THE JEWISH NEWS
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Sabbath Scriptural Selections
clay of Kislev, the following Scriptural selections will
This Sabbath, the
in cur synagogues: portion,Wa-yishlah, Gen. 32:4-36:43. Prophetical portion, Hosea 11:7-12:12,
Licht Benshen, Friday, Dec. 14, 4:43 pan:
December 14, 1962
No. 16 .
Hanukah Out of Darkness Into Light
Our children have been prepared for
the observance of Hanukah, . in our
schools, in advance of the festival, which
will commence on Dec. 22. It is proper
that adults as well as the youth should
be aware of the lessons of the Festival
of the Maccabees and of Light.
Hanukah means Dedication. It began
with the Maccabees who, 2,132 years ago,
refused to bow down to idols, as ordered
by the then governor of Judaea, the
Graeco-Syrian Emperor Antiochus who
attempted to destroy Judaism. The re-
sistence that was led by Mattathias and
his five sons who became known in his-
tory as the Maccabees, during the guerilla
warfare that resulted in the defeat of
the pagans, was the first victory in history
for religious freedom. It is as such that
Hanukah is being observed.
The legend about the miracle of the
oil for the Menorah lamp in the Temple
is one of the inspiring appeals in the
Hanukah story. Because the light, for
which there was sufficient oil for a single
day, burned for eight days, we observe
Hanukah for that length of time, and the
festival thus becomes a prolonged one
for our children, who look forward to
observing it with their elders for more
than a week.
What inspires them even more is the
heroism of a people that refused to bow
down to idols; of courageous men and
women who adhered to their faith and
refused to abandon their Judaism.
The late Dr. Morris Joseph, at the
turn of this century, thus evaluated the
glory of Hanukah's heroes:
'It is good for Jewish youth to in-
clude warriors of their own race in
their gallery of heroes, to be able to
say, 'My people has produced its brave
men equally with the Greeks and the
"But still better it is for them to
feel that these brave men drew their
courage from the purest of all sources,
from a passionate love for their reli-
gion, from a veneration for the good
and the true and the morally beautiful.
The Maccabees boldly faced overwhelm-
ing odds, not for their own selfish ends,
but in a spirit of self-sacrificing fidelity
to the holiest of all causes. They threw
themselves upon the enemy in the tem-
per that takes the martyr to the stake;
they did it not for gain or glory, but
solely for conscience sake. They felt
that God was calling to them, and they
could not hold back. Theirs was a unique
effort. Others had, it is true, displayed
an equally noble courage on the battle-
field. But what they had fought for was
their fatherland and their mother
tongue, their hearths and homes. To
fight for Religion was a new thing.
"The little Maccabean band was like
a rock in the midst of a surging sea.
Standing almost alone in their day, the
heroes beat back the forces that threat-
ened to involve all mankind in a com-
mon demoralization. They held aloft the
torch of true religion when thick dark-
ness was covering the nations."
Indeed, it is inspiring for our young
people to draw strength from both the
physical courage of the Maccabees and
the spiritual strength we have inherited
from our forefathers.
There were numerous other occasions
when Jews fought for their rights, when
Ira Hirschmann, the eminent business executive who was
our people rejected alluring offers to President Roosevelt's personal representative in negotiations
abandon their faith, when Jews were with Nazi representatives in Turkey, during the last war, in
forced to resort to arms to defend them- efforts to rescue Jewish children; the
selves and their families. Not so long special UNRRA representative; the
ago, our people in Israel fought for their banker and manager of television sta-
independence. In all instances, Jewish tions; the public lecturer and author
courage has been likened to the bravery —this distinguished American Jewish
of the Maccabees. That is why Hanukah personality tells his life's story in a
has gained such eminence on the Jewish volume of considerable interest —
"Caution to the Winds" — published
Emma Lazarus, the great American by David McKay (119 W. 40th, N.Y.).
He began with a love for music,
Jewish poet whose tribute to America as
entered the advertising business and
a land of refuge for the oppressed is em- from
there his life developed into a
blazoned on the Statue of Liberty, whose leadership
that had taken him to
tablet contains her poem "The Great many areas. First it was the Joseph
Colossus", which has been quoted con- Katz Advertising Agency in Balti-
tinuously for a century in speeches and more, then Bamberger's in Newark,
which has been composed for songs, glori- Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Ave. and
fied the Maccabees in the poem, "The Bloomingdale in New York.
The highlight of his career was his activity in behalf of
Feast of Lights":
the refugees. He was induced to visit Germany when Hitler
Kindle the taper like the steadfast star,
first came to power. The reports he brought back drew wide
Ablaze on evening's forehead o'er
attention, befriended Ernest Gruening, then editor of the
Nation, and attracted Fiorello LaGuardia to him. He became
a valuable ally of New York's Little FloWer.
