Page 83 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 50

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FABER /JEWISH PUBLISHING IN AMERICA IN THE PAST 50 YEARS
75
the English translation of the Babylonian Talmud currently be­
ing produced by Random House. Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz acts as
editor and chief translator of the project, of which six volumes
have appeared to date. The first offers a descriptive alphabetical
dictionary of terms, while the additional volumes cover the
whole tractate of Bava Metzia (4 vols.) and part 1 of Ketubot.
Included are corresponding elucidations in the editor’s unique
style, which made his original Hebrew edition of the Talmud
world famous. Other English translations of the Talmud are
available, but that of Random House is the first on the market
to follow this pattern.
The 49 volumes of JBA constitute a treasury of information
on various aspects of the publishing of Judaic literature. Some
of this data will be commented upon further in the order of
their appearance in the respective volumes. In his article, “Is­
raeli Literature in English Garb,”6Jacob Kabakoff discusses the
impact of the Hebrew writers upon the English reading public.
Of particular interest are his comments regarding the treatment
by these writers of their new milieu, e.g. Agnon’s shift to the
Israeli scene from his depiction of his Galician background, or
Hazaz’s interest in Yemenite Jewry despite his Russian cultural
upbringing.
Judah Nadich subjects to analytical scrutiny the writings of
Mordecai M. Kaplan who for many decades served on the fac­
ulty of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and became
the founder of the fourth religious wing of American Judaism
— Reconstructionism.7 Irene Heskes writes about various types
of musical endeavor in “Jewish Music Literature.”8 Special at­
tention is given in this essay to Alfred Sendrey’s
Bibliography
ofJewish Music,9
which lists over 10,600 items together with de­
tailed historio-bibliographic references. In addition, Heskes re­
views historical surveys, the literature on Bible cantillation, tech­
nical studies and biographies of famous musicians.
Irving Halperin devotes special attention in his “Meaning and
Despair in the Literature of the Survivors”10 to both the negative
and positive aspects of this creativity. Solomon B. Freehof calls
6. Vol. 16, pp. 55-67.
7. Vol. 19, pp. 90-97.
8. Vol. 23, pp. 34-41.
9. New York, Columbia University Press, 1951.
10. Vol. 25, pp. 7-23.