Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Five fine Jewish Art Titles

These just in. Some very interesting Jewish Art titles. The Lilien illustrated volumes are in particularly good condition which is not always the case. There will be a few more similar posts coming soon. These may be ordered through the Hollander Books website or by email or phone (415-831-3228).

Barnett, R.D., edited by. Catalogue of the Permanent and Loan Collection of the Jewish Museum, London. London and New York, Published for the Jewish Museum by Harvey Miller and New York Graphic Society, 1974. Quarto in dust jacket with slight edgewear, tipped in color plate on the half-title page, tipped in frontispiece depicting a commemorative medallion in honor of Wilfred Sampson Samuel, xxvi, 414 pp., nineteen color plates tipped in, ccvii b/w plates depicting 1208 objects (a few fold-outs), bibliography, index. Hardbound. Very Good. Inscribed by the editor on the free front endpaper. With a woodcut bookplate of a certain Jewish Art collecting couple. Editor's Foreword by Richard D. Barnett. Introduction by Cecil Roth. "Textiles," by Natalie Rothstein. "Silver," by Arthur Grimwade. Contributors to the Catalogue are "Silver*Brass*Pewter," Arthur Grimwade, "Textiles," Natalie Rothstein, "Manuscripts," Adolph Schischa, "Coins," Daniel Sperber, "Pottery*Glass," D. Manheim, "Furniture," Philip Blairman, "Prints*Drawings*Engravings and Trade Cards," Alfred Rubens, "Bookplates," Leon M. Hertz and Richard D. Barnett, "Medals and Seals," Alfred Rubens and Richard D. Barnett, and "Introductory Notes and Inscriptions," Richard D. Barnett.
          "Wilfred Sampson Samuel... founded the Jewish Museum in 1932 under the presidency of Sir Robert Waley-Cohen, coinciding with the beginning of the exodus of refugees from Nazi Germany ... This remarkable collection, now numbering over 1,000 items, was assembled with the aid of many generous helpers and friends under the chairmanship of Wilfred Samuel until his death when Alfred Rubens took it over and entrusted to me [Barnett] the task of bringing to birth and editing this catalogue. ... The nucleus of this fine collection is the splendid private collection , mainly of silver, of the Franklin family, placed on loan in 1932 but in 1967 generously sold by Mr. Colin Franklin, FSA, to the Museum. The next largest constituent element is the large and varied collection loaned by the United Synagogue in 1932, consisting mainly of ritual objects from former City of London synagogues; specially important are the silver and embroidered vestments of the Hambro' Synagogue. The richness in silver ritual objects was happily amplified by the purchase in 1967 of the rich collection of synagogal embroidered textiles from Central Europe brought together by Mr. Frederick Kahn of Leeds. But the Museum contains much besides the more recent Anglo-Jewish material. Jewish history and art are well illustrated by 'objets d'art' and ritualia from ancient Palestine, first century C.E. coins, a gold plaque and a foot-seal from early Byzantine Greene, a charter and wooden tally of Mediaeval England and various objects from Renaissance Italy and Central Europe from the sixteenth century onwards; particular interest is offered by the mixture of Jewish and non-Jewish craftsmen who fashioned these treasures." from the Foreword by Barnett. (71505)      $195.00

Börries v Münchhausen [E.M. Lilien]. Juda: Gesänge von Börries, Freiherrn von Münchhausen mit Buchschmuck von E.M. Lilien. Berlin, Egon Fleischel & Co., 1900 [1920]. Small octavo, blue cloth spine with dark blue lettering, illustrated paper covered boards with white lettering and designs in aqua and dark blue, decorative endpapers, frontispiece illustration in black and red, one short tear to the title-page, 85 pp., illustrated plates, decorative borders, mild toning . Bookplate and gift inscription on the blank between the free front endpaper and the half-title page. Hardbound. Very Good. Text is in German.

Above is Lilien's illustration of the Shabbat Queen. The homo-erotic quality of some of Lilien's illustrations has been noted but here another radical notion appears: an image of a woman holding a Torah.
                   Borries was a descendant of the famous Baron von Münchhausen (about whom, late in his life, he prepared a bibliography). His early career was as a poet in the German Romantic tradition. This volume followed Börries medievalism into a Biblical mode. Lilien's combination of the use of Bearsleyesque Art Nouveau and realistic Jewish types is only, in the long run retrospect, odd as a companion to the work of Borris, an author later to align himself first with extreme German nationalism and finally active Nazi leadership in the literary and academic community. (71542)      $125.00

Buber, Martin, edited by. Juedische Kuenstler. Josef Israels von Fritz Stahl. Lesser Ury von Martin Buber. E.M. Lilien von Alfred Gold. Max Liebermann von Georg Hermann. Solomon J. Solomon von S.L. Bensusan. Jehudo Epstein von Franz Servaes. Berlin, Juedischer Verlag, 1903. Large quarto, soiled tan cloth with blue-gray lettering, fraying at the head of the spine, with the Juedischer Verlag emblem on the rear cover, 176 pp., many b/w illustrations. Hardbound. Good. Text is in German. With chapters on the artists, "Josef Israels," Fritz Stahl, "Lesser Ury," Martin Buber, "E.M. Lilien," Alfred Gold, "Max Liebermann," Georg Hermann, "Solomon J. Solomon" S.L. Bensusan,  and "Jehudo Epstein" Franz Servaes.
                This volume has grown more uncommon of late. (71508)      $250.00

