Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Listing of New Seforim

What follows is a list of new seforim I have recently purchased; for prior lists see the "New Books Lists" on the sidebar.

1. Indices To The Emden-Eybeschuetz Controversy Literature by Gershom G. Scholem. As the title implies, this is an index, divided by person, book, and geographic place. Additional, many of the abbreviations used (R. Emden constantly uses abbreviations, many obscure) are explained. This index was culled from Scholem's index cards where he kept these records. The editors have done nothing to update them nor have they attempted to ensure consistency. So, in essence they had these cards typeset and published.

But, as part of this publication Hebrew University has scanned all of the books and manuscripts covered by this index and put them on a CD. This is especially important, as many of these are very rare and hard to come by. This CD is supposed to be available directly from Magnes Press, however, I could find no other information on this on their website.

2. On the topic of Scholem there is a fairly recent book, Pithe 'Olam which is a critical edition of R. Solomon ben Samuel's work by that name. This is a work of kabbalah. However, perhaps the most interesting piece of this book in not the manuscript but what the editor, Rafeal Kohen, has appended to it. R. Kohen has included his own polemic against modern kabbalah scholars. He accuses them, among other things, to have stymied the publication of numerous manuscripts to benefit their own careers, racism against those not in academia, as well as plain sloppy scholarship. He backs some of these claims up with concrete examples. In particular he savages Paul Fenton's edition of R. Yosef b. Avrohom's Sheroshi HaKabbalah with numerous examples of errors and mistakes. R. Kohen, also goes University by University and points out who he has issues with. R. Kohen is particular of appending each of the names of the people he discusses with the ignominious abbreviation meaning שם רשעים ירקב ימח שמו וזכרון תימקן ותשחקן עצמות אוסר לעסוק בקבורתו or שר"י יש"ו תו"ע אל"ב at every single mention of their names. He covers Hebrew University, Bar Ilan, Sorbonne, and the Schechter Institute. It makes for some entertaining, if over the top, reading.

3. Journal Mayni HaYeshua from Biala Hassidim contains a 23 page article against Eliach's Sefer HaGaon.

4. Ziv haSemot or What's in a Name. This book on everything having to do with names and naming is perhaps the 4th book on this extremely important, life or death topic which has come out in the past few years. This one is in both Hebrew and English. Curiously, although there is a chapter on using a name that a wicked person had such as Yismael. The author does not cite to or quote the Shu't Besamim Rosh on the topic. Whose pronouncement has broad implications for naming. He says even if a evil person happen to have the name, if it is a nice name then you can use it.

I purchased these at Biegeleisen in Boropark.

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