Page 10 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 40

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
Dr. H .L . G insberg as editor, in association with Dr. Orlinsky. For
the third section, The Writings, issued in 1982, a special comm ittee
was comm issioned, consisting o f Drs. Moshe G reenberg , Jo n a s C.
Greenfield and N ahum M. Sarna.
T h e new JP S translation prov ided the English text fo r the
UAHC edition o f The Torah, which incorporates the Hebrew
original and includes also the H aftarot. Th is impressive edition o f
close to 1800 p ag e s has been hailed as the “ first liberal comm en ­
tary on the T o rah in more than 100 years o f American Re form
Ju d a ism .” Yet, while o ffer in g a modern app roach to the text and
taking into account recent biblical scholarsh ip, it exhibits a deep
respect for the tradition.
T h e edition is largely the work o f Dr. W. Gunther Plaut, who is
responsible for the bulk o f the commentary, except for Leviticus
which was completed by the late Dr. B e rn ard J . Bam berger. Both
men also contributed general introductions. T h e em phasis which
has been p laced on the latest biblical scholarship is exem p lified by
Dr. William W. H a llo ’s essays on Ancient N ear Eastern L itera tu re
in which he has app lied the new find ings to the five books o f the
T o rah .
Both biblical projects which have seen completion this year can
be viewed as capstones o f American Jew ish biblical scholarship
and augu r well for fu tu re study o f and research on the Book o f
Books.
IV
Tu rn in g to the contents o f this year ’s anniversary Annual, we
can point to a collection o f articles and studies which cover a wide
range o f literary subjects and personalities. Th e open ing article,
“T h e Midrashic En terp rise ,” by Louis M. Barth , goes beyond a
mere summary o f the contributions to this field o f literature and
points to the areas which requ ire fur th er treatment and study.
T h e useful bibliography which is app en ded o ffers a valuable
gu ide to the subject. Mervin Butovsky ’s “ Canadian Jew ish Writ­
e r s” evaluates the works o f the lead ing literary figure s in C an ada
in the light o f their search for identity within the la rge r scene.
A fascinating aspect o f the new writing in Israel is de lineated in
Rochelle Fu rstenberg ’s “ Im ages o f Woman in Israeli L ite ra tu re ,”
which o ffers a striking contrast to the portrayals o f women ch ar­
acters in American Jew ish fiction. T h e dramatic story o f under-