Page 58 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 4

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
46
In his informative volume,
The Small Sanctuary
,
Judaism in
the Prayerbook
, the Rev. Dr. Solomon B. Freehof, president of the
Central Conference of American Rabbis, directs attention to this
democratizing
tradition of reading publicly from Scripture as
“ totally unprecedented in the history of religion.” From this prac-
tice there flowed naturally the inaugural of the first system of
popular education in the annals of civilization. Analyzing the
nature and function of worship as a creative Jewish experience,
the author indicates how basic Jewish tenets and ideals are re-
fleeted in the essence and form of the prayers.
Brief descriptions of Jewish ceremonial practices in the home
and synagogue are presented in Dr. Ben M. Edidin’s
Jewish Cus-
toms and Ceremonies.
A thorough and authoritative treatment of
the historical significance and ceremonial observance of the major
and minor holidays and fast days, is to be found in Hayyim
Schauss’
The Jewish Festivals.
CONCEPTS OF JUDAISM
The conception and practice of Judaism from the Orthodox
point of view are interpreted in five volumes of essays entitled,
The Jewish Library
and edited by the Rev. Dr. Leo Jung. The
leader of the Reconstructionist philosophy, Rev. Dr. Mordecai
M. Kaplan, sets forth his approach to the contemporary Jewish
scene in a compact volume,
Judaism in Transition.
We are trans-
planted to the medieval Jewish scene in Israel Abraham’s
Jewish
Life in the Medieval Ages
and Jacob R. Marcus’s
The Jews in the
Medieval World.
In them the reader will find delightfully written
and well documented descriptions of the experiences of the Jews
in medieval times — the joys and sorrows of their inner life, the
indignities and persecutions to which they were exposed in their
hostile environment of intolerance, ignorance and bigotry.
The role assumed by Jews in the genesis as well as the economic,
social and political development of our country, forms the central
theme of the following two volumes: Lee M. Friedman’s
Jewish
Pioneers and Patriots
and Anita L. Lebeson’s
Jewish Pioneers in
America.
The challenges which the American Jew must face in
modern times, the environmental factors which mould his outlook
and practice, are evaluated in the books of essays,
The American
Jew
,
A Composite Picture
, edited by Dr. Oscar I. Janowsky,
The
Making of the Modern Jew
by Rabbi Milton Steinberg and
Anti-
semitism Historically and Critically Examined
by Hugo Valentin.
Thorough scholarship and sympathetic understanding of Rab-
binic Judaism are reflected in George Foote Moore’s authoritative