THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS—Friday, October 9, 1959
u rely Commentary
By PHILIP SLOMOVITZ
B-G Reflects on Israel's Problems
Frank Rosh Hashanah Interview
Is- want peace "since he only talks compromise is •needed.
rael's foreign and internal prob- peacefully to foreigners not Discussing ISrael's social
The most sacred day on the Jewish calendar is the Sabbath. lems were reviewed by Premier seriously engaged in the peace system, the Prenlier asserted:
It is considered more important than any festival, and is even David Ben-Gurion in a lengthy effort, but refuses to talk peace "I personally •am extremely
viewed as more sanctified than the days of Rosh Hashanah. One interview on the occasion of the to persons engaged in a serious opposed to private ownership,
of American Jewry's most distinguished scholars, Dr. Robert Jewish New Year. The Prime effort." today - more than in the past.
Gordis, evaluated the Sabbath as follows:
Coming to internal Israeli But the central issue today is
Minister emphasized that, in the
The observance of the Sabbath brings deep and abiding world of today, "it is not possi- problems, Ben-Gurion said the the ingathering of the exiles,
rewards to the. Jew. It re-creates his spirit as it regenerates ble to solve historic problems ethnic absorption of immigrants the building-up of the coun-
may take two generations. He try, and I am willing to utilize
his physical and nervous system. It brings him into com- by military force alone."
claimed that the religious polit- the love of money if I can
motion with God, links him with the profoundest aspirations
of Israel, and draws him into the orbit of Torah. It there- daily newspaper Haaretz, the ical parties in Israel are ac- help build up the country in
fore follows inseparably that the failure to observe the
Premier went into great lengths tually alien to Judaism and are this
Ben-Gurion declared that, if
Sabbath brings its penalties in the impoverishment of the to clarify his attitude toward the result of a Catholic en-
vironment, from which many the Mapai Party obtains 51 per-
spirit, the denudation of Jewish values and alienation from
West Germany. Ben-Gurion list- Ashkenazi leaders immigrated cent of the vote in the coming
the JeWish community, literally "that soul is cut of from its ed two assumptions:
elections to the Knesset, only
1. The- acts of the Nazis
He praised the Oriental Or- one law would be adopted by
Yom Kippur alone supersedes the Sabbath in importance. should not be forgiven not for-
Jews, who, he said, can the Knesset — changing the
It is referred to in the Torah as S'habbat Shabbaton—the Sabbath gotten; the entire German peo- thodox
of Sabbaths. It is in the spirit of such holiness that we are ple is responsible because what be the most pious but still electoral system to the Anglo-
greatly tolerant. However, he American type of constituency.
preparing for the great Day of Atonement.
was done under the Nazis was added, the time has not yet Then, he said, the Knesset
not done by a single person but come for fundamental decisions would be dispersed for a new
Name Calling Won't Solve Center Issue.
with the accord of the people on religious matters, therefore election under that system.
Name calling has never solved any problem. If anything, it of Germany; 2. The sins of the
Nazis should not be visited upon
tends to aggravate an issue. .
Name calling is the ugliest forin of debate. Therefore, we the Gernians, for that is the
would admonish those who resort to charges ,of "hypocrisy" in race theory. He asserted that he
the problem created by the decision of the Jewish Community would be ashamed "if that race
Center's board of directors, to open the Center's facilities on theory were to infect us."
Saturdays, to deal with the principle involved, rather than with
Ben-Gurion denied that the
- imaginary attitudes.
present Germany was the same
In our criticisms of the Center board's position we did not as the generation of Hitler. "I
defend orthodoxy. On the contrary, we indic •ated that the Sabbath think," he said, "that East ,Ger-
Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Inc.)
is the foundation of Judaism, regardleSs Of the - philosophy of its many's people are murderers
interpreters. We even appealed to our Reform coreligionists to and scoundrels because they Khrushchev Echoes:
take the lead in opposing the Center's stand, and we were happy feel no responsibility for what • Vice President Richard Nixon played an important part 'in -
-to learn that many Reform Jews are sponsoring the effort to was done. But West Germany's trying to secure an audience with Soviet Premier Khrushchev
assure a reversal of the original Center -decision. .
people recognize the responsi- for a delegation of American Jews . . . However, Khrushchev
It is utterly ridi.culous to point to .a large-children's attend- bility — even those who have made no secret of the fact that he is annoyed by the. demand
ance at theaters on the Sabbath as proof_ that the Center's not done these things."
