Page 95 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 19

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G
la tzer
— T
h e
W
r itings
o f
L
eopold
Z
un z
8 9
served in the Zunz Archives. There, too, is the manuscript of his
doctoral dissertation,
de Shemtob Palkira.
In 1836 he wrote
The
Names of the Jews
(“Die Namen der Juden”) on the origin of
first names of Jews through the ages, and in 1841 a Hebrew essay,
Toledot R. Azariah min ha-Adumim
published in
Kerem
Chemed, V.
A translation of the Bible into German, a project
of which Zunz was the editor, appeared in 1838. A volume
On
History and Literature
(“Zur Geschichte und Literatur”), pub­
lished in 1845, contained essays on the medieval Hebrew liter­
ature in France and Germany, on the Jewish poets in the
Provence, and on the history of the Jews in Sicily; an introductory
argument placed Jewish literary activity in the Middle Ages in
the context of general European literature. What mattered to
Zunz was the universal intellectual activity to which the specif­
ically Jewish component contributed its share. The revolution
of 1848 afforded him the opportunity of taking an active part in
political life; his speeches on behalf of the democratic movement
manifest almost Messianic hope in the victory of liberalism in
Europe. In 1852 he published, with an introduction, Nahman
Krochmal’s
Moreh Nevukhei ha-Zeman
(Guide to the Perplexed
in our Age). Among his last writings is a listing of about 730
persons who have distinguished themselves as Jews or as Gentile
defenders of Judaism; the arrangement follows the dates of
death (“Die Monatstage des Kalenderjahres,” 1872). Before
withdrawing from active life, he collected his shorter essays,
reviews, and addresses, and issued three volumes of
Collected
Writings
(“Gesammelte Schriften,” 1875-76).
Wissenschaft des Judentums
As a Jew and as a son of his age, Zunz appears to have been a
complex personality, torn by problems of a radical transition from
traditionalism to modernity. In scholarship (
Wissenschaft)
he
found a way out of the dilemma. The passion with which he
pursued his studies is hidden behind the registers, statistics, and
bibliographical lists that abound in his books. With the ardor
of a true scholar he created a new branch of learning,
Wissen­
schaft des Judentums.
This science underwent changes of scope,
of method, and of ideology. Far from providing “a funeral” for
Hebrew literature, it took part in the renascence of that liter­
ature and other branches of Jewish learning—ever conscious of
its inception in the creative mind of Zunz.
The Zunz Archives, established in Berlin, are now a part of
the Library of the Hebrew University. Photocopies of most of
the materials are deposited in the Archives of the Leo Baeck
Institute in New York.