Page 118 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 41

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Zevi Scharfstein: 1884—1972
On the Centenary o f His Birth
o f Zevi Scharfstein’s eighty-fifth birthday in
1969, a group o f eight Hebrew scholars, educators, and poets
constituted itself a committee for the publication o f a Jubilee
Volume in his honor. Meticulously edited by Dr. Zevulun Ravid,
the Hebrew volume (1970) brough t toge ther papers on education
and Jewish scholarship, a num be r o f poems, and appreciations o f
Scharfstein’s personality and work. Among the con tribu tors were
such scholars as Professors William Zeev Chomsky, Gershon A.
Churg in , Israel Efros, Simon Greenberg , Ju d a h Pilch, Ephraim
Shmueli, Aryeh Tartakower. T he distinguished Hebrew poet
and novelist, Shin Shalom, wrote the in troduc to ry word o f ded i­
cation. He called Scharfstein the Jewish State’s hono rary envoy,
“the envoy o f the h ea r t.” T he Israeli poet, novelist, and essayist,
Yaacov Y. Churgin , spoke o f him as the “Jew and man to whom
no th ing Jewish and no th ing human is fore ign .” For Scharfstein’s
was a humanism which necessarily developed ou t o f “true Jewish
rootedness.” His being was characterized by the word “harmony .”
These and many o the r accolades Scharfstein earned because o f
his qualities as a man and as a teacher and because o f his scholarly,
popu lar, and pedagogic writings, which up to 1970 swelled his
bibliography to 463 en tries1 and which may be estimated to have
risen to about 700 at the time o f his death . In recognition o f these
achievements the Jewish Theological Seminary o f America in
New York and the Spertus College o f Jewish Studies in Chicago
bestowed upon him honorary doctorates, and he was awarded the
Louis LaMed Prize in the U.S.
{orHayah Aviv ba-Arets,
the au tob i­
1 Akiva Ben-Ezra, “Ha-Bibliografiah shel Zevi Scharfstein” (Zevi Scharfstein’s
Bibliography) in Zevulun Ravid, ed.,
Sefer Scharfstein
(Scharfstein Jubilee
Volume) (Tel-Aviv, 1970), pp. 25-67.