Jewish religious books at the International Book Fair in Jerusalem

Last night, the International Book Fair opened it’s gates in Jerusalem. Until two years ago, the event always took place at the Binyane’i HaUma (international Convention Center) across the Central Bus Station. This year, however, the book fair is much smaller and is located inside the Old Train Station at David Remez Street.
To be honest, the book fair is pretty small and don’t expect too much international flair. 🙂 As far as I saw, there are no book stands in French which is a real pity for all the French speaking visitors. However, there is one stand from Spain and even a stand offering Esperanto. The largest stands are from Israel, Germany and Russia. Random House is also there. Furthermore we find books in Yiddish, Polish, Hungarian or Arabic. That’s about it and don’t compare this year’s event to all the previous ones at the Binyane’i HaUma.
Random House, Steimatzky or Zomet HaSefarim were offering their usual stuff they already sell at their branches. Hardly anything new but mostly everything we find on their bookshelves. I was lucky to concentrate on Jewish religious books and thus made a few bargains. My first stop was, as usual, the stand of the Zalman Shazar Institute. Plenty of their books on chassidic history are already standing on my bookshelves. Actually no books you would find in Mea Shearim because it is not always sooo holy what the authors write about Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, chassidic history or Volozhin. Nevertheless, what authors like David Assaf, Emmanuel Etkes, Rachel Elior or Moshe Rosman do is digging deep down through all kinds of archives. In one of his books, Emmanuel Etkes, for instance, is digging into the finances of the former Volozhin Yeshiva. 
The Zalman Shazar stand is pretty small and the amount of books was a bit disappointing. However, I spotted out one book I really wanted to buy:
“Chassidim and Sabbatianism”. The author Ada Rappaport – Albert did a lot of research on Chassidim, their wives and Sabbatianism. Sounds pretty interesting to me. 


Photo: Miriam Woelke


I bought the book in Hebrew and was told that there is no English translation available. I couldn’t find the book on Amazon and the publisher is the Zalman Shazar Institute. 
The second stand worth checking out is called URIM. They even offer the entire edition of the Chizkuni commentary in English. My guess is that this won’t be cheap and thus I was afraid to ask for the price. 🙂
Urim offers a lot of interesting book. Especially Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. When you buy one, you receive a second book for free. But … make sure to ask before paying, as not all books are included in this special offer !


Photo: Miriam Woelke
Ich bought three books of whom one turned to be out really expensive:
The Path of Torah – Commentaries of Rabbi Naftali Yehudah Berlin (the NETZIV).
Photo: Miriam Woelke


The second book I got for free:
Dybbuks and Jewish Women in Social History, Mysticism and Folklore” by Rachel Elior.


Photo: Miriam Woelke


The most expensive book (although it doesn’t look so) was Hillel Goldberg’s “Between Berlin and Slobodka“.
Biographies of Rabbi Israel Salanter, Rabbi Issac Hutner, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, Professor Avraham J. Heschel and others. A must for all those who are interested in the Volozhin Yeshiva and Jewish history in Lithuanian  !


Photo: Miriam Woelke

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