Kühnel, Bianca, edited by. The Real and Ideal Jerusalem in Jewish, Christian and Islamic Art: Studies in Honor of Bezalel Narkiss of his Seventieth Birthday. Jewish Art, Volume Twenty-Three/ Twenty-Four 1997/1998. Jerusalem, Center for Jewish Art, 1998. ISBN: 965-391-007-8. Quarto in dust jacket, xxxviii, 689 pp., bw. and color illustrations throughout, index. Hardbound. Very Good. Introductory materials are "Editor's Note [General editor of the periodical Jewish Art]," Aliza Cohen-Mushlin, "From Bezalel to Bezalel," Gabriella Sed-Rajna, "Introduction: The Use and Abuse of Jerusalem," Kühnel.
           Articles are "The Signification of Jerusalem in Biblical Thought," Shemaryahu Talmon, "The Place of the End of Days: Eschatological Geography in Jerusalem," Ora Limor, "The Temple of Jerusalem and its Restitution by 'Abd al-Malik b. Marwan," Heribert Busse, "The Temple After Solomon: The Role of Maryam Bint 'Imran and her 'Mihrab,'" Priscilla Soucek, Images of the Tabernacle/Temple in Late Antiquity and Medieval Art: The State of Research," Sed-Rajna, "'Antiquus populus, novus populus:' Jerusalem and the People of God in the Germigny-des-Pres Carolingian Mosaic," Elisheva Revel-Neher, "Relations of Time and Space: The Temple of Jerusalem as the 'Domus Ecclesiae' in the Carolingian Period," Martina Pippal, "The Menorah of Zechariah's Vision: olive Trees and Grapevines," Ariella Amar, "Ark and Curtain: Monuments for a Jewish Nation in Exile," Annette Weber, "Scenes from the Life of King David in Dura Europas and in Byzantine Art," Rainer Stichel, "Davidic Virtue: The Crown of Constantine Monmaches and its Images," Henry Maguire, "'Thou Shalt Paint the Likeness of Christ Himself': The Mosaic as Provocation for Christian Images," Herbert L. Kessler, "The Anastasis Rotunda and Christian Architectural Invention," W. Eugene Klienbauer, "The Rock of Calvery: Uncovering Christ's Crucifixion Site," George P. Lavas, "Between Jerusalem and Bethlehem: The Dating of a Newly Recovered Tessera of Crusader Mosaic Decoration," Gustav Kühnel, "Jerusalem and the Holy Sepulchre through the Eyes of Crusader Pilgrims," Jaroslav Folda, "The Loss of Christian Jerusalem in Late Medieval Liturgy," Amnon Linder, "The Destruction of Jerusalem Miniatures in the Neville of Hornby Hours and their Visual, Literary and Devotional Contexts," Kathryn A. Smith, "Black on White - A Remembrance of Jerusalem," Batsheva Goldman-Ida, "'Hec est Domus firmiter edificata': The Image of the Temple in Crusader Art," Daniel H. Weiss, "Between Vatable and Villalpando: Aspects of Postmedieval Reception of the Temple in Christian Art," Paul von Naredi-Rainer, "Piranesi and Villalpando: The Concept of the Temple in European Architectural Theory," Lola Kantor Kazovsky, "The Evocative Character of Louis Kahn's  Hurva Synagogue Project, 1967-1974," Luis Mariano Akerman, "'Jerusalem the Golden': Image and Myth in the Middle Ages in Western Europe," Jonathan J.G. Alexander, "The City refigured: A Pentacostal Jerusalem in the Sao Paolo Bible," Peter Low, "The Gothic Cathedral as Heavenly Jerusalem: A Fiction in German Art History," Wilhelm Schlink, Jerusalem from Girona: A Sixteenth-Century Representation of the Holy City," Silvia Planas i Marce, Joan Boadas i Raset, "Messianic Aspirations and Renaissance Urban Ideals: The Image of Jerusalem in the Venice Haggadah, 1609," Shalom Sabar, "Mapped and Marginalized: Early Printed Images of Jerusalem," Larry Silver, "The 'New Jerusalem' the Star of Zion and the Mandala," Avigdor W.G. Poseq, "Heavenly Jerusalem: The Byzantine Approach," Alexei Lidov, "A Reference to Jerusalem in a Georgian Gospel Book," Alexander Saminsky, "Gravures et vues de Jerusalem dans les 'Proskynetarions' grecs et leurs copies serbes et russes du XVIIIeme siecle," Waldemar Deluga, "The Idea of the Holy City in Medieval Muslim Painting," Tatiana Kh. Starodoub, "Visual Representations of Jerusalem's Holy Islamic Sites," Eva Baer, "Flexible Geography and Transportable Topography," Robert Ousterhout, "Jerusalem from Alpha to Omega in the Santa Pudenziana Mosaic," Wendy Pullan, "'Laetare filia Sion. Ecco ego et habitabo in media tui': Imnages of Christ Transferred to Rome from Jerusalem," Gerhard Wolf, "Linking Jerusalem and Rome in the Fourteenth cnetury: Images of Jerusalem and the Temple in the Italian Bible of Anti-Pope Clement VII," Cathleen A. Fleck, "The Image of the Dome of the Rock in Cairene Mamluk Architecture," Hana Taragan, "The Decoration and Plan of Queen Helena's Tomb in Jerusalem," Ruth Jacoby, "Jewish Substratum, Christian History and Muslim Symbolism: An Archaeological Episode in Jerusalem," Myriam Rosen-Aayalon, "The Jewelled Surface: Architectural Decoration of Jerusalem in the Age of Suleyman-Qanuni," Sylvia Auld, "In the Shadow of the Black Eagle: Russia's Imperial Policy and its Impact on the Architecture of Jerusalem," Piotr Paszkiewicz, "Karl Friedrich Schinkel's Design for the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Prussian Involvement in Jerusalem during the Nineteenth Century," Chana C. Schütz, "Jerusalem in Modern Jewish Art in Poland and Central-Eastern Europe," Jerzy Malinowski, "Chagall in the Holy Land: The Real and the Ideal," Ziva Amishai-Maisels, "Chagall's Jerusalem," Mira Friedman, "Beyond the Holy City: Symbolic Intentions in the Avant-Garde Urban Utopia," Igor Doukhan, "Behind the Walls: The Real and Ideal Jerusalem in Contemporary Palestinian Art," Gannit Ankori, "Jerusalem: Anti-Myth," Milly Heyd, "Reflections on my Work While in Jerusalem,"
                 As important a festschrift in the field of Jewish Art. Narkiss essentially created the Jewish Art History as an academic specialty. (71504)      $295.00

Rosenfeld, Morris [Ephraim Moses Lilien]. Lieder des Ghetto. Berlin, S. Calvary & Co., [1903]. Erstes Tausend. Quarto, tan cloth with blue lettering and designs in blue and white, gold spine lettering, decorative endpapers, 147, [4] pp., b/w plates, illustrated borders, small in-text vignettes. Hardbound. Very Good. Text translated from the Yiddish by Berthold Feiwel. Illustrated by E.M. Lilien. Along with El Lissitsky's "Had Gadya," one of the finest integrations of Jewish Art and Jewish Literature. This is the first trade edition. There was an edition of 50 numbered copies on China Paper which was likely published simultaneously.

