A diary is at best a hurriedly
recorded account of a person's
experiences. "Touch Wood," by
Morris L. Ernst, the nationally
famous American Civil Liberties
Union attorney, published by
Atheneum (162 E. 38th, N.Y.
16), therefore has its merits and
- In its totality, it is an interest-
ing account—the book's sub-title
is "a year's diary"—of an able
man's experiences in his 71st
year. It shows the vitality of an
active leader, his manifold asso-
ciations and interests, his love
for travel and his ability to give
a good account of what he hears
He knew as he was preparing
his diary that it was to be pub-
lished by Athenaeum, as he
stated towards the end of the
His story begins on Aug. 23,
1958—"the day when, according
to the Bible, I am presumed to
have licked the most evil myth
of our culture." His reference is
to the 70-year life span and to
the concept of "borrowed time
after 70." But Jewish tradition
also speaks of strength and wis-
dom after 70. Nevertheless, the
strong point he makes is that
"man lives as long as he wants
Ernst not only has made a
record of a year's experiences:
in the course of his diary he al
Challenges facts and figures.
instance, he questions ch ch
statistics and says: "The
have no organization aut ized
even to guess at the fi
five and a half million I ee on
Stating that "tawdry
are a real problem," Ern espe-
cially objects to the New
Post, which "takes the best Ii
eral positions of the day," yet
'professes to use the gutter to
get people to read Max Lerner. . ."
Ernst came up to fame, all the
way from his youth, within an
assimilated environment (from
the Jewish viewpoint), is no ex-
cuse for failing to grasp the great
events that have elevated the
people from whom he stems to
a new place of glory. "Neither
of us being worshippers"—an ex-
planation -of himself and his wife,
as they enter Israel, is puzzling.
No one is questioned when he
comes to Israel whether or not
he worships. Why such a reac-
tion? "Intermarriage is prohibit-
ed by law." Of course, there are
detriments in Israel, due t6 the
religious conditions. But these
hardly justify his despairing
"This is a tough land for us.
It's not easy to shift over from
admiration for fortitude and
esteem for great effort to
agreement with objectivei."
It need not be that tough, and
we meet Ernst's views with deep
r c g r e t. Thus, having visited
Teddy Kollek's home,. Ernst
commented: "I sensed at Ted • '
home a coolness—
offensive than go
Jews who did
id-. our own na-
were in lo
o, no matter how
admired the efforts and
in Israel, looked with
ective eyes on the venture."
erhaps it was Teddy's fault; yet,
we are inclined to believe that
Ernst just failed to fit into the
picture and could not catch
spirit of the place and the tim .
Kollek is not known as one who
demands religious worship, or
who can not fit into ann environ-
ment either of goyish Je
goyish goyim. So
1 e Is Like That
BY DAVID SCHWARTZ
Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Inc.)
David Dubinsky, labor -leader,
started his labor career in his
teens leading a strike against
his father's bakery in Poland.
Eddie Cantor as a boy sang in
the choir of Cantor Rosenblatt.
Irving Berlin's father was a
poor East Side cantor. It didn't
pay much of a salary, so Mr.
-Baline, that's the way the name
was originally spelled, also
served as mashgiach, supervisor
Jerome Kern's father had the
concession for street sprinkling
in Manhattan. The elder Kern
wanted J e r o m e to sprinkle
streets too, but he was more
He mentions our good friends, interested pouring sound than
Senator Hubert Humphrey of pouring water. Kern gave the
Minnesota and many others, in- following tip to would-be com-
cluding James N. Rosenberg, posers. "Keep working. You
famous lawyer who turned to may work all day and think
painting and now, at 85, still is you've got nothing from it, but
active and • Ernst the chances are you have gotten
• — t . same something—a note, a bar, here
a • - • ad a he and there, which some day you
ilding trout pools t will find a use for."
e in the Adirondacks, •
Ben Hecht was born in }ta-
is sporadic activities for me, Wis., and at 18 was an
Ernst's description of his
One of the leaders of the
visit in Israel is most disap-
turei Karta, the fanatical or-
Is a goo obs er,
dox party in Israel which
ee e . ni-
uses to recognize the state
Israel before the Messiah
omes, was once, while living
ew eople. in New York, a blatant atheist.
d to e most am
He w •
Later he got religion.
of all time.
Former Governor Dewey of
s for New
It is not a matter o
York once sang in a Jew-
question ish temple
or against Israel: it •
choir in New York
ust because City.
