FIRST EDITION OF THE FIRST HEBREW BIBLE PUBLISHED IN AMERICA WITH VOCALIZED TEXT
Van der Hooght, Everardi; Introduction by Isaac Leeser.$6,000.00
Item Number: 76078
Philadelphia: Sumptibus Johannis W. Moore, 1849.
First edition of the first Hebrew Bible printed in America with vocalized text. Quarto, original three quarters morocco over marbled boards, gilt title and tooling to the spine, all edges red. Text in Hebrew with preface in Latin by Issac Leeser, one of the most prominent and influential figures in American-Jewish history. In good condition with light rubbing to the extremities and crown of the spine. A very nice example of this rare and important piece of history.
“After the ‘lean’ years which followed the Revolutionary War, in the early decades of the nineteenth century America was in the throes of a great religious revival. As part of its intellectual aspect, the study of the Hebrew language was renewed… Grammars, lexicons, and chrestomathies were published, as well as books on the Bible and the Holy Land. The Jewish community was wary of these activities because the same scholars and divines were also involved in missionary activity. The appearance of a work in the Hebrew language which bore approbation from both leading Christian clergymen and leading Jews marked the beginning of friendlier intellectual discourse” (Karp, Judaic Treasures of the Library of Congress, 291-292). The first American Bible published in Hebrew was produced in Philadelphia in 1814, based on the second edition of the Athias Bible and without vowel marks. This book was printed thirty five years later and was the first edition to contain vocalized and cantillated text (Rosenbach).