Many of the full page illustrations from Lieder des Ghetto are well known. However, what makes this volume such a fine effort (and all of Lilien's books follow this model) is the complete integration of text and illustration. This is a sample page including text to make this aspect of the work manifest. (71540)     $300.00

George Segal, "George Segal: The Multifaceted Sacrifice," Heyd, "Russian Jewish Artists in a Century of Change, 1890-1990, Jewish Museum, New York," Matthew Baigel, "Too Jewish? Challenging Traditional Identities, Jewish Museum, New York," Ziva Amishai-Maisels.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A Collection of Purim Plays [Purim-Sphils]1910s-1950s.

As mentioned elsewhere I acquired this group of plays as a group. I believe that their original origin as a collection was the library of The Temple in Cleveland, Ohio during the years when Abba Hillel Silver was the rabbi of the congregation. They were most likely published in paper covers but have been bound into library boards. For the most part these are uncommon in Library collections and scarce or absent in the secondary market. For a longer introduction to this material see my other post on the wider subject you can look here. As the bindings are boring to look at I have supplied images of title pages as illustrations. These books are available through the Hollander Books website.


Bain, Donald. Queen Esther: A Purim Play. Buffalo, New York, Union and Times Press, 1917. Duodecimo, blue cloth with printed pastedown on the front board, bookplate on the front pastedown endpaper, 63 pp., minor soiling to the rear endpapers. Hardbound. Good.  (71435)      $15.00

Becker, Charles S. The Great Robbery at Goldfarb Gulch: A Purim Shpiel. Cincinnati, Ohio, Bureau of Jewish Education, 1951. Duodecimo, red cloth with gold lettering and call letters, bookplate on the front pastedown endpaper, 22 pp. Hardbound. Good.  (71431)      $20.00

Elmaleh, Leon G. Esther the Queen: A Purim Play. New York, Bloch Publishing Company, 1916. Second Edition. Duodecimo, green cloth with white spine lettering and call letters on the front board, bookplate on the front pastedown endpaper, 15 pp., mild soiling to the rear endpaper. Hardbound. Good.  (71420)     $20.00

Epstein, Aaron. Shushan by Short Wave. New York, The Furrow Press, 1939. Small octavo, black cloth with gold lettering and call letters, bookplate on the front pastedown endpaper, 25 pp., mild soiling to the rear endpaper. Hardbound. Good.  (71414)      $25.00

Freehof, Lillian S. Story Book Purim: A Fantasy for Purim in Three Acts for Younger Children. Cincinnati, Ohio, Union of American Hebrew Congregations, 1950. Quarto, green cloth with gold lettering and call letters, 12 single-sided pp. Hardbound. Good.  (71444)     $25.00

Garvey, Robert C. Prologue to Purim. New York, Young Judea, 1953. Quarto, red cloth with gold lettering and call letters, 4 single-sided pp. Hardbound. Good.  (71445)      $18.00

Gordin, Jacob, adapted from the Yiddish of. A Purim Injunction. New York, Young Judea, 1940s. Quarto, brown cloth with gold lettering and call letters, 3 single-sided typed pp. with a few tears. Hardbound. Good.  (71446)     $18.00

Heijermans, Herman. Ahasverus: A Play in One Act. Boston, Walter H. Baker Company, Publishers, 1934. Duodecimo, green cloth with gold lettering and call letters, 24 pp., bookplate on the front pastedown endpaper, mild wear to the rear endpapers. Hardbound. Good. Translated from the Danish by Caroline Heijermans-Houwink and Dr. J.J. Houwink. (71407)      $15.00

Kalish, Alice. The Purim Puzzle: An up-to-date purim play for children. With a simple purim project. New York, Bloch Publishing Co., 1942. Quarto, red cloth with gold lettering and call letters, 9 single-sided pp., with a puzzle. Hardbound. Good.  (71442)     $25.00

Leiser, Joseph. The Belle of Shushan: A Purim Play for Children in Three Act. Cincinnati, Ohio, Department of Synagog and School Extension of the Union of American Hebrew Congregation, 1923. Duodecimo, blue cloth fraying at the spine ends with a soiled paper pastedown over most of the front board, bookplate on the front pastedown endpaper, 27 pp., mild soiling to the rear endpaper. Hardbound. Good.  (71411)     $25.00

Leiser, Joseph. Evelyn Dreams of Purim. New York, Bloch Publishing Company, 1930. Duodecimo, blue cloth with gold lettering and call letters on the front board, 12 pp., soiling to the rear endpaper. Hardbound. Good.  (71425)     $20.00

Leopold, Jeanette and Nathan, Hortense. A Purim Cantata and A Purim Party Program. Cincinnati, Ohio, Department of Synagogue and School Extension, 1940. Quarto, green cloth with gold lettering and call letters, 19, 10 single-sided typed pp., with two pp. of musical notation, water-stained, soiled rear endpaper. Hardbound. Good.  (71450)      $15.00

Levi, Ruth. The King's Choice: A Purim Sketch. New York, Bloch Publishing Company, 1910. 16mo, blue cloth spine and white spine lettering and white call letters on the front board, 11 pp., soiling to the rear endpaper. Hardbound. Good.  (71427)     $20.00

Levinger, Elma Ehrlich. The Pageant of Esther: A Purim Pageant in Eleven Scenes. With Plates for Costumes. Cincinnati, Ohio, Department of Synagog and School Extension of the Union of American Hebrew Congregation, 1923. Duodecimo, blue cloth minor wear at the spine ends with a soiled paper pastedown over most of the front board, bookplate on the front pastedown endpaper, 48 pp., five b/w plates, mild soiling to the rear endpaper. Hardbound. Good.  (71419)     $20.00

Levinger, Elma Ehrlich. A Sick Purim: A Modern Purim Play in One Act. Cincinnati, Ohio, Department of Synagog and School Extension of the Union of American Hebrew Congregation, 1923. Duodecimo, blue cloth fraying at the spine ends with a soiled paper pastedown over most of the front board, bookplate on the front pastedown endpaper, 26 pp., five b/w plates, mild soiling to the rear endpaper. Hardbound. Good.  (71410)     $18.00

