The Two Libraries

In The Nation, Sasha Ambrasky has a piece actually titled “How the Atheist Son of a Jewish Rabbi Created One of the Greatest Libraries of Socialist Literature”, which is a celebration of his Marxist grandparents’ 20,000 volume “house that had once served as one of left-wing London’s great salons.”

The atheist third son of a famous rabbi, Yehezkel Abramsky, who in 1956 had won the first Israel Prize for rabbinic literature; the grandson of another famous rabbi, Moshe Nahum Jerusalimsky; and the great- grandson of yet a third renowned rabbi, Yaakov David Willowski, Chimen was like a character out of an Isaac Bashevis Singer story, or an antiquarian out of a Dickens novel, or an eccentric 18th-century salon host—or, more accurately, a chimera of them all.

The grandparents could serve as poster figures for the theory of Jewish ethnocentrism and messianism as an evolutionary strategy. You can’t make up the degree of cognitive dissonance presented in paragraphs like the following:

Hillway, as we called the house where he and Miriam lived, held two libraries. The first was Chimen’s socialist collection, the second his Judaica volumes. The Judaica collection, even after 5,000 books and 2,000 offprints had been removed in the 1980s to join other volumes in a specially endowed section of the library at University College London, was utterly comprehensive, detailing every conceivable aspect of Jewish life over the centuries. Of the 7,000 items purchased by the university, Chimen’s colleague Mark Geller, in internal correspondence with the university’s provost, wrote that they made up “probably the best Jewish History library in Europe.” The socialist collection was in all likelihood the most complete pri­vately owned collection of 18th-, 19th-, and early-20th-century socialist literature anywhere in the world. Certainly, it was the most complete collection of its kind in Britain.

The Two Libaries… It’s really a perfect way of putting it.

One ‘library’ for Jewish identity, separatism and ethnic solidarity… and another ‘library’, filled with secular ideologies of communism, universalism, and deracination, foisted onto the goyim.

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