Bible Collections

Alpha Beta of ben Sira

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This year is the 500th anniversary of a publication of very unique and interesting book, Alpha Betah of Ben Sira. The book was published for the first time in Constantinople in 1519. It became very popular and was published many times in the 16th century. The book, which caused disagreement in the Middle Ages, is representative of what today we would call Pulp Fiction or low-quality literature. Yoram will discuss the importance of the book and more importantly, the social-historical context that caused this book to be published.

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Early Tanach Printings in the Yeshiva University Library

Description: 

In August 2018, Dr. Parviz Lalazari donated two volumes of early Tanach (Hebrew Bible) printings to the library of Yeshiva University. One was a volume from a Tanach printed in Venice in 1524 by Daniel Bomberg (1483-1553) and the other was a volume from an Amsterdam publication by Moses Frankfurter (1672-1762). Beginning with just these two volumes, YU proceeded to locate other uncatalogued volumes so complete sets could be made. YU now has three Bomberg printings: 1524, 1546, and 1547. These Bible printings contain many early commentaries, as well as additional material on the Masorah, the traditional text of the Bible. Also completed was a set of the 1724 Amsterdam printing. This one also contained a large compilation of early and later commentaries. There were multiple copies, each one from a different owner. One owner appended to the volume handwritten information and newspaper clippings about his family. Other owners were in Poland and England, each bearing their stamps and inscriptions.

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The Book of Psalms: Translations and Transformations

Description: 

The Hebrew book of Psalms (Tehillim) has been translated and transformed to become an integral part of Jewish and Christian worship throughout the centuries. This presentation explores the history of the use of Psalms in liturgy. It will be illustrated by examples of worship books from the collections of the Lowy-Winkler Family Rare Book Center. It will also include musical examples.

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