Page 196 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 45

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C y r u s
G o r d o n .
80th birthday. Born in Philadelphia, Pa., June 29,
1908. A highly acclaimed Semitic philologist, who taught at Bran-
deis University for many years, he has made important contribu­
tions to the study o f Ugaritic, a language related to Hebrew. By
developing textbooks in this language and publishing texts and
translations o f this literature he has helped shed light on biblical civ­
ilization. In many o f his writings he has stressed the interre­
lationship between biblical and others parts o f the eastern Medi­
terranean civilizations (
Before the Bible; the Common Background of
Greek and Hebrew Civilizations,
1962, 1973;
Homer and the Bible,
In recent years he has also taken an interest in the newly discovered
Ebla Tablets, which like the Ugaritic texts are written in a language
related to Hebrew.
H a y y im b e n B e z a l e l .
400th anniversary o f death. Born in Posen,
around 1520, died in Friedberg, Germany, June 1, 1588. A fellow
student o f Moses Isserles, he was opposed to the codification ofJew­
ish law, undertaken by Joseph Caro and Isserles, since it would
undermine study o f the Talmud and would also blur the various
local customs or
H e
also wrote books on Jewish law and
ethics. The strictures against Caro and Isserles were suppressed in
some o f the later editions.
M i c h a e l H e i l p r i n .
100th anniversary o f death. Born in Piotrkow,
Poland, in 1823, died in Summit, New Jersey, May 10, 1888. He
came to the United States in 1856 and was active in Jewish educa­
tional work. He was the author of a book on biblical studies in Ger­
man and in English wrote
The Historical Poetry of the Ancient Hebrews
(1879-80). He also wrote for general encyclopedias and journals.
J o s e p h
H e l l e r .
100th anniversary o f birth. Born in Ponivezh,
Lithuania, May 16, 1888, died in London in 1957. After a receiving
philosophical education in Germany he contributed articles to the
Encyclopaedia Judaica,
particularly on Zionist and philo­
sophical topics. In 1938 he moved to England, where he was active in
Zionist educational work. In 1949,
The Zionist Idea
was published. In
Hebrew he wrote about Ahad Ha-Am and translated some Greek
philosophical works into Hebrew.
C h a im H e r z o g .
70th birthday. Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Sep­
tember 17, 1918. His father was rabbi in his hometown, eventually
becoming chief rabbi of Israel. After studies in England, he joined
his father in Palestine during the 1930’s. A British intelligence offi­
cer during WW II, he made a career in the Israeli army, holding
many high positions. A highly articulate speaker, he became very
popular for his broadcasts during the Six-Day War. For a number of
years he served as Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations and
was elected president of Israel in 1983. His writings have been