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August 12, 1960 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1960-08-12

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Perfidy in Reverse .


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Pope John Alters a Discriminating Rite












Pope John XXIII, since his accession to world Catholic
leadership, has attracted wider attention than any other reli-
gious leader. His sensational alterations of a number of Catholic
practices won for him the acclaim of people
outside as well as within his faith.
He is responsible for the abandonment of
several rites that were humiliating to Jews,
and he has removed references that are con-
temptuous of Jews and other non-Catholic
It was not so long ago that Pope John
XXIII removed references to the "perfidy" of
Jews from the Good Friday ritual. Last week
the head of the - Catholic church eliminated
another offensive phrase from the baptismal
ritual. For 360 years, the Roman rite called Pope John
for the pronouncement by a priest converting a Jew of the
formula: "You should abhor Hebrew perfidy and reject Hebrew
superstition." This has now been erased from the conversion
It is explained that, in asking for the reform, the Pontiff
sought "to emphasize everything that unites and to remove
anything that unduly divides believers in God." What a wise
approach! Instead of resorting to contempt for "unbelievers,"
Pope John recognizes that non-Catholics, too, can be
Whether or not it is another shrewd way of gaining rather
than losing adherents—by gathering "honey from the weed'—
there is no doubt that his latest action is another "bee in his
bonnet." If it has to do with the easier way of attracting con-
verts, then those who recognize the wise ways of a proselytizer
—since the new ruling has so much to do with the rite of
baptism—may well say with Shakespeare (II Henry VI, Act iv):
"Some say the bee stings: but I say, 'tis the bee's wax."

An Amendment to the "Perfidy' Viewpoint

The jubilation over the abandonment of the term "perfidy"
in Catholic rituals calls, however, for additional review. The
Vatican used that term in reference to Jews who remained
Jews. Our former kinsmen who accepted Catholicism ceased
being perfidious by leaving the Jewish fold. Therefore, the
very idea, when it was embraced by the Catholic hierarchy,
was linked entirely with proselytization. Therefore, Jews who
refused to be lured by the enticement of suffering "perfidy," as
interpreted hitherto by the Catholic church, removed from their
souls, really acted perfidiously towards Judaism to which they
became unfaithful and treacherous by joining another faith.
Therefore, both the perfidy and the honey really belong
to the bees that are not sheltered in our hives. Thus, while
recognizing the wisdom of the Pontiff, his new ritual reform
is in reality an internal Catholic terminology-cleansing. It
makes interesting news: it does not remove "perfidy" as an
apt application by those of their faith to their former kinsmen
who had chosen to abandon that faith.

Suppression of Anti Semitic References in Dictionaries


Vastly more important is the success that has been attained
in the removal of anti-Semitic definitions in dictionaries in a
number of languages in European and American countries.
We have had a battle against contemptuous references
to us and to our faith in dictionaries and encyclopedias in our
own country and in other lands.
Considerable success has been attained in these efforts. The
latest triumph is the recommendation that was made last week
in Bogota, Columbia, at the congress of Spanish language
academies of South America, that words and definitions that
are anti-Semitic in nature should be suppressed in Spanish
dictionaries. This is justice!
Steps already had been taken by Brazilian academicians
to expunge anti-Semitic references in Portuguese dictionaries
used in the schools of Brazil.
Pope John, having evidenced an inclination to end un-
complimentary references to non-Catholics, would be rendering
a far greater service, to humanity and also to his church, by
removing from catechisms and textbooks the frequent refer-
ences to the crucifixion—references that can inspire only hate
and suspicion — and by eliminating comments that tend to
create enmity. Such an act would, indeed, mean an end to
Much remains to be done to remove anti-Jewish comments
from textbooks, encyclopedias and dictionaries. Having attained
that, we shall come much closer to assuring fairness in educa-
tion and in human relations. Then, it will be "perfidy" to dis-
tort the true meaning of words and to instigate man against
man hatefully.

