Page 49 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 8 (1949-1950)

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KA B AKO F F ----AMONG RECENT HEBREW BOOKS
43
The concluding section of essays and articles offers surveys of
Jewry in Italy, Soviet Russia and Latin America. The United
States itself is represented only by Dr. Nisson TourofPs article
on “Jewish Plastic Art in America.” Daniel Persky has his regular
listing of Hebrew literary productivity in America. Some thirty-
seven writers are represented in this important collective effort.
The background of the struggle for the establishment of the
Jewish state is illuminated by Prof. Chaim Tchernowitz in his
book of essays
Hevlei Geulah
(Travail of Redemption — New York,
The Jubilee Committee, 1949). The volume brings together the
articles and editorial comments which the author published during
the past decade in the monthly magazine
Bitzaron
, which he
founded and edited until his recent death. Taken together, they
are an expression of his philosophy of Jewish nationalism which
derives from a keen historical perception of Jewish law and the
Jewish past. Prof. Tchernowitz based his analysis of events on
the justice of our legal claim to Palestine. Political Zionist that
he was, he put the claim to statehood before any other, particularly
that of immigration. His forceful stand led him to criticize the
assimilationists on the one hand, and to scrutinize Zionist policy,
on the other. The essays and shorter pieces offer a running com-
mentary on the most important recent events leading to Jewish
statehood. The concluding article on religion in the state of Israel,
in which the author shows to what extent Jewish law can guide the
new state, is a notable contribution to the subject. The Jubilee
Commitee for the publication of Prof. Tchernowitz’s works has also
announced the issuing of the fourth volume of his
Toldot ha-
Halakhah
(History of Jewish Law), encompassing the period from
the Sofrim through law in the Apocrypha.
The conclusion of a noteworthy project was marked with the
publication of the tenth volume of
Otzar ha-Baraitot
(Treasury
of Baraitot — New York, D’Be Rabbanan, 1948), by Dr. Michael
Higger. In addition to providing detailed indices to all the
Baraitot in the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds, the volume
contains an introduction to this halakhic form, its place in Jewish
law and its relation to other branches of rabbinic literature. The
compiler has also included the texts of the various incomplete
Baraitot. Dr. Higger has made a most important contribution to
the identification and classification of the Baraitot.
A volume aiding in the popularization of the Talmud and the
clarification of its halakhic discussion was the fourth part of
Mevo ha-Talmud
(Introduction to the Talmud — St. Louis, 1948),