Page 38 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 6 (1947-1948)

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JEWI SH BOOK ANNUAL
28
literature than it has heretofore. Such a book is
Palestine
by
Paul V. Falkenberg, illustrated by Rafaello Busoni (New York,
Holiday House, 1946) which presents the ancient history and the
present importance of the country briefly told for children. I t
offers a sympathetic and appreciative consideration of the his-
toric role of the Jews in the Holy Land, concluding with the hope
th a t to the Jews “Palestine shall be the Holy Land where work
sanctifies, a land in a world to come, where every man shall sit
under his own vine and fig tree, and none shall make them afraid.”
A picture book of Palestine
by Ethel L. Smither, illustrated by
Ru th King (Nashville, Abingdon-Cokesbury, 1947) is likewise
intended for children. I t is an attractive book, the descriptive
text of which brings Palestine of Bible times into familiar focus.
The houses, food, clothing, the crops, market-places, trees and
flowers, the birds and animals, the religious ceremonies and festi-
vals are all described, simply and well.
In the effort to cope with the apparently rapid spread of nervous
and mental diseases, not only medicine bu t religion, too, plays a
significant role. From the spiritual treasures of Judaism one can
draw some material useful for the purpose. In
Scriptural psychiatry;
a popular presentation of an hitherto little explored source in
mental hygiene by Dr. Morris Braude (New York, Froben Press,
1946) an endeavor is made with the help of many illustrative
quotations from authoritative Jewish writings — primarily the
Bible and Talmud — to show th a t with the many pu tative and
superstitious diagnoses and remedies advanced, there were known
numerous modern ideas of psychiatric facts among the Hebrew
sages of old. Dr. Theodor Reik’s
The psychological problems of
religion
I (New York, Farrar, Straus, 1946) presents a collection
of fascinating psychoanalytical studies of religious ritual, several
of which, such as Kol Nidre and the shofar are of decided Jewish
interest. “The Kol Nidre formula is . . . to be understood as an
antithesis to the very high esteem in which oaths are held among
the Jews, and also as a necessary reaction against their caution
and conscientiousness.” The priest blows the shofar because of
“ his identification with God, which he proclaims by im itating the
Divine voice.” The shofar and the “ bull-roarer” of primitive
tribes are said to have most features in common.
Selections of what seems most vital in the scriptures of the
world’s greatest religions, each with a preface giving its historical
background, spiritual import and broad cultural significance are
contained in
The world's great scriptures
, an anthology of selec-
tions from the writings of the major religious faiths of the world
by Lewis Browne (New York, Macmillan, 1946). I t contains an
interesting section on Judaism. Books such as this tend to popu-