James Waterman Wise, so
of Rabbi Stephen Wise, is no
an art dealer in Paris.
Dr. Chaim Weizmann was
of fifteen children in his fa
Benny Goodman comes
poor Jewish family in Ch . go
and got his first music 1-
free at a Jewish synag
Eleazar Lipsky, author o
of Death" and other
thrillers, got a good deal of his
source material while serving
as Assistant District Attorney
Ulallalisermemomagloggill* of New York City.
Famous as the defender of
basic rights of all, Ernst puz-
zled us when we read, as he
"went into the handsome San-
ford White-designed high;ceil-
inged room" of the University
Club to have lunch with Jim
Armsey and Alfred Wolf of
Ford Foundation that: "I al-
ways enjoy eating here — be-
cause I like to eat with non-
bigots in this club that no Jew
may join, no matter how many
university degrees he has gar-
nered." Some less liberal men
have taken a more firm stand
• against the bigots who are will-
ing to feed non-bigots.
II DAYS OF FUN
2 thru 11
SAO PAULO, (JTA) — A Monk of Rio de Janeiro, Amer-
series of lectures u n der the ican Jewish Committee repre-
auspices of the United Nations sentative in Brazil.
wrong with Ernst, and we de- Educational, Scientific and Cul-
See Page 29 for New Year
plore it: he is so grand a person, tural Organization was con-
such an able leader, a splendid cluded here by Dr. Abraham
judge of human affairs—but he
has failed to judge fairly his
kinsmen, whom he need not con-
skier as co-religionists.
Later, when he spoke at a
luncheon, he again seemed to
miss major points when he dis-
cussed Israel and found it neces-
sary to say that "the best com-
A Synagogue of Liberal Judaism
ments came from the non-Jewish
girls." Generalization — f r o m
Still later, this additional com-
ment: "I wonder if in the Kib-
butzim, where babies are taken
away from mothers for commu-
nal upbringing, the women are
released to become utopians."
How much time did he allot to
the kibbutzim to become fully
acquainted • with their principles
and their effects on their women?
These are the exceptions we
take to a good book. We do so
with deep regret, for oth rwise
invites you to worship at our
* * *
The attitude of Morris Ernst
becomes more easily explainable
now as a result of a controversy
that has dev ed
eginning with Rosh Hashono Eve, •
Wed., Sept. 21
s made in
pan, o e
The privileges of membership in Temple Israel
• II sevelt,
to help settle
n and other coun-
• for the absorption of
1 High Holy Day seating for every member of the
all the Jewish DPs. Ernst's name
family from the age of 13.
was dragged into the discussion
as the man to whom the plan
allegedly, was made, and Gilmour
2. Religious School enrollment for all the children
quoted Ernst's statement in his
of the family. Opens Sunday morning, Sept. 18.
book "So Far So Good": "I was
amazed and even felt insulted
that active Jewish leaders de-
3. Temple High School for the youth of the family.
cried, sneered and then attacked
Opens Sunday morning, Sept. 18.
me as if I were a traitor."
The fact is that there never
4. Confirmation, Bar Mitzvah and Bas Mitzvah.
was a- Roosevelt plan for the
rescue of the DPs, that the Ernst
account was jumbled, bungled
and confused, and that it is not
even certain that the above quo-
Phone, Write or Come to
tation referred to Zionists or to
any sort of Roosevelt-refugee-
Daily 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Gilmour rendered a great dis-
service to Israel and to Jewry.
9:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
He may have misused the Ernst
(1 block north of McNichols,
quotation and he may have mis-
'Mon., Sept. 5 (Labor Day)
1 blk. east of Pontchartrain)
represented the issue altogether.
9:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Ernst now has an opportunity to
clarify the issue. We hope he'll
do so. But if Ernst really mud-
dled a tragic issue, then his atti-
tude is based on a lack of knowl-
ASK FOR ILLUSTRATED BROCHURE DESCRIBING
edge of Israel and the situation
reflecting Israel's rebirth. That
TEMPLE ISRAEL RELIGIOUS, CULTURAL, SOCIAL
would explain why he was so
AND EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES.
brutally cold to Israel on the
visit described in his new book.
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1 1 -- THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS — Friday, September 2, 1960
Jewish Representative Lectures for UNESCO
Morris Ernst's 'Touch Wood': Interesting
Diary, with Shortcomings About Israel