Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options


Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

The University of Michigan Library provides access to these materials for educational and research purposes. These materials may be under copyright. If you decide to use any of these materials, you are responsible for making your own legal assessment and securing any necessary permission. If you have questions about the collection, please contact the Bentley Historical Library at bentley.ref@umich.edu

March 08, 1963 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1963-03-08

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

Purely Commentary

Purim—A Particular Challenge to the Mighty


While Purim is primarily a festival for the youth, an occa
sion for rejoicing in the home and a time for making merry at

Lesson for Purim . . .
Intermarriage and
Miscegenation Issues

By Philip Rutgers University
Creates Department

question, 'Did the Jews have to survive so that six million
people should one day be burned in the ovens of Auschwitz?'
With these two sentences, the writer reveals his own moral
What amazes us is that while the AJ Congress spokesmen
took Podhoretz to task for his general views on Negro relations
they failed to take into account his endorsement, albeit with
the possible interpretation that he had tongue in cheek, of
miscegenation. Podhoretz concluded his article by asserting:
I have told the story of my own twisted feelings
about Negroes here, and of how. they .conflict with the
moral convictions I have since developed, in order to
assert that such feelings must be acknowledged as hon-
estly as possible so that they can be controlled and ulti-
mately disregarded in favor of the convictions. It is
wrong for a man to suffer because of the color of his
skin. Beside that cliched proposition of liberal thought,
What argument can stand and be respected? If the argu-
ments are the arguments of feeling, they must be made
to yield; and one's own soul is not the worst place to
begin working a huge social transformation. Not so long
ago, it used to be asked of white liberals, "Would you
like your sister to marry one?" When I was a boy and
my sister was still unmarried, I would certainly have
said no to that question. But now I am a man, my sister
is already married, and I have daughters. If I were to
be asked today whether I would like a daughter of mine
"to marry one," I would have to answer: "No, I wouldn't
like it at all. I would rail and rave and rant and tear my
- hair: And then •I hope I would- have the courage • to curse
myself for raving and ranting, and to give her my blessing.
How dare I withhold it at the behest of the child I once
was and against the man I now have a duty to be?"
Perhaps the first question to be asked is whether a magazine
financed by American Jewry—the contributions we give to the
Allied Jewish Campaign assist the American Jewish Committee's
projects, including the publishing of Commentary—can with
consistency and in all seriousness endorse .mixed marriages; and
miscegenation may well be interpreted as the extreme in inter-
marriage because of the effects it would have on the married
couple in a society that needs to be prepared for such a status.
Indeed, Norman Podhoretz has bitten off a bit .too much
with his attempt to swallow and then to digest both intermarriage
and miscegenation.

