Page 16 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 8 (1949-1950)

Basic HTML Version

The two outstanding editions of the traditional daily prayer book
which appeared during the year incorporate not only fine idio-
matic, simple and concise English versions but also appropriate
and indeed very useful material on the history, character and
use of the prayers. They are the revised edition of
The authorized
daily prayer book
with commentary and notes by the Very Rev.
Dr. Joseph Herman Hertz, late Chief Rabbi of the British Em-
pire (N. Y., Bloch, 1948) and the
Siddur Hashalem
prayer book
, translated and annotated with an introduction
by Philip Birnbaum (N.Y., Hebrew Publishing, 1949). Each
of these volumes represents a notable contribution to the growing
collection of English versions of classical Hebrew texts. Their
respective introductions contain interesting material on the
development of Jewish liturgical writings and the notes and
explanations, often brief, are varied and informative.
To facilitate the cultivation of congregational worship among
Jewish children Libbie L. Braverman and Nathan Brilliant
Children's services fo r Sabbath
holiday and special
(Cleveland, Euclid Avenue Temple, 1948), while Samuel
Sussman and Abraham Segal furnished
Fifty assembly programs
fo r the Jewish school
(N.Y., United Synagogue Commission on
Jewish Education, 1948).
The extent to which prayer touched Jewish life in days gone
by is revealed, in some measure, in the so-called extra-canonical
writings of the Jews. I t is an interesting subject which was
explored many years ago by the Rev. Dr. Sidney S. Tedesche
(see his “Prayers of the apocrypha and their importance in the
study of Jewish liturgy” in Central Conference of American
Year Book
, 1916, pp. 376-398) and is again discussed
Prayer in the apocrypha and pseudepigraphai
a study of the
Jewish concept of God by Norman Burrows Johnson which
appeared as the second of the monograph series issued by the
Journal of Biblical Literature
(Philadelphia, 1948).
In recent decades, the virtual transplanting of East European
Hasidic communities on American soil has enriched American
Jewry with a new and vital element which has already contri-
buted considerably to the flourishing of its spiritual life. As
a result of their presence certain segments of American Jewry
are actually experiencing a profoundly religious revival. There is
a keen interest in the teachings and practices of the Hasidic
communities. The ideas and motives which underlie Hasidism
as a religious movement and its founder Israel Baal-Shem are