Page 115 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 24

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JEWI SH L I TERARY ANN I VERSAR I ES
19 6 7
B
y
T
heodore
W
iener
T
his
com ing
year
we will observe the half-century of the Bible
translation sponsored by the Jewish Publication Society of
America, in cooperation with the various branches of the Amer­
ican Jewish religious community. The import of this joint effort
—now repeated as a new translation is being prepared—lies in
its indication of the basic unity of American Jewry in spite o f
so many diverse views.
The Bible forms the basis of our tradition, but so much has
been added over the centuries by commentators and codifiers,
religious poets and modern critical scholars, that we need a guide
to our treasures of the spirit in order to appreciate them fully.
The Catalogue of Hebrew Books in the British Museum, com­
piled by Joseph Zedner and published one hundred years ago,
was the first attempt in the English language to organize such
a rich collection and make it accessible to a wider public, while
serving at the same time as a model for other libraries. Abraham
Solomon Freidus set up a classification of Jewish books in the
New York Public Library, which was adopted by most major
Jewish libraries in this country. David Solomon Sassoon enlarged
our knowledge of Oriental Jewry by publishing a learned cata­
logue of the Hebrew and Samaritan manuscripts in his possession.
David Tidhar, the versatile Israeli writer, is now focusing his
attention on a biographical dictionary of Israeli Jews past and
present, thus opening for us ever new insights into the dynamism
of these pioneers.
All these surveys of literary and personal accomplishments
deepen our respect for ourselves and for our past and place us
under obligation to preserve and cultivate our precious heritage.
Chronological List
January: 14, British Museum Catalogue of Hebrew Books; 15,
Leiser Landshuth; 23, Abraham Ibn Ezra; 31, David ben
Samuel ha-Levi.
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