Page 84 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 9 (1950-1951)

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In the short span of the past fifty years, Hebrew literature in this country has
progressed satisfactorily, albeit slowly, according to Daniel Persky in his article,
“A Panorama of a Half-Century of the American-Hebrew Press.” At the turn of
the century, two Hebrew weeklies were being published. Today, besides the weekly
, inaugurated as a daily in 1921, there are being published other significant
monthly, quarterly and annual periodicals with the participation of outstanding
Hebrew writers.
“Hebrew Literature in Israel in 5709” by G. Kressel presents an annotated
bibliography of 220 books of the more than 500 works published in the new State
of Israel in the year following its War of Independence. The critical period through
which the country has ju s t passed is reflected in the type of literature produced.
Predominant in the creative outpourings are works dealing with the war and
literary legacies of soldiers who had fallen on the battlefield.
“Hebrew Literature in America in 5710” by Akiva Ben-Ezra presents an an-
notated bibliography of works tha t have been published in the United States from
Passover 1949 to Passover 1950. I t is significant to note tha t there is evidently an
increasing interest in Hebrew secular literature and in the Hebrew language tha t
was primarily noticeable during the past year. Rabbinic l iterature is still pro-
gressing nicely with basic books being reproduced by means of the photo-offset
process. A decrease in the number of Hebrew juveniles is noted, only two having
been issued. A total of 65 volumes are listed in the bibliography.
Yochanan Pograbinsky outlines in detail a “History of Hebrew Publishing”
in the countries outside of Israel, starting with the first organized firm Ahiasaf,
established in 1893 in Warsaw. This article will be concluded in the next issue of
Dr. Gershon A. Churgin has contributed an article on “ Isaac E r te r ” to commem-
orate the one hundredth anniversary of his death. Erter , who was a practising
physician, is best known as a Hebrew satirist. His most outstanding work is
Gilgul ha-Nefesh
(Re-incarnation of the Soul), a satire tha t depicts the varied
adventures of a soul passing from one body into another during a lengthy stay
on earth.
A tribute to “Rabbi Dr. Aaron Kaminka” who passed away on Adar 23, 5710,
in Tel Aviv, has been written by Dr. Abraham Weiss. Rabbi Kaminka was the
author of nearly five hundred scholarly studies and articles, most of which are
recorded in the
published in his honor in 1937. Although most of his
writings were in Hebrew, he also wrote in English, French, German, I talian and
Russian. He attained stature not only as a result of his scholarly work but also
because of his communal endeavors.
Dr. Jacob Shatzky in “A Panorama of a Half-Century of American-Yiddish
L i terature” comments tha t far from fulfilling the prophecy of wri ters of fifty years
ago tha t Yiddish literature in America was “ condemned to die,” it has blossomed
forth, and the past half-century has been the most fruitful and richest era in its
history in America. Paradoxically, the Yiddish l iterature of the 19th century,
which lacked literary merit, had a wide audience, whereas the literature of the
20th century, which has attained stature from an artist ic standpoint , no longer
reaches the masses.