Page 72 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 29

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e w i s h
o o k
n n u a l
1953), and
Essays and Portraits in Anglo-Jewish H istory
1962). It is amazing what a wealth of absorbing material the two
collections contain, marvellous characterizations and remarkable
insights. One can only hope they will continue to sell, perhaps in
paperback editions. Roth must have devoted a tremendous
amount of labor into researching many of the individual essays.
One of Roth's long-standing interests was the Passover Hagga-
dah. There has hardly been a significant edition of the Haggadah,
medieval or modern, to which he was not invited to write a
preface. A limited critical edition with notes appeared in 1930,
and another in 1934. That same year he wrote an introduction
to an edition with drawings by Szyk. Then, in quick succession in
the 1960's, he wrote introductions to the Sarajevo Haggadah
(1963), to the Oxford Haggadah which appeared the same year,
to an English version by Beno Rothenberg (1964), and to the
Ben Shahn Haggadah (1965). To hear him lecture on the Hag-
gadah was a rewarding experience. Always interested in illustra-
tions, he interpreted the pictures of the various medieval editions
with that keen insight and broad historical understanding which
were endemic to his intellectual equipment.
Many more of Cecil Roth’s works deserve mention. The above
were chosen because they seemed to fit the several categories into
which his total literary harvest could be conveniently subdivided.
These pages are admittedly an inadequate appreciation and
assessment of a scholar who devoted his life to the interpretation
of Jewish experience. All Jews are in his debt, which can best
be discharged by reading the books into which he poured his
expansive intellectual and spiritual being.