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The Hebrew Treasures of England. Presidential Address

Elkan N. Adler

<plain_text><page sequence="1">THE JEWISH HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF ENGLAND. THE HEBREW TREASURES OF ENGLAND. PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS. Delivered on February 9, 1914, by Elkan N. Adler, M.A. The duty which now devolves upon me of delivering to you a Presidential Address for the second time is a pleasant one but, at the same time, embarrassing?pleasant, because it is an honour, as appreciated as it is undeserved, to preside over you on the year which marks the coming of age of our Society; embarrassing, because it finds me no longer prepared to keep myself?and you?away from the dry-as-dust consideration of books, and, worse still, Hebrew books. You will all compare me to the amiable, though somewhat weak-minded, Mr. Dick, who never could keep out King Charles's head from his conversation for any length of time. For this I crave your pardon, and venture to plead in aid as my excuse the Times leader writer of Thursday, who pleads for the middle aged man who finds his enthusiasm grow with his experience. Perhaps, after all, you may discover that my subject is not alto? gether foreign to the declared objects of our Society, and that the contemplation of England's Hebrew treasures will throw a little light on Anglo-Jewish history. The accomplished statistician?and collector of VOL. VIII. A</page><page sequence="2">2 THE HEBREW TREASURES OF ENGLAND. fairy tales?who was one of our founders and my predecessor in the high office of President nearly twenty years ago?in his article on "Hebrew Manuscripts " in the Jewish Encyclopedia, finds that-in 1904 of the 15,059 such MSS. then known England possessed no less than 6677. The list is still incomplete, but I am able almost to double that number, with? out reckoning the boxes of unbound Geniza fragments in the Taylor Schechter Museum and my own collections. That brings the number up to 13,108, so that we are fairly entitled to state that half the world's Hebrew manuscripts are to be found in this country; and, one may safely add, those of the greatest value and importance. In the Battle of the Tongues, which has recently broken out, the importance of the Hebrew language has certainly not been exaggerated; but it is meet and proper that Jewish literature should be so well represented in England, for it is more than likely that, in the next generation or so, half the Jews of the world will be speakers of English. That is a result of persecution in Eastern Europe, and liberty and tolerance in England and America. Another is, that the quantity of Hebrew Books and MSS. in America has grown with its Jewish population, and that New York, while unable to rob Cambridge of its Taylor-Schechter collection, robbed England of Schechter. Till the nineteenth century, England's hoard of Hebrew manuscripts was, if anything, under the average?far inferior indeed to those of Italy or even Germany; but some of our treasures date back to the Reforma? tion, when two at least of our queens were Hebrew scholars, and one?&gt; the greatest of them all?a protector of Marannos to boot. Dr. Hirsch has discovered among the Cottonian MSS. at the British Museum a manuscript written by Roger Bacon?Baco Anglicus?containing a good deal of Hebrew, for he was a Hebrew scholar?an early English Hebraist of the thirteenth century. There are in the colleges at Oxford and Cambridge one or two Masoretic Bibles which date back to pre-Expulsion times, and were perhaps the property of those French-speaking Jews, with the romantic names, who formed our community under the Normans. The greatest Hebrew library in the world is at the Bodleian, Oxford, credited by Jacobs with 2541 MSS., to which must be added the 316 catalogued by Cowley in the second volume of its Catalogue, and 85 acquired since. That volume appeared in 1906, twenty years after</page><page sequence="3">THE HEBREW TREASURES OF ENGLAND. 3 the first volume for which Neubauer was chiefly responsible. The library was founded by Bodley in 1598, and its Hebrew MSS. and books are derived from the following sources :? (a) Forty-two from William Laud (1573-1645), who became Arch? bishop of Canterbury in 1633, supported King Charles in his struggle with Parliament, and was himself beheaded in 1645. He was a col? lector, and also Selden's patron. Neubauer says he had presented Hebrew books to the University of Oxford between 1635 and 1640. The Dictionary of National Biography, from which most of my biographical notes are derived, says that he presented his MSS. to the Bodleian in November, 1641. The gem is perhaps a Psalter in Hebrew and Latin, which belonged to the monastery of St. Edmundbury (117), a Rashi on Isaiah and Jeremiah (299), Rashi on Yoma (419), a Hagadah probably of 1259?the catalogue date 1810 is obviously erroneous (1174) ?and a Spanish copy of Farisol's Orchot Olam (2053). Farisol was a friend of Columbus, and describes his discoveries. (b) John Seiden, the jurist and orientalist (1584-1654). He was M.P. for Oxford in the Long Parliament, and drew up the articles of