Page 74 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 2

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the future if the Jewish spirit is strengthened and further developed as it should
and can be in the favorable environment of a Jewish Palestine.
Brandeis’ definition of the aims of Zionism emphasizes that the Jew should
ultimately “constitute a majority of the population” of Palestine and should
ultimately have there what may be called “ home rule.” Nor did Brandeis overlook
or disregard the Arab in this connection. “We should so conduct our affairs in
Palestine,” he said, “ that what we do shall inure to the interest of all the inhabi-
tants of Palestine, Moslem and Christian as well as Jew. When the externally
instigated disorders shall have been overcome, full cooperation between Jews and
Arabs in labor unions and industrial enterprises, and a familiar social intercourse
between the two peoples will bring them more closely together.”
— A
b r a h am
T
u l i n
i n
Hadassah News Letter
In the House of the Lord. Our Worship and our Prayer Book.
By
S o l o m o n
B.
F r e e h o f .
Cincinnati (1942).
T h e U n i o n o f A m e r i -
c a n H e b r e w C o n g r e g a t i o n s .
The Small Sanctuary
Judaism in the Prayer Book.
By
S o l o m o n
B.
F r e e h o f .
Cincinnati (1942).
T h e U n i o n o f A m e r i c a n
H e b r e w C o n g r e g a t i o n s .
The Ideals of the Jewish Prayer Book.
By
S imo n G r e e n b e r g .
A
publication of the National Academy for Adult Jewish Studies,
under the auspices of The Jewish Theological Seminary of America.
New York (1942).
S c o p u s P u b l i s h i n g C om p a n y .
I f we may judge by the steady flow of books in English about the Prayer Book,
it arouses perennial interest. One of the earliest of the books issued by the Jewish
Publication Society of America was
Jewish Services in the Synagogue and Home
,
by Lewis N. Dembitz, in 1898. Since that time there have been numerous other
publications covering more or less the same field.
To this comparatively rich literature Rabbi Solomon B. Freehof has now added
two volumes, both issued by the Union of American Hebrew Congregations.
In
the House of the Lord
is a handbook on Jewish worship and the Prayer Book for
the use of children in religious schools;
The Small Sanctuary
is written with the
intelligent adult reader in mind.
Judaism has always achieved the happy synthesis of the head and the heart in
its worship. Its theology is based on an open-eyed reasoning faith, and it accords
no merit to prayers recited without
Kavvanah
— an untranslatable word with the
general sense of concentrated and understanding devotion.
Dr. Greenberg keeps the reader’s mind steadily on some basic teachings under-
lying the Prayer Book.
The Ideals of the Jewish Prayer Book
presents not a com-
mentary on the Prayer Book as a whole, but an elaboration of the main ideas
implicit in the eight of its pages that contain the Shema Yisrael with its preceding
and subsequent blessings. These few pages furnish him with the texts for an
exposition of such fundamental themes as the chosen people, the Torah, the love
and fear of God, monotheism, reward and punishment, religious education, prayer,
kindness to animals, war, freedom, the relative value of
mitzvoth
(commandments),
the redemption from Egypt, and so on. The result is a volume that is highly
informative and filled with sound Jewish teachings.
Dr. Freehof follows a different course. He also skims over the formal descriptive
side of the liturgy, and concentrates on its teachings and basic ideas. In doing
this, he necessarily follows the lines of the traditional Prayer Book. But writing
as he does for Reform readers, he refers also to the modifications introduced in the
Union Prayer Book. He treats the liturgy as an organic historic growth which
takes up the biblical tradition about the time the Bible was completed, and con-
tinues it, developing it in the spirit and style of the Bible itself. He shows how the
Prayer Book combines the study of the Law with the lyric uplift of the Psalms,
and how it democratically places its superb devotional poetry and educational
Torah in the hands of every Jew.
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