Page 39 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 7 (1948-1949)

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27
BLOCH----THE YEAR’S BOOKSHELF
Mr. Hyman Elias Goldin, a trained lawyer and a fine rabbinic
scholar, proposes, in his massive and documented
The case of the
Nazarene reopened
(N. Y., Exposition Press, ’48), to refute the
charge that the Jews are guilty of the crucifixion. I t is a great
tribute to Professor Solomon Zeitlin that his book
Who crucified
Jesus?
which appeared originally in 1942 was issued in a second
enlarged edition (N. Y., Harper, ’47). His treatment of the sub-
ject is such as to give his work durable value. On the basis of
contemporary rabbinic and other sources Dr. Zeitlin is able to
demonstrate that Jesus was crucified by the Romans, following
a decision by Pontius Pilate, but not until a political Sanhedrin
composed of quislings and other Sadducee Roman puppets con-
firmed the verdict that Jesus was guilty of sedition against the
Roman state. To the new edition of his work Dr. Zeitlin has
added an illuminating appendix to substantiate his theory that
Jesus was tried by a State Court,
synedrion
, and not by a religious
Sanhedrin.
NOVELS ABOUT ANTI-SEMITISM
Arthur Miller’s
Focus
and Laura Z. Hobson’s
Gentleman's
Agreement
, the two recent major novels about anti-Semitism,
have featured what the Broadway fraternity call a “gimmick” —
in each case a twist of identity whereby a Gentile character is
exposed to the slings and arrows ordinarily reserved for Jews. The
strange story of a man who tried to “pass” as a Christian, an
attempt to furnish a
Focus
or
Gentleman's Agreement
in reverse,
is
Home is the hunted
, a novel by Abraham Bernstein (N. Y., Dial,
’47). It presents the story of Theodore Cohen, who, in order to
succeed in business, had at an early stage, deliberately suppressed
his Jewish origin by legally changing his name to Cannaday. By
passing for a Christian, he landed a good job with the advertising
firm operated by Ferdinand Otis. He was exposed in the news-
papers in lists of war casualties, having lost a leg in combat at
Guadalcanal, with his name followed by that of Rose Cohen as
his nearest relative. Upon his return to civilian life he finds that
the advertising firm he had worked for in the guise of a Gentile
refused to retain his services. Mr. Otis procures for him a higher
paying job with a Jewish agency. This irks the crypto-Jew; he
resents being put in a “business ghetto,” and decides to fight
back; he wants to be accepted by the world of Otis. When Can-
naday fights Otis in business, Otis manages to get him fired from
his new job. In the process of fighting back against intolerance
Cannaday learns a lot about himself and what it really means to
be a Jew; he realizes that he could not create a special island of