By RABBI SAMUEL J. FOX
German Youth Movement History Described in Walter Laqueur's Book
Walter Z. Laqueur, eminent
author, an authority on Ger-
Why is it that on Simchas many, adds greatly to an un-
Torah we end the reading of derstanding of events in that
the Pentatuch and then begin country with his history of the
again from the beginning?
Germany youth movement, re-
This is done so that the pub- cently published by Basic Books
lic may be impressed with the (59 4th, NY3) under the title
fact that one is never finished "Young Germany."
with the Torah and that each
This complete and excellently
time it is read something new is compiled record provides back-
gleaned. As a matter of fact, ground material on the devel-
this procedure is followed in opment of the youth movement
. the prayers too which begin dating back to the beginning of
with Adon Olam and end with the century.
Because of its relevancy to
Why is it that when the
the subject, it is interesting
first passages from Genesis
to note that the author states
are read on Simchas Torah
in his preface: "My own
the congregation repeats aloud
origin is German-Jewish and
I have recollections of the
The reason for this is be- youth movement dating back
cause the reading from Genesis to my early childhood. . ."
on Simchas Torah is not done
The vivid recollections, and
for reading alone as it is done others, which he described as
on the following Sabbath. It is hazy, combine to give the reader
done also for study and, there- a view of what had happened
fore, the congregation repeats in the moulding of youth, in
certain sentences aloud to par- their "revolt" that began 60
ticipate in this study and to re- years ago, in the scheme of
affirm their faith in the cre- things which some believed had
ation of the world by the Al- ended with the beginning of
mighty. It is also claimed that World War I, some ascribed the
these passages which are read finality to the commencement
aloud shall declare the creation of the Hitler era, and others
day by day by saying "and it say it still continues.
was evening and it was morn-
The Jewish question re-
ing" are a basis of the daily ceived much consideration from
sacrifices that were brought the organizers of the youth
evening , and morning in the movement. In the early years
temple in place of which we of the movement, some Jews
now have our prayers." Repeat- were affiliated with it—not in
ing these passages aloud reaf- the very beginning but around
firms our belief in prayer and 1905. But in 1912 Jews became
sacrifice to the Almighty.
subjects of discussion, as a re
Why are all the children suit of an anti-Semitic incident
called up to the Torah to- involving a Jewish girl, a stu-
gether and covered with a dent in the Saxon city of Zit-
tau. Then word went forth,
Talis on Simchas Torah?
Jewish life always wanted to "we do not want the Slays,
demonstrate the fact that the Jews, or Welsh in our ranks."
Jewish patriotism began to
Torah belongs to every one—
men, women and children. be questioned, in spite of the
Spreading the Talis over the
children is symbolic of the Theological Seminary
clouds of glory that protected Names Mrs. Fealk to
the children of Israel in their
trek through the wilderness. It High Post Here
Mrs. Philip P. Fealk has been
is also symbolic of the way in
which the Torah was given appointed executive secretary
children of Israel to the Michigan Region office of
were at the foot of Mt. Sinai the Jewish Theological Semi-
and the clouds appeared above, nary of America.
The office, located at 1442
or the mountain was lifted over
Griswold, serves as an informa-
tion, programming and guid-
Automobile replacement parts ance center for 18 Conservative
and accessories sold in 1961 had congregations in the state. Nine
a taxable value of $2.4 billion. are in the Detroit area.
Mrs. Fealk is junior past
president of the League of Jew-
ish Women's Organizations of
Metropolitan Detroit; District
Six fourth vice-president of Bnai
Brith Women; first vice-presi-
dent of the National Bureau of
Federated Jewish Women's Or-
ganizations; a board member
Flying to Tel Aviv?
and book review chairman of
Beth Aaron Synagogue and a
five-year participant in the Syn-
agogue Adult Institute.
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Beth El Will Hold
Temple Beth El will hold its
annual consecration services of
the newly enrolled children in
the religious school 11 a.m.
Sunday at the Temple.
Each child will be presented
with a miniature Torah Scroll
as a gift from the congregation
and will be blessed by Dr. Rich-
ard C. Hertz.
The traditional handing down
of the Torah from generation
to generation will be performed
by Israel Himelhoch, a past
president of the Temple, his
son, Charles, and his grandson,
Cong. Shaarey Zedek
to Hold Semi-Annual
Meeting at New Site
_ David M. Miro, president of
Cong. Shaarey Zedek, an-
nounced that the semi-annual
meeting of the congregation
will be held in the East Social
Hall of the new Synagogue, at
27375 Bell Road, Southfield, at
8:30 p.m. Wednesday.
This will be the first official
meeting of the congregation in
the new edifice.
many sacrifices that were made
by Jews on the war fronts in
the first world conflict.
The anti-Semitic attitudes
spread rapidly. Jews were
condemned to the ranks of
the illegitimates and the cam-
paign of hatred spread in
Some Jewish students began
to organize Zionist groups of
their own and the anti-Semites
encouraged them. Proof - of
Jewish loyalty did little good.
Some Jews still were affiliated
with the youth organization in
the first world war, but their
number was negligible and
their position precarious, and
no matter what efforts Jews
made to be welcome, they
"were rejected regardless of
their German patriotism and:
"As Dankwart Gerlach said: 'A
Jew is not suitable for us even
if he is baptized ten times
Laqueur's account provided
basic data needed for an under-
standing of the youth activities
"in Hitler's shadow," during
the holocaust years, throughout
the era of a "revolt" with its
"Bunde" and the "Wandervo-
gel" groups. The able author
advises his readers:
"Both the achievements of
the youth movement and its
shortcomings and failures ought
to be judged on the background
of that period. It produced a
type of character; its young
men and women developed
qualities of sincerity, decency,
open-mindedness and idealism,
they tended to -become free
from petty egoism and career-
ism, opposed to artificial con-
ventions, snobbery and affecta-
tion. The main defects of the
youth movement were confused
thinking, inadequate social cour-
age and responsibility, and a
profoundly illiberal attitude. It
tended, like the Romantics be-
fore them, to venerate the Mid-
dle Ages in contrast to the
modern world, and to exalt the
peasant way of life above that
of indusrial society, to an ex-
tent which disqualified it from
dealing with present realities."
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1 3 - THE DETR OIT JEWISH NEWS — Frid ay, October 19, 1962
Simhat Torah Quiz