Page 50 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 8 (1949-1950)

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JEWI SH BOOK ANNUAL
44
by Rabbi Israel Porath. Devoted to the tractate of
Baba Meziah
,
the volume offers summaries and analyses of thirty-eight dis-
cussions. For purposes of clarification, the author often quotes
additional sources and brings legal discussions from later rabbinic
literature.
A monograph on Rabbi Moses Schick and his struggle against
the Reform movement was written by Rabbi Yekuthiel J. Green-
wald. The book, entitled
L ’Toldot ha-Reformatzion ha-Datit
b'Germania u v Ungaria
(Towards a History of Religious Reform
in Germany and Hungary — New York, 1948), is a further con-
tribution by Rabbi Greenwald to the history of Hungarian Jewry.
In rabbinic style, the author paints an idealized portrait of Rabbi
Schick and his efforts against Reform. Here is discussed also the
role of such figures as Geiger and Hirsch during this period. A
supplement to the volume contains an evaluation of Rabbi
Greenwald’s literary activity and a bibliography of his books and
articles by Chaim Bloch. A sample of the work of Jacob Balshan
(Zapinsky) in the field of Hebrew philology was offered in his
brochure
Orot
(Lights — New York, 1949), dealing chiefly with
the elucidation of difficult roots in biblical and talmudic literature.
The field of
belles-lettres
this past year offered but a handful of
titles. In
Bain Shnei Olamot
(Between Two Worlds — New York,
Ogen, 1949), Bernard Isaacs collected twelve stories that span
East European life, with its pogroms and intense love of learning,
as well as Jewish life on this side of the ocean. A number of
stories describe the transformation that took place in the char-
acters of those who were transplanted to American soil. The
longest piece, entitled
Hands
, gives a picture of the class and
social unrest in a small European town. The American stories
illumine some of the sensitive spots in American Jewish life, such
as religion, education and relations with the non-Jews. Isaacs has
described for us with perception some of the problems and anxieties
of the characters of two worlds.
A collection of fascinating folk tales was published by Israel
Osman under the title
Sefer ha-Nisyonot
(The Book of Temptation
and Trial — Los Angeles, Mishelanu, 1948). Most of the tales
appeared originally in Yiddish and were recast by the author in
Hebrew form. Although dealing with a variety of characters from
King David down to hasidic figures and zaddikim, they have as
their central aim the striving for national redemption. The tales
are not without an exotic quality. The characters are subjected to
trials and must ward off evil spirits. The author tells his stories