Page 10 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 27

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4
J
e w i s h
B
o o k
A
n n u a l
couraged to probe further into the vast literary wealth of which
we Jews are the inheritors.
III
Writing on the topic “Death—the Untruth,” a poet declared:
“An idea called death/ exists in men’s minds. / It exists nowhere
else. . . ” It is hard for us in the Jewish Book Council to concur
in this view whenever a fellow-worker takes earthly leave from
us and joins the solemn cavalcade of the departed. Thus, we mourn
the loss of our colleague, Max Weinreich, one of the Council’s
founders. His profound erudition and his prodigious talents
enabled him to make incomparable contributions to Yiddish lin­
guistics and to Jewish scholarship. He is eulogized elsewhere in
this volume, but we find consolation in linking his tender memory
with Goethe’s utterance: “Death is a commingling of eternity with
time; in the death of a good man, eternity is seen looking through
time.”
IV
In the preparation of this volume, as of previous ones, the
editors have been mindful of a poignant quotation from Andre
Schwarz-Bart’s The Last of the Just, published in 1960. Mordecai,
one of the lamed-vovniks, remarks to Ernie, the last of the lamed-
vovniks: “For a thousand years the Christians have been trying to
kill us every day. And we have been trying to live every day. And
every day we manage it somehow. . . Do you know why? Because
we never gave up our books, never, never, never.”
Our Editorial Board is grateful for whatever humble contribu­
tion it is making to keep this tradition viable in the lives of our
people. And we are particularly privileged to enjoy the construc­
tive and inspiring cooperation of Rabbi Philip Goodman, our
Managing Editor. He is a lover of Torah and a valiant toiler in the
Jewish cultural vineyard. His constancy and dedication have ren­
dered possible whatever harvest the reader may glean in these pages.
Our gratitude goes out to our sponsor, the National Jewish
Welfare Board, and to the Lucius N. Littauer Foundation, whose
generous gift is presented to us annually through our worthy col­
league and Editorial Advisory Board member, Mr. Harry Starr.
We have received material and spiritual help from two past pres­
idents of the Council, Rabbi Mortimer J. Cohen and Rabbi Gilbert
Klaperman, the latter serving his second term as president of the
New York Board of Rabbis. To both colleagues we voice a hearty
todah rabbah. May these and other friends of the Jewish Book
Council continue to bring vigor and wholesome growth to the
cultural groves of Israel the world over.