impeachment of Laud in 1641. In early years, his friend Ben Jonson addresses him as '' You that have been Ever at home yet have all coun? tries seen." He earned his spurs by his De Diis Syris in 1717, and it is said of him that " His familiarity with Rabbinical literature was such as has been acquired by few non-Israelite scholars." In 1654 he died, leaving twenty-one Hebrew MSS. to the Oxford University; and 8000 printed volumes were purchased from his estate five years after his death. Of these the best is perhaps No. 1 in Neubauer, a Masoretic Bible the date of which seems to be 1103. This would make it the earliest biblical MS. in the first volume of the catalogue. (c) Dr. Edward Pococke (1604-1691), orientalist and discoverer of the Syriac versions of Peter ii., John ii. and iii., and Jude, was chaplain to the Turkey merchants at Aleppo from 1630 to 1636, in which year he was appointed by Archbishop Laud first Professor of Arabic at Oxford. In 1648 the Parliamentary visitors made him Professor of Hebrew at the same University. He was the author of the Porta Mosis, an edition in Arabic and Latin of Maimonides' Introduction to the Mishna, &amp;c. It was printed at Oxford in 1655, and is generally regarded as the first book printed in Hebrew type in that city. He, and such as he, in their</page><page sequence="4">4 THE HEBREW TREASURES OF ENGLAND. interest in Jews and Jewish literature, are the persons to whom we really owe our re-admission to England in 1655. In 1659 he wrote on the Nature of the Drink: Kauhi or Coffee. He again travelled in the East in 1637, and spent three years at the British Embassy at Con? stantinople. Pusey remarked of him that " he alone of Bodleian collectors escaped being deceived and cheated in his purchases." He lent several of his manuscripts to Dr. Brian Walton for the purposes of the London Polyglot of 1657. That was one of the first books printed by public subscription in England. The price was &lt;?10, though he tells Buxton that it was fetching ?50. It is sad to think that Walton asked Menasseh ben Israel to assist in the publication, but met with a refusal. Seventy-four of Pococke's Hebrew manuscripts are in the Bodleian. At the Restoration, notwithstanding his Commonwealth pro? clivities, he was confirmed in his Chair as Regius Professor of Hebrew. (d) Thomas Marshall, of Mareschall, Rector of Lincoln College, who left the library 51 Hebrew MSS. in 1685. (e) Dr. Robert Huntingdon (1637-1701), the orientalist, who was chaplain to the Levant Company at Aleppo, 1671-1681. He visited Palestine, Cyprus, and Egypt acquiring MSS., including some from the Samaritans at Nablous. The Bodleian has 200 of these, some presented by him in 1678, 1680, and 1683, but most purchased from him in 1693. Others of his MSS. are at Merton College, Oxford, and others at Trinity College, Dublin. Notable among these are (577) Maimonides' Code, with the author's signature, which, till the discovery of the Geniza, was the only one known. (/) 110 Hebrew MSS. in the Canonici, purchased by the Univer? sity in 1817. (g) The great library of R. David Oppenheimer was bought by the University in 1829 for 9000 thalers, and comjjrised 780 manuscripts and 5421 printed works. Oppenheim, or Oppenheimer, was born at Worms in 1664, and died at Prague in 1736. He was a nephew of the famous Samuel Oppenheimer who was born at Heidelberg in 1653, and Court factor of the Emperor Leoj3old I., whom he financed in the Turkish Wars. Prince Eugene of Savoy brought him many rare MSS. from Turkey, which, on his death, he left, together with a large fortune, to David. David was also a favourite of three Emperors, for he com? bined a lucrative business with his office of .Chief Rabbi of Moravia, and</page><page sequence="5">THE HEBREW TREASURES OF ENGLAND. 5 subsequently in Bohemia. He was a prolific writer, but though rich, many of his works remain in manuscript at Oxford {e.g. 1966 on the Kabalah). An ideal bibliomaniac, he spared neither pains nor money to collect rare and sumptuous editions. Wolf gives an enthusiastic account of his 1000 MSS. and 8000 books (Bib. Heb. I, 290). He wanted to throw open his library to the public, but the censorship made this impossible, and so he sent it to Hanover to his rich father-in-law, Leffmann Behrends. His son, Joseph, pawned it for 50,000 marks to a Senator of Hamburg, where it remained stored in chests for nearly a century. In 1784 Isaac Seligmann Cohen, the then owner, applied to Moses Mendelssohn, who valued it at between 50,000 and 60,000 thalers, and urged in the Measseph that some Jewish Maecenas ought to buy it. In 1826, the Oppenheimer heirs published a catalogue in Hebrew and Latin (by Metz and Muller), in which they announced that, unless purchased as a whole before June, 1827, it would be offered in separate lots at public auction. Its rarities are too numerous to men? tion?it is almost complete up to his time?and this is the reason why Steinschneiders Catalogue stops about the date of his death. Oppen heimer was quite a modern in the wray of his collecting. In 1711 he actually published a list of desiderata. When, in 1715, a new edition of the Talmud was being printed at Berlin and