Page 54 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 15

Basic HTML Version

46
JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
and handicrafts, social structure and religion, art and mythology.
There are even biological articles on Biblical animals and plants.
The bibliographies are excellent; the illustrations, taken primarily
from archaeological monuments, are extremely interesting and
beautifully reproduced; and the format comes up to the usual high
standards of the Mosad Bialik.
This is the first modern Biblical encyclopedia by Jews, and the
first completely new Biblical encyclopedia to be published by any
source, Jewish or Christian, in our generation. The new ar­
chaeological discoveries in recent years, as well as new approaches
to Bible interpretation, have created an urgent need for such a
work. No one was better qualified to undertake it than the late
Professor M. D. Cassuto, chief editor, and Professor E. L. Sukenik,
chairman of the editorial board — scholars who were in the fore­
front of these developments, one in Bible criticism, the other in
archaeology. Both died, unfortunately, before the publication of
the second volume; but there can be no doubt that their influence,
especially that of Professor Cassuto’s moderate school of Bible
criticism, will continue to be felt through the entire work. The
other editors, as well as the contributors, are also men of deep
erudition — scholars like N. H. Tur-Sinai (Torczyner), S. Yeivin
and B. Mazar. All write from first-hand knowledge about the
special fields in which they are most active. The only possible
objection is that the contributors to the first two volumes are
drawn almost exclusively from Jewish scholars in Israel (with few
exceptions, notably W. F. Albright). However, important opinions
that are at variance with the author’s point of view receive their
full due in every article. Thus we have a work that is excitingly
alive to the trends of the day, yet is sufficiently balanced to main­
tain its value, surely for many years to come. It would be highly
worthwhile to translate this encyclopedia into English.
Another work indispensable to Bible students is Mandelkern’s
Hebrew concordance,
Hekhal ha-Kodesh
,9 originally published in
1896 and now made available in a photographic reproduction by
Shulsinger Brothers. The new edition was revised by Rabbi C. M.
Brecher. Minor corrections were made directly in the text and
lengthier ones left for an errata list at the end. A valuable addition
to the book is A. R. Malachi’s bibliographical essay on Hebrew
lexicography.
Another important encyclopedia published in Israel is the
9
Hekhal ha-Kodesh: Concordance on the Bible.
By Solomon Mandelkern. New
edition, revised by Chaim Mordecai Brecher. New York, Shulsinger Brothers,
1955. 2 v.