Iranian Jewry and the Shah's Courageous Act

The courageous act of Shah Reza Pahlevi, of Iran, in
repudiating the attempt of Egypt's dictator, Gamal A b del
Nasser, to prevent friendly relations between Iran and Israel,
draws attention to the Jews of Iran—ancient
Persia—and their status as one of the oldest
Jewish communities in the world.
For many years, Iranian Jewry was iso
lated from the rest of their people. Recently
however, as a result of Dr. Israel Goldstein's
good will mission to that country, and the
presence of an Iranian delegation the World
Jewish Congress Plenary in Stockholm, last
year, firmer links have been established be-
tween world and. Iranian Jewries, and between
the Jews and Iran.
There are less than 85,000 Jews in Iran
in a total population of 20,000,000. Their num- Shah of Iran
ber includes several thousand former Polish Jews who found
haven there during the era of Nazi terrorism.
While some Jews found refuge in Iran, the country's
capital city of Teheran served as a transition center for refugees
who sought haven in Palestine in the years preceding the re-
birth of the State of Israel.
, Iran's Shah, Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlevi, gained power
as a result of the coup against Mossadegh in 1953. As he has
just reaffirmed, Iran had given Israel de facto recognition in
1951. While the two countries do not have diplomatic relations,
Israel has done business with Iran, and there is a good market
in Iran for articles labeled "Made in Israel." The Shah has not

By Philip


prevented emigration of Persian Jews to Israel, and the Jewish
Agency continues to function freely in Iran.
Whether or not Iran's Shah is being influenced by his firm
stand against Egyptian interference in his cordial relations with
Israel by the approaching 2500th anniversary of the establish-
ment of the Persian Empire by King Cyrus the Great, who
ended Israel's Babylonian exile and permitted the Jews to
return to their homeland 25 centuries ago, the fact remains
that Jewish communities everywhere are planning to join in
an international celebration of the anniversary. (See Editorial
in this issue).
There is no doubt about the Israeli-Iranian friendship.
There were times when Jews suffered persecution in Iran. But
conditions have improved. It was only about 125 years ago
that there was a pogrom against the Jews in Meshed, Iran, and
the survivors of the massacre were forced to become Moslems.
But like the Marranos during the Spanish Inquisition, they
secretly retained their faith, had their synagogues, conducted
schools for their children. Because of the incursion of Western
influences and the news about their Jewish kinsmen everywhere,
the Meshed Marranos began to practice their faith openly and
there commenced a return to Judaism. The emergence of the
State of Israel added to the faith of these people in their
kinsmen and in a better future.
Now, Shah Pahievi's courage seems to augur the beginning
of a new diplomatic era. Will his stand in defense of his de
facto recognition encourage other states that are now antag-
onistic to Israel to act likewise? So far, there is no justification
for over-confidence. But the Shah of Iran has taken a step in
a positive direction. Perhaps it is the beginning of a new era
of peace for the entire Middle East.

Hebrew University
Doctors to Lecture
in Singapore School

(Direct JTA Teletype Wire
to The Jewish News)

JERUSALEM. — Prof. Moshe
Rachmilewitz, Dean of the
Medical Faculty of the Hebrew
University, and Prof. M. Prives
left Tuesday for Singapore in
connection with a request by
the Singapore Medical School
for BO Israeli lecturers.
Before his departure, Prof.
Prives said that if conditions
were found satisfactory, Israel
might be able to send 20 of the
needed lecturers.

Israel's Tourism
Grows 36 Per Cent

(Direct JTA Teletype Wire
to The Jewish News)

JERUSALEM.—A 36 percent
increase in tourism this year, as
compared with 1959, was noted
in figures issued here Tuesday
by the government's Central
Bureau of Statistics.
During the first seven months
of this year, Israel was host to
72,000 tourists, as compared with
53,000 during the same period
last year.

3-Year Research Study of Ocean Tides Problem
Is Culminated at Weizmann Institute of Science

REHOVOTH, Israel, — A
three-year study of the problem
of ocean tides, which has baf-
fled mathematicians since 1775,
was recently "culminated" at
the Weizmann Institute of
Science in Rehovoth.

generally until after the paper
has appeared in the appropri-
ate scientific periodica and in
the proceedings of the Inter-
national Union.
Prof. Pekeris' associates on

the project, who are members
of his department, are Dr.
Zip or a h Alterman, Dr. M.
Dishon, Mr. Hans Jarosch, Dr.
Hanna Lifson, and Dr. I. M.

