Page 116 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 28

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S O L OMO N GRAYZEL
On the Occasion of His 75th Birthday
B
y
A . A
la n
S
t e in b a c h
I
S
olomon Grayzel, in the three score and fifteen years of his
existential span, has achieved a fruitful and meaning-
ful career as scholar, historian, translator, editor and author,
enriching each of these cultural categories with his personal
contributions. In
Ethics of the Fathers
Rabbi Yehuda ben Tai-
mon characterizes a man’s seventieth milestone as
ben shivim
Vseva,
“Hoary age at seventy,” when Time’s furrows are etched
on one’s brow.
But now five years later, when the clock of his age has
struck seventy-five, Dr. Grayzel has proved the imagery of
“hoary age” to be a chimera. Impelled by an insatiable thirst
for enhanced scholarship, driven by an inner volcano to re-
search for more fuel to illuminate the torch of erudition and
to disseminate its beams into the minds of others, Grayzel has
validated the observation in Proverbs 16. 31, “The hoary head
is a crown of glory.”
Like most scholars, Dr. Grayzel is captive to an intellectual
“divine discontent” that holds him in thrall. I t quickens within
him a passion to pursue knowledge as a jewel that will not
decay nor be eroded by the rust of the passing years. Indeed,
even as these lines are being written, Dr. Grayzel is diligently
at work at the Archivio Segreto del Vaticano in Rome, con-
tinuing his search for papal pronouncements (Bulls) about the
Jews. He is now concentrating on the documents for the 15th
century, as a sequitur to his book
The Church and the Jews in
the X IH th Century,
to which we shall allude later.
Doing scientific research in European libraries is not a nov-
elty to Dr. Grayzel. In 1926 he gave up the rabbinate and
went abroad to continue his researches in the libraries of
France, Italy and Germany. The “divine discontent” was al-
ready imbedded within him 44 years ago. I t is almost a half
century later and its flame burns with undiminished potency.
At an age when most individuals would be expected to estab­
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