Page 51 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 8 (1949-1950)

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well in a style that combines the ancient and modern elements of
the language.
Another volume of legends was contributed by Zebulun S.
Balaban under the title
Minni Kedem
(Tales of Old — Histadruth
Ivrith of Philadelphia, 1948). The author has taken various names
and incidents mentioned in the Bible and has built his own
legends and interpretations around them. There are original
legends here on various biblical figures beginning with Adam, as
well as a legend on the Hanukkah story. The stories teach the
highest ideals of morality and religion. Written in biblical style,
they are vowel-pointed and are suitable for advanced students as
well as the general reader. The book is prefaced by an intro-
ductory note by Daniel Persky.
A novel translated from the Yiddish was Saul Saphire’s
(Columbus the Jew — New York, Om, 1948), the first
in a projected series of translations from the works of the popular
novelist. South America was represented by one book which bears
the stamp of its locale: Mordecai Maidenik’s
B ’Arvot Argentina
(In Argentine Plains — Histadruth Ivrith of Argentine, 1948). The
author, who is editor of the monthly publication
, presents
stories and sketches from the life of the Jewish farmer and mirrors
for us their struggles and problems.
Two books of poetry, both by younger men, were issued last
year. Abraham Zvi Halevy was the author of a collection of poems
Mi-Tokh ha-Sugar
(Encaged — New York, Ohel, 1948)
which strikes a modernistic, realistic note. Written over a period
of twelve years, the poems express the poet’s bitterness over
Jewish suffering and his sense of forlornness on strange soil.
Halevy is given to confession and expresses a feeling of guilt and
insufficiency for having remained outside the immediate struggle
for Israel. The cycle of poems on New York, describing chiefly
its sordid side, bears evidence to his descriptive power. Despite
the unevenness of style, this is a first work of calibre.
The poems of the late Isaac Zameer were gathered in a modest
volume entitled
Mi-Yam VYam
(From Sea to Sea — New York,
1949). They reveal the poet as a person who reacted with sensi-
tivity to the war years and who found in the pain of his generation
and in his people’s past, the inspiration for his writing. Many of
the poems are tinged with a prayerful, lyrical quality. The far
too thin ranks of younger American Hebrew writers sustained a
great loss in the passing of Zameer.
A practical handbook of Hebrew entitled
Yad ha-Lashon
(Language Aid — New York, Wolf Sales, 1948) was compiled by