Frankfort-on-the-Oder, he ordered a special copy of the twenty-four volumes to be struck off on parchment for him, and paid a thousand imperials for the privilege. That copy of the Talmud printed on vellum is, perhaps, the most ex? pensive of the Hebrew treasures of Oxford. Of course, it is not the most precious, even though it is unique. (h) Heimann Joseph Michael is the next great contributor to the Hebrew treasures of the Bodleian. He was born at Hamburg in 1792, and died there in 1846. He, too, was a bibliophile, and collected 860 manuscripts and 5471 books; but, unlike most collectors, he had read them all, and was constantly consulted by the great savants Zunz, Luzzatto, Dukes, Kapoport, and others, who founded the Hebrew science of modern times. His heirs got Steinschneider to prepare a catalogue, Ozrot Ghajim, Hamburg, 1848, and Zunz to write the preface. The Bodleian purchased the manuscripts in 1848, through Messrs. A. Asher and Co. In addition to the 860 manuscripts, 69 others which had belonged to him, but had come into the possession of A. Bislichis, were</page><page sequence="6">6 THE HEBREW TREASURES OF ENGLAND. acquired two years later, through Sch?nblum. One of the manuscripts? No. 560?had a curious fate. It never reached Oxford, but a copy of its most curious component, the Diary of David Reubeni, is in Breslau. Reubeni was the man who in 1524 came to Europe and held himself out to be the brother of a Jewish king in India, and offered alliances to Pope and Emperor. I identify him with the last Rajah of Cranganor, from whom the Indian Jews of Cochin claim descent. (i) Eight Bible manuscripts used by Dr. B. Kennicott in his famous collation of the Hebrew manuscripts of the Old Testament, and 16 bundles and one bound volume of collations made in 1770 to 1773, were transferred to the Bodleian from the Radcliffe Library in 1879. (k) Sixty-three manuscripts were selected by Steinschneider in 1853 and bought from Schorr out of the collection made by Professor Isaac Samuel Reggio. Reggio (1784-1855), born at G?ritz, in Istria, was a mathematician and early Bible critic. One of the first of the Maskilim, he was one of the founders of the Rabbinical Seminary of Padua in 1820. There is a long account of him in the Jewish Encyclopedia, but it makes no mention of his manuscripts. You have probably heard enough names, so I will not worry you with a list of booksellers and others from whom the Bodleian has made purchases of notable manuscripts. But I must say something as to the Bodleian catalogues. Steinschneiders " Catalogus Librorum Hebraeorum in Bibliotheca Bodleiana" (Berlin, 1862-1860) is an indis? pensable adjunct to every good Hebrew Library. It is an almost complete bibliography up to 1732, two years before David Oppenheimer's death, and so precious is it that it fetches ??25 easily when a copy comes into the market. In this catalogue Steinschneider gives a list of 7622 authors, 1704 Jewish and 232 Christian printers of Hebrew. Assigning an average of 4 books to each author, this gives a total of 30,488 separate Hebrew books. Of the 100 Hebrew incunables printed before 1500, the Bodleian has 67, and of at least 20 of these incunables only a single copy is recorded. Neubauer's catalogue of the Hebrew manuscripts in the Bodleian Library appeared in 1886 with 40 facsimiles. It is only second in importance to Steinschneider, and gives a full but careful?perhaps too careful?account of 2541, of which all but 24 "College Manuscripts''</page><page sequence="7">THE HEBREW TREASURES OF ENGLAND* are in the Bodleian. Of the facsimiles I wrote in July 1886, that our modern minds associate a tiny, delicate handwriting with the Italian and a coarse and bold one with the northman. Who, then, when he compares the large strong characters of the Spanish and Italian Hebrew with the puny ones of the German in the facsimiles before us, can fail to read in the one manuscript proud prosperity?martyrdom in the other? Is it not easy to picture an Abarbanel inditing the one in a palace of Spain and a poor Eabbi tremblingly writing the other in some wretched garret in the Judengasse of a medieval town. In 1906 appeared a second volume of this catalogue containing 316 numbers. This, reckoning 30 extra Samaritan MSS. which have been excluded, and 55 MSS. acquired since the catalogue was printed, brings the total of Bodleian MSS. up to 2918?the largest number of Hebrew manu? scripts in any one collection in the world, except my own. Although the late Dr. Neubauer's health gave way in 1894, and his successor, Dr. Cowley, is responsible for practically the whole volume, its author? ship is, with a fine spirit of chivalry, ascribed to Neubauer as well as to Cowley. But if the first volume was epoch making, the second is perhaps even more important, for it introduces the treasures of the famous Geniza or lumber room of the ancient synagogue (Esch Scha myan) to the literary world.1 There had been few additions to the library till 1890, when " began a great influx of fragments from the Geniza . . . for the opportunity of purchasing which the Library was indebted to the Bev. Greville John Chester . . . and the Rev. Professor Sayce." They