Page 13 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 8 (1949-1950)

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Led by a group of distinguished scholars and supported by Ame-
rican generosity, institutions of learning in this country opened
their classrooms and laboratories and furnished a place of refuge
to hounded scholars from Germany, Austria and Poland and
later France, Belgium and Holland. The dramatic story of this
exodus and the adjustment and contributions of its participants
is told in a simple, matter-of-fact manner in
The rescue of science
and learning
by Stephen Duggan and Betty Drury (N.Y., Mac-
millan, 1948). The book represents a unique chapter in academic
There is a growing interest in religion and philosophy. To
many people the insecurity of the material aspect of the universe
is becoming more and more apparent. The search for meaning
in life, and for some indication of the rationality of existence,
drives people to find more concreteness in spiritual values, and,
as these values are found and experienced, they cease to seem
supernatural and abstract. The rediscovery of Jewish values
which is earnestly sought by Jews of our generation is materially
aided by an excellent exposition of
a way of life
Samuel S. Cohon (Cincinnati, Union of American Hebrew Con-
gregations, 1948), the genial professor of Jewish theology at the
Hebrew Union College. “Judaism in its varied aspects of religious
living, as ethical experience, as social justice, as prayer, as love of
learning, as worship, as self-discipline, repentance and atonement”
is discussed from a modern, liberal point of view but with due re-
gard to Jewish tradition. In
Judaism in theory and practice
, Rabbi
Beryl David Cohon (N.Y., Bloch, 1948) offers a popular ex-
position of Jewish beliefs and ceremonies as they have unfolded
themselves through tradition and modern innovation. An early
tenth century attempt to give an authoritative presentation,
in organized logical form, of the religious beliefs of the Jews
is contained in
The book of beliefs and opinions
by Saadia Gaon,
translated from the Arabic and the Hebrew by Samuel Rosen-
blatt (New Haven, Yale, 1948). I t forms the first volume in the
Yale Judaica Series.
That there is a sustained interest in Jewish religious teachings
and practices is apparent from the fact that there was need
for a new edition of
The essence of Judaism
by Leo Baeck (N.Y.,
Schocken, 1948). While it actually represents a revised text
of an English version by Victor Grubwieser and Leonard Peare,
published in 1936, it has the added advantage of incorporating
the author’s latest formulations. I t is an admirable guide to the