Celebrating Israel's Birthday
THE JEWISH NEWS
Incorporating the Detroit Jewish Chronicle commencing with issue of July 20, 1951
Member American Association
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Aug. 6, 1942 at Post Office, Detroit, Mich. under act of Congress of March
CARMI M. SLOMOVITZ
Sabbath Scriptural Selections
This Sabbath, the seventh clay of Iyar, 5720, the following Scriptural selections will be
read in our synagogues:
Pentateuchal portion, Ahare-Kedoshirn, L ev. 16:1-20:27. Prophetical portion, Amos 9:7-15.
Licht Benshen, Friday, May 6, 7;18 p.m.
VOL. XXXVII. No. 10
May 6, 1960
Gratitude to Labor for Pro-Israel Stand
There is no foretelling how the efforts
of Israel's friends, whenever they come
forth with aid to the embattled Jewish
State against the flouting of international
law by Nasser and his cohorts, will ma-
terialize, especially when the State De-
partment takes an antagonistic position to
Nevertheless, it is to be hoped that
public opinion has been aroused suffi-
ciently by the actions of the Seafarers'
International Union and the International
Longshoremen's Association, in their
picketing of an Egyptian ship, as a pro-
test against the Arab boycott of Israel, to
encourage such actions that will put a
stop to Nasser's war-mongering.
It is becoming more evident as time
goes on that the United States depends
entirely too much upon the United Na-
tions in its expectancy of a solution to the
Middle East's problems, and that the
United Nations, regrettably, is too im-
potent to act firmly against aggressors;
and in the instance of Nasser's threats to
Israel and his arrogant spread of lies
about Israel, he is unquestionably an ag-
Difficult times lie ahead for Israel,
in view of the adamant position taken
by Nasser and the other Arab leaders who
continuously spout hatred of Israel and
speak of war even when they are in the
midst of peace-seekers in the United
Nevertheless, there are rays of hope.
One of them is the warm feeling for Israel
in labor ranks. The maritime unions' ac-
tions against the Egyptian ship proved it.
Dr. Milton Steinberg was only 46 when he died on March
We share with Israel heartfelt gratitude 20, 1950. But at a much earlier age, he had already gained a
to the labor movement for their humani- place for himself as one of Jewry's most distinguished scholaxs
tarian efforts in Israel's behalf.
and ablest writers and preachers.
Steinberg's 'Anatomy of Faith'
Ably Edited by Arthur A. Cohen
Jewish Survivalism: Methods, Realities
Chaim Lieberman, well known Yid- dangers in conversions (shmad) and inter-
dish journalist, who is reputed to be, re- marriage, and that it is damaging to Jew-
ligiously, the most observant Yiddish ish existence that there should be such a
writer in America, has made numerous widespread lack of Jewish knowledge
appeals for strict adherence to Jewish among young Jews. Perhaps he would be
laws as a means of assuring Jewish sur- safe also in applying it to the elders in
vival. As a regular columnist in the Jewish Jewry. But his solution calls for a return
Daily Forward, in his several books, he to the most orthodox way of life, and we
has excoriated the Council for Judaism wonder whether he does not make the
and assimilationists and has advocated de- approach most difficult. There is, in
votion to the most sacred Jewish traditions Jewry, an overwhelming number of Con-
servative and Reform Jews who, like their
as the only way to survivalism.
In his latest book, "Awake, Awake, Orthodox fellow-Jews, are concerned that
The Jewish Home Is On Fire", published there should be a strong Jewish revivalism
in Yiddish by Mizrachi-Hapoel Hamizrachi in the interest of survivalism. Are they to
under the title "Vacht Oif, Vacht Oif, Dos be excluded from the campaign to rescue
Yiddishe Hoiz Brent," he expresses our youth from total assimilation and from
greater alarm than ever before and calls ignorance, and is the yeshiva the only
for a campaign among Jews to encourage means of escape?
Lieberman wrote his book in Yiddish.
Jewish learning, to strengthen the ortho-
dox way of life, to make the yeshivot the How many in Jewry today are able to read
his book, and therefore to understand it?
centers of Jewish existence.
He uses as his slogan the admoni-
Yet he sees in the revival of Yiddish a
partial solution to his problem! And if it
tion in Proverbs (22:6):
"Train up a child in the way he
becomes necessary to cry out against
assimilation, to warn against intermar-
And even when he is old he will not
riage and conversions, must such a cam-
depart from it."
paign be limited to Orthodox solutions?