The investigation was started
in the Institute's Department
of Applied Mathematics in 1957
by a team of scientists led by
Professor Chaim Leib Pekeris,
(Copyright, 1960, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Inc.)
the department head, one of
the world's foremost mathe-
Diplomatic Notes
The fight which the Egyptian dictator Nasser started against
Progress was made possible the Shah of Iran for his maintaining de facto recognition of
by the completion of WEIZAC, Israel is closely watched in Washington . . General opinion
the high-speed electronic com- is that Nasser went out on an awkward limb in his personal
puter which staff engineers and quarrel with the Shah ... De facto recognition had been accorded
technicians built at the Institute. by Iran to Israel long ago and Nasser never challenged it .
After the computer began Why did he not consult other Arab countries before his sudden
working in April 1958, its outbursts against the Shah and his breaking off diplomatic
programing team developed relations with Iran? . . . Why did he not go into a frenzy over
methods of harnessing it to the recognition of Israel by Turkey which, like Iran, is also
the task of handling the com- a Moslem country? . . . Is it not a fact that some of the Arab
plex computations required for League countries which he is trying to dominate, are now
questioning the wisdom of his action against the Shah? . .
the ocean-tides problem.
Prof. Pekeris decided to Did he not realize that Iran is an independent country which will
tackle the problem some years not tolerate his interference in her affairs?. . . Would he
ago. He felt that with ocean tolerate the interference of any foreign country in the affairs
depths nowadays reasonably of the United Arab Republic of which he is President? . .
well fathomed, except for the There is no question that the United States is not indifferent
Arctic regions, it should be to any action which Nasser may contemplate with a view to
possible to predict mathemat- undermining the position of the Shah . . . In this country, the
ically the height of the tide Shah of Iran is considered a liberal minded person who strives
to achieve the best for the people of his country . . . Unlike
along the whole coast.
Nasser, the Shah is not given to making reckless and demagogic
Yet the problem was so ab- statements . . . His statement that he will continue the existing
struse that to date no one suc-
de facto recognition of Israel—which so strongly infuriated
ceeded in predicting the height Nasser—was welcomed as a step toward cementing stability
of the tide at a single port on the Middle East . . . Nasser's artificial fury against the Shah
the basis of theory alone.
for this statement is interpreted in Washington as indicating
A few days ago, Prof. Pekeris that he, like the Soviet Union, wants no such stability in the area.
announced the results of the
Educational Notes
three-year project in a paper
More and more teachers from the United States are now
which he read at the meeting
proceeding to Israel for lengthy training courses there, as a
of the International Union of
result of intensified activities on the part of the Jewish Agency
Geodesy and Geophysics held
in lending a helping hand to the extension and improvement
in Helsinki, Finland.
of Jewish education in this country . . . The Jewish Agency is
The actual details of the also doing an impressive job in helping to train teachers for
paper still have to be disclosed, Jewish schools in Italy, France, Greece, North Africa, South
but they will not be published Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Chile and other countries .. .
The shortage in Jewish teachers in these countries is acute,
and the Jewish Agency is seeking to alleviate it by training
Kennedy to Speak
students from these lands and fortifying their Jewish knowledge
at ZOA Convention to become good Jewish educators . . . The object of these
seminars is to give the participants a more basic knowledge of
the fields in which they are active and also to bring them
ator John F. Kennedy will ad-
closer to Israel by familiarizing them with various aspects of
dress the opening session of
life there . . These seminars are attended mainly by social
the annual convention of the
workers, youth counselors, psychologists, and a large per.'
Zionist Organization of Amer-
centage of the participants are from the United States . . . In
ica, Aug. 25, at Hotel Statler-
connection with the educational program for Jewish communities
The Democratic Presiden- in the Diaspora, the Jewish Agency also pays special attention
to the distribution of Hebrew- books in various countries .
tial candidate is expected to
Forty percent of books valued at $35,000 went last year to
deal in his address with
North African countries, 12 percent to Argentina and 10 percent
America and the Middle East
with special emphasis on the to the United States . . The remainder were disseminated in
about 40 other countries .. . The Jewish Agency's Department
current developments affect-
of Education maintains contacts with teachers and Jewish
ing Israel. More than 1200
delegates representing 600 educational institutions in these countries through the sending
of suitable educational material . . . Similar activities are being
ZOA regions and districts
conducted by the Jewish Agency's Departnient for • Torah
from all parts of the country
Education . . . In addition to training religious teachers for
are expected to attend the
religious institutions abroad, this department distributes books
four-day sessions of the con-
to educational institutions, rabbis and teachers in 30 different

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