89 195 LEESER, ISAAC (1806-68). Autograph Manuscript Signed. School notebook for the May 1823 semester, written in German and Latin. Entries in Leeser’s careful hand include essays on biblical and apocryphal subjects, such as a retelling in Latin of the episode of Joseph and Jacob in the Book of Genesis, and on the Book of Tobit. 29 pages (excluding blanks). Original autographed wrappers. 4to. Münster (Germany), May, 1823. $7000 - $9000 ❧ Isaac Leeser was raised in Dülmen, near Münster, North Rhine-Westphalia. After completing his formal Jewish education, he enrolled at the age of 14, in the Münster Institute, where he received his secular education for two and a quarter years. This notebook is from when he was a 16-year old student. Leeser later recalled this period and the struggles he had to overcome both from within his family and as an outsider in the school seeking to obtain an education in a Christian setting: “We well remember… a venerable grandmother almost dissuading us from learning Latin, for fear of our thereby becoming less a Jew, and imitating the example of others who lapsed into infidelity. And moreover we were the first Jewish boy who ever was permitted to enter the Latin school in our neighbourhood.” See A Call To Israelites, in: The Occident (6:422) December, 1848. Leeser was a diligent pupil. In a letter to his Talmud teacher Rabbi Benjamin Jacob Cohen, he described the difficult course of his work: “The headmaster requires that each day’s task be completed. I have to keep myself awake every night until the hour of midnight if I am to finish my work with satisfaction… Were I to fail, I… should be beaten with the rod of fools. This has happened to many of my companions, but to me only once.” See Lance J. Sussman, Isaac Leeser and the Making of American Judaism (1995) p. 26. 196 LESSER, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript, written in English (one word Hebrew). List of advertisements intended for The Occident’s issue of June, 1849. Advertisements include one for a Jewish Boarding House in New York, with “fine spacious apartments” which is “kept open until after the arrival of the Philadelphia cars;” for Bibles bound in calf “suitable for Jewish families and for the school room;” and in search of a Chazan for K.K. Bne Jeshurun in Cincinnati. A salary of $500 is offered, “none but persons fully qualified need apply, and none others will be elected.” Two pages. Tall,thin folio. Philadelphia, 1849. $2000 - $2500 ❧ In Philadelphia Isaac Leeser was a hazzan, traditionally, a relatively minor role in the synagogue, but which had been magnified in America to a sizable position of religious leadership for want of ordained rabbis. However, even in America the expanded role of hazzan had only consisted of delivering occasional sermons and responding to simple decisions in Jewish law. Leeser however transformed the role: Writing books on Judaism, creating texts for Jewish schoolchildren, translating the Twenty-four books of the Bible into English - a first for any Jew anywhere - as well as preparing translations of the Siddur in both Sephardic and Ashkenazic rites. Additionally, in 1843, Leeser created a monthly journal, The Occident and American Jewish Advocate, which was read by Jews across North America and the Caribbean. Lot 195 Lot 196