Prague: Jacob and Joseph, Sons of Judah Bak 1673 (Vinograd wrongly writes “1674”)
Est: $1,000 - $1,500
PRICE REALIZED $2,250
Judeo-German version of Book of Daniel. A charming poetic retelling of the Biblical story of Daniel intended for “women and children” (so advertises the title page). Israel Zinberg devotes a lengthy discussion to the most famous work of this genre, the Shmuel Bukh (Book of Samuel). There is also a Melokhim Bukh (Book of Kings). Zinberg points out that these were more than a “poetic paraphrase of the Bible.” The authors drew on the rich store of Midrashic literature. Zinberg goes on to speculate that the anonymous authors of these works were actually Yiddish bards who would recite their rhymed ballads before audiences: “The poets of the Shmuel-Bukh and the Melokhim-Bukh were undoubtedly Spielmänner who used to declaim their works to the people” (Zinberg, A History of Jewish Literature, Vol. 7 [Old Yiddish Literature], pp. 107-118). The first such book to be published was the Melokhim Bukh (Augsburg, 1543). In the following year, there appeared, again in Augsburg, both the Shmuel Bukh and the Daniel Bukh.