Page 55 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 4

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WA XMA N ---- SOME OUTSTANDING JEWISH BOOKS
43
which deals with Spinoza’s
Ethics
not as it is expressed in the
written form, but as it was conceived, formulated, and moulded
in Spinoza’s mind before it was put into writing, or as he says,
not the Ethics
More Geometrico
but
More Scholastico Rabbinicoque.
In other words, Wolfson reconstructs the
Ethics
and correlates
its thoughts to the extensive philosophical literatures of Spinoza’s
time in Hebrew, Arabic, and Latin, notes every criticism of their
various theories, his deviations as well as his original contribution.
The thought of Spinoza appears then in a new light. That its
relation to Jewish thought as its source as well as its original
contribution are brought out in a striking manner goes without
saying.
Of the other numerous works which deserve the title out-
standing we will mention only Prof. Baron’s
Social and Religious
History of the Jews
and his
Jewish Community
and Prof. Israel
Efros’ volume of Hebrew poems,
Anahnu ha-Dor
, in which the
suffering of our days finds the strongest expression. Whether
the same title should be bestowed upon the writer’s own four
volume work
A History of Jewish Literature
and whether it belongs
to this category or not must be left to the judgment of others.