the expense of anti-Semites even during a synagogue service, it
has many. other lessons... -
-There is alwayS in the Purim -story the admonition to those
who hate us that the end for every villain is on the gallows, that
Jewry -has survived the anti-Semites of the past and will survive
those of the future.
There are many Purims in Jewish history, and many of them
occurred on the actual date of the Purim in the Book of Esther.
All such events- have invariably ended in rescue. for Jews and
in the repudiation of anti-Semites and often of anti-Semitism: not
only were Jews rescued on such occasions, but the causes for
hatred of Jews were rejected.
. There undoubtedly is another lesson in the Purim -story.
This joyous festival is noteworthy for the roles that were played
by Mordecai, a Jewish intermediary — who might have been
called a shtadlan, an interceder who acted on his own and not
on the community's authority, but who nevertheless did exert an
influence in the rescue of his people; and by his niece Esther,
who served as the intermediary who influenced King Ahasuerus
against Haman and his scheme for the extermination of -the
Jews of Persia.
These intercessionists suggest that Jews in high places can
be of service in just causes. Too often, many among .us who
have gained fame, who have achieved high status, fail to speak
up in Jewry's behalf. Some hide their identity, others fear to
express themselves.
Purim should teach them the error of their ways. Jews who By RABBI SAMUEL J. FOX
have risen to high positions have better opportunities to serve (Copyright, 1963, Jewish Telegraphic
Agency, Inc.)
their people than the less influential. The latter can act as a
Why is the Book of Esther
group, but the former, even though they may: "be accused of (The Megillah) read twice on
shtdlanut — of acting in the usually rejected roles of acting on Purim, i.e., once at night and
their own authority — can do more by being the leaders in once. in the morning?
movements to secure justice for their people,.
It would appear that origin-
The more Mordecais and Esthers we have the merrier; and
when they serve in unison with an organized community, all the ally the Book of Esther was
read only in the morning. Ac-
cording to one Tannaitic source
if it was read only at night one
Teens Talk About Religion: Intermarriage
has not fulfilled his obligation
Seventeen Magazine has turned to the youth to discuss (Tosefta, Megillah 2:2). Later it
religion and incidentally to comment on intermarriage. Repre• became traditional to read the
sentatives of several religious groups were chosen to comment Megillah both at night and in
on their beliefs, and among them was a 17-year-old member of the day time (Megillah 4a).
a Reform Jewish congregation.
Still the Halachah considers the
The Jewish girl is quoted as having commented: "In my daytime reading the principal
religion man's dignity is as impOrtant as humility . . . In the obligation. It is claimed by some
synagogue I have a definite feeling of community prayer. I don't that the evening reading was
believe the Bible is the literal word of God. Rather I see there introduced because of a histori-
beautiful and worldly-wise teachings." -
cal reason. They maintain that
Then, the Jewess, asked how she feels about interfaith mar- during the period of Roman per-
riages, said: "The most important things in religion are ethical secution, when religious as-
semblies were forbidden and it
concepts, which are shared by -many religions."
Actually, the young Jewish girl who expressed views on was thus impossible to have a
theology was not inconsistent: If the first quoted statement is congregation assemble in broad
acceptable, so should be the one on mixed marriages. But the daylight for the purpose of
latter proves how a yOung synagogue affiliate can be misled, reading the Megillah, Rabbi
what can result from lack of information. Reform leaders, like Jochanan ben Nuri read the
their Orthodox and Conservative confreres, do not approve of Megillah for his gathering at
intermarriage, and they certainly would not limit Biblical inter- night, so that they would not
pretation to the reduction that the 17-year-old treated us in be discovered and punished. As
the magazine symposium. It is no wonder that this young "ideal- a memorial of this event, or as
ist" has gone to the length of eliminating differences, of not a commemoration of the fact
that we maintained the tradition
knowing her heritage and of creating a like share for all faiths. of reading the Megillah either
Apparently she had not learned, where she sterns from, that in the exposure of daylight in
there are differences and that complete reductions lead to total times of freedom, or in the still-
abandonment of the heritage that has been passed on to us. ness of the night in times of
If the affiliates of all .faiths were to feel as the young Jewess oppression, the Megillah is read
does, there would be more confusion than fusion, and there both at night as well as in the
would be an abandonment rather than adherence to faith. The daytime. Some claim that the
young have much to learn, and their elders may need a new night reading was added to re-
way of guiding them to an understanding of their spiritual and mind us that the Almighty dis-
cultural inheritance.
turbed the sleep of King
Ahasuerus in the midst of the
Miscegenation and Intermarriage
More serious problems are posed by the issue involving night and thus the turn of
events from despair to deliver-
Two American Jewish Congress leaders were angered by ance began to take place.
* * *
an article in Commentary by -the latter's editor, Norman Pod-
There are several reasons
horetz, published under the title "My Negro Problem—and
Ours." Judge Justine Polier and her husband, Shad Polier, given for the omission On
honorary Congress women's division chairman and national Con- Purim of the Hallel which is
gress governing council chairman respectively, called Podhoretz's recited on all holidays giving
long essay "a rationalization of the witch's brew of fear turned thanks for the deliverance of
to hatred, characteristic of those who require scapegoats in our people. Some claim that
life in order to feel strong or to justify their own failures." this is done because of the tra-
The Poliers charged that it was "tragic" that "as Negroes dition by which Hallel is not
have their Black Muslims among the hurt and frustrated recited for a miracle which took
Negroes, so Jews should , have a Podhoretz—equally reflecting place outside of the Holy Land
the damage and hurts of childhood fear, envy and hatred which (after its conquest) (Erakin
10b). Others claim that the
have come to enslave him.
"The extent of that enslavement is finally revealed in Hallel is omitted because the
Podhoretz's statement that 'In thinking about the Jews I have reading of the Megillah, which
often wondered whether their survival as a distinct group was in itself recounts the miracle,
worth one hair on the head of a single infant,' and in the takes its place (Megillah 14a).

