Page 51 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 5 (1946-1947)

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first anthology, it will go far towards popularizing Hebrew litera-
ture and will profitably be used in Hebrew secondary schools.
The destruction of the centers of Jewish life has led to a renewed
interest in Jewish folklore in Palestine. There is evident among
Jewish scholars an effort to salvage everything possible from our
loss. A Hebrew Folklore Society has been established and has
adopted a wide program of activity. This Society is one of the
forces responsible for the renewal of the famed publication
, dealing with Jewish folklore and originally founded over thirty
years ago by Bialik, Druyanov and Ravnitzki.
to appear in Russia and was later transferred to Palestine. Alto-
gether six volumes of valuable material were issued. The editors
of the first volume in the new series, Yom Tov Levinsky and Dov
Shtok, have an added and more difficult task before them: to
help record the story of the rich Jewish life in the centers of de-
struction. I t was therefore to be expected tha t the new volume
should open with a section devoted to this type of material. I t
contains a moving eyewitness story of the destruction of the Jew-
ish community of Lwow. Elsewhere we find also a number of
Jewish folk songs which express defiance against Nazi oppression.
The sections dealing with Jewish customs, documents and prov-
erbs will be welcomed by all students of Jewish folklore.
From time to time, the Hebrew bibliographer and member of
the Hebrew University’s Library staff, Abraham Yaari, presents
us with important literary contributions. Recently he has been
working on the historical literature of Palestine. Two years ago,
he published a delightful anthology of “Palestine Letters” and
now he has given us
Massaot Eretz Israel
(Palestine Travel Litera-
ture), issued by the Joint Committee on Youth Affairs through
Yaari has presented through thirty-three texts, beginning
with the travels of Benjamin of Tudela in the eleventh century
through Theodor Herzl, the eventful story of Jewish pilgrimage
to Palestine. In his introduction he points out tha t no generation
was without its pilgrims and he treats the reasons which prompted
individuals from various countries to undertake their hazardous
journeys. Yaari has done an excellent job of editing and has sup-
plied introductions to the selections, as well as detailed biblio-
graphical notes. Together with his “Palestine Letters,” the volume
constitutes a treasury of the love of the Jews for Palestine through-
out the generations.
As the concluding book in this list of Palestine Hebraica, we