Isaac Leeser's Pentateuch
Torat ha-Elohim hugah me-iti Yitsḥaḳ ben Uri Eliʻezer. The Law of God, Edited, and with Former Translations Diligently Compared and Revised, by Isaac Leeser. 5 vols.
Philadelphia: C. Sherman for the editor, 5605 [1845–46]. (BRB0836)
These five volumes of the Pentateuch represent the first appearance of any part of the Bible translated by an American Jew. The translator, Rabbi Isaac Leeser (1806-1868), was the head rabbi of the Synagogue Mikveh Israel in Philadelphia, where he became America’s most influential Jewish writer, editor, and teacher. The culmination of nearly a decade of scholarship, this Hebrew and English Pentateuch was published at Leeser’s expense both in this tall format and in a smaller edition. Leeser’s Pentateuch remained the standard English version for American Jews until the Jewish Publication Society translation appeared in 1917.