were acquired from the caretakers of the synagogue or antiquity dealers in Cairo, by whom they were regarded as worthless curiosities only fit for the tourist. Some, too, were purchased from Babbi Aaron Wertheimer, of Jerusalem. Of the 316 volumes described in the catalogue, 166 consist of volumes containing 2675 such fragments, which vary in date from 922 to 1848, though most are before 1250. Besides these, four papyri 1 On January 3, 1896, I visited the Geniza and brought away a sackful of its contents, and thus first took official possession of some of its treasures. See /. Q. R., 1896, viii. 528, and for a full description of the Geniza, ib. 1897, ix. 669, and my Eleventh Century Introduction to the Hebrew Bible, Oxford, 1897. It now becomes clear that the famous "Karaite" forgeries of Firkovitch have been based on documents and letters abstracted by him from the Geniza.</page><page sequence="8">8 THE HEBREW TREASURES OF ENGLAND. are described, of which two are of the fifth century, 471 b.c., and two documents of the sixth -century of the present era. The former belong to the famous Assouan papyri.1 The chief importance of the catalogue consists in its general Index and the Hebrew and Arabic Index, which gives 117 pages of names of Egyptian and other worthies, thus enabling us to reconstruct the history of the Jews right up to Gaonic times. The "list of shelf marks" which precedes the catalogue is not at all a dry compilation, but gives a complete record of the provenance of every manuscript described. It is a guide where and how to buy and of whom. But it contains at least two surprises. No. 2829, bought of Tregaskis, London, in 1900, consists of a pair of ordinary TepJiillin, and incomplete at that, "in the usual black leathern case," and in No. 2870 to my astonishment I found myself recorded as the donor in 1899 of a manuscript catalogue of books at Aidin. Most important of the Oxford MSS. are the historical works and extracts published by Neubauer in his two volumes of Anecdota Oxoniensia (1887 and 1895). Neubauer was the best type of historian, an old Jewish physician with his finger on the pulse of time. The Talmud MS. (No. 366) of Zeraim and Moed, purchased from Coronel of Jerusalem, is of great importance, and Albeck, the latest editor of the Talmud, is having it photographed. Some of these photographs were recently sent to him by registered post, but he feared they had miscarried. They had been detained in the office of the Russian censor for over a month! Sir Hans Sloane, of Chelsea (1660-1753), sometime Queen Anne's physician and President of the Royal Society, who married the daughter of Laud's chaplain, was a great collector whom Young called " Sloane the foremost toyman of his time." He bequeathed his collections to the nation on the condition that .?20,000 should be paid to his family, and the offer was accepted by Parliament in June, 1753. His treasures were removed to Montague House, Bloomsbury, with the Cottonian collec? tions and the Harleian Manuscripts, and thus founded the British Museum. It was opened to the public in 1759 with only 50,000 books. The one Hebrew work it contained was the B?mberg Talmud, which had once belonged to Henry VIII. In the same year Mr. Solomon de Costa Athias presented to the Museum a collection of 180 books in royal bind 1 Sayce and Cowley's Aramaic Papyri, 1906.</page><page sequence="9">THE HEBREW TREASURES OF ENGLAND. 9 ings, formerly prepared for presentation by the Jews to Charles II.1 In 1848, 4420 volumes were purchased from the famous collection of H. J. Michael, of Hamburg, and in 1866 Messrs. Asher, of Berlin, bought the Hebrew Library of the late Joseph Almanzi, of Padua, from which the Trustees of the British Museum were enabled to select such works as were not in the Museum Library. Most of the remainder of the Almanzi books and manuscripts are now in the Library of Columbia College, New York. When Zedner made his catalogue in 1867, the number of Hebrew books at the Museum was 10,100. In 1894, when Mr. Yan Straalen published his supplement, it had increased to 17,900. Although the Museum's accretions have not kept pace with the enor? mous output of Hebrew books in recent years, the total must certainly exceed 20,000. Its incunabula alone exceed 80. One of the most interesting of the Museum's Hebrew printed Bibles is the Soncino Bible of 1485, with Archbishop Cranmer's translation and notes interleaved. That copy is incomplete, so the Museum acquired from Heidenheim's heirs another copy in beautiful condition which had once belonged to the famous Rabbi Nathan Adler, of Frankfurt, who died in 1800. Robert Bruce Cotton (1571-1631) was a great antiquary with so keen a flair that he discovered an original copy of Magna Charta in a tailor's shop in London. In 1628 Archbishop Ussher presented him with a Samaritan Pentateuch. He lent his books freely and many did not come back. Several manuscripts which he lent to Seiden are now at the Bodleian. In 1702 his library was purchased by the State from the heirs of his grandson. Thirty years later it was found that out of 958 manuscripts, 114 had been totally destroyed, and 98 partially injured. In 1753 it wTas transferred to Bloomsbury, and, though shorn of its pristine glory, it still sheds light on the Museum collection. Among the Cottonian manuscripts are nine Hebrew manuscripts, as well as Bacon's Opus Majm, by .the Hebrew in which Dr. Hirsch has established Bacon's claim as an early English Hebraist. The Harleian Manuscripts are the 2500 collected by Robert Harley (1661-1724), first Earl of Oxford, the patron of Defoe, and the first to 1 Da Costa's original letter is preserved in the Museum. It was printed in the Gentleman's Magazine for February, 1760.