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August 31, 1962 - Image 32

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1962-08-31

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS — Friday, August 3 1, 1962

Boris Smolar's

Between You


anci Me'

Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Inc.)
(Copyright, 1962,


The American Scene

American Jewish organizations, usually inclined to defend
Israel's reputation in this country, have displayed little courage
in defending Israel for refusing to violate its own laws and
bring Dr. Soblen — the fugitive from American justice — from
England to the United States. . . .None came out publicly with
a statement in Israel's defense in the days when this was so
badly needed . . . Nor did Jewish members of the U.S. Congress
display any such courage until it became clear that even England
could not deliver Soblen to the United States overnight without
violating its own laws. . . . Only two Jewish members of Congress
found it possible to point out from the floor of the House that
Israel could not be blamed for what even England does not want
to do . . . However, things have changed now after England
unwittingly paved the way for a better understanding of Israel's
position by bringing out the legal complications involved in
extraditing Soblen . .. Jewish organizations are still abstaining
from public statements to make clear to the American public
what was involved in Israel's refusal to carry Soblen on an
Israeli plane to the United States from London. . . But some
of them at least try now to explain the complications of the
case to their own membership . . Most outspoken in this
explanation is the American Jewish Committee whose president
came out earlier with a statement in the press requesting that
Israel deliver Soblen to New York. . . . The American Jewish
Committee is now disseminating "questions and answers" on the
Soblen case making it clear why Israel could not deliver Soblen
to the U.S. when Britain wanted to get rid of him. . . . The
Committee puts the blame for the entire mixup in the "Soblen
Affair" on the U.S. marshal assigned to guard Soblen on board
the El Al plane on which the convicted spy was deported from
Israel because he entered the country on a false passport. . . .
The DJC emphasizes that had this American secret service man
foiled Soblen's attempted suicide on the plane, Soblen would
have been in American custody long ago . . . Why didn't El Al
airlines continue Soblen's trip from London to the U.S.? ... The
Committee poses this question and explains that while the Israel
government had the legal power to expel Soblen from Israel, it
could not legally permit its planes to be used as an instrument
for an act equivalent to extradition from England. . . . In the
original expulsion, Israel's concern was simply to remove Soblen
from Israel's soil. . . . The responsibility for seeing to it that
Soblen did not again try to make good his escape, when the
El Al plane stopped over in Athens or London, was not Israel's.
. . For Israel to accept responsibility then would have been
a serious violation of its international law, the American Jewish
Committee points out. . . . The National Community Relations
Advisory Council is disseminating material helping to put Israel's
position in the Soblen case in the proper perspective. . . . It
abstains, however, from giving its own views on the matter. . . .
NCRAC is keeping an eye on the reactions toward Israel through-
out the country now that it is becoming clear that even England
faces legal difficulties in attempting to deliver Soblen to the
United States.

Theological Discussions Stud Rachel Berdach's
Novel That Attracted Sigmund Freud's Interest

Rachel Berdach, who escaped
the Nazi menace in the late '30s,
and who now lives in Zurich,
Switzerland, wrote a novel with
an historical background relat-
ing to the Dark Ages and the
Renaissance, under the title
"The Emperor, the Sages and
Death," which then made a deep
impression on Prof. Sigmund
Freud. Thomas Yoseloff (11 E.
36th, N. Y. 16) has just pub-
lished the novel in an English
translation by William Wolf of
Denver. The eminent psychia-
trist, Dr. Theodor Reik, who col-
laborated with Freud, wrote an

This novel assumes import-
ance for many reasons. It has
as its major characters Fred-
erick II (1194-1250), who con-
ducted discussions on many
human issues with theologians
—a Moslem and a Christian—
and the other major character
in the book, Rabbi Jacob Charif
BenAron. The fact that the
novel attracted the attention of
Dr. Freud during the last years
of his life, during his residence
in London after he had escaped
from the Nazis, gives it emi-
nence. Then there are the nu-
merous opinions on various mat-
ters which elevate the story to
a high level.

