Page 36 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 4

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
24
2000-1700 B.C.E. The chronology of events recorded in Scrip-
tures is a fascinating, though tedious and rather neglected, field
of study. The first part of Dr. Max Vogelstein’s
Biblical chronology
(Cincinnati, 1944), reproduced from typewritten copy, is a worth-
while contribution to the subject. I t deals with the chronology
of Hezekiah and his successors.
No institution the religious observance of which rests upon
Scriptural authority is better known than the Sabbath. To the
voluminous literature in all languages concerned with its rise
and role in Jewish life there was added a fine compilation of essays,
stories, poems, anecdotes and songs all dealing with
Sabbath: The
day of delight
, compiled and edited by Abraham E. Millgram
(Philadelphia, The Jewish Publication Society, 1944). I t is an
appropriate companion volume to
Hanukkah
,
the feast of light
,
with which the Jewish Publication Society of America inaugurated
its attractive and useful series on Jewish holidays. Useful sug-
gestions for activity programs for American Jewish religious
schools built around the Sabbath, and other significant days in
the Jewish calendar, are offered by Deborah Pessin and Temima
Gezari in
The Jewish kindergarten
, a manual for teachers (Cincin-
nati, Union of American Hebrew Congregations, 1944).
Jewish mysticism is best expressed in the literature of the
Cabala. I t is a subject to which, for some centuries, multitudes
of students — Jewish and Christian — have been drawn. The
first attempt at an adequate and balanced study of early Christian
interest in the subject is contained in
The Christian interpretation
of the Cabala in the renaissance
, by Joseph L. Blau (New York,
Columbia University Press, 1944). A collection of great writings
that are part of the rich cultural heritage of the Jewish people
from the Bible to the present time, in which are reflected ideas
and feelings which sustained them for many centuries, is made
available in
The wisdom of Israel
edited by Lewis Browne (New
York, Random, 1945). The selections which make up this useful
anthology are provided with appropriate introductory notes. To
stimulate a greater interest in matters Jewish on the part of the
American Jew who is concerned with the effort to harmonize Jew-
ish traditions with American experience a Lay Readers’ Com-
mittee, headed by Mrs. Lucy Kaufmann Broido, compiled a well
annotated bibliography, entitled
A layman s guide to Jewish reading
(New York, Jewish Education Committee, 1945).
The Sabbath
prayer book
(New York, the Jewish Reconstruction Foundation,
Inc., 1945) represents another American attempt to subject the
traditional Jewish liturgy to theological and textual revision and
abridgement. Its publication stirred considerable heated discus-
sion. I t was published almost simultaneously with the appearance