</page><page sequence="10">10 THE HEBREW TREASURES OF ENGLAND. employ the newspaper as a political engine. He could afford to collect, because his wife brought him a dowry of half a million. There are some 40 Biblical and 29 Talmudic and liturgical manuscripts of the Harleian Collection among the Hebrew volumes. There are also Anglo-Jewish Shetars or documents. In 1747 George II. pre? sented the British Museum with the royal library, which contained Cranmer's Hebrew Bible. In 1763 the Thomasson collection of 2200 volumes of pamphlets published between 1640 and 1662 was pur? chased. It contains valuable tracts with regard to the Jewish Re? settlement. The Cracherode collection of 1799 and the ' 16,000 scientific books of Sir Joseph Banks acquired in 1820 do not interest us, nor does Thomas Grenville's sumptuous bequest in 1846 of over 20,000 volumes. Some Hebrew books there were among the Oriental works acquired by Rich, who, as Consul at Bagdad in the beginning of the last century, had good opportunities to find Hebrew books and manuscripts. William Petty, first Marquis of Lansdowne, better known as Lord Shelburne (1737-1805), "though one of the most unpopular states? men of his time," was a great lover of books. His library took thirty-one days to disperse in 1806. Most of these are now in the library of the London Institution. Next year his manuscripts, which mostly consisted of State papers, including Lord Burleigh's and Sir Julius Caesar's, were purchased en bloc by the Museum for ??4925. They interest us because they contain several pre-Expulsion Shetars. Till 1848, however, including some fine illuminated Bibles mostly purchased at the sale of the library of the Duke of Sussex, the Hebrew books only amounted to about 600. Its rise in importance to the very first rank is due to two men, Panizzi and Zedner. Panizzi, the Italian refugee, was one of the greatest librarians of modern times. As Keeper of the Printed Books from 1837 to 1856 he increased the library from 240,000 to 640,000, at the rate of 20,000 volumes a year. Of him Macaulay said that he would give away three mammoths for one Aldine. Zedner (1804-1871) was a profound scholar who loved books too well to become a successful bookseller. From 1845 till 1869 he presided over the Hebrew books of the Museum and made the collection what it is. In 1848 he persuaded Panizzi to purchase 4500 of the printed</page><page sequence="11">THE HEBREW TREASURES OF ENGLAND. 11 books in the library of Hermann Joseph Michael, the manuscripts from which had been bought by the Bodleian. This was practically all, except those already possessed by the Museum. He then, with the utmost energy, set about purchasing all new publications and almost every good old Hebrew book that came into the market, so that in 1859, just a hundred years after Da Costa's gift, the Hebrew collection, when shifted to new quarters, consisted of 7500 volumes. Zedner's next great coup was the purchase of the Almanzi collection, formed by Joseph Almanzi (1801-1860), a bachelor collector of Padua. His father bought him the library of the famous bibliographer and kabbalist the tf"Tn, H. J. D. Azulai, and to this he added many rare editions and manuscripts, which were ever at the disposal of his learned friends such as Luzzatto, who made the catalogue of his books. This time the Michael process was reversed, the Museum buying the manuscripts and the books remaining with the bookseller, Frederic M?ller, of Amsterdam, from whom most of them were bought in 1868 by the Trustees of the Temple Emanu-El in New York for Columbia University. In 1867 Zedner published his famous catalogue of the Hebrew printed books in the British Museum, which for accuracy and con? ciseness has never been rivalled. Two years later he had to retire in consequence of ill-health, and he has been sorely missed ever since. In 1893 appeared Margoliouth's Descriptive List of the 1196 manuscripts, and in 1894 Yan Straalen's catalogue of the printed books acquired 1868-1892?useful but not brilliant. A stately and adequate catalogue of the Hebrew manuscripts by the Rev. G. Margo liouth is now nearly complete. The first volume, 399 Biblical texts and commentaries, with nine plates, appeared in 1899; the second, 433 Midrash, Talmud and liturgical manuscripts, with ten plates, in 1904; the first section of the third 132 Kabbalistic manuscripts in 1909, and the second to seventh sections, comprising 176 manuscripts relating to ethics, philosophy, poetry, philology, mathematics, astronomy and medi? cine, in 1912. The remaining manuscripts are miscellaneous, and their catalogue nearly ready. They comprise Rabbinical responsa, literary and other correspondence, wills, ketuboth and divorces, Hebrew translations of Ovid and Josephus, and a polemic in Latin by Jacob Abenamram, the Jew, who is believed to be none other than Menasseh ben Israel.