Page 36 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 13

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
30
been providing cultural understanding and leadership in the
modern world.
With so small a student body and faculty, the literary output
of the College over the years cannot but be modest in numbers.
Its distinguished faculty has been enabled to devote itself for
the most part to research and writing and therefore its output
must be included in the total literary achievements of the College.
TECHNICAL NATURE OF SCIENTIFIC WORKS
As is to be expected in an institution of higher learning and
scientific research, most of its literary productions are scholarly
and technical. They are not intended for the average reader,
even of college and university background.
The Karaite Halakah
and its Relation to the Sadducean
,
Samaritan and Philonian Halakah
,
by Bernard Revel; the
Prolegomena to a Greek-Hebrew and Hebrew-
Greek Index to Aquila
, by Joseph Reider;
The Targum to Canticles
according to Six Yemen Mss. compared with the
“Textus Receptus
,”
by Raphael Hai Melamed; the
Arabic Commentary of A li ben
Suleiman on the Book of Genesis
, by the late Solomon L. Skoss;
the
Megillat Taanit as a Sourcefo r Jewish Chronology and History
in the Hellenistic and Roman Periods
, by Solomon Zeitlin;
The
Arabic Commentary of Yafet ben
‘A li the Karaite on the Book of
Hosea
, edited from eight manuscripts and provided with critical
notes and an introduction, by Philip Birnbaum; or
Hiwi A I-
Balkhi: A Comparative Study
, by Judah Rosenthal; and numerous
other similar pioneering pieces of research will surely find no place
on the “Best Seller” lists of the American Jewish reading public.
They were not so intended. They represent the building blocks
out of which the Jewish historians of the future will some day
create a universal Jewish history — a history composed not of
legends, vague speculations and the idiosyncracies of individuals,
but of factual information weighed and evaluated in accord with
the best standards of critical judgment and set down as authori-
tative knowledge.
Most of the productions of The Dropsie College — like those
of similar institutions of higher learning— are scientific treatises.
They are scholarly editions of almost forgotten bits of knowledge
hidden away in neglected manuscripts and in obscure corners of
the Jewish and general world. These writings are technical in
nature to be understood and appreciated by specialists in the
fields in which they are written. Like Albert Einstein’s presen-
tations of his discoveries in the realm of Mathematical Physics,