Levinger, Elma Ehrlich. The Star of Judah: A Purim Play in Five Acts. With Plates for Costumes. Cincinnati, Ohio, Department of Synagog and School Extension of the Union of American Hebrew Congregation, 1923. Duodecimo, red cloth with gold lettering and call letters, bookplate on the front pastedown endpaper, 36 pp., five b/w plates, mild soiling to the rear endpaper. Hardbound. Good.  (71429)     $20.00

Levinson, Abraham. Esther (The Story of Purim). In Five Acts. London, Edward Goldston, Ltd., 1938. Duodecimo, green cloth with gold lettering and call letters, bookplate on the front pastedown endpaper, 48 pp., mild soiling to the rear endpaper. Hardbound. Good.  (71413)     $20.00

Linsky, Fannie Barnett. A Purim Fantasy: A Play in One Act. Cincinnati, Ohio, Department of Synagog and School Extension of the Union of American Hebrew Congregation, 1929. Duodecimo, green cloth with gold lettering and call letters, bookplate on the front pastedown endpaper, 20 pp., mild soiling to the rear endpaper. Hardbound. Good.  (71412)     $20.00

Neumann, Harold. Esther: A Purim Farce with Music in Two Acts. [No place], [No publisher], 1940s. Quarto, green cloth with gold lettering and call letters, 19 single-sided pp., 6 single-sided pp. of musical notation. Hardbound. Good.  (71443)     $25.00

Newman, Louis I. The Miracle of the Scrolls, or, The Purim of Saragossa: in Three Acts with Prologue and Epilogue. New York, 1936. Quarto, red cloth with gold lettering and call letters, ii, 13 single-sided typed pp., soiled rear endpaper. Hardbound. Good.  (71448)     $25.00

Newman, Louis I., arranged by. Star Over Shushan: A Purim Cantata. New York, Bloch Publishing Company, 1950. Quarto, red cloth with gold lettering and call letters, viii, 30 single-sided typed pp., two illustrations from E.M. Lilien, with musical notation. Hardbound. Good.  (71447)     $18.00

Plotkin, Celia and Rubins, Esther. Purim Streamlined (A Play With Incidental Music). New York, Celia Plotkin, 1940. Quarto, green cloth with gold lettering and call letters, 8 single-sided typed pp., with two pp. of musical notation, water-stained at the edges, soiled rear endpaper. Hardbound. Good.  (71449)     $15.00

Segal, Samuel Michael. Mr. Haman Objects. New York, Behrman's Jewish Book House, 1934. Duodecimo, tan cloth spine and tan card covers with  the original paper cover pasted down to the front panel, 20 pp., soiling to the rear endpaper. Hardbound. Good.  (71426)     $15.00

Soifer, Margaret K. A Merry Good Purim. Brooklyn, New York, The Furrow Press, 1935. Small octavo, red cloth with gold lettering and call letters on the front board fraying along the spine edge, 20 pp., b/w drawings by Papiroff, soiling to the rear endpaper. Hardbound. Good-.  (71424)      $20.00


About Purim-Shpils and Purim Plays

                   Why tell a short story when a long story will do? A number of years ago a customer (of sorts) brought me a box of hardbound books which on inspection turned out to be mostly purim plays in English from the first half of the century. (What do I mean by a customer sort of? I mean the kind of customer who brings always books in trade and never allows the very uncultured exchange of currency to enter into our dealings.) Finally in the midst of a sunny and warm winter here in California (whose very pleasantness is the sign of and prelude to disaster) I took the time to more closely examine and catalog these little books. They are are bound in an unimpressive library bindings. My intention is to offer them here, but I felt it worthwhile to make some remarks about Purim plays, Jewish theater and the specific place that they items fit into in that larger picture. As my customer, sort of, approaches my business venture so do most others. So as not to inconvenience any of you how may find yourself in that camp I have separated the catalog of the books into a second post.
                 The Jewish involvement in theater existed until at least the middle ages as a means of economic survival in a non-Jewish environment. Jews on the stage certainly does not equal Jewish theater. “Resh Lakish earned his living as a strong man in a circus at Sepphoris, as related in the Talmud (BM 84a; Git. 47a, et al.) [as cited in the 2007 ed. of the Encyclopedia Judaica].” The Jewish Encylopedia entry on Purim cites the various special ways that certain parts of the Megilat Purim are to be read as mandated in the Talmud. These special ways of reading are meant to heighten the drama of the reading and it is only human that these mimetic elements would lead some to further heighten the drama with their own inventions and additions. It is unclear whether in the interim between the between the Geonic period and 1600s this impulse ever generated a dramatic exercise separate from the reading of the Megillah. It certainly led to the creation of Jewish parodic and satiric texts separate from the reading of the Megillah and of seriously minded piyyut. Meant to be include in the service of the day of Purim. The reading of the Megillah in a local vernacular translation (or transposition) was allowed and this allowed the text to be influenced by and (potentially) to take pokes at the local non-Jewish culture. The injunctions to imbibe (mentally alter) one’s self on Purim make “acting out” on Purim somewhat inevitable. 
               The Purim shpiel itself is a highly ephemeral form. It is likely that many were enacted before the first mentions that we have of them and the first texts that we have to go by. Included in the manuscript of Gumprekht of Szczebrzeszyn’s “Hanukah,” dated c. 1555 we have the first recorded (poetic) version of what would evolve into the Purim-Shpil. Jerold Frakes in the introduction to this text in “Early Yiddish Texts 1000-1750,” mentions that “The poem is so very close in narrative structure and content to the ‘Ahashverosh-Shpil’ of 1697 that one could easily imagine Gumprecht’s text itself being dramatized as a Purim play. [EYT, p. 288]. The ‘Ahashverosh-Shpil’ is also known as is an anonymous Yiddish text dating to 1697 though the date is probably a transcription date rather than a composition date. Already at that time the performance, “had developed a conventional form, which included blessings for the audience, an outline of the contents of the performance, and an introduction of the actors; conventional epilogues had also developed, including parting blessings and appeals for an ample reward.” [Encyclopedia Judaica, 2007, Vol. 16, p. 744-746.] 
                The purim shpil evolved over time into two streams. The first is an anarchistic stream. This type of production had a lot in common with the sort of traveling plays being performed during carnival in the period before Lent. These folkways are lost in the Jewish context but still survive in Cajun Louisiana though much reduced from a generation ago. In terms of performance style the main influences on these plays was Commedia dell’ Arte and the Miracle Play. Commedia dell’Arte brought in the stock comic figure. Over time the various characters of the Purim story took on specific comic characteristics. The mystery, or miracle, plays grew out of Christian liturgical texts. What began as a reading of texts evolved into a performance of the text and then as they grew in popularity and became suspicious to the Church that had spawned them they became independent forms of entertainment played as much to the crowd as to any divine mission.  The other stream, influenced by Rabbinic objections to the obscenity and anti-authoritarian nature of these plays as well as Christian resentment of due to the appearance anti-Christian material on some occasions.
                 Jean Baumgarten is his entry on the Purim-Shpil in “The YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe,” sees the first of these two texts as the source of one of the two streams that would within what would become the anti-authoritarian Purim-Shpil , in “Hanukah,”and sees “Ayn Shayn Purim Shpil,” as the model of the more buttoned-down version of the Purim-Shpil. Baumgarten and Frakes seem to have a fundamental disagreement. The truth may be in the nature and location of the actual performances more than the specifics of printed texts. I think that they would both agree that a gap opened up over time between the type of productions that appeared in the German speaking lands and Eastern Europe. Baumgarten places the continuing genealogy of the more anarchic steam in the Yiddish speaking environment narrowing in the post-Holocaust era to the ultra-Orthodox world. 
               It is generally agreed that the Yiddish theater grew out of Purim-Shpil. Avrom Goldfaden began his theater experience performing in Purim-Shpils in Zhitomir. The history of Yiddish theater is another subject other than ours today. In Mandate Palestine Tel Aviv the celebration of Purim was taken in a more secular direction under the new name “Adloyadah.” Adloyadah (until you don’t know) which seems to emphasize the adult element of the holiday was actually a holiday for children and the family and took over the whole city with costumes for all, parades and Purim-plays. Today it is part of the fabric of Israeli life and many JCCs around the US have Avloyadah celebrations. [“Jewish Holidays and Festivals,” by Ben Edidin, New York, 1940]. In the US there was more of a struggle to renew interest in Purim outside of the Orthodox in Purim as a holiday. Edidin, writing in 1940, saw Purim as a vibrant holiday in America. However, Jenna Weissman Joselit in her “The Wonders of America: Reinventing Jewish Culture, 1880-1950,” claims “Sukkoth, Purim and Shavuoth exemplified ‘old-fashioned Judaism,’” [The Wonders of America: Reinventing Jewish Culture, 1880-1950,” Joselit, New York, 1994.] She mentions that the synagogue became the locus of observance though she also mentions the tradition of the Purim ball which was fading. As a sign of that decline she points to the efforts to make the holiday first a children’s holiday and then failing that a women’s holiday.

