Monday, April 07, 2014

Asufah of Rabbi Shmuel Ashkenazi

New sefer announcement: Asufah of Rabbi Shmuel Ashkenazi
By Eliezer Brodt  

אסופה, ארבעה מאמרים מאוצרות הר"ש אשכנזי שליט"א ['העלם דבר וטעות סופר', 'הגונב מן הספר', 'הרמב"ם כמתרגם מלשון התלמוד ללשון המשנה', 'מילונות עברית כיצד'?], ערך והשלים והביא לבית הדפוס, יעקב ישראל סטל, בהשתתפות אליעזר יהודה בראדט, כריכה רכה, 166 עמודים.

It is with great pleasure that I announce the release of another volume of Rabbi Shmuel Ashkenazi's work- Asufah. As I have written in the past, we are trying to print the collected material Rabbi Ashkenazi has written over a seventy year period. Many additional volumes are ready to go to print, but we lack funds to do so [any help would be greatly appreciated].

This new volume is composed of four articles. Two of these articles (no. 3 and 4) were printed in Leshonenu and Leshonenu L'Am, almost fifty years ago. A third article (no. 2) was partially printed in a recent volume of Yeshurun, and the fourth article (no. 1) was supposed to have been printed in the journal Or Yisrael but was excluded from the volume right before printing.

The first article deals with mistakes that great people have made in their writings. The point of the collection is to show that anyone can make a mistake, however this does in no way detract from their greatness. This sampling is only a small part [18 samples] of a much larger collection of similar kinds of mistakes that we hope to print in the future.

The second article is a list of 85[!] cases of plagiarisms. It's seventy two pages long and includes a very broad introduction on the subject. Hopefully this list will encourage others to collect similar instances and work to complete such a list.

The third article deals with the Rambam as a translator. As is well known, the Rambam wrote his classic work Yad Hachzakah in the Hebrew of the Mishna, as opposed to Talmudic Hebrew which is comprised of many Aramaic loanwords as well.  Thus, the Rambam had to translate many Aramaic terms into Hebrew. This article deals with this topic and shows many interesting points related to this.

The fourth article is a review of the popular Hebrew dictionary HaMilon HaChadash, by Avraham Even-Shoshan. This article was first published in 1967 in the language journal Leshonanu in three parts. Some of the material from these articles was added into later editions of the dictionary. There is a wealth of information in this article about words and expressions. Rabbi Ashkenazi had made a 12 page index for his own personal copy of the article; this index is published here for the first time in this volume. Additionally, Rabbi Ashkenazi added many notes which he recorded over the years on the side of his copy of the article. All of the above addenda have been included in this printing.

 In sum, this volume is of importance to any person interested in the Jewish book or the Hebrew Language.
The book was printed in a limited run of 300 copies and is not being sold in retail stores. If one is interested in purchasing a copy he can do so either through me, or at Beigeleisen in the U.S. or Girsa in Jerusalem.
The price of the book, including air mail shipping to the U.S., Canada or England is $24.

For a sample of this work or for any other information regarding this project, feel free to email me at:

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