Page 91 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 4

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must here suffice. I t is a strange fact that our people — the People
of the Book — has failed in the past to arrange for a popular
edition of the Bible, such as has been produced by the Bible
Society. I t is not less shocking that the Bible has never been
printed hitherto in Palestine, the Land of the Bible. I t seems
clear that no Jewish institution is better fitted to assume a task
of this magnitude than is the Hebrew University, the highest
Hebrew authority in science and Torah. The Hebrew University
Press has undertaken the task of publishing the text of the Bible
in a form which will be in close conformity to Jewish tradition,
yet consistent with the results of fundamental textual research.
A new letter was especially devised in order to meet this need.
The well known Bible scholar, Prof. Umberto Cassuto, has been
appointed scientific editor of this publication. I t is to be hoped
that the Hebrew University Press will succeed in producing a
Hebrew Bible in a Hebrew vehicle which will find its way into
every Jewish home and school the world over.
h e
fru i t s
of the activities of the Hebrew University Press are
still few. The insecure economic condition of the Hebrew Univer-
sity has left its mark on its Press. The vicissitudes of war — the
shortage of paper and of printing materials, the increased cost of
printing — placed many obstacles in the way of the realization
of many plans. But the recognition that the Hebrew Univeristy
Press is not merely a secondary aspect of the University’s life,
but one of its most important departments and an essential instru-
ment for the realization of its fundamental tasks in research and
teaching, grows from day to day and has found expression in the
University’s post-war ten-year Development Plan.
Plans for the improvement of the Hebrew University Press and
for the expansion of its activity on a more systematic basis than
hitherto are being prepared. The publication of several series of
books is contemplated. The schedule provides for the following:
fundamental textbooks in different fields of science, especially
Natural Science; classical texts in Judaica (on the model of the
Philosophical Classics); translations of popular scientific works
(on the model of the Oxford Home Library), and others.
If the Hebrew University Press will succeed in the near future
in bringing these plans, or even only some of them, to early reali-
zation, it will have made a most significant contribution to the
reconstruction and progress of Jewish science in Palestine and