Scholar Tells of Huge Work He’s Compiling
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Scholar Tells of Huge Work He’s Compiling

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Just before hopping aboard the express for Chicago, Dr. Meyer Waxman, Jewish scholar and author who has been staying in New York for the past few days examining source material, told a Jewish Daily Bulletin reporter of the monumental literary project on which he is now engaged.

Dr. Waxman, professor of the Bible and Jewish philosophy and history at the Hebrew Theological College at Chicago, and on the staff of the College of Jewish Studies, is now at work on the third volume of “A History of Jewish Literature,” two volumes of which, coming to 1,250 pages, already have been published. By next year, the approximately 2,000-page work will have been completed.

When completed, Dr. Waxman’s volumes will stand as a report not only of Jewish literature, but of Jewish philosophy, science and ethics. Dr. Waxman hopes to make his work a source book not only on Jewish literature, but on such subsidiary themes as the Cabbala, Chassidism and even of the scientific achievements of the Jew in modern times. For the writing of this book he has investigated the varied achievements of Jews in all languages and over a period of twenty-five centuries, or from the time of the Bible.


“A History of Jewish Literature” is written in English, but Dr. Waxman is competent in other languages. Among these is Hebrew, in which tongue he has published, from Palestine, “Mishle Yisroel,” or “The Proverbs of Israel,” containing seven thousand proverbs from the time of the Bible to the present day.

Dr. Waxman obtained his Doctor of Philosophy degree from Columbia University and has been deeply associated with Jewish life and Zionist effort. He was a member of the first board of governors of the American Keren Hayesod and for eight years was executive secretary of the Mizrachi Zionist Organization.

Asked what he thought might be the effect on Jewish consciousness of continued Hitlerian persecution, the scholar and author answered:

“Judaism must be positive, not negative. It must not be based on persecution. I believe we are placing too much emphasis on the negative means of strengthening Judaism, or Jewish consciousness, namely, hatred of the anti-Semites. What we need is a development of the positive means, a fostering of love for Jewish cultural values.”

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