Page 9 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 40

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KABAKOFF / INTRODUCTION
3
led to sympathize with the p rophets whose “exaggera tion s are the
fu tu re ” (p. 41).
Bo rn in 1905, Canetti is still at the height o f his literary creativ­
ity. Among the works that he is said to be ready ing fo r publication
are a sequel to Crowds and Power, two more novels and several
plays. T h e second volume o f his memoirs, The Torch in My E a r , is
scheduled to a p p e a r in English translation in 1982 and will deal,
am ong other matters, with Sephard ic life in Central Eu ro pe and
England . H is works will continue to merit attention fo r their
profundity and their contribution to ou r understand ing o f the
spirit o f our age.
I l l
In one o f his aphoristic statements abou t the Bible, Canetti
wrote: “T h e O ld Te stam en t, wherever I open to, overwhelms
me .” One o f the great challenges in communicating the ideals and
values o f the Tanakh has been the need to translate and expound
its teachings anew in every generation .
Th e JW B Jew ish Book Council, at its recent National Jew ish
Book Awards ceremony chaired by Dr. Robert Gordis, saw fit to
presen t special citations to two publish ing agencies fo r their role
in promoting the knowledge o f the Bible. T h e Jew ish Publication
Society was cited fo r the completion o f its three-volume tran sla­
tion o f the Bible with the publication o f Kethubim (The Writings).
T h e Union o f American Hebrew Congregation s was honored for
its issuing o f The Torah, a Modern Commentary.
Both projects have been many years in the making and involved
a considerable expend iture o f time and funds . T h e JP S had
published the first version o f its Bible translation in 1917, und e r
the ch ief ed itorsh ip o f Dr. Max L. Margolis. Bu t as ind icated by
Dr. Harry M. Orlinsky, ed itor o f the volume Notes on the New
Translation o f the Torah (1969), this version was “essentially but a
modest revision o f the [British] Revised Version o f 1885.” It was
long felt that a new translation was requ ired which would take
into account the changes in the English language and the find ings
o f biblical archeology and linguistics. Accordingly, a comm ittee o f
scholars, including representatives o f the three branches o f J u d a ­
ism, was established in 1955. T h e translation o f The Torah was
published in 1962 (revised ed ., 1967), with Dr. Orlinsky as editor.
It was followed by the second section, The Prophets, in 1978, with