Dr. Reik's introduction ex-
plains the background of
Prof. Freud's interest in the
unknown Rachel Berdach. He
points out that the great Ger-
man Emperor Frederick the
Second, in whose court in
Sicily and Naples the discus-
sions recorded in this novel
were held, was excommu-
nicated by the Pope. That he
had surrounded himself with
poets, scholars, physicians
and scientists and that Rabbi
BenAron's "profound insights
outshone the glamor of all the
stars at Frederick's court."
Impressed by this novel,
which does not have an his-
torical background, Dr. Freud
wrote to the author, commend-
ing her "mysteriously beautiful
book," and posed this question:
"Is it the moving transfigura-
tion of Jewish suffering, or sur-
prise in reading that at the
Jewish Affairs
While the question of Jewish Federations giving increased court of the ingenious and ty-

financial aid to their local Jewish all-day schools is under study,
preliminary data presents an interesting picture on this subject.
. It shows that in Cleveland, the Hebrew Academy is receiv-
ing from the local Federation a subsidy exceeding $91,000 a

year. .. In Chicago, the Federation grant to the local Jewish
Academy is $48,000 a year. . In addition to the $29,000 the
Chicago Federation grants to the Arie Crown Hebrew Day
School, $13,000 is granted yearly to the Rambam Day School. . . .
The Bais Yaakov Hebrew School in Chicago gets $4,200 a year
from the Federation. . . . The Chicago Federation also subsidizes

the Hillel Day School in that city. . . . In Detroit, Yeshiva Beth
Yehuda received from the Federation about $25,000 a year before
joining the United Hebrew Schools. . . . In Cincinnati, the Cho-
fetz Chaim school is granted $20,000 a year by the local Federa-
tions. . . . Hebrew all-day schools in Rochester, Trenton and
Scranton each get a $10,000 a year subsidy from their local Fed-
erations ... In Portland, the Hebrew Day School gets $15,000....
All-day schools in other communities receive smaller allocations.
The results of the study on the all-day schools will be presented
to the General Assembly of the Council of Jewish Federations
and Welfare Funds, in November. . . . In all likelihood, the
discussion of Jewish education at the Assembly will be much
broader than the issue of all-day schools alone . . . These schools,
which have about 50,000 pupils, involve a relatively small per-
centage of the 600,000 children attending Jewish schools of all
types, and the Federations are concerned with the Jewish educa-
tion needs in total perspective.

Histadrut Asks Moscow to Allow
Jews to Maintain Links Abroad

Histadrut, Israel's Labor Feder-
ation, has addressed an urgent
appeal to the Soviet Union to
recognize the right of Russian
Jews to maintain links with
their brethren throughout the
world and to allow those who
wish to do so to migrate to
The appeal was published in
the Histadrut daily, Davar, over
the signature of the Histadrut's
executive committee and its
Center for Culture and Educa-
tion. The message recalled that
a decade ago, 24 Jewish writers

and intellectuals were executed
in the Soviet Union after a
secret trial.
The appeal said it appeared
that the present Soviet govern-
ment had "reservations" about
the trial and executions and ap-
parently regarded them as sins
of the Stalin period. The appeal
added that although in recent
years, the Soviet leaders had
been redressing many acts of
criminality of the Stalin era,
the "incalculable outrage of the
eradication of Jewish culture"
in the Soviet Union still had
not yet been set right.

rannical German Emperor one

understood the wisdom of phy-
choanalysis so well—that I must
say that a long time has passed
since I read such a meaningful
and poetically successful book?"
Dr. Reik refers to the author,
whom he knew many years
back, as one who had a block
that at first prevented her from
writing the book, and he states:

"Only after the Nazis had de-
prived her of all she possessed,
only after the collapse of her
marriage and the loss of many
friends, did the shadow which
a childh000d experience had
cast on Rachel's life vanish."
The novel is repete with par-
ables. It commences with a de-
scription of a tragedy that
struck the rabbi's life, leading
to his travels that led him to
the Emperor's palace. There
are dreams and interpretations,
giving the story its psychologi-
cal aspect.