(An illustration from Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper of a 19th Century American Purim Ball.)

                 The gap between the years of Joselit’s study and today is over a half-a century. In my youth, at a Conservative  synagogue in Rochester, New York Purim seemed to be a well organized event with room for children and adults. As an adult at a Conservative synagogue in San Francisco I have see a decline in the observance of the holiday, a feeling of drift and decline, but that may just be my congregation. In the 1990s congregants wrote and performed original Purim-Shpils. When that ended the religious school started to create their own, but with turnover of religious school principals that era ended. I suspect that elsewhere things are different. I blame the internet and smart phones, but I blame them for everything.

(Cong. Beth Sholom Purimspiel 5757 "The Shushan Gates")

                And this brings us back to box of books that I spoke of at the beginning of this post. These plays were meant for the children of the Reform and Conservative synagogues of the 1920s through the 1950s. They are playful but not too rough: exemplars of those movements understanding of their youth. These plays are in few collections and few people have seen these in generations. I think that an examination might open up a greater understanding of the history of Purim in America and of Jewish amateur theater.
                You can find the catalog of the items under consideration here.


Berkowitz, Joel and Henry, Barbara, edited by. Inventing the Modern Yiddish Stage: Essays in Drama, Performance, and Show Business. Detroit, Wayne State University Press, 2012.
Edidin, Ben M. Jewish Holidays and Festivals. New York, Hebrew Publishing Company, 1940
Frakes, Jerold C., edited by. Early Yiddish Texts 1100-1750. With Introduction and Commentary. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2004.
Hundert, Gershon David, editor-in-chief. The YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe. New Haven, Yale University Press, 2008.
Joselit, Jenna Weissman. The Wonders of America: Reinventing Jewish Culture, 1880-1950. New York, Hill and Wang, 1994.
Seidman, Hillel. The Glory of the Jewish Holidays. New York, Shengold Publishers, Inc., 1969.
Singer, Isidore and Adler, Cyrus, et al, editors. Jewish Encyclopedia. New York, Funk and Wagnell, 1901-1906.
Skolnik, Fred and Berenbaum, Michael, editors. Encyclopedia Judaica. 2nd Edition. Detroit, Macmillan Reference USA in association with the Keter Pub. House, 2007.
A google search for Adloyadah produced a vast array of results. I reviewed dozens of these links and made my conclusions about the current state of this "holiday" and term on the basis of the body of these results as well as specific information on individual websites.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Some Soviet Era Children's Books

I have been fascinated with the ways that other national cultures approach the question of what makes for a good children's book. Linguistic differences can have a powerful differentiating force. Chinese children's books mix illustrations and age groups differently enough that they work poorly in the American context. Soviet children's books provided Soviet children with more poetry than American children would have been expected to see. Ethnographic subject matter was meant to unite the vastly diverse ethnicities of the Soviet empire. Children tend to pick up less on some of the bizarre aspects of Soviet culture. The books are a little odd to the American sense of children's books, but they are attractive and readable, mostly.

Below are a few books from the mid and late Soviet eras. The propagandistic hand here is relatively light. And for some reason there are a lot of Lapplanders.

