Page 38 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 3

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A l ha-Lehem Levado
by Hayyim Abramowitz (Kadimah, New
York, 208 pages) is a pleasant surprise. The author is a young man
who came to America in his childhood. He was graduated from
the Teachers’ Institute of the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological
Seminary in New York and was one of the founders and active
members of
Histadrut Hanoar Haivri.
He previously published
a number of short stories in the youth publication
Niv
and also
in
Hadoar.
He has now presented us with a complete novel (only
a few Hebrew novels have thus far appeared in America), which
depicts in realistic and vivid colors the influence of the depression
of 1928 on the life of the Jewish workers in New York. The novel
is interesting reading material and, notwithstanding its minor
stylistic faults, attests that we can expect much from the author,
who is an American product.
The well-known critic and essayist, Abraham Epstein, has
recently favored us with his new work,
Mikarov u Merahok,
(Ohel,
New York, 262 pages). The book contains essays on the Song
of Songs and on Ruth, as well as articles on some of our foremost
writers in Palestine. But the main contribution of the book lies
in the fact that it is mostly given over to American Hebrew
authors: storywriters, poets and essayists. Epstein has demon-
strated here too his fine qualities. He interprets the characteristic
qualities of each author with understanding. His poetic style,
clear presentation and direct approach to the subject are instruc-
tive and edifying.
I cannot, of course, pass judgment on Daniel Persky’s
Zmanim
Tovim,
which contains feuilletons and short pieces on the various
festivals.
The field of Hebrew textbook literature is a comparatively rich
one. A number of books appear each year with the aim of teaching
our language, Bible and history to beginners. A recent textbook
is worthy of especial attention:
Hasijrut Vehahayyim
by H. M.
Rothblatt, part two (Hebrew Publishing Co., New York, 406
pages). This is a reader for the secondary schools. The work has
two innovations: almost half of the material deals with the general
and Jewish scene in America (Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address,
New York, the B’nai B’rith, Emma Lazarus, Felix Warburg,
etc.), in articles, stories and poems, and this is the first time that
most of the Hebrew writers in America are represented in any
volume. The attempt of
Hasijrut Vehahayyim
to portray America
has succeeded. I t demonstrates that we already have enough
talents to furnish the material for readers, anthologies and the
like.
In America there have appeared from time to time important
Hebrew collective volumes. But no volume of this kind has made
such a powerful impression as the
Ahisejer
(Louis LaMed Foun-
dation for the Advancement of Hebrew and Yiddish Literature,
edited by Shmuel Niger and Menahem Ribalow, New York, 385
pages). The volume is devoted to studies in the literature and
languages of the Jews, to short stories and especially to transla­
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