Tuesday, August 14, 2012

כי מלאה הארץ חמ"ס on Jewish Publishing in America

Shaul Sapir, who was editor of the Deer Amerikaner in the early 20th century, was once asked about the Jewish Publishing Situation in the United States.
He replied "כי מלאה הארץ חמ"ס "
חמס ראשי תבות חומשים מחזורים סדורים
How very true! 99% of the Hebrew books printed in America before WWI were Prayerbooks or Chumashim.

1 comment:

  1. The origin of "חמ"ס" likely extends at least to the 19th century and beyond America: See סדר אליהו by the Aderet where he writes "ראיתי נגד מלוני שלד של מוכר ספרים הלכתי אליו אבל לא מצאתי כלום, זולת ספרים פשוטים כההלצה הנודעת כי מלאה הארץ חמ"ס." (p. 73 in Otzar pagination at https://www.otzar.org/wotzar/Book.aspx?156200 ) I saw a reference to the above by Rav Kapach in the very beginning of his edition of ספר זמנים which came out in 5746–two years after the former book.