59 125 (TALMUD). New Edition of the Babylonian Talmud. English Translation. Original Text Edited, Formulated and Punctuated by Michael L. Rodkinson. Revised and Corrected by The Rev. Dr. Isaac M. Wise. Volume I [only]: Tract. Sabbath. THE KAUFMANN KOHLER COPY WITH HIS AUTOGRAPH MARGINAL NOTATIONS IN HEBREW AND ENGLISH THROUGHOUT THE VOLUME. Photographic frontispiece portraits. Kohler bookplate. pp. xxxv, 187. Ex-library. Boards. 4to. Philadelphia, 1896. $500 - $700 ❧ First edition of the first translation of the Talmud into English. Although a pioneering effort, this abridged translation was not well received by many of Rodkinson’s scholarly peers. The present volume contains detailed first hand manuscript evidence of the degree in which Rodkinson’s text was castigated for his scholarly slovenliness. Born in Fürth, Kaufmann Kohler (1843-1926) was a student of two of the towering figures of contemporary German Orthodoxy: Jacob Ettlinger and Samson Raphael Hirsch. However Kohler later adopted a Reform viewpoint and upon emigrating to the United States eventually succeeded his father-in-law, David Einhorn, as rabbi of New York’s Congregation Beth-El. In 1903, Kohler was appointed president of Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati. See Marvin J. Heller, The First English Edition of the Talmud Revisited. Michael Levi Rodkinson: His Translation of the Talmud and the Ensuing Controversy, in: Further Studies in the Making of the Early Hebrew Book (2013) Chap. 13. 126 BEN-GURION, DAVID (First Prime Minister of the State of Israel, 1886-1973). Autograph Letter Signed to Menahem Ussishkin (Russian-born Zionist leader and head of the Jewish National Fund 1863-1941). Written in Hebrew in pencil on his customary unadorned note-paper. Important letter marked “Confidential,” written in the period between the great upsurge of immigration to Palestine and the outbreak of World War II. Six leaves (written on recto side only). 8vo. Accompanied by full translation into English. London, 24th September, 1938. $1000 - $1500 ❧ Ben-Gurion informs Ussishkin of present British positions following his meetings with Malcolm MacDonald of the Colonial Office. Ben-Gurion states that MacDonald's position is that neither the Balfour Declaration nor the League of Nations Mandate given to Britain ever envisioned or sanctioned Jewish immigration to Palestine. MacDonald's argument is that the Second Aliyah has undermined the stability of Palestine and the Middle East, agitating the Arabs at a time when the world is already on the brink of war. Moreover, he ties any hope of realizing a Jewish Homeland on the will of the Arabs. Ben-Gurion's opinion here is that the British cannot be trusted, nonetheless it is necessary to continue negotiating with them. He strongly believes that the Jewish position has to be steadfast and consistent, revolving around two unyielding principles, which are the refusal to let the Arab's dictate the future of Palestine, and immediate, unconditional, open immigration to Palestine leading to the establishment of a Jewish National Homeland. This letter is of considerable historical importance, since it provides valuable, first hand insight into the dynamics of the Arab-Jewish conflict in Palestine in the pre-war period as seen through the eyes of the eventual founder of the State of Israel. Lot 125 Lot 126