First editions of the first anthology of Jewish sermons published in America in the original cloth; compiled by Isaac Leeser and from the library of Moses Montefiore
Discourses, Argumentative and Devotional, on the Subject of Jewish Religion.
Item Number: 82404
Philadelphia: C. Sherman and Co, 1836-1841.
First edition of “the first anthology of Jewish sermons in America” which “marked the coming of age of the American synagogue and ministry”(Goldman). Association copy linking the two most prominent and influential figures in Jewish America and England of this era, Issac Leeser and Moses Montefiore. American Jewish lay minister, author, translator, and publisher Issac Leeser revolutionized the format of the early American Jewish sermon by preaching in English, helping to establish regular sermons as a central part of the American rabbi’s work. Aspiring to make his influence international, Leeser corresponded regularly with Jewish leaders in England, most notably philanthropist and activist Sir Moses Montefiore, who played a pivotal role in the development of Proto-Zionism. (Goldman, 687; Rosenbach, 413, 479, 476; Singerman, 0632, 0748). Octavo, four volumes bound in two, original cloth, paper spine labels, from the library of Moses Montefiore with his bookplate to the pastedown of each volume. In good condition with some dampstaining and moderate toning to Volume I. Bound with Leeser’s The Claims of the Jews to an Equality of Rights, as issued. A rare and desirable piece of American Jewish history.
American Jewish lay minister, author, translator, and publisher Issac Leeser’s “contributions to every area of Jewish culture and religion made him a major builder of American Judaism." In addition to his influence on the Jewish pulpit in the United States, Leeser became the first American Jewish publisher and produced the first Jewish translation of the bible into English. “The translation of the Bible was Leeser’s great literary achievement and represented many years of patient labor and devotion to a task which he considered sacred…until the new Jewish Publication Society version was issued in 1917, it was the only source from which many Jews not conversant with Hebrew derived their knowledge of the Bible in accordance with Jewish tradition” (Waxman, 1090).