Page 136 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 38

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which endows even the briefest o f his episodes with a startling air
o f authenticity.
B renne r’s services to Hebrew literature , however, are no t con­
fined to his creative writings. His literary fame is based with equal
firmness on his pene tra ting criticism. Widely read in many litera­
tures, B renne r was by far the most Eu ropean o f con tempo rary
Hebrew writers, and he applied the strictest criteria to literary
appreciation. His efforts in fostering Hebrew writing were p ro ­
digious, and many a young Hebrew w riter o f his day, inc luding
Agnon, benefited from his sympathy and encouragement.
His impact on the growing labor movement, which was to shape
the destiny o f the new
was striking. His streng th o f p e r ­
sonality and absolute integrity impressed themselves upon the
hearts and minds o f a generation o f idealistic youth. He p reached
a simple but powerful message — responsibility for everyone and
at all times; and above all, compassion. On the centenary o f his
birth, it is a message worthy o f consideration.