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Windows to a Lost Jewish Past: Vilna Book Stamps (2008)
With this little gem of a book, the VYI’s Professor Dovid Katz has further enhanced his standing as one of today’s foremost scholars of the Vilna that was. Mining a diligently unearthed trove of book stamps—modest testimonials to Vilna’s Jewish tradition of a life with books both sacred and secular—Professor Katz has ingeniously fulfilled the promise of his title: With each reproduced book stamp, he has opened windows onto “a lost Jewish past.” With this his newest book as cultural guide, the reader strolls enthralled through the streets and lanes of historic Vilna—as it was before it was destroyed by the Nazi murderers. At first glance, the book’s slender 100 pages belie the richness of its content. Bountifully illustrated and handsomely printed on heavy stock paper, the volume, however, repeatedly affords unexpected delights of discovery. From every page, Vilna personalities, community institutions, spiritual and worldly accomplishments, spring colorfully to life. That the pleasures of discovery are imbued with a profound sense of loss testifies to the elegant and, at the same time, reverent hand Dovid Katz has applied to his research and writing.
All who wish to acquire this unusual little volume are prompted to consult the publisher Versus Aureus’s website listing. Moreover, Professor Katz’s website provides images of the covers and contents, and a generous sampling of pages from the book, as part of his recently added “Lithuania” page.S. R.
|2005 VILNIUS YIDDISH INSTITUTE. Solution: Neosymmetria|