Aleksandrova, Z. Myshkiny sosedi. Moscow, Detgiz, Gos. izdateslstvo detskoi literatury Ministerstva Prosbeshchenhiya RSFSR, 1959. Quarto, black cloth spine, illustrated paper covered boards, 64 pp., color illustrations throughout by V S Bart. Hardbound. Very Good-. In Russian Poetry with animals, children and children with animals. One delightful illustration show a little girl excited (or scared) by a picture of a fox projected on a wall. Drawings are in full color with additional smaller drawings in duotone.  (66810)      $40.00

Belinovich, Nadezhda. Alyi sneg: nenetskie skazki. Moscow, Detgiz, Gos. izdateslstvo detskoi literatury Ministerstva Prosbeshchenhiya RSFSR, 1959. Quarto, paper covers with mild soiling, 72 pp., color illustrations throughout. Softbound. Very Good-. In Russian. (66808) Stories from the not so distant but now lost traditional Lapp way of life. To the slightly idiot mind of this bookseller it looks like Navajo life with reindeer.      $45.00

Chekhov, N.B., Robinson, M.F. and Khakimov, Kh. G. Kartinnyi slovar  russkogo iaszyka: nagliadnoe uchebnoe psobie dlia uchashchikhsia nerusskikh nachal'nykh shkol. Chast Pervaya. Moscow, Gosudarstvennoye Uchebho-Pedagogichestvoye Izdatelstbo Ministirstba Prosveshcheniya RSFSR, 1950. Third Edition. Quarto, foxed illustrated paper covers, 67 pp., b/w illustrations throughout, five pages of illustrations in color. Hardbound. Good. In Russian. A sort of first 500 words primer, "Picture Dictionary of the Russian Language." Russia as illustrated in this children's book has a lot in common with the US in the 1930s and '40s, excepting the drawings of Lenin and Stalin who appear on the first page of illustrations (23755)  $40.00

Emel'yanova, N and Chelintsova, V. Oksya-Truzhenitsa. Moscow, Detgiz, 1959. Quarto, gray cloth spine, illustrated paper covered boards, 48 pp., color illustrations throughout by Chelintsova. Hardbound. Very Good-. In Russian. Lappland life in the mid-twentieth century. Much of the old life remains but consumer goods and outsiders appear in these stories. A less folkloristic version of life than in the above Alyi sneg: nenetskie skazki.   (66811)      $40.00

Kalma, N. Zhozef i Mutara: Kontolezskie Maluiki. Moscow, Izdateslstvo Detskii Mir, Ministerstva Kulturi RSFSR, 1962. Quarto, stapled paper covers, 32 pp., color illustrations throughout. Softbound. Very Good-. Translated into Russian by B. Losina and E. Monina. Stories from Congolese village life and one from the city where the White people are. (66809) $40.00

The Sun Princess and Her Deliverer: A Lithuanian Folk Tale. Moscow, Progress Publishers, 1980. Quarto, stapled paper covers, 36 pp., color illustrations by A. Makunaite. Softbound. Very Good. Translated into English by Irina Zheleznova. A royal romance frustrated by magic and a cruel giant and brought to fruition through magic and a loyal horse. Set in a romanticized medieval Russ. (66494)      $9.00

Tank, Maksim. A Tale of the Cosmic Travels of Ant the Tramp. Minsk, Yunatstva Publishers, 1982. Quarto, stapled paper covers, 24 pp., color illustrations by N. Gutiev. Softbound. Very Good. Translated from the Byelorussian by Walter May. An ant with wanderlust heads for the airport where the assembled masses prepare to depart to places like Ordzhonikidze, Siberia and Baikonur. Our hero catches the flight to Baikonur home of the Cosmodrome. From there he catches a ride into space with two Cosmonauts. All this with beautiful color illustrations and rhyming poetry. (66527)    $15.00

Trutneva, Evgeniia Fedorovna. Zima, vesna, leto, osen. Moscow, Detgiz, Gos. izdateslstvo detskoi literatury Ministerstva Prosbeshchenhiya RSFSR, 1956. Quarto, stapled paper covers, 29 pp., color illustrations throughout by S. Kupriianov. Softbound. Very Good. In Russian. Poetry on the seasons illustrated with drawings of the natural world in subdued colors. (66807)      $30.00

Yelagina, A., as told by. Daughter of the Moon and Son of the Sun: Lappish fairy-tales. Moscow, Malysh Publishers, 1979. Quarto, paper covers with mild wear at the edges, 24 pp., color illustrations throughout by E. Bulatov and O. Viasiliev. Softbound. Good. Translated into English by Eve Manning. My scanner bed is too narrow to capture the entire cover of this item thus the two overlapping images. The title story tells the story of the courtship and difficult relationship between the son of the sun and the daughter of the moon. Also includes the additional stories Tala the Bear and the Great Wizard and The Chaklya.  (71475)    $30.00


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Arcadia Publishing - Secondary Jewish Interest Titles.

As a supplement to our previous post presenting book on Jewish community histories from Arcadia Publishing we add these additional histories that record the history of important or little known Jewish towns or cemeteries or record the history of a location with an important Jewish community but are not focused specifically on the Jewish history. The original post now much expanded can be found here.

We offer a 20% discount off of the retail prices listed below and reasonable shipping costs. These items may or may not be listed on our website on any given day. If you are interested in ordering please either call 415-831-3228 or email 

Allbray, Nedda C. Flatbush - The Heart of Brooklyn. Charleston, SC, Arcadia Publishing, 2004. Royal octavo, glossy paper covers, 160 pp., b/w photos throughout. The cultural and ethnic flavors of Flatbush, Brooklyn have changed over these many years, from seventeenth-century Dutch to eastern European and Jewish, and the present Caribbean influence. Over time, small, rich farms run by Patrician families gave way to the dignified garden homes of Victorian Flatbush when the economy could no longer support farming. Through annexation by Brooklyn, development of the railroad and trolleys (which inspired the name of baseball's famed Trolley Dodgers), and the drain of suburban flight, Flatbush residents actively sought to keep their town a place to call home. $24.95

