Page 118 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 28

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J
e w i s h
B
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until 1945, and is now an honorary member of the College
Board.
During most of these preparatory years, Dr. Grayzel realized
more and more that history was his prime academic love.
His view was in consonance with the definition voiced by
Cervantes, “History is the depository of great actions, the wit-
ness of what is past, the example and instructor of the present,
and monitor of the future.” The prophetic character of Ju-
daism that inspired him originally to enter the rabbinate, crys-
tallized into a challenging concept that the historian himself
is a prophet looking backward. He experienced an emotion
akin to intellectual ennoblement in gathering together the
forgotten yet imperishable offspring of the past and bringing
them onto the stage of the present.
I l l
In view of the above evolutionary progression, it was inevit-
able that works in history should burgeon from his pen. His
name first appeared on a title page in connection with Lady
Magnus’
H istory of the Jews.
Dr. Cyrus Adler, of blessed me-
mory, had invited him to update the book by adding a chap-
ter or two. Also in that early period, he translated two books
from the German: Grunwald’s
H istory of the Jews in Vienna
and Kober’s
H istory of the Jews in Cologne.
His
The Church
and the Jews in the X IH th Century
was published in 1933.
It was “A study of their relations during the years 1198-1254
based on the papal letters and the conciliar decrees of the
period.” This book opens wide a window on the relationship
of the Roman Catholic Church to the Jews. The ecumenical
movement initiated in 1962 by Pope John XXIII, when he con-
vened Vatican Council 11, set in motion a chain of events that
added new dimensions to the spectrum of Dr. Grayzel’s original
study. Therefore, it is a boon to scholarship and to contem-
porary history that Dropsie University permitted the reissuance
of the book in a slightly revised second edition (Hermon
Press, N. Y., 1966, 378 p.).
In 1939 Professor Isaac Husik, the then editor of the Jewish
Publication Society of America, selected Dr. Grayzel as his as-
sistant. Dr. Husik died only a month later, and Grayzel sue-
ceeded him as editor, an office he filled with distinction, pro■
found understanding and expertise until his retirement in
1966. In this long and fruitful span of service, Grayzel infused
new strength and brought greater recognition to the creative
work of the Society as publisher to the American Jewish com-
munity. Indeed, he became a cogent force in elevating the cul­