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Bidding Information
Lot #    17273
Auction End Date    3/13/2007 11:33:30 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Massekhet Admonim min-Talmud Bolshevi
Title (Hebrew)    מסכת אדמונים מן תלמוד בולשבי
Author    [First Ed.] Avshalom Bar-Deroma
City    Tel Aviv
Publisher    Shoshani
Publication Date    1923
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   First edition. 48 pp. octavo 235:148 mm., usual age staining. A very good copy bound in later boards.
   Parody on the Bolshevik regime in the early days of communist rule in Russia by Abraham Shelomo Melamed (1862–1951) under his pen-name Avshalom Bar-Deroma, a Hebrew teacher in Feodosia, in the Crimean Peninsula Massekhet Admonim min-Talmud Bolshevi (Tractate of the Reds from the Bolshevik Talmud) is printed “with Perush Rashi, Tosafot Yeshenim and nerdamim and hiddushei mhrasha’im (Toafot of those who slumber and are drowsy snf the novellae of the wicked).” In addition, included are Or Tora and Masirit ha-Sus (Torah leather and thraditiojns of the horse). The verso of the title page has a memorium for a zaddik who has lost his righteousness, who prior to his death requested that he be hung first in order to not see the death of his companions. The text is organized in the format of a Talmudic tractate, with Mishnah, Gemara, and commentaries. The text begins all are adumim (red) and there is no difference between red and white excepting the name alone. Rabbi Yarkon (empty) says hayarokon is included. The references to red and white refer to the Bolsheviks and their opponents in the civil war, the white Russians. The commentaries are in the form of Rashi and Tosafot.

Massekhet Admonim min-Talmud Bolshevi was written during the early years in post-1917 Russia, when Judaism, the Zionist movement, and Hebrew culture generally were the subjects of persecution. Many bitter satirical parodies were written attacking the oppressive regime and its supporters. In particular, the "Yevsektsia," the department of the Communist Party responsible for the liquidation of Jewish communities and institutions and the suppression of the various Jewish parties, and especially the Zionist ones, came under protest. As these parodies could not appear in print they passed from hand to hand as "underground literature." They were modeled on well-known prayers and folksongs in Hebrew, Yiddish, and Russian. Massekhet Admonim min-Talmud Bolshevi was one of the most successful parodies on the Bolshevik regime. It was brought out of Russia by the author in the early 1920s, and was published in Tel Aviv in 1923.

Another work by Melamed was Massekhet Soharim (Traders' Tractate, 1900), also a parody in the style of the Mishnah and Gemara and a bitter satire on the various tradesmen ("wheat tradesmen, wood tradesmen, contractors and shopkeepers") who engaged in unfair trade, profiteering, international bankruptcy, and arson in order to collect the insurance money.

Paragraph 2    עם פרש"ה ותוספות ישנים ונרדמים וחדושי מהרש"ע. ועליהם נוספו: עור תורא ומסירת הסוס חברה ... מאת אבשלם בר דרומא ...

פארודיה. המחבר הוא כנראה אברהם שלמה מלמד.

   EJ; CD-EPI 0113651
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Listing Classification
20th Century:    Checked
Israel:    Checked
Parody:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica