Page 82 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 32

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THEODORE WIENER
Jewish Literary Anniversaries
1975
T
h is
w i l l
b e
t h e
four-hundredth anniversary of the death of
Joseph Caro, the most important codifier of Jewish law in the
late Middle Ages and early modern period. More recent luminar­
ies in this field, such as Joseph Saul Nathanson and the contem­
porary Moses Feinstein, have continued to build on the edifice
he erected. Others in a more modern spirit, yet reverent to the
work of the past, are Zacharias Frankel and Max Kadushin.
Judah Leib Maimon combined devotion to tradition with the
practical work of restoring Israel to its ancient homeland, a
pious wish to the sage of long ago.
Different interpretations of Judaism are represented by the
Hebrew Union College and its founder, Isaac M. Wise, as well
as by Milton Steinberg and Max Wiener.
Scholars to illumine our past are Benzion Lurie, Nahman
Avigad, Louis Finkelstein, Salo W. Baron, Seligman Isaac Baer,
Zev Vilnay, and Shlomo Dov Fritz Goitein. The various fields of
study they pursued give an indication of the increasing speciali­
zation of Jewish learning as more and more aspects of our past
are scrutinized and eventually synthesized in the monumental
history of Salo W. Baron.
Among creative writers Saul Tchernichowsky stands out as
a
great Hebrew poet in this century who widened the horizon of
his readers. Reuben Avinoam brought his American heritage to
bear on Hebrew poetry in his own original work and in the trans­
lations he prepared.
A different sort of creativity was manifested by Moses Hess
when he wedded the ancient Messianic hope of the Jewish
people to modern European nationalism and thus helped lay
the ideological foundation for the Zionist movement.
The continuity of our tradition as well as the by-ways along
which men travel find expression again in the names we recall
this year.
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