Page 97 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 37

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Scholem’s definitive work on the 17th century false-messiah,
batai Sevi: The Mystical Messiah
(1973). First published in Hebrew
in 1957, this milestone in m ode rn Jewish scholarship has now
been made available to the English reader in R.J.W. Werblowsky’s
fluen t and inform ed translation.
During the 1970s translations o f collections o f Scholem’s essays,
articles and studies o f specific topics in Jewish mysticism were
published, e.g.,
The Messianic Idea inJudaism
(1973). A derivative
volume o f
the EncyclopediaJudaica's
articles on mysticism, mostly
au tho red by Scholem, is
(1974). More recently a diverse
collection o f Scholem’s autobiographical, historical and theologi­
cal essays,
On Jews and Judaism
(1976), appeared .
T he expansion o f courses in Jewish mysticism at American
universities stimulated publishers to issue anthologies o f primary
texts in English translation o f selections from the classical works
o f Jewish mysticism. Notable are Louis Jacobs’
Jewish Mystical
(1977), David B lumenthal’s
(1978), and Ben Zion Bokser’s
The Jewish Mystical Tradition
T he launching o f Paulist Press’ extensive series,
Classics of West­
ern Spirituality,
has provided an opportun ity for additional an ­
thologies o f Jewish mystical works to be translated into English.
T hough the series is comparatively new, th ree volumes on Jewish
mysticism have already been issued:
Your Word is Fire: The Hasidic
Masters on Contemplative Prayer
(1977), edited and translated, by
A rthu r G reen and Barry Holtz;
Nahman of Bratslav: The Tales
(1978), translated by A rnold Band;
Abraham Isaac Kook
edited and translated by Ben Zion Bokser. In addition, mention
should be made of Dan Ben-Amos’and Je rom e R. Mintz’s transla­
tion o f
Shivhei Ha-Besht
u n d e r the English title,
In Praise of The
Baal Shem Tov
(1970), and o f Arye Kaplan’s translation o f Moses
Chaim Luzzato’s
The Way of God
As my previous contribution to the
Jewish Book Annual
was a tribu te to the late Abraham Joshua Heschel, it might be
p rope r to link the presen t to the past by concluding this survey
with an acknowledgment o f Heschel’s last work, posthumously
A Passion For Truth
(1973). This po r tra it o f Rabbi
Mendel o f Kotsk is an abridged version o f Heschel’s two-volume