Arntzenius, Linda G. Institute for Advanced Study. Charleston, SC, Arcadia Publishing, 2011. ISBN: 978-0-7385-7409-7. Royal octavo, glossy paper covers, 128 pp., b/w photos throughout, select bibliography. Softbound. Very Good. A creation of a department store owner L. Bamberger and a great medical reformer Abraham Flexner (also of the Rockefeller Foundation) and letterly Albert Einstein, the Institue for Advanced Study in the great Ivory Tower of pure academic research. It was a great home for many of the Jewish scholars rescued from Nazi Germany and Europe.
Founded in 1930, the Institute for Advanced Study was conceived of high ideals for the future of America and its system of higher education, and was made possible by sibling philanthropists Louis Bamberger and Caroline Bamberger Fuld. Guided by education expert Abraham Flexner, the Bambergers created an independent institution devoted to the pursuit of knowledge. The Institute for Advanced Study opened its arms to scholars "without regard to race, creed, or sex." It provided a haven for Jewish intellectuals fleeing Nazi Germany, including Albert Einstein, who remained on the permanent faculty until his death in 1955, and became the intellectual home of such luminaries as J. Robert Oppenheimer, John von Neumann, Kurt Gödel, Marston Morse, Oswald Veblen, Hermann Weyl, Homer A. Thompson, Erwin Panofsky, George F. Kennan, Clifford Geertz, and Freeman Dyson. (69355)      $21.99

Barksdale-Hall, Roland. Farrell. Charleston, SC, Arcadia Publishing, 2012. ISBN: 978-0-7385-9230-5. Royal octavo, glossy paper covers, 128 pp., b/w photos throughout, select bibliography. Softbound. Very Good. Another small town with an active and well remembered Jewish population. Farrell was an industrial town in Western Pennsylvania now certainly less than it once was. (69353)      $21.99

Benin, Leigh; Linne, Rob; Sosin, Adrienne and Sosinsky, Joel, with Workres United (ILGWU) and HBO Documentary Films. The New York City Triangle Factory Fire. Charleston, SC, Arcadia Publishing, 2011. ISBN: 978-0-7385-7403-5. Royal octavo, glossy paper covers, 128 pp., b/w photos, Victims of the New York City Triangle Factory Fire, selected bibliography, about the organizations. Softbound. Very Good.
Through historic images, The New York City Triangle Factory Fire honors the victims' sacrifice and serves as a reminder of the ongoing struggle for the dignity of all working people.  (69368)      $21.99

Brewer, Becky French and McDaniel, Douglas Stuart  Park City. Park City was incorporated in 1907 as a Tennessee municipality. From its inception in the 1890s, Park City became a melting pot of Greek, Swiss, Jewish, African American, German, Italian, and Scotch-Irish entrepreneurs of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Today Park City has both $21.99

Day, Jacque E. and Santoro, Jamie Wirsbinski. West Ridge. Charleston, SC, Arcadia Publishing, 2003. ISBN: 978-0-7385-6150-9. Royal octavo, glossy paper covers, 128 pp., b/w photos. Softbound. Very Good. Also known as West Rogers Park or North Town this integrated neighborhood of Chicago includes a large Jewish segment. Drawn by inexpensive land 10 miles north of the burgeoning city of Chicago, European immigrants settled here in the 1830s along the high grounds west of a glacial ridge known today as Ridge Boulevard. Dubbed “Cabbage Heads” by their Rogers Park neighbors, the citizens of West Ridge boldly incorporated as a village in 1890, remaining independent until its 1893 annexation to Chicago. Over time, West Ridge blossomed from sparsely populated farmland into a dynamic neighborhood with Devon Avenue at its core. Now home to one of the Midwest’s largest Jewish communities, a hub of Indian, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi culture, and a haven for newcomers from Russia, Afghanistan, and Iraq, West Ridge remains a port of entry for immigrants and a place where cultures coalesce. In West Ridge, one can play bridge or cricket, worship at mass or the mosque, eat kosher or curry—all within a few city blocks. (69370)      $19.99

Garibaldi, Rayna. San Francisco's Portola: Images of America. Charleston, SC, Arcadia Publishing, 2007. ISBN: 978-0-7385-4715-2. Royal octavo, glossy paper covered boards, 128 pp., b/w photos throughout. Softbound. Very Good. Foreword by Christopher Caen. Originally settled by Jewish immigrants, the area evolved into a community populated by nurserymen and their families who grew much of the city’s flowers. This area is now quite prosperous. Daniel Handler, author of the"Series of Unfortunate Events," books grew up in the neighborhood. (59802)      $19.99

Gierach, Ryan. West Hollywood. Charleston, SC, Arcadia Publishing, 2008. ISBN: 978-0-7385-28. Royal octavo, glossy paper covers, 128 pp., b/w photos, index. Softbound. Very Good. A very Jewish neighborhood.West Hollywood, which began as Sherman, a rail yard town, played an integral role in creating the "Hollywood" film industry while it grew up alongside the fashionable Beverly Hills to house the service industries needed by these wealthy neighbors. During Prohibition, the still unincorporated area was the site of the entertainment industry's watering holes and gambling parlors, and nicknames such as the "Sinful Drag," "The Adult Playground," and "Hollywood's Soul" were bestowed upon West Hollywood's world-famous Sunset Strip, where today's visitors can still dance in the footsteps of legends like Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, and Douglas Fairbanks Sr. As time marched on, the predominantly renter, Jewish, gay, and senior citizen residents of the progressive-minded area determined to step out of the shadows of nearby communities and create a city of their own, an effort that caused some controversy but resulted in the incorporation of West Hollywood in 1984. Since incorporation West Hollywood has been a beacon of hope, drawing refugees from Russia and around the world to its tolerant streets. (69369)      $21.99

Grove, Lori and Kamedulski, Laura, for the Maxwell Street Historic Preservation Coalition in association with the Chicago Historical Society. Chicago's Maxwell Street. Charleston, SC, Arcadia Publishing, 2002. ISBN: 978-0-7385-2029-1. Royal octavo, glossy paper covers, 128 pp., b/w photos throughout, select bibliography. Softbound. Very Good.  (69352)     $21.99

