Page 98 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 4

Basic HTML Version

JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
8 6
at the age of sixty-three, it was estimated that more than 150,000
participated in the funeral, with representatives from almost every
Jewish organization in Poland.
Universally lamented, nevertheless, Peretz may be said to have
been fortunate. For, dying during the Passover week, he was
spared the full horrors of World War I, and the still greater agony
which overtook his people in the war just ended. The Poland of
which Peretz sang and wrote is all but dead, the world he described
with his glowing genius — its scenes and colors, its poverty and
greatness and its peculiar complexity of types and characters —
is buried beneath the ruins of a civilization that is past. Perhaps
that world will never live again, certainly not as thousands knew
it. But in the works of Peretz there persists the world uprooted
by murderous hands and a deluge of blood. I t will continue to
live so long as eyes and hearts are left to appreciate the warmth
and beauty of the literary legacy left us by Isaac L. Peretz.