Page 194 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 45

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
name to a family o f Hebrew printers, even after they had left that
community.
J o s e p h b e n
Ephraim Caro. 500th anniversary o f birth. Born in Toledo,
Spain, in 1488, died in Safed, Palestine, in 1575. After the expulsion
o f the Jews from Spain in 1492, his family lived for a while in Lisbon,
later in Constantinople, but in 1536 Caro settled in Safed. He is best
known for the
Shulhan Arukh,
the code o f Jewish law that in effect
superseded all other works o f this character in popularity. Actually,
it was meant to be only an abridgment of his commentary on the
Arba’ah Turim
o f Jacob ben Asher, but it has become a classic. Only
small parts have been translated into English (
The Kosher Code of the
Orthodox Jew,
1940, 1969;
The Laws of Chanukah from the Shulchan
Arukh,
1977; and
The TraditionalJewish Law of Sale,
1983). Although
a rational interpreter of the Jewish law, Caro also was a mystic,
believing that the personified Mishnah was guiding him in his work.
S a m u e l S . C o h o n .
100th anniversary o f birth. Born in Minsk, Russia,
March 22, 1888, died in Los Angeles in 1959. For some years a
Reform rabbi in Chicago, he served for more than 30 years as pro­
fessor of Jewish theology at the Hebrew Union College in Cincin­
nati. He wrote both popular and scholarly works.
What We Jews
Believe
(1931, reprinted together with
A Guide to Jewish Practice
in
1971) was an example o f the former;
Jewish Theology
(1971) repre­
sented the latter type of presentation. In 1927 an exchange lecture­
ship with the Christian scholar Harris Rail resulted in
Christianity and
Judaism Compare Notes,
which was quite unusual for that time. He was
largely responsible for the
Union Haggadah
(1923), which for over
half a century served the Reform community until it was replaced by
a new edition in 1975. He likewise was influential in drafting the
so-called Columbus Platform in 1937, replacing the Pittsburgh Plat­
form of 1885, whose radicalism and uncompromising anti-Zionism
had alienated people from Reform Judaism.
A r s e n e D a r m e s t e r .
100th anniversary o f death. Born in Chateau-Salin,
France, in 1846, died in Paris, November 16, 1888.
A
prominent
French lexicographer, he taught both at the university and at the
rabbinical seminary in Paris. He was a founder o f the
Revue des etudes
juives,
the French Jewish scholarly periodical, which still appears
today. He also wrote an introduction to the Talmud, which was also
translated into English, and studied the old French words in Rashi’s
commentaries to the Bible and the Talmud.
C e l i a D r o p k i n .
100th anniversary o f birth. Born in Bobruisk, Russia,
December 18, 1888, died in New York in 1956. In this country since
1912, she wrote poems in Russian and Yiddish, but her work was
only published in Yiddish. Her poetry is characterized by a strong
sense of emotion. She also was active as an artist.