Tel Aviv: Sinai, n.d. [ca. 1950]. Later printing. Hardcover. 64mo. 1 3/4x 2 3/4". 191pp. Black buckram with gilt Tower of David motif, ruling and lettering, on the front cover and spine. Illustrated title page, showing the Tower of David. This scarce miniature edition of the biblical Book of Psalms, was originally issued to IDF soldiers in religious companies, during the earliest years after the establishment of the State of Israel. It contains the complete book of 150 psalms, traditionally read in times of trouble or mourning. The text throughout is accompanied by a total of 30 lithographic illustrations, in black, by Shlomo Cohen-Abravanel (1921-1981). The evocative images here all feature depictions of historical Jewish persecution and oppression, the Holocaust, war, the building of the State of Israel, and/or themes of survival and redemption. The illustrations contain printed text of relevant biblical quotes, embedded within the image, including a listing of psalm and verse number. Page 79 contains a small illustrated map of Israel. Text throughout in Hebrew. Binding clean with some minor bumping. Interior with age toning to pages throughout. Starting at p.65. Binding in very good+, interior in very good condition overall. Extremely scarce. vg to vg+. Item #48812
Hebrew title: תהלים
Author: כהן־אברבנאל, שלמו
Publication: הוצאת ספרים ״סיני״
Alternate transliteration: Shlomo Cohen-Abarbanel
Shlomo Cohen-Abravanel (1921-1981) was an Israeli artist and intelligence officer who at one time served as Deputy Head of the Mossad. Born in Germany, Cohen-Abravanel moved with his family to France when the Nazis came to power, then later emigrating to Palestine in 1935. He later work as an artist and illustrator, while also serving in the Haganah. In 1947, after the second world war he returned to France to study art. A few years later he was recruited by the Hagana to work as a passport forger for refugees, during Operation Aliyah B, based out of Marseilles. In 1950 he worked as an undercover agent for the Mossad in Cairo, while posing as a French artist named Charles Duvall (or Charduval). While there he found success as an artist, even mounting an exhibition of his work at the Cairo Museum of Modern art, which even caught the attention of Farouk I, the King of Egypt, who was an art lover. Starting in the 1950s he became a major figure in the international operations of the Mossad, in the Middle-East, Europe and South America, and served as a Deputy Cheif of the organization. Among the many operations he was involved with were the search for and capture of Nazi war Criminals, including Adolf Eichmann. He was the designer of the emblem of the Mossad.
*OCLC shows only 2 holdings of this edition worldwide. 1 copy of the first edition, published circa 1948, which is slightly smaller in size (2.5" tall) and contains fewer pages.