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Soma Morgenstern Dead at 85

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Soma Morgenstern, the Polish-born novelist whose work. “The Third Pillar,” was adapted for part of the Yom Kippur Mahzor in the prayer book of Conservative Judaism, died Saturday at the age of 85. Born in a hamlet near Ternopol, then part of the Austro-Hungarian empire and now in the Soviet Ukraine. Mr. Morgenstern attended the University of Vienna where he studied law and political science. Later he became a freelance writer and journalist in German.

Mr. Morgenstern was best known for a trilogy translated from the German and published here in 1947, 1948 and 1950: “The Son of the Lost Son,” “In My Father’s Pastures,” and “The Testament of the Lost Son.” His books generally reflected the pastoral life of village and farm that once existed in Eastern Europe. Referring to the adoption of a passage from his work for the Mahzor. Mr. Morgenstern said it meant more to him than if he had won a Nobel Prize.

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