Page 228 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 24

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J
e w i s h
B
o o k
A
n n u a l
Jewish History,
is an important and a timely essay. It conveys
your thoughts and your struggles with the many problems con­
fronting us, the people of Israel and, particularly, Israel in
America.
“Your book challenges us on every level. As we read chapter
by chapter, we are made to realize that Sinai is a living experience
and the Exodus of over
2000
years ago is still a continuous
process. We are concerned with you about the home and the
synagogue and our social order; we meditate with you about our
ultimate concern as well as our immediate problems; we are
polarized between an extended peoplehood and universalism,
between Zion and Messiah; and we get new insights into the
meaning and the burdens of prophecy.
“In an age of interfaith, you warn us that the Christian symbol
of Golgotha is really anti-Sinai, even if Christianity is part of Israel.
Meanwhile you present an eloquent plea for genuine pluralism
and for a dynamic Jewish faith that will preserve us from within.
As you put it, ‘We have been shaped by historic mutation into a
unique species, peculiarly equipped to live in an emergent world,’
and, we wait for the day when ‘The true faith is yet to be made
manifest out of the union of all men.’ ”
Betty Schechter
The Isaac Siegel Memorial Juvenile Award was presented to
Mrs. Betty Schechter by Dr. Morris Epstein, editor of
World
Over.
He said in part:
“If the Greeks had a word for it, Alexander Pope always had
a two-line rhyme handy. A couplet of his that comes to mind is
one in which he condemns originality that is nothing but novelty.
‘True wit,’ he said, ‘is Nature to advantage dressed,
What oft was said, but ne’er so well expressed.’
“I think that applies to Betty Schechter’s award winning book,
The Dreyfus Affair.
For certainly much ink has been spilt over
this unbelievable episode. The abundance of documentary evi­
dence is listed by Mrs. Schechter in her ‘Note on Sources.’ But
she has done more than steep herself in reading, more than
demonstrate a judicious use of source material.
“In her vivid description of the thrust and parry, the plots and
scandals, the riots and the conscience-searching in which the
Dreyfus Affair was befogged, Mrs. Schechter has followed the
trail blazed by Hendrik Willem Van Loon almost a half century
ago. For in his classic
Story of Mankind
he proclaimed that
history was not a matter of dates and kings, wars and revolutions,
conquests and defeats, but a portrait of life connected to past
and future.