Shabbethei Bass and the construction–and deconstruction–of a Jewish library

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This essay examines two works produced in 1680 by the Jewish author and bibliographer, Shabbethai Meshorer Bass: his famous Hebrew bibliography, Sifte yeshenim, and his enigmatic Yiddish travel guide, Masekhet derekh erets. In both works, Bass relied heavily on previous sources, either in Latin or in German, which remained, for the most part, unacknowledged. The article offers a comparative reading of the two works, focusing particularly on the understudied Masekhet derekh erets, to exemplify the porous and deeply collaborative nature of early modern Hebrew and Yiddish literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalJewish Culture and History
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021


  • Old Yiddish
  • bibliography
  • early modern literature
  • translation
  • travel literature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science


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