Page 55 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 6 (1947-1948)

Basic HTML Version

KABAKOF F ---- AMONG RECENT HEBREW BOOKS
45
Book of Esther. Not only is he at home in ancient cultures but
also in the medieval Arab world into whose literary spirit and
cultural atmosphere he offers us many insights.
Another valuable contribution to our scientific literature is
Dr. Nissan Touroff’s volume of essays on psychology
B'Yodim
u'v'Lo Yodirn
(The Conscious and the Sub-conscious -—־Jerusalem,
Bialik Foundation, 1946). Touroff analyzes such creative pur-
suits as literature and the arts. He discusses the drives tha t
motivate the creative artist and the particular conditions under
which the Hebrew writer works. He deals also with the practical
day-by-day relationships between people and offers characteriza-
tions of various types of individuals. Touroff has a gift for popu-
larization and illustration. All the essays were originally published
in American Hebrew publications.
The collected writings of Joshua Ovsay, under the title of
Maamarim u Reshimot
(Articles and Notes — New York, Ohel,
1947), bring us the essays and reviews of a writer who has con-
tributed to American Hebrew letters for many years. Ovsay is a
product of the European
yeshivah
and he approaches modern
Hebrew letters with the same seriousness and devotion tha t one
associates with the study of the Torah and religious lore. In his
volume, he presents us with descriptions of the
yeshivah
life he
knows so well, as well as with reflections on Jewish spiritual life
of this country. He writes with equal fervor about leading rabbinic
figures and about modern Hebrew authors. We have here much
first-hand material about the effort to establish modern
yeshivot
,
the methods of these institutions and the milieu of their students.
Ovsay’s shorter notes touch upon a variety of personal and general
themes, among which not the least in importance are those deal-
ing with the problems of Hebrew culture and creativity in this
country.
A thoughtful collection on Jewish education is the volume of
contributions by the faculty and alumni, published on the occasion
of the thirty-fifth anniversary of the Teachers’ Ins titu te of the
Jewish Theological Seminary of America, entitled
Yesodot ha-
Hinuk ha-Ivri b'Amerikah
(Foundations of American Jewish
Education — New York, Teachers’ Institute , 1946) and edited
by Dr. Zevi Scharfstein. The leading article is Professor Mordecai
M. Kaplan’s “The Aim of American Jewish Education.” The
influence of his ideas is also evident in several articles by his
disciples who discuss the practical organization of Jewish educa-
tion through community bureaus and agencies. The articles by
the various faculty members bring experience to bear on the dis-
cussion of the teaching of Hebrew, Bible, Talmud and other
subjects in the school. The papers by members of the alumni deal