Page 35 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 3

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the Hebrew Publishing Company, which specializes in text books
and reference books. Moreover, many Hebrew books are published
at the expense of the authors themselves and are distributed by
them.
The destruction of European Jewry, as well as the migration of
many of its spiritual leaders to America and the general strength-
ening of national feeling, have been responsible for the tremendous
awakening in American Hebrew letters during the last five years.
Important books appear from time to time. The existing period-
icals have been put on a firm basis and expanded, and new maga-
zines have come into existence.
A noticeable rise is evident in the number of religious works
published. Books on homiletics,
halakhah
, responsa and the like
are quite popular, especially among rabbis, religious functionaries,
teachers and scholars, whose number is on the increase. But it is
especially gratifying to note that important Jewish literary treas-
ures are being reprinted in America in fine editions. Suffice it
to mention the reprinting of the Babylonian Talmud with the
various commentaries (according to the Romm edition, Vilna)
in twenty volumes. Other basic Jewish works, which no longer
reach us from abroad because of the war, are also appearing in
new editions. The list includes: the
Mishnah
,
Yalkut Shimoni
,
Mesillat Yesharim
(by Moses Hayyim Luzzatto),
Shitah Mekubetzet
on the Talmud,
Sefer Haflaah
,
Drush vHiddush
by Rabbi Akiba
Eiger; the classic Hasidic work,
Noam Elimelech\
the classic Kab-
balistic work,
Eser Sefirot
, by Rabbi Isaac Luria;
Hidushe ha-
Rashba;
a Dictionary of the Targumim, the Talmud Babli and
Yerushalmi and the Midrashic Literature by Marcus Jastrow;
Otzar ha-Sefarim
by ben Yaakov, etc. This leads us to conclude
that American Jewry is beginning to come into its own and to
provide for its own national cultural sustenance, availing itself
of the spiritual fruits of our people throughout the ages.
Progress is also evident in the field of secular literature. I t is my
purpose to record only the most important works which have
appeared during the last six months and have in some way
enriched our literary production.
As is well known, Hebrew literature in America excels in the
field of Jewish Science, since many of our greatest scholars live in
this country.
An important national cultural undertaking had been initiated
by Jacob Neumann, formerly instructor of Talmud at the Hebrew
Teachers College of Boston, who died in 1941. His aim was to
simplify the study of the Talmud for young and old. He was able
to translate into Hebrew the first three tractates of the Jerusalem
Talmud:
Berakot
,
Be ah
and
Megillah
, and one tractate from the
Babylonian Talmud,
Baba Metzia.
There has now been published
by the Hebrew Teachers College of Boston the tractate
Berakot
from the Jerusalem Talmud, containing the text with a literal
Hebrew translation and a short commentary. The book was
printed in New York in a large and attractive format (170 pages).
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