Page 59 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 6 (1947-1948)

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on a smaller scale. I t was estimated at the beginning of the year
that one half million pounds were being spent annually in Pales-
tine on Hebrew books. I t was also reported that eighty-three
concerns, of which thirteen are well established, were engaged in
Aside from the various individual literary works, there are
several more ambitious projects now under way. Among these
are a new popular Hebrew encyclopedia, as well as encyclopediae
of the Bible, Talmud and Codes, and a collective history of the
Jews by scholars at the Hebrew University. I t is gratifying to
know that Eliezer Ben Yehuda’s monumental
Thesaurus of the
Hebrew Language
is nearing completion and will also be made
available in a popular edition. Dr. Mordecai Margalioth has
made available a biographical encyclopedia of gaonic and rabbinic
scholars similar to his work on the rabbis of the Talnmd. Such
major efforts are unprecedented in Jewish publishing.
Another encouraging aspect of Palestine creativity is the re-
printing of classical works, many in admirable scientific editions.
Particular activity has been evidenced in the field of medieval
Hebrew poetry with the issuing of the works of Judah Halevi (a
ten-volume project); of Samuel Hanagid (three volumes); and of
Dunash ben Labrat. In addition to various reprints, new editions
appeared of works such as
Mishle Shualim
by Berachya Hanak-
Megillat Ahimaaz,
by a tenth-century Italian-Jewish chronic-
ler, Yehuda Summo’s comedy, the first play in Hebrew liter-
ature, and Brody and Wiener’s
Mivhar ha-Shirah ha-Ivrit
, an
anthology of medieval Hebrew poetry.
Palestinian publishers have also been active in the issuing of
documentary works and eyewitness reports of Jewish suffering
and destruction. Such books as Melech Neustadt’s
The Destruc-
tion and Revolt of the
Jews of Warsaw
, Hillel Zeidman’s
Ghetto Warsha
(Diary of the Warsaw Ghetto), Yoel Palgi’s ac-
count of the Palestinian parachutists, entitled
Ruah Gedolah Baah
(A Great Wind Cometh) and Tuvia and Zusia Belsky’s
(Forest Jews), dealing with the struggles of the Jewish
partisans, are among the valuable contributions to the record of
Jewish struggle and heroism. Two other volumes
Moreshet Gevurah
(Heroic Heritage) a literary anthology of Jewish heroism, and
S. Ashkenazi’s
N ’shei Yisrael Bigevuratan
(Heroic Jewish Women),
dealt with the background as well as recent manifestations of
Jewish courage and fortitude.
Before describing other aspects of the Palestine output, a word
should be said about the collective volumes. There are
the literary annual in memory of Bialik;
Luah ha-Aretz
, an alma-
nac which combines practical features with items of literary
value and
SKnaton Davar>
which, in addition to original literary