Page 110 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 15

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AMERICAN JEWISH NON-FICTION BOOKS
1956-1957
By I.
E
dw a r d
K
i e v
T
HE widespread interest in the history of Palestine and in the
biblical background of Western civilization has been marked
by the volume of new studies into the historical geography and
the archaeology of the Bible. At the approach of the tenth
anniversary of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the list of
scholarly as well as popular editions and translations of the texts,
and research about their significance for the history of religion,
have grown to proportions hitherto unimaginable. Speculation
and new theories about the date of the scrolls, and public interest
in events related to them, have made their discovery the most
important find of the century.
The final report on the synagogue of Dura Europos by Professor
Kraeling has made available, through the generosity of the late
Louis M. Rabinowitz, reproductions of the ancient mosaics in
one of the most beautiful volumes ever published on synagogues.
Dr. Goodenough’s new volumes on the bread, fish and wine
symbols used by the Jews in the Greco-Roman period, were also
a significant contribution to the cultural and religious history of
the period.
In addition to numerous studies of biblical literature, the
publication of three finely illustrated atlases of the Bible are
noteworthy.
Dr. Bamberger’s
Story of Judaism
and Dr. Birnbaum’s
Treasury
of Judaism
present the basic ideas and philosophy of Judaism
authoritatively and succinctly. The Reconstructionist viewpoint
in relation to American Jewish education has been interpreted by
the late Dr. Michael Alper, and in a new volume by Dr. Ira
Eisenstein; and a new edition of Dr. Kaplan’s
Judaism As A
Civilization
was also issued.
The history of the Jews in this hemisphere has been enriched
with several new works, more particularly with the volume by
Edwin Wolf, 2nd and Maxwell Whiteman on the Jews of early
Philadelphia, and with Isaac Emmanuel’s careful description of
the monuments of the Jews in Curasao.
Dr. Silver’s scholarly work on the distinctiveness of Judaism,
and the essays by Dr. Belkin and by Dr. Jung, have added to
the harvest of modern Jewish thought. The collective work on the
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