Chief Rabbi left on the shelf

January 3, 2013

Out next week is the first of the projected 10 volumes of the monumental Posen Library of Jewish Culture and Civilisation — named after British-based philanthropist and advocate of secular Judaism Felix Posen.

An anthology of Jewish literature from Genesis to Philip Roth, it begins at the end, chronologically speaking, with the first volume devoted to the contemporary period 1973 to 2005.

Naturally, the talking-point will be who’s included, or not, in its 1,100-plus pages. A sprinkling of Brits have been found worthy of a place, including novelists Clive Sinclair, William Sutcliffe and Adam Thirlwell, playwright Julia Pascal, and poet Dannie Abse.

There is a piece on smoked salmon by Claudia Roden and even one on Shabbat lamps by the former head of the London Beth Din, Chanoch Ehrentreu. Klezmer band Oi Va Voi also get a mention in the music section.
But in the 400 pages devoted to intellectual or religious writing, there is not one extract from Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks. Since the period covers his publication of books such as One People?, Radical Then, Radical Now and The Dignity of Difference (both editions), it is a striking omission.

Last updated: 3:21pm, January 3 2013