Page 57 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 7 (1948-1949)

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45
BLOCH----THE YEAR’S BOOKSHELF
of the grandeur as well as of the beauty, the extreme age as well
as the modernity of the country. This is equally true of
I f I forget
thee\
a picture story of modern Palestine by Meyer Levin made
up of still pictures of various photographers from a motion pic-
ture based on the novel
My father's house
, produced in Palestine
by Herbert Kline and Meyer Levin (N. Y., Viking, ’47). The
courage and spirit of the modern Jewish pioneers, who, against
tremendous odds, are building a new life in Israel are fully pictured
in the two hundred reproductions of photographs which make up
the volume. They illustrate the heroic story of a people striving
together for a common cause. These picture books of Palestine
detail the remarkable social experiment of the Jewish return to
the land of their fathers. Through the efforts of the Halutzim
who have come to the Holy Land the Jewish people have re-
established contact with the land of their origin and changed its
very physiognomy. In the process they underwent a change them-
selves; a new type of Jew has emerged in the land of Israel.
Reproductions of drawings and painting which Saul Raskin
made since 1921, during five visits in Palestine, are incorporated
in his
Land of Palestine
(N. Y., ’47). There are about seventy
different groups of Jews in the Holy Land and Raskin sketched
their types: bearded Jews with long ear-locks lamenting at the
Wailing Wall, pioneers clearing sand away in big trucks, Yeshiva
students meditating over their tomes, careless youths dancing
the
hora.
Then there are synagogues and modern homes, animals
and trees, hills and rivers. The artist himself was fully aware
that he recorded “moments of the greatest miracle in the history
of Israel,” showing “what a people can do when inspired by a great
historical ideal and driven by despair.”
PALESTINE AND ZIONISM
The problem of Palestine as it confronts the United Nations
is one which stirs the interest in it of Zionists and their opponents
in Jewry; it is also one which evokes a sympathetic concern with
the fate of the Holy Land and with the destiny of Jews every-
where. In the circumstances it is not surprising to find the year’s
output of pro- and anti-Zionist publications and works on modern
Palestine written with an eye to either those who favor or oppose
the establishment of the state of Israel in the Holy Land. The lit-
erature is enormous and only items of importance can be included
in this survey. Much light is cast on the problem in
Modern
nationalism and religion
by Salo Wittmayer Baron (N. Y., Harper,
’47) in which an effort is made to show how religion forced national-
ism to take a stand. I t contains a chapter “Jewish ethnicism”