Page 159 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 40

Basic HTML Version

153
JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
This is the fate of being a writer, and it isjust as true for the bad as
for the good, which is unfortunate. This is all you will really get
out of it, and if it has to be, it is enough. Whenever you stray into
other jobs, whenever things load up on you, remember the pure
pleasure of this moment when a man walks away from his work­
table saying, There, I ’ve done it. It’s finished, I ’m being what I
intended to be.
“And the same goes for living as a Jew.
“All the embroideries, all the theories, are as nothing beside the
simple identification, the release that comes in sitting of an eve­
ning amongst a group of Jews, perhaps exchanging jokes about
the goyim.
“This is not always easy to remember.”
In our last talk, Levin said, “You
have
to believe in what you are
writing. The final judgment is not in your hands. But it’s been at
least gratifying to me that some of these books have lasted thirty
years and more and that they do maintain for quite a body of
people a literary status.”
Levin
had
literary status and more than that: A lifelong com­
mitment to his people.
He should be long remembered.