Times: See the Valmadonna Trust Library of Rare Hebrew and Aramaic Books at Sotheby’s Auction House

"A copy of the Babylonian Talmud (1519-23) made by the Christian printer Daniel Bomberg in Venice, was created with the advice of a panel of scholars that codified many aspects of how the Talmud is displayed and printed."
The collection is on display to the public through next Thursday, on view for the large institutional libraries and collectors who might be prepared to pay at least $40 million for what Sotheby’s, echoing scholars in the field, describes as “the finest private library of Hebrew books and manuscripts in the world.”
We say: Bad timing. Sorry but in this economic climate I doubt that the library, no matter how breathtaking, will fetch $40 million.

Also the Times' article
is a bit imprecise when it says, "These are all books written in Hebrew or using Hebrew script, many of them rare or even unique." The Talmud is written mostly in Aramaic. True enough the script is the same as that used for Hebrew. The Samaritan Torah in the collection is written in a script that 99% of Hebrew readers could not make out. True, the article does call it an "ancient Hebrew script resembling inscriptions on archaeological finds rather than the letters that came to define mainstream Hebrew."

This to us at the Talmudic blog is the kind of imprecision that is just barely excusable, especially since you have a big fact checking desk over there at the Times whose job it is to know the difference between Hebrew and Aramaic and make sure the reports it publishes are clear about that.

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