Page 131 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 33

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STEINBACH / SOL LIPTZIN
121
poet. Behind his writings stands the man, Sol Liptzin, who wrote
his first essays on Shelley fifty years ago and continues to be pro­
ductive at the age of seventy-five years. I was privileged to meet
him a quarter-century ago in the Jewish Book Council, where he
served with zeal and devotion. At all meetings the themes central
to his thinking were affirmed and reaffirmed—the indispensability
of an unfettered Jewish ethos and identity; an ineluctable empha­
sis on Jewish values; empathy with our brothers and sisters in
Israel; strengthening the spiritual skeins in the tapestry of the
Jewish future. There is an evocation of these themes in his series
of books, all radiating from a common center—consolidating the
forces for Jewish spiritual survival.
The man as I know Dr. Liptzin, a noble soul indeed, is mir­
rored in this reply to a question I propounded to him: “My teach­
ing has enabled me to influence and to be influenced by growing
minds. My research in world literature enabled me to associate
with the lovers of truth and beauty and to live in the realm of
ideas beyond space and time. My absorption in Jewishness en­
abled me to rise from the individual ‘I ’ to the greater ‘I’—my
people.” What a lofty avowal of faith in the future!
Sol Liptzin’s cultural gifts and intellectual attainments,
adorned by humility and integrity, have won for him a unique
place among the dedicated sons of American and Israeli Jewry.
On the occasion of his 75th birthday we salute him with grati­
tude and a prayer that his creative vigor may continue unabated
ad me’ah v ’esrim shanah.