An eightfold splendour shine above
Hirschmann's negotiations with Eichmann's emissaries, his
meeting with Joel Brand, the Budapest Jewish representative
Clash, Israel, the cymbals, touch the lyre, who sought relief for Hungarian Jewry are incorporated in this
Blow the brass trumpet and the volume. He writes praisefully about Brand who "was forced by
history to play a role for which he was ill prepared."
Efforts to secure Vatican aid for the refugees, the difficult
Chant psalms of victory till the heart
task of assuring relief and rescue, are part of this story. Hirsch-
The Maccabean spirit leap new-born. mann states that the Catholic hierarchy "took unusual spontane-
Hanukah is a great festival for our ous measures to rescue Hungarian Jewish citizens wherever pos-
children. It is equally an inspiration for sible." He adds that he has not been able to ascertain how many
were saved by securing baptismal certificates which
the elders. The Menorah lights will be refugees
acted like exit visas for entrance to freedom—many of the
lit in millions of Jewish homes through- rescued being in Israel—and he pays honor to the present Pope
out the world. If there are any in our for his aid in time of need.
midst who have not yet made prepara-
Hirschmann's book relates his experiences in Israel, his
tions for the Feast of the Maccabees, let presence at the Eichmann trial, his friendship with many Jewish
them do so, for their own edification, and Israeli leaders. He tells about his interviews with Nasser as
but more especially to continue to inspire well as Israel's statesmen and the leading names among Jews
their children in the adherence to the and non-Jews in this generation pass in review in this book.
Uninterruptedly, Hirschmann retains his interest in music.
faith of their fathers and the dignity of
It remains one of his major loves. His chief aspiration is, how-
men who refuse to yield to .tyranny.
Ira Hirschmann s Life Story
Told in 'Caution to the Winds'
ever, "the pacification of the Middle East."
Knowledge to Fortify Affluence
Dr. Nahum Goldmann, the acknowl-
edged leader of . world Jewry, in his
capacities both as president of the World
Jewish Congress and the World Zionist
Organization, has made some very serious
observations on the status of American
Jewry. He believes that we are overorgan.-
ized, yet we are not fully related to the
vitally needed activities that have been
launched to overcome the internationally
organized anti-Semitic movement.
It is his view that American Jewry "is
not living up to its task in understanding
. the character of the Jewish problem of
today which cannot be solved by philan-
We doubt whether anyone will under-
take to criticize this vieWpoint. Realistic
students of Jewish affairs concur in the
view that philanthoropy alone is not
enough, that political action is necessary
in facing issues that confront our people.
By the same token, internally, charity
does not occupy the major position in
Jewish life. We have come to learn that
knowledge of Jewish affairs, understand-
ing of Jewish values and needs, are more
vital, for without them there may not
even be charity to glorify our existence.
That is why aid to Jewish education is
receiving greater priority today than any
other objective in Jewish life.
Dr. Goldmann was referring to the
political situations and to the security of
the Jewries of the world. Linked with the
spiritual-cultural needs of our people, his
argument gains ground in emphasizing
that American Jews must devote them-
selves to - an understanding of the world
Jewish position instead of placing empha-
sis on philanthropy. Without knoWledge,
even our affluence will become insecure.
Saul Steinberg ' s ' Catalogu
a cartoonist, as an
Saul Steinberg has gained wide fame 'as .
artist with. ideas. He is eSpecially known to readers of the New
Yorker, where his art. works appear regularly. . .
The selections of his drawings, which have appeared in The
Art Of Living, The Labyrinth and The _Passport, now out in a
large book, published by World Publishing Co. (119.W. 57th,
N.Y. 19) as a Meredith paperback, made it•pOssible for •a large
audience to possess his works in an art book.. • •
There is a wide variety of caricatures, pictures, landscapes,
and numerous kinds of impressions in this 256-page 8 7/s x11 book.
There is nothing to read in this book: it is entirely a study
in art, in impressions that have made the artist stand out as
an original interpreter of various - ways of life.
Writing of Steinberg, art historian E: H.- Gombrich says:
"There is perhaps no artist alive who knows more about the
philosophy of representation," and art critic Harold Rosenberg
writes: "Steinberg's line is the line of a master penman and
artist. . . Steinberg brings to . life drathas of abstract entities
s, landscapes. All his formulas,
masquerading as people, animal
comical mainly through their magical terseness, have deep con-
temporary reference. . . . I know of no American novelist or
poet today who is saying these things more astringently."