Page 106 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 33

Basic HTML Version

96
JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
which one would tu rn by instinct. One might be guided there
by going through the many index entries included in the “Micro­
pedia” article “United States.” One of them (“importance of
Jewish community”) gives the place where the information can
be found. I t is not referred to among the index entries in “Micro­
pedia” under “Jew.” “Zionism” is the subject of a half-page ar ti­
cle in “Micropedia” (x, 886). There are no cross references bu t
the Basle Program is quoted accurately (a point the reason for
whose mentioning will appear later).
This is not to complain tha t the editors of the
Encyclopedia
have been “unfair to the Jews,” i t is a question of the worka­
bility of the new design. In fact, Judaica is very well treated.
One notes in “Macropedia” authoritative articles on “Jewish
Philosophy” and “Jewish Religious Year.” T hen there is a
nineteen page article on “Judaism, History,” divided by periods
between five well-known authorities. Our friends the Pharisees
after an appearance which goes back to the first edition in 1771
are removed to the gallery; they have a “Micropedia” entry
supplemented by fourteen cross references. An authoritative arti­
cle on “Talmud and Midrash” includes a facsimile of a sample
page of the Babylonian Talmud.
T o those who live in the world of Jewish affairs and to whom
the Holocaust is one of the terrible decisive events of the century,
it will be surprising tha t it does not become the subject of an
article. The brief article on “Anti-Semitism” concludes: “T he
storm of anti Semitic violence let loose by the triumph of Adolph
H itler in 1933 not only reached a terrifying degree in Germany
but inspired a world wide anti-Jewish movement unequalled in
modern history.” As far as it goes the statement is accurate. One
must deplore the implication tha t the Holocaust has made little
impact on some writers of world history and tha t no factual de­
tail was felt to be called for.
The State of Israel features in “Micropedia” (vi, 460) and in
“Macropedia” (ix, 1059). I t is relevant here to mention tha t
“Micropedia” (vi, 352) observes: “Citizens of the State of Israel
are called Israelis, a term conveying no ethnological or religious
connotations.” Such a statement may be correct in narrowly legal
terms, bu t it does not correspond to popular conceptions.
Pre-1948 developments in what became the State of Israel are
dealt with in an article entitled “Syria and Palestine, History