Page 56 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 7 (1948-1949)

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
44
involving the rescue of the Jews of Saragossa in Spain of the fif-
teenth century.
An effort to show the real Shylock and not the character of the
medieval legend over which Shakespeare had stumbled, because
he had no occasion to meet with and study a living Jew of the
sixteenth century, is made in
Shylock and his daughter
, a play based
on a Hebrew novel by Ari Ibn Zahav [dramatized by Maurice
Schwartz; English by Abraham Regelson] (N. Y., Yiddish Art
Theatre, ’47). Its production on the Yiddish stage was a sensa-
tion in last year’s theatre season.
Havah naaleh
(Let us ascend!) by Eliyahu Yacobovitz (Brook-
lyn, N. Y., ’47) is a musical playlet in six scenes, with music by
Joseph Rumshinsky and drawings by Nota Kozlovsky and Saul
Raskin. It describes the yearning of the Jews for Palestine. In
the seventeen
Untitled and other radio dramas
by Norman Corwin
(N. Y., Holt, ’47) is “Tel-Aviv,” the story of a young country
editor who visits the all-Jewish city.
The eternal light
by Morton
Wishengrad with a foreword by Dr. Louis Finkelstein (N. Y.,
Crown ’47) comprises twenty-six plays from the radio programs
of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.
PICTORIAL RECORDS
Past and present in Jewish life are well presented in several
publications which offer reproductions of pictorial records. A
portfolio of collotype facsimiles of
Drawings for the Bible
by
Hermanszoon van Rijn Rembrandt (N. Y., Schocken, ’47) illus-
trate Biblical scenes in which there is a durable interest. The last
pictorial record of a life and a community that no longer exists
is presented in
Polish Jews
, reproductions of photographs taken
by Roman Vishniac in Jewish communities of eastern Europe in
1938, on the eve of World War II, with an introduction by Abra-
ham Joshua Heschel (N. Y., Schocken, ’47). The pictures are
magnificent in themselves. I t is difficult to put into adequate
words their meaning to our age. Beauty, holiness, humility and
aspiration shine from the pages of this book. They tell most
effectively the story of a life so characteristically Jewish but now,
alas, completely gone. On the other hand
A Palestine picture book
,
consisting of reproductions of superb photographs by Jakob
Rosner, portrays Jewish Palestine today, with a running com-
mentary (N. Y., Schocken, ’47). After centuries of dispersal
Israel returned to the land of its ancestors and made it fertile
again; built new cities and produced a new Jewish type, the col-
lective farmer. All this is reflected in Rosner’s photographs. The
past and the present blend in them, so that one obtains a sense