</page><page sequence="12">12 THE HEBREW TREASURES OF ENGLAND. I cannot describe to you the treasures of what Schechter calls " one of the greatest centres of Jewish thought.'7 If I had a chance of abstract? ing say two, and only two, of the manuscripts, I should choose the Machsor Vitry (Add 27,200), written in 1207, and the Tosephta (Add 27,296), written in the fifteenth century, though both of these have been published. For fuller information Schechter's brilliant and hump rous paper on the British Museum Hebrew Collection1 is easily access? ible. Not only does he sample the collection and pick out the plums, but he pictures to us how the Polish "Bachur" imagines its glories far transcending reality, and naively asks: "Is not the place where these heaps of jewels are treasured up always crowded by students and visitors 1" Talking of Schechter brings me naturally to Cambridge, which, thanks to him and the booty he secured at Cairo, must now take the first place as a repository of Hebrew learning. Prior to the advent of the Taylor-Schechter collection and its seventy sacks of Geniza frag? ments, the University Library could only boast of 762 Hebrew manu? scripts,2 among which the Mishnah of the Palestinian Talmud (Add 470, 1.), edited by Lowe in 1883, was facile princeps. There is much of interest in the printed collection, but I need not dwell upon it, because Dr. Israel Abrahams has been good enough to promise us a special paper on the subject. He tells me that, alone of English Libraries, it has been given by Parliament a vote in aid for the express purpose of the purchase of Hebrew books. The Geniza fragments are now represented by 1762 on glass and 230 bound volumes, besides the large number still remaining in boxes. Trinity College Library had 29 Hebrew manuscripts in 1904, but it has since inherited some valu? able ones from the late Dr. Taylor, and is to receive the manuscripts belonging to the Aldis Wright collection, and others owned by Dr. C. S. Ginsburg. Other Colleges have also some. The British and Foreign Bible Society, rich as it is in Bibles, has comparatively few Hebrew Bibles in manuscript or incunabula. The 1 Studies in Judaism (London : Black, 1896 ; pp. 307 et seq.), 2 Seventy-two of these have been extensively catalogued by Schiller-Szinessy (Cambridge, 1876), and descriptions of other twenty-four have been printed but not published.</page><page sequence="13">THE HEBREW TREASURES OF ENGLAND. 13 library at Lambeth Palace has 45,000 volumes, but only a few Hebrew illuminated Bibles. The India Office has a rare incunable Psalter, a unique Prayer-book, Prague, 1519, and a manuscript Bible ; and the late Earl of Crawford had several fine Hebrew manuscripts, but the best of these, including the famous Crawford Hagadah and important Sa? maritan manuscripts, were sold by him to Mrs. Rylands, and are now in the Rylands' Library, Manchester. The Mill Yard Library, formed by Dr. Black, has been long since dispersed. Besides the libraries named, there are doubtless others, especially in private hands, in which Hebrew manuscripts and incunables still lie dormant. These may turn up at auctions hereafter, but I doubt if there is one which possesses a score or even ten such. The pre-Expulsion charters or Shetars are some thousands in number, but are not, strictly speaking, Hebrew. They are mostly to be found at the Record Office, the Chapter House, of Westminster Abbey, and Canterbury Cathedral. English Jews, always excepting Da Costa Athias, have not distinguished themselves by extra? ordinary love of books, but, especially since the date of the Jewish Encyclopedia Article, and perhaps because of it, they make no mean showing. To begin with, the oldest, the Beth Hamedrash, now administered by the United Synagogue, owns the library of Chief Rabbi Solomon Hirschel, purchased from his executors out of the money bequeathed by Solomon Arnold. In addition to a Rabbi's good working library, it con? tains 148 Hebrew manuscripts. Of these the most important is the unique Sepher Sinai (No. 14) written by Abraham, the brother of Meir of Rothenburg, containing responsa of twelfth and thirteenth century Rabbis of France, Germany, and also England. Most curious are various family entries as to the Rothenburgs of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, showing that it had been treasured as an heirloom. Of Anglo Jewish interest are (24-26) responsa of Chief Rabbi Hart Lyon and (128-130) notebooks and mystical formulaB of the famous Baal Shem, Dr. Falk. Dr. Neubauer published an admirable little catalogue in 1886, in which he somewhat provokingly styled the manuscripts as being in the " Jews' College," London. Jews' College, properly so called, owns a fine library of Hebrew and Jewish books, unfortunately, because unavoidably, not kept up to date. It has an extensive collection of Jewish pamphlets collected by the late</page><page sequence="14">14 THE HEBREW TREASURES OF