Yeshurun (1890); Mapu's Ahavat Ziyyon into German, Thamar (1885; 1897, without mentioning the author), and Ashmat Shomeron as Suende Samarias (1890); and into Russian Bogdan Chmielnicki (1878) and Lessing's Fables (1885). Mandelkern expended great mental and physical efforts producing his works and soliciting buyers for his concordance, even traveling to the U. S. in 1899, and late in his life suffered mental illness. He also became increasingly interested in the theory and practice of spiritualism.
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Listing Classification
19th Century:    Checked
Germany:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    German
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica