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April 19, 1963 - Image 4

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Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1963-04-19

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THE JEWISH NEWS

A Glorious Chapter

incorporating the Detroit Jewish Chronicle commencing with ism( of July 20, 1951

Member American. Association of English—Jewish Newspapers, Michigan Press Associations, National
Editorial Association.
Published every Friday by The Jewish News Publishing Co., 17100 West Seven Mile Roan, Detroit 35,
Mich., VE 8-9364. Subscription $6 a year. Foreign $7.
Second Class Postage Paid At Detroit, Michigan

PHILIP SLOMOVITZ CARMI M. SLOMOVITZ

Editor and Publisher

Business Manager

SIDNEY SHMARAK

Advertising Manager

HARVEY ZUCKERBERG

City Editor

Sabbath Scriptural Selections
This Sabbath, the twenty-sixth day of Nisan, the following Scriptural selections will be read
in our synagogues:
Pentateuchal portion, Lev. 9:1-11:47. Prophetical portion, II Samuel 6:1-7:17.

Licht benshen, Friday, April 12, 6:59 p.m.

VOL. XLIII. No. 8

Page Four

April 19, 1963

Vital Need for Revived Jewish Humor

In an article on "Jewish Humor," in
the current issue of the Jewish Journal
of Sociology, published in London semi-
annually by the World Jewish Congress,
Dr. Salcia Landmann reaches some un-
usual conclusions.
In Israel, he believes, "the joke as a
weapon is out of favor and moribund."
Then he asserts that in the two regions
in which Jews live in large numbers, in
the United States and in Russia, they are
"vulnerable minorities, exposed to vary-
ing degrees of anti-Semitism," and "in
both areas they sorely need their Jewish
humor if they want to preserve a sense
of proportion, but in both instances one
essential ingredient for the creation of
Jewish humor in its most brilliant form
is increasingly lacking: the formal Tal-
mudic training of Jewish youth."

For all of us who recognize the vital
need for a good sense of humor as an
essential for survival—not necessarily in
our survival as Jews but as human beings
—Dr. Landmann raises a puzzling prob-
lem. Are we so pressed by anti-Semitism
in this country that we need a joke to
sustain us? And—is our position com-
parable to that of Russian Jewry?
He is right in saying that there is a
lack of the Talmudic ingredient in the
process of the creation of the Jewish joke
today, but that is as true of Israel and
any other part of world Jewry as it is of
us. Yet, what Dr. Landmann overlooks is
that Israel, confronted by so many prob-
lems created by the differing varieties of
Jews, who sometimes become more chal-
lenging to each other than they would
be in the normal process of meeting up
with non-Jews, may be in greater need of
humor than any other segment of world
Jewry.
* • * *
In Russia, the joke - would have to be
told surreptitiously, and therefore the

resort to it there is inapplicable to us.
But Dr. Landmann has more to say on
the problem. He writes:
"It is not easy to establish what is
going on behind the Iron Curtain, and
we cannot tell how the young Russian
Jew bears up against present conditions
without being able to find light relief in
Jewish humor. But we do know of the
American Jew that, at the slightest provo-
cation, he seems to rush off to have him-
self psychoanalyzed. Psychoanalysts also
teach their patients, in the final analysis,
to endure the seemingly intolerable and
to come to terms with reality. But with
the help of humor the same result can
be achieved more easily, more quickly,
and more pleasantly."
*
Now the London author himself acts
in the role of a psychoanalyst! It must
be admitted that he is right about the
rush to the analyst; and the plethora of
jokes about psychoanalysis attests to the
increasing resort to the psychiatrists and
the truth of Dr. Landmann's reference to
the American Jew's complexes.
- What Dr. Landmann has failed to indi-
cate is that, unfortunately, what we have
had of Jewish jokes until now has been
the stage variety and the distortion of
Yiddish stories. We seem to have forgot-
ten the good material that was produced
by Sholem Aleichem and we have not
created a new form of humor — except
the negative and self-degrading.
In his conclusion regarding American
Jewry's analytical trends, Dr: Landmann
seems to be unaware of one fact: that our
youth are less inhibited, that they are
more normal and have not been affected
by the tragic aspects of pogrom eras.
They have a better chance to produce a
genuinely good humor and perhaps we
can look to them to create for us a new
form of joke that will arouse wholesome
laughter.

Israeli Arabs' Impressive Gains

Declaring that nomadic life is unsuited
to modern conditions, the government of
Israel announces that it is settling 9,000
Arab tribespeople in northern Israel, who
were roaming aimlessly until now, in vil-
lageS, and that they will be employed as
manual laborers. Israel is providing for
each family of hitherto nomadic Arabs a
house and a small garden, at a cost of
$2,333-1,000 pounds—to be payable half
in cash and half on a 25-year government
loan.
This is only one of the latest declara-
tions by Israel in its program of improv-
ing the status of the Arab population. It
has also been announced that the Israel
Ministry of Agriculture is settina up a
6
regional agricultural center in Nazareth
and of its 31 employees 25 will be Arabs.
Undoubtedly, there are complaints
against Israel, especially over the enforce-
ment of militarily administrative functions
affecting the movements of Israeli Arabs
within the state. But Israel is hardly to be
blamed for enforcing them, especially in
view of the recurring threats to her secur-
ity from the neighbors who surround her
and because of the threats of a possible de-
velopment of a fifth column that could
destroy the state.
*
*
Many of the benefits enjoyed by the
Israeli Arabs have resulted in the raising
of their standard of living, the best indi-
cation of progress being the increase in
income tax payments by Arabs — from
1,300,000 Israeli pounds in 1959 to 1,630,-
000 pounds in 1961 and even greater

increases for 1962 and 1963.
Of added interest in the efforts to ce-
ment Arab-Jewish sentiments among Is-
raelis is the establishment in Haifa of the
Jewish-Arab Youth Center, which was
created with the $50,000 memorial fund
set up in tribute to the late Barnett
Palinsky of New York. Mrs. Palinsky at-
tended the opening of the center, and the
introduction of the cooperative venture
was formally welcomed by Haifa's Mayor
Abba Khoushi. It is hoped that obstacles
in the way of Arab-Jewish fraternal rela-
tions can be established through such
ventures.
*
These are the factors that point to
the anxiety of the Israel government to
uplift the Arab minority and to instill
among them a spirit of loyalty towards
the state of which they are now Israeli
citizens.
Equally as impressive as the economic
gains made by the Arabs in Israel is the
gain the Arab community is making edu-
cationally. In his report to the university's
board of governors, Eliahu Elath, presi-
dent of the Hebrew University in Jerusa-
lem, showed that of the 921 students who
were graduated last year 112 were Israeli
Arabs and Druze. This is a large and
impressive percentage and it offers a
most encouraging hope that the Arabs
who shared the advantages of Israel's
great university will help in the estab-
lishment of the best relations between
Arabs and Jews—first in Israel and then
throughout the Moslem world.

Rosenberg's 'More Loves Than One'

'

The Bible Confronts Psychiatry !

Rabbi Stuart E. Rosenberg views the Old Testament's teach-
ings, moral law and philosophy as meaning "people, too." He
affirms that the biblical spirit "has been a major influence in
helping me to see people as more than objects of biological or
psychological study—more than anonymous members of a social
or economic mass or class." ,
In his new book, "More Loves Than One—The Bible Confronts
Psychiatry," published by Thomas Nelson & Sons (18 E. 41st,
NY 17), Dr. Rosenberg does not necessarily deal with psychiatry,
"although it is concerned with" the questions he touches upon,
"it is a book about man and his highest hopes and needs—
his will to .love and to meaning."
As a natural sequence, Rabbi Rosenberg commences by evalu-
ating "Freud's Legacy," and while conceding the massive positive
contributions made by Freud, but he challenges their "supreme
validity," stating: "One may indeed accept his scientific method-
ologies without being overawed into adopting his philosophy of
human nature or his theories of personality structure."
Basing his study upon biblical lore, Dr. Rosenberg states, in
a chapter entitled "God, Love and Justice": "Love is commanded
in the Old Testament because it is linked to service, to demands
made upon us to fulfill our lives in the lives of others . . . The
Old Testament understood what we like to forget: man needs
not a love that will serve him but a love that can unleash his
locked-up longings to serve. Only in serving can we be served,
for only in risking our love without thought of its return, is it
truly returned."
Thereupon, Dr. Rosenberg devotes his story to an evaluation
of love that needs links with community, to love and the family,
love and conscience, the love of husband and wife and of parents
and children. He also concerns himself with brotherly love, and
in all instances he quotes the Bible appropriately, thereby enrich-
ing his readers' knowledge.
Rejecting many Freudianisms, Rabbi Rosenberg asserts that
the Old Testament cannot accept many of the newly-offered in-
terpretations and blueprints for our society and declares that "for
its part, the human self emerges only in compunity. It cannot
exist apart from it in abstract, 'splendid isolation,' because both
partake of the divine nature and both emerge only as they en-
counter and meet God . . . The Old Testament teaches that both
the self and the community are dependent upon each other, and
both upon God. This attitude is at heart of the idea of the
covenant which sees each self as a spiritual entity, whose relations
to community are unique because they are holy. They are made
holy by means of the loving, ethical concerns which each self
shares with the community in a common trust."
He adds: "There is in process the rediscovery on the part
of religionists that when 'love' is made into a religion, without
benefit of 'principles, policies and procedures' it becomes dif-
fused and platitudinous and therefore dangerous. And at the
side of this reevaluation of the place and function of love in
the life of religion, important revisions of orthodox Freudian
teachings are also being undertaken. Psychiatrists, no less than
theologians, are unhappy with what 'love' has done to, man and
society, and they, too, are exploring the possibilities of newer
dimensions."
It is in the "rediscovery" of "newer' meanings", Dr. Rosen-
berg states, that "they are rediscovering the connectedness of
man to community" and they "no longer see society as man's
enemy."
"In the end," Rabbi Rosenberg concludes, "this is the su-
preme truth about the old-new love we still need: it brings
us to a full meeting with someone not ourselves,. and thus gives
us the fulfillments of relatedness to man, to conununity and
to God. When we know who our 'relations' are, we can see
ourselves, as we must, as members of the same family. We be-
long to man, to comnmnity, to . God. Instead of running away
from these, the old-new love will bring us back, back to our
`family,' thus back to ourselves. We will discover ourselves as
we find our task and as we come to know the Taskmaster. •
And in those moments of -discovery we will learn to respond
to life by becoming responsible, for our life, and to life's
Creator. Then we can .meet and bear defeats and frustrations,
for we will know and we will feel that we walk not alone."
Thus, this confrontation with psychiatry and resort to biblical
lore serves as a guide for many who have been frustrated. Rabbi
Rosenberg handles his subject with great skill in his new book.

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