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Efraim Wust

The Yahuda Collection was bequeathed to the National Library of Israel by one of the twentieth century's most knowledgeable and important collectors, Abraham Shalom Yahuda (d. 1951). The rich and multifaceted collection of 1,186 manuscripts, spanning ten centuries, includes works representing the major Islamic disciplines and literary traditions. Highlights include illuminated manuscripts from Mamluk, Mughal, and Ottoman court libraries; rare, early copies of medieval scholarly treatises; and early modern autograph copies.

In this groundbreaking Arabic catalogue, Efraim Wust synthesizes the Islamic and Western manuscript traditions to enrich our understanding of the manuscripts and their compositions. His combined treatment of Arabic, Persian, and Turkish manuscripts preserves the integrity of the collection and honors the multicultural history of the Islamic intellectual tradition.

Producing Redemption in Amsterdam

Early Modern Yiddish Books in Paratextual Perspective


Shlomo Berger

Yiddish was the basic Ashkenazi vernacular in the early modern period. The vast majority of the population was not educated and Yiddish books were printed in order to assist them with keeping a solid Jewish life. Being a basically German language and never being a canonical language as Hebrew, Yiddish also functioned as a buffer language between the internal Ashkenazi Jewish culture and the culture of the environment. Studying the paratexts added to printed Yiddish books may teach us about roles of the printed Yiddish word in Ashkenazi society: contents and forms of books, their contextual framework within Ashkenazi culture, the world of Yiddish book producers on the one hand, and the envisaged readership on the other.