Page 19 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 5 (1946-1947)

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7
BLOCH ---- THE YEARNS BOOKSHELF
by Raphael Ben Zion (Los Angeles, Jacob Cahn, 1945). The rising
interest in the study of Talmud lore is in some measure reflected
also in the output of English versions of Talmudic texts and
studies. Such works as
The talmudic anthology
; tales and teachings
of the .Rabbis, edited by Louis Israel Newman and Samuel Spitz
(New York, Behrman, 1945), will go a long way to increase tha t
interest. The book represents a sumptuous collection of parables,
folk-tales, aphorisms, epigrams, sayings, anecdotes, proverbs and
exegetical interpretations, all characteristically Talmudic. To
stimulate an interest in the ethical maxims of the rabbinical sages,
The Jewish Ins titute of Religion published the third edition of
Pirke Aboth\
the tractate “ fathers” from The Mishnah, commonly
called “Sayings of the fathers” ; edited with introduction, trans-
lation, and commentary by R. Travers Herford (New York, 1945).
A like reason is responsible for the production of an American
edition of the
Sayings of the fathers
, or Pirke Aboth; the Hebrew
text with a new English translation and a commentary by the
Very Rev. Dr. Joseph H. Hertz, late Chief Rabbi of the British
Empire, with a new collection of favorite moral sayings of the
Jewish fathers (New York, Behrman, 1945). A distinguished
work, though not published in this country, merits mention in
this survey, because American generosity made possible its ap-
pearance. I t is entitled:
The Mishnah Berakoth Peah Demai;
text with commentary of R. Obadiah of Bertinoro, translation,
introduction and new commentary in English by Jacob David
Herzog, (Jerusalem, Harry Fishel Institute for Research in Tal-
mud, 1945). I t is a critical edition of the first three tractates of
the Mishnah and represents the product of painstaking labor of
many years by a number of competent Talmudists. “ I t is one of
the foremost contributions to Jewish learning.”
BIBLICAL LITERATURE
The year has not produced as many works on the Bible as one
might have expected considering the growing intrest in the study
of Sacred Scriptures and the rise in religious endeavors in Jewish
communal life. Except for a modest book by Dr. Robert Gordis
and another by Dr. Julian Morgenstern, no work on a biblical
theme of any importance was offered by any Jewish writer.
Judging by the scarcity in the output of Jewish publications in
English dealing with biblical subjects, one would think tha t the
Bible is entirely neglected by the Jews. This is not the case.
American works in the field of biblical studies in Hebrew and
Yiddish have been on the increase. I t is the Jew in America who