Page 24 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 22

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18
J
e w i s h
B
o o k
A
n n u a l
Parallel to this trend in Hebrew renditions of ancient classics
is Abraham Schalit’s
Flavii Josephi, Antiquitates Judaicae
(Jeru­
salem, 1963), a three-volume translation, containing copious
notes. His study,
King Herod
(Jerusalem, 1960), too, demonstrates
the desire to identify the Second Commonwealth as a specific
Jewish period and not merely a passing intertestamental era.
In this evaluation of books of note since 1948 one cannot but
refer also to the works of Simha Asaf,
The Gaonic Period and
Literature
(Jerusalem, 1955), of Yehoshua Brand’s
Ceramics in
Talmudic Literature
(Jerusalem, 1953), of M. Avi-Yonah on
analysis of Jews in
The Days of Rome and Byzantium
and of
Jacob Katz’
Between Jews and Gentiles
(Jerusalem, 1960). All
reveal that Israel’s growth in the past decade and a half was
not merely in the political or economic trends nor even of a
physical nature seeking a home for the displaced. The Israeli
spirit and soul are boldly limned in its historic literature, even
if one does not turn to the belles lettres, fiction or general essays
of that era for corroboration.
The stimulus of the Dead Sea Scrolls findings and of the
present Masada discovery has not waned. At times even greater
impetus for investigation derives from the conflicting opinions
on the age and meaning of these newly found documents. The
publications of the Israelis—E. Sukenik, Y. Yadin, D. Flusser,
A. M. Habermann, and others—are now carefully consulted by
the non-Jewish savants who work on the other side of the
Mandelbaum Gate, in Jordan. Israel’s contribution therefore
to the “discovery of the age” is of lasting importance to modern
scholarship.
Memorial and Other Works
Not included in the present analysis of the contributions in
historiography are the many
festschriften
or memorial volumes
containing individual articles on interpretation of ancient events
and thought.
Festschriften
in honor of H. Albeck, Y. F. Baer,
Z. Karl, M. Narkiss, J. Klausner and P. Churgin include valuable
material for the careful student of Jewish history. Different
journals such as
Tarbitz, S ina iK irya t Sefer, Molad,
and even
the newspapers in their Friday editions have contributed to this
special knowledge through illuminating essays by outstanding
scholars and critics. Moreover, the anthologies, lexicons and
encyclopedias—such as
Encyclopedia Talmudit,
J. L. Maimon’s
editions on Saadia, Rashi, Rambam, the translations of Greek
works like Plutarch into Hebrew or Ben Zion Dinur’s compila­
tion of historic source material—all attest the fulness of the
development of Israeli culture in the past few years. The con­
cordances of Hayyim Joshua Kosofsky on the Mishnah, Tosefta