Page 80 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 5 (1946-1947)

Basic HTML Version

she seven-branched candlestick is to oversimplify the situa-
Quite tempting is the assumption that the twelfth century
synagogue at Toledo (later converted into the church Santa
Maria La Blanca) was inspired by the lay-out of the great Jewish
basilica in Alexandria destroyed under Trajan. If we could be
sure that the vague talmudic term “double stoa” meant and was
taken to mean just four rows of supports and not a double storied
colonnade, or, even the more likely, a double colonnade running
around the four walls in the interior of the basilica, as some scholars
have interpreted the text, the problem would be easily settled.
One wonders whether controversial matter such as this should
not have been omitted entirely in a popular book, unless presented
with the proper documentation.
The volume is provided with a well selected bibliography and
an index. A list of illustrations with additional information and
references to the origin of the plates would have been helpful to
the reader.
The Jewish Publication Society has issued a second printing
(1946) of Abraham E. Millgram’s “Sabbath, the Day of De-
light” which includes a chapter “The Sabbath in Art” by Rachel
Wischnitzer-Bernstein, as well as 43 illustrations.
Because of the War, a book of considerable interest to the art
lover and scholar has received comparatively little attention in
this country. I t is Jacob Leveen’s “The Hebrew Bible in Art,”
published by the Oxford University Press in 1944 and now avail-
able in the U. S. The volume is made up of papers read under the
auspices of the Schweich Lectures of the British Academy.
Scheduled for 1939, the lectures were delivered in 1940. Mr.
Leveen, yearlong librarian of the Department of Oriental Printed
Books and Manuscripts in the British Museum, is well known to
all students of Hebraica who have ever had the occasion to use the
Oriental room. His introduction to Margoliouth’s Catalogue of
the Hebrew and Samaritan Manuscripts in the British Museum
appeared in part IV of that catalogue in 1935. I t tells, among
other things, the fascinating story of the accessions. Specimens
of the magnificent Bibles, Haggadahs and Mahzorim referred to
under obscure numbers in the introduction to the catalogue are
reproduced in Leveen’s book. The title “The Hebrew Bible in
Art” is perhaps not quite adequate. The volume actually is
devoted to the discussion of biblical topics in Jewish art, wall