Page 64 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 37

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56
JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
bors, and Jewish participation in the war have app ea red fo r some
time in both the
Biro-Bidzhaner Shtem
and
in Sovetish Heimland.
His
novel,
Nahumke Esrog (S.H.,
February and March 1978) contains
echoes o f Sholem Aleichem and o f the Soviet Yiddish writer,
Isaac Kipnis. It deals with the period o f the Civil War and the
pogroms. H ere is a
shtetl
in upheaval: a rabbi “recites the old
formu la” at a wedding; the Jews assemble in the synagogue to
pray for the recall o f a military edict tha t th rea ten s to destroy the
en tire popu la tion if a guilty person is not p roduced . In this novel
o f the recen t past, written with a very con temporary po in t o f view,
the au tho r writes very disparagingly o f em igration.
T he most impressive novel, tha t o f Nathan Zabare, is generally
known by its Hebrew name,
Galgal hakhoyzer
(The wheel is tu rn ­
ing). Its separate parts are called
S’iz nokh greys der tog
(The day is
still young);
Unter der heiser zunfun Provans
(Unde r the ho t sun o f
Provence); and
In mitn heIn batog
(In the m iddle o f a clear day)
(S.H.,
1972, 1973, 1975, 1977). Written in the trad itional realistic
style o f ou r major realistic writers, Zabare’s novel is rich in the
Hebraic element o f Yiddish. He describes Jewish life in Provence,
sou thern France, in the twelfth and th irteen th centuries. Among
the characters he has included are a number o f well-known histor­
ical figures.
Lavish descriptions are given o f business conditions and the
econom ics d u r in g th e C ru sades . Ph ilosoph ica l d iscussions
abound dealing with the Kabbalah and religion. Magnificient
accounts are presen ted o f en tertainmen ts fea tu ring Jewish bars,
b a r ten d e rs , and troub ado rs . T h e novel cons titu tes a g rea t
achievement for the late au tho r and fo r Yiddish literature. It
serves as an
apologia proJudaeis
in stressing the importance o f the
Jewish community in the medieval world and the pressures which
shaped its life and occupations.7
T he ed itor o f
Sovetish Heimland
, Aaron Vergelis, has published
a novel,
Di tsait
(Time) in which he describes Jewish nationalists
who are opposed to integration with non-Jews and who are guilty
o f sabotage and o f collaboration with the Nazis.8Vergelis has also
published what he calls a “dramatic novelette,” “Eichmann in
Je rusa lem ”
(S.H.,
no 4, 1978), in which he describes a Purim
7
Galgal hakhoyzer
was probably edited, with some parts deleted. It has not yet been
published in book form. A complete manuscript of the novel is in Israel and it is
hoped that it will soon be made available.
8
Di tsait
was published in
S.H.
nos. 4, 8, 12, 1974, and no. 12, 1975.