Hanson, Amanda J. and Witry, Richard J. Skokie. Charleston, SC, Arcadia Publishing, 2010. First Edition. ISBN: 978-0-7385-8443-0. Royal octavo, glossy paper covers, 128 pp., b/w photos throughout, bibliography. Softbound. Very Good. Skokie is a very Jewish suburb of Chicago. Settled in the late 1840s and incorporated as Niles Centre in 1888, Skokie was founded by immigrants from Germany and Luxembourg who created a small-town rural community filled with farms and greenhouses. A short-lived real estate boom in the 1920s gave Skokie its current boundaries, streets, and sewer systems. Due to the Great Depression, however, these paved roadways remained vacant until after World War II. Aided by the construction of the Edens Expressway, Skokie experienced tremendous growth and became a bustling suburban community. Many of the families that settled in Skokie during this time were Jewish. In the last quarter century, other families moved to the suburb, many with Indo-Asian origins, leading to the ethnically diverse community that Skokie has become today. Skokie has a number of kosher restaurants and many synagogues today. It had a very high number of Holocaust survivors. When a group of neo-Nazis took out a permit to march there in the 1970s Skokie gained a reputation that sadly was unreflective of the true nature of the community. (54565)      $21.99

Hari, Gail M.  Randolph. Randolph has had a diverse array of residents, including the Minsi Native Americans, European settlers, and Jewish immigrants from Russia and Poland. The land proved fertile for agriculture, and the beautiful woodlands and mountains made Randolph a vacation destination during the first half of the 20th century. Industrialization began by utilizing the township’s natural resources, with brooks and rivers used for mills, bloomeries that utilized the township’s supply of rich iron ore, and distilleries that produced cider and spirits. $21.99

Keels, Thomas H. Philadelphia Graveyards and Cemeteries. Charleston, SC, Arcadia Publishing, 2003. ISBN: 978-0-7385-1229-7. Royal octavo, glossy paper covers, 128 pp., b/w photos throughout, index. Softbound. Very Good. Includes Jewish Graveyards. In Philadelphia's Jewish, Catholic, and African American burial grounds rest such notable figures as Rebecca Gratz, model for the Jewish heroine of Walter Scott's Ivanhoe; John Barry, Catholic father of the U.S. Navy; and Octavius Catto, an African American civil-rights leader of the nineteenth century. Finally, there are the vanished cemeteries, such as Monument, Lafayette, and Franklin. Transformed into playgrounds and parking lots, these cemeteries were obliterated with sometimes horrific callousness.  (69366)      $21.99

Krasner, Barbara. Kearny's Immigrant Heritage. Kearny has been and continues to be an icon of multiculturalism. Kearny's Immigrant Heritage traces the waves of immigrants who began to populate the town in 1875, when Clark Thread (now Coats & Clark) of Paisley, Scotland, opened two mills here and encouraged workers to immigrate. Italians from Calabria and Naples and Jewish families from Eastern Europe operated the local shops that lined Kearny and Midland Avenues and Elm Street. New Jersey Jews want everything New Jersey. $19.99

Oaks, Robert F. San Francisco's Fillmore District. Charleston, SC, Arcadia Publishing, 2005. ISBN: 0-7385-2988-5. Royal octavo, glossy paper covered boards, 128 pp., b/w photos throughout. Softbound. Very Good. Foreword by Christopher Caen.This district, which has arguably changed more than any other in the city, once held a large Jewish settlement, replete with synagogues, bakeries, and kosher markets.  (59801)      $19.99

Phillips, Faye. Baton Rouge Cemeteries. Charleston, South Carolina, Arcadia Publishing, 2012. ISBN: 978-0-7385-9184-1. Royal octavo, paper covers, 128 pp., b/w photos throughout, How to Locate the Cemeteries. Softbound. Very Good. Includes photos organized by cemetery. Includes a section on "Jewish Cemetery and Lutheran Cemetery." The only work I know that illustrates the Jewish Cemetery in Baton Rouge. (69350)     $21.95

Renner, James. Washington Heights, Inwood, and Marble Hill: Images of America. Charleston, SC, Arcadia Publishing, 2007. ISBN: 978-0-7385-5478-5. Royal octavo, glossy paper covered boards, 128 pp., b/w photos throughout.These communities have always been a haven for immigrants who have come here to live and work since the pre-Columbian era. Native Americans came to trade goods, Jewish refugees came during the 1930s to flee the tyranny of the Nazis, and since the end of World War II there has been an influx of the Latino community.   (59800)      $21.99

 Spence, Joan and Ghee, Joyce C. Poughkeepsie, 1898-1998: A Century of Change. Charleston, SC, Arcadia Publishing, 1999. Explores not only how South Road became the new main street but also the whole history of Poughkeepsie, from the end of the nineteenth century to the present. Moving through this time period were incoming waves of Irish, Jewish, Italian, Polish, Greek, and Mexican immigrants. $21.99

Stephens, E.J. and Wanamaker, Marc. Early Warner Bros. Studios. "Early Warner Bros. Studios," tells the story of the studio and the tale of four brothers--Harry, Albert, Sam, and Jack Warner--scions of a Polish Jewish immigrant family who rose from the humblest of origins to become Hollywood moguls of enormous and lasting influence. $21.99

Ward, Elizabeth Anne. Bethlehem. Charleston, South Carolina, Arcadia Publishing, 2000. ISBN: 978-0-7385-0440-7. Royal octavo, paper covers, 128 pp., b/w photos throughout. Softbound. Very Good. Bethlehem, New Hampshire's first heyday was in the Nineteenth century. It was rejuvenated in the 1920s as New York Jews discovered it a location to summer. "Even today, several hotels cater to a small Hasidic population, and the Bethlehem Hebrew congregation is a small but active year-round Jewish community." (69351)     $21.95

Williams, Paul K. Southwest Washington, D.C. Charleston, SC, Arcadia Publishing, 2005. In the 1920s and 1930s, an aging housing stock and an overcrowded city led to an increase of African Americans and Jewish immigrants who became self-sufficient within their own communities. However, political pressures and radical urban planning concepts in the 1950s led to the large-scale razing of most of SW, creating a new community with what was then innovative apartment and cooperative living constructed with such unusual building materials as aluminum. $21.99

Woods, Richard. Legendary Locals of Oceanside New York. Charleston, SC, Arcadia Publishing, 2013. First Edition. ISBN: 978-0-7385-0045-8. Royal octavo, glossy paper covers, 128 pp., b/w and sepia toned photos throughout, index. Oceanside is an inner Long Island section just south of Rockville Center and Valley Stream.   (69364)     $21.99