Page 8 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 19

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2
J
e w i s h
B
o o k
A
n n u a l
ica,” in Yiddish, Jewish Book Annua l, Vol. 1 7 ) . Heartening
progress is being made in Canada (see “L iterature of Jewish
Canadiana” by David Rome, Jewish Book Annua l, Vol. 18)
and in South A frica (see “Jewish W riters in South A frica by
Edgar Bernstein, Vol. 1 8 ) . “Jewish Literature in Sweden and in
Swedish” by C. Vilh. Jacobowsky, which appears in the current
Annua l, brings that Scandinavian country w ith in the orb it of
the Jewish book world and holds a promising augury for the
future.
A glance at the table of contents in Vol. 19 of the Jewish
Book Annua l, especially at the seven bibliographical lists of new
books, w ill testify to the ascending curve of Jewish creativity.
This should occasion no surprise, since reverence for books has
been an article of faith among the Jews. The Sefer Hasidim
speaks of the Archangel Metatron as the lib rarian who removes
books from the celestial shelves and brings them to the Almighty,
who in turn circulates them for study among the denizens of
the Yeshivah shel Maalah.
Less fanciful and far more realistic is the poignant quotation
from Andre Schwarz-Bart’s The Last of the Just. Mordecai, one
of the lamed-vovs, says to Ernie, the last of the lamed-vovs: “For
a thousand years the Christians have been trying to k ill us every
day. And we have been trying to live every day. And every day
we manage it somehow . . . Do you know why? Because we never
gave up our books, never, never, never.”
The editors have striven to capture the spirit of this affirma­
tion in the preparation of this volume. To whatever extent we
have succeeded, redounds to the efforts of our editorial col­
leagues, and most of all to our tru ly dedicated Managing Editor
Rabbi Philip Goodman. His constancy and persevering labors in
the Jewish cultural vineyard have rendered possible the modest
literary harvest that may be gleaned here.
W e express sincere gratitude to our sponsor, the National
Jewish W e lfare Board, and to the Lucius N. L ittauer Foundation
for their generous gifts, and to the national organizations affiliated
with the Jewish Book Council. Highly valuable service was ren­
dered also by Rabbi Ely E. Pilchik, Hayyim Bass, Dr. Mortimer
J . Cohen, Solomon Kerstein and Harry Starr. W e trust this
volume w ill be a worthy crown to their zealous endeavors.