Page 57 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 3

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essay by Leeser himself, the authors were not American and in
several instances not even Jews.
The projected series of publications was given the general title
The Jewish Miscellany
, and each item was numbered as follows:
I.
Caleb Asher
, the author’s name not given, had appeared in England some
years previously. It was offered (5605) as a sample of the work the Society aimed
to do. It is a simple story, told in typical early Victorian style, of a Jewish boy
whom poverty almost drives to conversion, since only thus could he find employ-
ment. He is deterred by the horrible remorse o f another young man who had
similarly gone astray. All turns out well in the end.
II.
Hebrew Tales
(selected and translated from the writings of the Ancient
Hebrew Sages), by Hyman Hurwitz, had likewise already appeared in England.
For American publication (5605) the Committee reduced the work in size. It
consists of stories culled from Talmud and Midrash.
III.
The Prophet's Daughter
, by Mrs. Hartog (late Miss Marion Moss), was
also a republished (5606) English story. The heroine is Mahla, daughter of the
Prophet Micaiah who braved the wrath of King Ahab. The story itself is rather
thin by modern standards, with the usual villain who kidnaps and hero who saves
and marries.
IV.
Memoir of Moses Mendelssohn
, by M. Samuel, was republished (5606)
from an earlier English edition. It is a biography of Mendelssohn, with the Lavater
correspondence as the core.
V.
Mesillat Yisrael: The Path of Israel
(or an Abridgement of the Holy Scrip-
tures for the Use of the Youth o f our Nation), by J. Ennery, had originally been
published in French under the title
Le Sentier d Israel.
It was translated into
English by A. I. H. Bernal, Hebrew teacher of congregation Mikveh Israel of
Philadelphia. The work compares favorably with the many efforts which have
been made since to retell the Bible in simpler language. Part I covers the Penta-
teuch (5607). [See nos. XI and XIV]
VI. Contained three items (5607):
Days of Old,
by Charlotte Elizabeth (Mrs.
Tonna), retells the stories of the Egyptian enslavement, the Exodus and the Wand-
ering by weaving them, not too skilfully, around imaginary characters. The
story had appeared serially in a Jewish periodical in London.
Rachel Levy, or the
Young Orphan: A Tale
, author not named, was also a reprint from an English
edition. It is the story of a poor girl who insists on observing the Sabbath despite
all hardships.
The Jews and their Religion
, by Isaac Leeser, seems to have been
especially written to fill in the required number of pages. It mixes sacred history,
apologetics, a statement of the fundamentals of Judaism with a resum6, in four
pages, of the history of the Jews in the United States.
VII.
The Perez Family: A Tale
, by Grace Aguilar (5607), is a story about inter-
marriage. The Publications Committee, in a preface, agrees with the author that
intermarriage cannot bring happiness, but is not so sure that a sinner of this sort
should be treated leniently.
VIII. IX, X.
Patriarchal Times
, by Miss Adelaide O’Keeffe, contains biog-
raphies of Bible heroes told, with the aid o f imaginary characters, in romantic
style. It, too, had already been published in England. Part 1 (5607) deals with
Abraham, Ishmael and Isaac; Parts 2 and 3 apparently issued as one (5608),
deal with Jacob, Esau, Joseph and Benjamin.
XI .
Mesillat Yisrael: The Path of Israel
, by J. Ennery (5608), covers Joshua.
Judges (with Ruth following) and Samuel. [See above no. V],
XII , XIII.
Shemang Yisrael: The Spirit of Judaism
, by Grace Aguilar (5609),
is a fervently written apologetic work in which the presumed success of Christian
proselytization is blamed upon Jewish adherence to obscure traditions and bur­
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