Page 12 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 31

Basic HTML Version

JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
4
the Leo Baeck Institute of New York” and “The History of the
Montreal Jewish Public Library and Archives.”
Additional fare on our cultural menu includes a number of
perceptive papers: “Self Revelations: Some Autobiographies of
American Jewish Artists” by Alfred Werner; “Jewish Encyclo-
pedias of the Last Fifteen Years” by Professor Herbert C. Zafren;
“The Yiddish Press and Yiddish Literature” by Moshe Stark-
man; “University Presses in Israel” (Hebrew) by G. Kressel;
“About Translation from the Yiddish” by Joseph Leftwich of
London, which discusses the mission of the translator, and “The
Subtle Artistry of Giorgio Bassani’ by Harold U. Ribalow.
Humbly, we offer volume 31 with the hope that it will become
a meaningful link in the long cultural chain whose beginning
extends through the centuries to the time when the Jewish Bible
became the religious primer and the spiritual guidebook of civil-
ized mankind. The efflorescence of the Jewish cultural genius can-
not be regarded as a fortuitous phenomenon. A people’s literature
is the autobiography of its aspirations, of its mentality; therefore,
the passionate dedication to cultural striving of the Jewish peo-
pie must be interpreted as a mission organically linked with its
destiny.
I l l
Sorrowfully we add several distinguished names to our necrol-
ogy roster as a graphic reminder of the poet’s monition: “Death
in the innermost chamber waits/ Of what avail if I bar the
gates?”
T he Jewish Book Council, and indeed world Jewry, have been
bereft of five stalwarts whose erudite scholarly, cultural and
spiritual contributions will outlive their earthly span: Canadian
poet Abraham Moses Klein, Zevi H. Scharfstein, Abraham Joshua
Heschel, Maurice Samuel, Hayyim Hazaz and Jacques Lip-
chitz. A memorial tribute is accorded elsewhere in this volume
to A. M. Klein, Hayyim Hazaz and Maurice Samuel. An added
dimension of poignancy resides in the fact that Maurice Samuel,
who authored some twenty-five books of which the last was his
lyrical
In Praise of Yiddish,
was at work, when he died, on a
manuscript that ends in mid-sentence.
The prophetic voice of Rabbi Abraham Heschel was heard