ENGLAND. Rev. A. L. Green, and of Judaica and linguistics by the late Rev. Dr. L?wy. It owns only two or three incunables and manuscripts in its own right, but it houses a collection of very great importance. This is the Monteflore Library, of which Dr. Hartwig Hirschfeld has published a Descriptive Catalogue of the Hebrew Manuscripts.1 These consist of 580 manuscripts, some of which were collected by Sir Moses Montefiore and Dr. Louis Loewe, 27 came from the library of the famous Dr. Zunz, and 412 comprise the Halberstam collection. Solomon Joachim Halberstam (1832-1900) was a scholar, merchant, and bibliophile. He was born at Cracow and died at Bielitz. Those included in his catalogue T\tJ?W r6np were acquired by Dr. Gaster for Montefiore College, and the rest of his MSS. and his valuable collection of printed books by Judge Sulzberger for the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, the library of which is advancing by leaps and bounds to the very first rank. The most important of the Halbertstam MSS. are the ?Y'^fcO (115) by Eliezer b. Joel hal Levi (if]) 'Qtf), though written as late as 1710, a fifteenth century collection of Responsa (108) including Meir of Dover, Menahem of London, Moses of London, and Solomon of London, and (261) Eliezer b. Nathan's Commentary on the German Machsor. Nearly as important, too, is the collection of pamphlets made by Zunz and purchased by Dr. Gaster for the Library in 1891. They are contained in 38 volumes, and have been catalogued by Dr. Gaster in 62 pages.2 The Mocatta Library, in which we are now assembled, contains a good miscellaneous library of Jewish interest, formed by the philanthropist whose name it bears, and catalogued under his direction. It is being systematically enlarged with a view to specialising in matters of Anglo Jewish interest, and possesses some rare historical pamphlets, a few prettily illuminated manuscripts, and what the Germans call " Bettel Literatur," rare, but otherwise valueless. The Collection of Hebraica and Judaica in the Guildhall Library was originated by Mr. Philip Salomons, the father of Sir David, in 1846. In 1873 his brother, the late Sir David, left the Corporation &lt;?1000 for the purposes of the Library. It comprised the Library of his father, 1 London: Macmillan. Reprinted from the Jewish Quarterly Bevieio. 2 Judith " Montefiore" College, Ramsgate, Report, with Catalogue of Zunz's Miscellanea. London, 1892.</page><page sequence="15">THE HEBREW TREASURES OF ENGLAND. 15 Mr. Levy Salomons. Dr. A. Lbwy compiled a catalogue1 containing 1500 entries with a subject index. It has been enriched by British Museum duplicates and private gifts, especially from the late F. D. Mocatta, and contains some good modern books. We now come to individuals, and of these, except for Dr. Gollancz, who has some nice manuscripts, and Mr. Shandel, of Ramsgate, who has just brought back from Palestine some 35 MSS., only three collectors need be mentioned. There are, of course, many individuals in this country who possess small collections of Hebrew MSS., and various Colleges are also the owners of codices. Dr. I. Abrahams possesses a few Geniza fragments purchased by him in Cairo, and no doubt many possess MSS., especially Hagadahs, Megillas, and Scrolls of the Penta? teuch. The Synagogues are naturally well equipped in this direction. The collection of Mr. Israel Solomons, though of supreme importance for Anglo-Jewish history, is artistic, caricaturistic, and English, but not Hebrew. But the three private collectors who must be specially mentioned are Dr: Gaster, Mr. David Solomon Sassoon, and myself. Dr. Gaster tells me that he has 1700 MSS., Hebrew and Samaritan, the latter specially important. He has twenty-five or thirty incunables, illuminated Bibles, Geniza fragments, jargon and story books in Ladino, Yiddish, Persian, Tartar and Greek, some important early Kabbalistica, such as the Zohar and the ftfpn 'D, a copy of the " Asaph " written perhaps by Sabbatai Donnolo himself in the tenth century, a commentary of the Gaonim, written in the lifetime of Maimonides, an early Targum of the Prophets, a unique incunable of Maimonides, and an almost complete set of the Talmud editio princeps, printed on blue paper. Mr. David Sassoon is the youngest of us all, but though he has only 412 manuscripts, they are of the highest importance, both from the artistic and literary point of view. Unique is his collection of Hebrew books and papers printed in India, which, including newspapers, numbers 495?the Museum has not a dozen?and I myself have only two newspapers and fifty books. He has twenty incunables, the rarest of which he himself retrieved in Bagdad. He made a special visit to Aleppo in order to bring back with him the 1 Catalogue of Hebraica and Judaiea in the Library of the Corporation of London. Rev. A. L?wy. London, 1891.