of American Jewish leaders to discuss with him the status of. the
facilities are needed for a Sabbath afternoon. Would that the
Asked how the same gener- Jews in the Soviet Union . . His annoyance prevented : Adlai
Center, or all our synagogues, had the combined influence and
ation could be both responsi-
Stevenson from raising the question of the treatment of Jews in
the power of attraction to draw the hundreds of our youngsters
ble and not responsible for Russia during his talks with Khrushchev .. Although the State
away from the movies and to interest them in Jewish cultural
what was done by the Nazis, Department indicated to the Soviet Embassy that it supported
Ben-Gurion said: "The young- the idea of Khrushchev's receiving a delegation of American
er generation' is different. Jews, U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union, .Llewellyn T homp-
It is vital in the reference to traditionalism to indicate
Morally, Nazism is not ruling son, who escorted Khrushchev, advised Stevenson that it would
that it does not need defense. Furthermore, traditions are not
Germany and, in my opinion, be better to avoid this topic . . . This was the case also, with
subjects for mockery.
will not rule. I do not hate
another important American figure who discussed with Khrush-
• No one is being fooled by claims of the introduction of a . the
German youngster because
chev a number of problems and who was ready to inject the
cultural program on the Sabbath for children. If that were the
issue on the status of Soviet Jewry into his discussion . .. The
intention, it could have been done, as it possibly should have his father was a Nazi."
The Premier asserted that Is- favorable stand taken by the State DepartMent toward the pro-
been done, many years ago, in cooperation with synagogues, on
late Saturday afternoons. But the mere fact that the Sabbath rael . should win the German posed talk topk a definite negative turn after Khrushchev'S flare-
activities proposal is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. • (is it from peoples' friendship, just as it is up in Los Angeles . . The State Department" peopleaccompany-
shul to handball and massage room, or from shul to study room?) trying- to win the friendship of ing Khrushchev on the trip thought it best to make the rest of
is an indication of a single aim:- to foster the health club's physical other people. In reply to a ques- his visit as free from embarrassment
services. On such a score, what is hypocrisy? Let us compromise tion, he stated that he is against
by saying that those who resort to this term are inconsistent. Israelis studying in - Germany Eyes on Middle East:
The Arab-Israel conflict can be • settled :only by conditions
But the basic point in the discussion is that we are not and is also against the use of
delving into the private lives of individuals. What an in.dividual the German language in Israeli of peace imposed by the Great Powers, including Russia,
both Israel and the Arab lands . . . This is the - conclusion to
does on the Sabbath is his own affair. If he desires to smoke,
However, he said, he favored which C. L. Sulzberger, chief foreign correspondent of the New
work, attend to his business activities or professional practice,
having German tourists visit Is- York Times, comes in his book "What's Wrong with the U:S.
that is his business, regrettable as it may be. –
rael, declaring "in my eyes, the Foreign Policy". . . Published by Harcourt, Brace & Co.; the
_ That same person has no right to ask a public Jewish
6erman people is like any other book analyzes the role of the United States in foreign countries,
institution to function on the Sabbath.
people." He said he would be including the countries of the Middle East . . . The author estab-
Only a small group of Jewish atheists, in the early part of ready to - visit Germany for po- lishes that the U.S. policy in the Middle East is simply not clear
this century, had dared, in an attempt to undermine Jewish litical reasons, but would not to Washington to make it clear to others . . . And he enumer-
religious practices, publicly to flout a Jewish- holy day. That choose Germany for a private ates quite a number of mistakes committed by the late SecietirY
group, whose activities now are a matter of a fortunately forgotten trip. .
of State John Foster Dulles which enabled Soviet Russia to
past, resorted to the practice of conducting public dinners and
Asked about Israel's sale of penetrate into the Middle East . . . Moscow, he asserts, exploits
public dances on Kol Nidre night, in the vicinity of synagogues arms to Germany, he said: "I the Arab-Israel problem but shirks from taking a definite stand
on New York's East Side. To flout the Sabbath in our time— am proud of it because I regard about the core of the problerri . . . On one hand, he says, KhruSh-
even if it is in behalf of a program that has a limited cultural it as a - revenge against the chev tries to exploit fully Arab antagonism toward Israel, while
semblarice—nearly approaches the tactics of the Jewish religion Nazis." After further discussion on the other hand he prefers not to adopt a clear-position for
haters of half a century ago.