Purim Quiz


for Hebraic Studies

(JTA) — The creation • of a de-
partment of Hebraic studies
at Rutgers University was an-
nounced by Dr. Mason W.
Gross, president.
The department will be head-
ed by Associate Prof. Leon
A. Feldnan, formerly of the
faculty of Yeshiva University„
who joined the Rutgers staff
last July.
While the university has in
the past offered courses in ele-
mentary and intermediate He-
brew language, and a course in
Jewish civilization and culture,
the new department will de-
velop a unified program in the
field of Hebraic studies and
Jewish history.

Israel Reconsiders
Charter Flight Ban

Ministerial Economic Commit-
tee is reconsidering the govern-
ment's ban on charter flights to
Israel following protests from
various quarters.
Among those reqUesting a re-
view of the situation was For-
eign Minister Golda Meir who
expressed concern about the
possibility that Scandinavian
tourists in the Middle East
would visit only Arab countries
and skip Israel because of the
ban on charter flights. The de
cision to review the question
followed reports of a sharp
drop in hotel reservations
throughout Israel.

■ 11.0 ■ 110 0•1•11.1 4M4,1i0.1.1111•141 ■ 0111 ■ 0•1111111.0.11•0••1.0.111 ■ 0•1111111.1 ■ 0.1111•14.111•11. ■ •••••0•1••0 ■ 11.041=114/1

Boris Smolor's

'Between You
and Me'




(Copyright, 1963,
Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Inc.)

The Crumbling Front:



While Nasser, as ruler of Egypt, is attempting to fortify his
influence by instigating revolutions in Iraq and Yemen, he has
quietly suffered a severe blow in his boycott against Israel . . .
Syria has decided to break away from the Arab League's bureau
for boycotting Israel which is dominated by Nasser . • This
does not mean that Syria has become more friendly to Israel ..
It indicates, however, that the common front of Arab countries
against Israel is crumbling . . . Israel has for many years been
the rallying call of all Arab countries . . . With Syria's with-
drawal from the Arab League's anti-Israel boycott bureau, the
last common bond between the Arab countries has snapped .. .
In Damascus, no secret is being made of the fact that Syria is
no longer keen to be associated with the Arab League because
Syrians feel that the League is a tool of Nasser . . The opposi-
tion to Nasser keeps growing in practically all Arab states, except
Algeria . . . Nasser's prestige seems to be waning even in
Washington, since he has not kept his word to pull his troops
out of Yemen . . . Meanwhile, Israel, fearing all kind of
possibilities, is going ahead with preparations to receive the
U.S. "Hawk" ground-to-air missiles . . . However, it will be some
time before these become operational . . There have been
some second thoughts in Israel on this matter . . . The Hawk
weapons are expensive, and their range is short and limited .. .
Will they really be effective in defending Tel Aviv against a
possible attack from Egyptian bases in the Sinai desert, just 50
miles away? .. . It is argued that Israel must resort to longer
range weapons, such as supersonic aircraft or long range ground-
to-air missiles to create an effective deterrent to Nasser's
aggressive plans . • In the meantime, Israel welcomes the fact
that American Polaris submarines are to be stationed in the
Mediterranean, to replace the missile bases in Turkey and Italy
. .. Israel is interested not only in protecting its own borders
but is also concerned with the danger of a major war engulfing
the region . . . The presence of Polaris submarines, added to the
conventional strength of the American Sixth Fleet in the
Mediterranean, is bound to prevent any conflagration in the
area . .. Such was the case in 1958, when the presence of the
Sixth Fleet in tlie eastern Mediterranean prevented wars in
Lebanon and Jordan.

Protestant Views:

What do Sunday School lessons in American Protestant ,
schools actually teach about Jews? . . Is it possible that they
are a breeding ground for prejudice? . . These questions are
answered in "Faith and Prejudice," a book by Dr. Bernard E.
Olson, who conducted a seven-year study of Protestant Church.
school materials .. . Over the seven years, Dr. Olson examined
more than 120,000 lesson units from religious school curricula
of all major Protestant denominations . . . He reveals that the
number of negative references to Jews in Protestant Sunday
School texts has declined considerably in the last few years .
With few exceptions, he says, Jews are more advantageously
presented by Protestant educators than are Catholics - .. . Olson,
who conducted his study at the Yale University Divinity School,
found that Protestant church editors have become increasingly
concerned about the images they are presenting of Jews .
Now most of them point out clearly that prejudice against other
racial and religious groups violates an essential doctrine of the
Christian faith.

Back to Top

© 2022 Regents of the University of Michigan