</page><page sequence="16">16 THE HEBEEW TREASURES OF ENGLAND. famous Farhi Bible of 1383, perhaps the finest example of Jewish Moorish art in the world. To Damascus he went for a Masoretic Bible written by the Rashba's grandson also in 1383. In London he acquired the famous Soria Bible, written by Shem Tob b. Abraham Ben Gaon in 1312, for which I went to Tripoli in vain. Then he has a unique copy of the Halachot Pesukoth in Aramaic, which is probably of the eleventh century, and a manuscript of the Perush ha-Mishnah, corrected, perhaps, by Maimonides himself. My own library is last, but, in my opinion, not least. It comprises over 3800 Hebrew manuscripts, including 300 on vellum, sixty incunables and leaves or fragments of other twenty-five, and about 500 books printed before 1540. Besides my bound volumes, I have great numbers of Geniza pieces in boxes. The Talmud is well represented both in print and manuscript. Sixteen treatises are printed before the editio princeps, five of them incunables, of which three are unique, besides fragments of five other treatises printed probably in Spain, but unknown. Of manuscripts I have three treatises written probably in the eleventh century, and fragments of nearly every treatise. Some MSS. I inherited when a child from an uncle, Benjamin Adler, others I have inherited from my father and brothers, but most I collected on my travels, or from travellers. I was in Egypt and Palestine in 1888, 1895-6, 1898, and 1901. On the first occasion I brought back mostly Karaite MSS.; on the second, I got official entry into the Geniza, took away the first sackful, and announced my discovery to Neubauer and Schechter. The first rated me soundly for not carrying the whole lot away, the second admired my continence but was not foolish enough to follow my example. On the third visit I got more Geniza fragments and important MSS. from Palestine and a Geniza in Alexandria. On the fourth visit I got a number of Hebrew and Greek MSS. in Corfu, others in Damascus and Nablous and Jeru? salem. In 1892, 1894, and 1900 visits to Morocco produced mostly litur? gical results. To Algiers I went in 1894-5, 1905, and 1912 ; to Tunis in 1894-5 and 1905 ; to Tripoli in 1905. The results were always some? thing, but still nothing sensational. I went to Persia in 1896, and to Central Asia in the following year. Both trips were eminently successful, and resulted in my bringing back many specimens of Hebrew Persian literature, of which, when Neubauer published his catalogue ten years before, there was only a solitary example in England. I went to Aleppo</page><page sequence="17">THE HEBREW TREASURES OF ENGLAND. 17 in 1898, and found some good manuscripts there, especially a divan of what I call Lay Poems of Bagdad, full of references to a great number of unknown contemporaries of Maimonides. To Constantinople and the Balkans I went in 1888 and 1913. To Spain and Portugal in 1892, 1894, 1900, and 1903. To South America in 1902-3, to North America five times during the present century, to Russia also five times, and to India and Aden in 1906. In the Spanish-speaking countries I found no Hebrew, though sundry matters of Jewish interest, especially in con? nection with the Inquisition; but curiously enough I did find important Hebrew manuscripts where I least expected them?in Russia and the United States. I cannot discriminate between my treasures; they comprise docu? ments and letters, of which the earliest dated are 640 and 832; and I have volumes of similar dated fragments for every century thereafter, the eleventh and twelfth being the most bulky. There is an autograph Response of Maimonides, some chapters of the Hebrew Ecclesiasticus, Gaonica, Saadyana, and historical matter of first importance. My liturgical manuscripts cover no less than thirty rites. Of the literary curiosities connected with Anglo-Jewish history are a document between Richemus de Gobert and John de Aldefelde (i.e. Oldfield) about the Monastery of St. Mary and the Holy Angels?probably carried to Egypt by English Jews in pre-Expulsion times, and eventually buried in the Geniza?Responsa and Tosafoth of English Rabbis; Manuscripts written by the Da Costa Athias, who founded the Hebrew Collec? tion at the Museum; Hebrew Odes and Elegies for English Monarchs and Princes; Responsa of English Rabbis and Chief Rabbis since the Return; The Diary of the Baal Shem's Valet. Of general in? terest are a Josippon of different rescension from the received text, an autograph manuscript history of Joseph Cohen, the Sephardi, a Maso retic Bible similar to, and at least as old as, the oldest ninth century Bible in the Museum, illuminated and illustrated manuscripts of every kind from Prayer-books, Megilloth, Hagadahs, and Romances to a handbook of Freemasonry with diagrams written in France at the end of the eighteenth century in the German language and in Hebrew characters!1 1 As to some of my books and MSS., see my book About Hebrew Manuscripts. Frowde, Oxford, 1905. VOL. VIII. B</page><page sequence="18">18 THE HEBREW TREASURES OF ENGLAND. To sum up, we are now able to reconstitute for England Dr. Joseph Jacob's list of Hebrew manuscripts, as follows :?Bodleian, 2918; British Museum, 1196; Cambridge, 2754; Lambeth Palace, Rylands, Trinity College, Cambridge, Aldis Wright, Ginsburg, Bible Society, 200; Beth Hamidrash, 148; Monteflore Library, 580 ; Gollancz, Shandel, &amp;c, 100; Gaster, 1700; Sassoon, 412; Adler, 3800?over thirteen thousand in all! April 22, 1915.</page></plain_text>