Lieberman was motivated in his warn-
A real service was rendered by Chaim
ings that "the Jewish home is on fire", Lieberman in his warnings against immi-
that Jewry is in danger of extinction, by nent dangers to Jewish existence stem-
the increase in intermarriages, by an evi- ming from extreme assimilationism. But
dent rise in conversions to Christianity there are other solutions than those he has
(shmad), by young Jewry's lack of knowl- offered. In a democratic society like ours,
edge of Jewish lore, history, traditions in which the ghetto walls are only the
and the Bible.
internally-created and not the externally-
imposed, it is necessary to view the con-
The case histories enumerated in Lie- ditions, sad as declining Jewish scholar-
berman's book appear to justify the posi- ship may be, within the framework of the
tion he has taken in his challenging new environment that encircles us. Lieberman
book. But they do not concur with the was right in creating an understanding of
more hopeful views of religious leaders the existing problem and in arousing
who maintain that there is evidence of re- Jewish concerns over a relaxation of Jew-
invigorated Jewish activities among the ish loyalties. He is too extreme as a prob-
youth. They do not agree with the con- lem solver.
fidence of Jewish schools and congrega-
At least, the issue' is on the agenda.
tional leaders that there is new and That means that the danger is lessening.
greater interest in Jewish learning.
As long as there are people who seek ad-
Lieberman's solution lies in a house-to- vancement of Jewish traditions and con-
house campaign to enroll Jewish children tinued adherence to our heritage, neither
in Jewish schools, to bring them into traditions nor heritage will ever perish.
yeshivot, to make loyalty to Jewish tradi-
tions a cardinal principle in Jewish life.
He calls for 10 men crazy enough to dedi-
cate themselves to such a task (tzehn
There is cause for mourning over the
meshugoyim), maintaining that all that is passing of Saul R. Levin, one of Detroit
needed is such a minyan to arouse Jews Jewry's noblest men. The youth with
to the dangers of an impending total col- whom he worked will never forget him.
The Corrections Commission has a new
lapse of Jewish life.
perspective as a result of his genius in
It is the solution that Lieberman offers interpreting our penal codes. The Con-
that may weaken his call to action. He sular corps was enriched by his geniality.
does well to indicate that there are Blessed be his memory.
Saul R. Levin
His views on Jewish issues, his theo-
logical interpretations continue to be
quoted in discussions of the numerous
problems that beset American Jewry. The
books he has written are attaining the
status of permanency.
Some of Rabbi Steinberg's major
essays are now available in a new vol-
ume, "Anatomy of Faith," edited by
Arthur A. Cohen. Published on the
tenth anniversary of the eminent leader's
death, by Harcourt, Brace & Co. (750
3rd, N.Y. 17), this volume is assured a
place among the most widely used Jew-
It is not only in the essays "The
Theological Issues of the Hour" and in
"New Currents in Religious Thought"
that "Anatomy of Faith" stands out as Milton Steinberg
a great work. The entire collection, as edited by Cohen, is
distinctly superb in the titles chosen for perpetuation in this
Thus, Dr. Steinberg's "The Revolt Against Reason: The
Anti-Intellectualism of Henri Bergson," is as timely today as
when it first was written. So, also are "Kirkegaard and Judaism"
and "The Outlook of Reinhold Niebuhr."
"Anatomy of Faith" has the special merit of the intro-
ductory essay by Arthur A. Cohen,, himself an able scholar who
studied at theological seminaries, who authored a book on
Martin Buber and who is highly qualified to review the life
and work of Rabbi Steinberg.
Cohen- reviews the climate of the time in which Dr. Stein-
berg lived, the transformations from the shtetl to the American
environment, when it was "easier to escape Judaism than
Dr. Steinberg's family background in his native Rochester,
N.Y., and the Jewish conditions of the time provided the biogra-
pher and the editor of this volume with interesting material for
the evaluation of the eminent scholar—the emerging man and the
problems that existed at the time. The family moved to New
York; Milton's early years were uneventful, Then came the
decision to learn.
Milton was not too happy at the Jewish Theological Seminary
at the beginning. He later was influenced by Dr. Mordecai M.
Kaplan, the founder of the Revisionist movement, and "what
Kaplan had to teach, Steinberg never forgot."
Milton Steinberg "matured early." His first pulpit was
in Indianapolis, and he became the rabbi of New York's Park
Avenue Synagogue at the age of 30, holding that position
until his death.
Cohen's introduction .evaluates his works—the great historical
novel "As a Driven Leaf," which the editor calls "an explana-
tion of himself to himself"; "The Making of a Modern Jew,"
"A Partisan Guide to the Jewish Problem," "Judaism and Mod-
ern Man," "Basic Judaism" and his numerous essays. Cohen
pays this tribute to Dr. Steinberg:
"Milton Steinberg was born into a transitional half
century of Jewish life and died before he had completed its
full measure. He succeeded, however, as perhaps no other
American-Jewish thinker has, in having been the accurate echo
of his time. Unlike other echoes, who hear but do not
understand, Milton not only heard but comprehended. He
knew what history was trying to say about the Jew, he
anticipated its hollow ring, its call to death by violence or
by slow erosion, and he sought to return the echo to its source
and silence it .. .
"Milton Steinberg was inexpressibly gentle and warm,
understanding and compassionate. His books will survive the
memory of his person, but those who live and remember his
presence will recall not the book and the writings. They will
recall rather that this was a rare creature who so loved his
Creator that he could withhold love from no man."
Those who knew Milton Steinberg will attest to the verity
of this statement. They will be reinvigorated by the splendid
book, "Anatomy of Faith."