The Christian attitudes to-
wards Jews enter into many
of the debates at Frederick's
court. At one point the accu-
sation is hurled that Jews are
cowards. The Emperor ex-
pressed the opinion: "Ever
since the Saviour has arisen
among them, their suffering
has had no end, and it looks
as if the old God considered
belief in His son to be idol
worship and published Judah
for the last and worst hersy;
Christianity." Such was the
sentiment of the heretical
Emperor who had befriended
the rabbi. Refuting the cow-
ardice charge, BenAron said
during that discussion: "I do
not believe we have become
cowards. But ever since those
ancient times our courage has

chosen a different object, and
for that adversary different
weapons are called for. It
takes as much bravery to sac-
rifice one' life on the stake as
it does to mount a war horse."
At another point in the series
of discussions between the rep-
resentatives of various faiths,
pity is expressed that the Mos-
lems and the Jews "are for-
bidden by their religion to en-
joy paintings and sculpture."
BenAron commented: "We are
prohibited their worship, but
we may enjoy them. .. . Only
oversteeming is f o r b i d d e n.
What is supposed to testify to
God's might must not itself
become divine power. . . . We
were told 'Hear 0 Israel' not
`See.' "
Among the most interesting
discussions in the book is the
one that revolves around the

should be glad to have one.
And then, without Jews, who
would show examples of a stub-
born faith? While probing
deeply, they are loyal to their
God. You should be glad to have
such models; do not suppress
them. My heresy is greater than
the Rabbi's; I can't believe
that we'll be resurrected. An-
other thing I cannot stomach;
the millennium! What does it
mean? What changes will be
brought about? I can not stand
the way priests explain it. Like
paupers who, in their dark
streets, have dreams of castles
and of carnivals, so do they
talk of the millennium — roast
beef and games of dice."
It is in this fashion that many
old prejudices are aired, the
Emperor taking the liberal
view, the Rabbi calmly and
dispassionately interpreteting
challenge that was hurled at Jewish values, the priest bit-
BenAron: "How come your God terly attacking.
did not do what he promised
It is an impressive work, and

you? Instead of being like the Sigmund Freud's interest in it
sand on the seashore, you are becomes quickly apparent.
a little handful, dwindling
away." Whereupon the follow- Hebrew Corner
ing ensued:
"The Emperor was upset: 'Of
course they dwindle; you burn Jerusalem
them; your stakes destroy their
"The Rabbi looked at Fred-
erick with gratitude. 'We do Corporation
explain that metaphorically. Not In all generations since the begin-
of the return to Zion, Jews
that our people will expand, ning
came to Jerusalem to work and live
but our heritage, the Law. in the Holy City. Today Jerusalem
is not only a spiritual and govern-
Those who confess it are like ment
center, it is a modern city
factories and commercial
the sand on the seashore.' He
looked at Abu Sina (the Mos- The Jerusalem Economic Corpora-
lem participant in the discus- tion with assets of one million dol-
lars, was founded to help develop
sions). 'Ishmael prays to his the
city. The • stockholders of the
father's God. The root gives company are: the State of Israel, the
Jewish Agency, the Keren Kayemeth,
strength to all the branches. the Jerusalem Municipality and
We Jews are like that mother others. During the 13 years of its
existence, the company helped a
to whom Solom turned in his hundred
industries and workshops,
wisdom. So do we say: as long amongst them an enterprise for
and handicapped children.
as our child lives, no matter by blind
How do you encourage the build-
what name! Our people see that ing of industrial enterprises in
The plans are prepared
the Lord keeps his promise, for various industries
and proposed
and therefore they believe he to investors. Investors are looked for
within and outside the country
will also take them back to their both
that are prepared to set up new
industries and expand them. The
company constructs buildings for
"The Bishop said: 'That factories
and leases them out on
would be fine with us. We easy terms to investors. Assistance
given to construct factories and
would get rid of you that way, is
hiring of workmen. In this manner,
and our own faith would be by the help of the Corporation,
were established a printing centre,
textile industries, dia-
" 'You are too pious,; said the book-binders,
mond cutting shops, food industries,
Emperor. 'Yon may preserve The new slogan other
is: "Invest ' your
it, well, but how about your money
in Jerusalem."
Translation of. Hebrew column,
crusades? Where would you Published
by Brith Ivrith Olamith,
find pretexts for that? You

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