of this point, he stated "I think the settlement of the Arab-Israel conflict — whiCh in any case
- We reiterate our earnest appeal to the Jewish Community that what are often called irra- he prefers to see remain open . . . Sulzberger is of the opinion
Center's board of directors to repeal its Sabbath opening deci- tional considerations are -the that Khrushchev would not like to see even a "little. war" be-
sion; and we wish to express the hope that this issue will be true considerations. My irra- tween the Arab countries and Israel because he dislikes the
resolved within our own ranks, on the basis of the principle tional consideration was to sell thought of conflict spreading near his southern limits, . He
involved and by averting its being dragged into the open as a arms. First of all, I consider this quotes Nasser as having said to him that 'Egypt is - not the only
"dirty-linen-washing-ceremony" that might emerge as a public a revenge against Nazism----,that power to decide whether Israel should be liquidated - or stay"
Jewish arms are supplied to the . . . Thus, he comes to the conclusion that since there is obvi-
ously no question of Israel's liquidation, the Great Powers, in-
Already, the issue has become a sermonic subject. The longer German Army."
Discussing Israel's political cluding Russia, must decide how Israel and - the Arabs could
the debate lasts, the more bitter will be the dispute.
Under all circumstances, our best sense of unity must be situation, Ben-Gurion said he settle their conflict.
retained. It can be restored without resort to Sabbath desecration would not express Israel's pol-
icy either the way it has been Jewish Buildings:
by a publicly-financed institution.
expressed by former Gen. Moshe
The American Jewish Committee is starting the new Jewish
Dayan or by the former Am- year in its new beautiful building in New York . . . The new
Why Not Hebrew' in the
bassador to the United States, year may also see the Jewish Agency move into new beautiful
In behalf of the department of adult - education, the Detroit Abba Eban.
headquarters on New York's fashionable Park Avenue . . . The
Public Schools a few weeks ago issued this announcement:
"We must understand the present headquarters of the Jewish Agency have been acquired
"In response to increasing demand for instruction in langu-
by Temple Emanu-El and will be rebuilt to house a modern
ages, the- Adult Edueation Department of the Detroit Board of balance of world forces," he
stated, "and must assume that Jewish school for children of Reform Jews . . . One of the finest
Education-this year is offering classes in nine languages: Croatian,
we have sufficient deterrent modern newly-built headquarters of Jewish organizations is the _
French, German., Italian, Latin, . Polish, Russian, Spanish, and
Swedish. In all of these classes except . Latin, .a conversational forces and, if fighting is in- building of the New York Federation of Jewish Philanthropies
approach to learning the language is used. Most - students learn evitable, enough power to . . . Impressive are also the recently built headquarters Congre-
Hadassah as well as of the Union of American Hebrew
to speak - a language well enough to get around in a foreign win."
The Premier defended re- gations . . . The American Jewish Congress also has a fine build-
country in nine mOnths from September to June."
Tourism to Israel has been--among the heaviest in the past prisal attacks against Arab ing, which was formerly the residence of Ogden Reid, late pub-
of the New York .Herald-Tribune and father of the present
two years, and Christians as well as Jews are ii•Bic• luding the Jewish states prior to the Sinai cam- lisher
in Israel • . . There are a good many other
State in their foreign travel itineraries. As a result, Hebrew as
buildings in the neighborhood of New York's Fifth
a conversational language has-become_a necessity for many people. Kibyah attack. He denied that impressive
Israel's attack against Syria in Avenue which are now the headquarters of Jewish institutions
Why, then, wasn't Hebrew included in the above list?
. . . Outstanding among them are the YIVO building, located
For a number. of years, efforts had been made to introduce Lake Tiberias spoiled Israel's in
the most aristocratic section of Fifth Avenue; the Jewish
Hebrew as a foreign language subject in our high schools. They chances for getting arms from
which was formerly the residence of the late Felix
failed. Perhaps the propagation of Hebrew can be renewed in
The Premier asserted his con- Warburg; and the Jewish Labor Committee building, known as
view of the large number of other foreign languages already
viction that Nasser does not the Atran House.
being offered as subjects of study in our schools.
Yom Kippur—the Sabbath of Sabbaths
. and Me