Samuel Israël Mulder (born Samuel Schrijver; 1792-1862) was a Hebrew author, educator, and pillar of the Dutch Haskalah. He held a number of important leadership positions in nineteenth-century Amsterdam, serving as principal of the Nederlands Israëlietisch Seminarium, a rabbi and teacher training seminary; superintendent of all Jewish religious schools in Holland; and eventually secretary of the Amsterdam Jewish community. In addition to his public service, he was a prolific author, linguist, and translator, compiling several historical surveys, a seventeen-part Dutch Bible for Jewish youth, an abridged Hebrew grammar, a Hebrew-Dutch dictionary, and popular translations of the Passover Haggadah, large parts of the Hebrew Bible, and core liturgical texts.
The present lot is a rare second edition of Mulder’s Dutch translation of the Sephardic liturgy for Rosh Hashanah (including selihot for the month of Elul) printed on vellum. The first edition had been published in Amsterdam in 1849 by S. L. Salzedo, and indeed the translator’s introduction and the approbations by Sephardic Rabbis Jacob ben Eliezer Ferares of Amsterdam and his son Jacob of The Hague in our volume were signed in that year. After Mulder’s death, the mahzor was reissued by a different publisher, J. B. de Mesquita, who is known to have printed at least two other titles on vellum as well. This prayer book, however, is not recorded in any of the major bibliographies of Hebrew books printed on vellum – evidence of the rarity of this deluxe edition.
Aron Freimann, “Die hebräischen Pergamentdrucke,” Zeitschrift für hebræische Bibliographie 15 (1911): 46-57, 82-92, at p. 89 (no. 159).
Isaac Yudlov, “Defusei kelaf be-beit ha-sefarim ha-le’ummi ve-ha-universita’i,” Kiryat sefer 68 (supplement) (1998): 261-273, at p. 272 (no. 38).
Irene E. Zwiep, “A Maskil Reads Zunz: Samuel Mulder and the Earliest Dutch Reception of the Wissenschaft des Judentums,” in Yosef Kaplan (ed.), The Dutch Intersection: The Jews and the Netherlands in Modern History (Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2008), 301-317, at p. 307 n. 14.
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