Page 115 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 28

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109
K
a bak o ff
— I
srael
E
fros
“Philosophical Terms in the Writings of Rabbi Abraham Bar
Hiyya.” In addition to these valuable lexicographical contributions
to our understanding of Hebrew philosophical terminology, the
volume includes a number of short textual notes on Judah Halevi’s
Kusari.
The eighth and concluding volume of Efros’ collected
writings is to include his perceptive essays on literature and
aesthetics.
The products of Efros’ many years of fruitful endeavor are
evident also in a number of other significant projects. Together
with B. N. Silkiner and Judah Kaufman (Ibn-Shmuel), he edited
in 1929 an English-Hebrew dictionary which has gone through
numerous editions. In 1966 he edited a supplement to this pioneer
work with Judah Ibn-Shmuel. He has distinguished himself as a
translator of Shakespeare with his Hebrew versions of three of the
bard’s plays: Hamlet, Timon of Athens and Coriolanus. For the
Histadruth Ivrith, which he served as president and later as hon-
orary president, he edited in 1948
Selected Poems of Hayyim
Nahman Bialik,
together with an introduction. The volume, pub-
lished in a revised edition in 1965, serves as the best compilation
in English of the writings of the national Hebrew poet.
One of Efros’ volumes of poetry,
Meh Amok Hu Shatul
(How
Deep He Is Planted), symbolizes the new beginning he made upon
settling in Israel. It contains some of his most recent poems. As
he indicates in his introductory note, his move represented a
sundering and a decisive step in his life. Throughout his writing
career, his poetry had been marked by deep yearning for Israel
and by a deep ambivalence towards galut life. In Israel, where
his poetry has kept remarkable pace with the spirit of the land, he
has experienced a new period of creativity. Israel has been for
him a revivifying and a revitalizing force. In his poems, however,
Efros has not glossed over the difficulties of parting from the
American Jewish scene with whose cultural and intellectual life
he was so intimately bound up for decades. He is among the for-
tunate few who have achieved full integration into the literary
and scholarly worlds of both America and Israel—a true child of
the fortunes of our people during its modern fateful period of
history.