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Moscow Publishes Hebrew Dictionary; Few Copies for Sale in Bookstores

A Soviet Hebrew Dictionary, published this week, will be virtually impossible to obtain in Soviet bookstores, it appeared today from an examination of Soviet press reports on the new publication.

The 766 page dictionary was published by the Soviet Dictionaries Publishing House. Compiled by T.L. Shapiro, who died before he could complete it, the final editing was done by F. M. Grande, who said in the preface that the dictionary was based on the Even-Chushan Hebrew dictionary of Israel, the best available Hebrew dictionary. The Soviet version also includes a brief Hebrew grammar section and a history of the Hebrew language written in a scholarly manner.

Several months ago, it was officially announced that the dictionary would have an initial run of 100,000 copies. Later, it was announced that the first edition was only 25,000 copies. Soviet press reports indicated that 10,000 copies had already been ordered by foreign institutions and individuals, meaning that for all of the Soviet Union, there are only 15,000 copies available. Most of these will of course be distributed to universities, schools and libraries, leaving practically none for sale in bookstores.

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