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May 31, 1963 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1963-05-31

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Shavuot Torah Message

Incorporating the Detroit Jewish Chronicle commencing with issue of July 20, 1951

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


Editor and Publisher

Business Manager



Advertising Manager

City Editor

Sabbath Scriptural Selections
This Sabbath, the ninth day of Siwan, the following Scriptural selections will be read in our
Pentateuchal. portion, Num. 4:21 7:89. Prophetical portion, Judges 13:2 25.



Licht benshen, Friday, May 31, 7:42 p.m.

VOL. XLIII. No: 14

Page Four

May 31, 1963

Swastika Smearings and Their impact

When the Rev. William Hull, who
ministered to Adolf Eichmann prior to
the Nazi criminal's hanging, was in
Detroit recently, he told one of his Chris-
itan audiences here that it must be on
guard against the possible recurrence of
Nazism. "It can happen here," he warned,
and, flashing copies of Canadian news-
papers in which the tactics of Rockwell
and his cohorts were revealed in bold
headlines, he contended that unless there
is action against Hitler tactics they might
be renewed even in free lands like ours.
There is an inclination to view such
warnings_ as manifestations of unjustified
panic. Yet, there has been a new wave
of swastika smearings—in Toronto, in
Latin American countries, in cities in this
country, in Sweden and elsewhere.
We share the views of those who be-

lieve that a free land like ours, democra-
cies like Canada and other lands where
freedom reigns, could not possibly tol-
erate a revival of brutalities, wholesale
murders and resort to the crime of geno-
cide. Yet, when a group of young boys is
caught in the act of bombing schools and
private homes, when they are discovered
to have been under Rockwell and Nazi
influence, more than passing thought
should be given to the menace that stems
from the heritage of Hitlerism acquired
by the demented among many nations.
It may or may not happen here or
again anywhere else, but it can happen
again unless libertarians are on guard.
The renewed swastika smearings are ad-
monitions that we must be on guard
against the reverberations of Nazi in-

Gordon's 'Before the Bible'
Greek, Hebrew Common Links

'A Savings Bond to Every Family'


Under the theme "Keep Freedom in
Your Future . . . with U.S. Savings
Bonds," an appeal has gone forth, during
the current U.S. Savings Bond drive, for
every American family to purchase at
least one savings bond between now and
July 4. It is a call that should not require
Yet, the reasons advanced for the
urgency of this drive are well worth
takin„a note of.
It has been indicated that millions
of Americans who do not possess U.S.
Savings Bonds match those who do; that
young adults who did not experience the
fervor of 22 years ago when "a virtually
universal practice of thrift was tied to
the war effort" have yet to be moved by
the logic of the idea of savina while aid-
ing our Government in the Cuban
in advancing the national interest and
in protecting the common goal of peace,

The U.S. Treasury Department ad-
monishes us that "the Freedom Bond j
drive is designed to place an old oppor- I
tunity before the public," to make sure j
that no American remains unaware of
the easy way of ascertaining the general
interest in our Government's needs and
objectives — through the Savings Bond
program. During the coming two-month
period,* it would be most heartening to
learn that the present generation of
American youth is as aware of its duties
as were those who labored for freedom
during an era of war. It is easier to accom-
plish that purpose now — in time of peace
— and the effect of a successful Savings i
Bond program would be even more effec-
tive when symbolized by a spirited re-
sponse from a generation that knows how I
to share in its country's aspirations for
security and freedom.


Southern Editor's View of Birmingham

Birmingham's shocking reversion to
medievalism and the resort in Alabama
to most cruel and bigoted methods of
dealing with the racial issue had not
dulled the sensibilities of decent men
and women in the South. Proper protests
were uttered against the indignities, and
if there is hope that the inhumanity of
man to man will not be perpetuated it lies
not so much in the Supreme Court deci-
sions and in the policies of our Federal
Government as in the hearts of men in
the South.
An example of the repudiation of in-
decencies is contained in an editorial in
a Southern Jewish newspaper. One of the
distinguished English-Jewish edit ors,
Jaques Back, in a front page editorial in
his weekly. the Jewish Observer, under
the heading "The Shame of a City," stated
in part:

"The Battle of Birmingham" shames the
manner in which the Negro hopes to
achieve his rightful place in the scheme of
human life—first, by peaceful sit-ins and pa-
rades, and then, inflamed by brutal violence,
responding in kind—may be considered harm-
ful to his cause; but not perilous. To use
little children—intending, no doubt, to cover
the "marching" hordes, proved lack of disci-
plined leadership. Indeed, it justified the charge
that the Negro himself has little concern for
the "law of morality."
What happened "on the other side" can-
not be condoned. Birmingham was—still is—
confronted with a challenge. It, like many
other communities, could meet that challenge.
Yet, a barbarian official herded innocent chil-
dren into police trucks, imprisoned them—

somewhat as a Hitler carted millions to con-
centration camps and death. Vicious police
dogs were let loose—fire department hose
sent killing streams of water upon young and
old . . . the jails were filled . . . the battle-
field was cleared.
And the record, which shocked the nation,
hears high officials—in language foul and
odorous—"damn the 'black nigger' to hell."
It seems inconceivable that the decent ele-
ment in that great city—yes, in that historic
state—should hesitate to speak out in language
clear and determined, thus to restore order
and—if not full justice—then obedience to
Somehow, sometime, the Negro will realize
his dream: will negate the senseless prattle
about 'social intercourse' . . . about 'mixing
breeds.' He has—we feel sure, no passionate
desire to be our dinner guest, our bedfellow,
our intimate chum.
He wants the prerogatives, as well as the
responsibilities which citizenship allocates to
the humblest among us. He wants to walk
upright and unafraid—wants understanding
and sympathy—wants to be free from pain,
from bitter frustration . . . from enslavement
of body and soul.
Birmingham . . . Alabama . . . yes, Nash-
ville, too . . . may profit by nursing the same
quests . . . in a spirit of humility, of dedica-
tion to human principles.

This is part of the voice of justice and
humanity that has not been silenced in
the South. It is from such courageous
assertions, uttered in another city—Nash-
ville—where there has also been evidence
of racial discrimination, that there is cer-
tain to develop human kindness. May it
come soon.

In "Before the Bible," published by Harper & Row (49 E.
33rd, NY16), Prof. Cyrus Gordon, chairman of the department
of Mediterranean studies at Brandeis University, gives a full
account of his views that there was a
common background of Greek and
Hebrew civilizations.
Dr. Gordon, whose findings,
based on many years of study, were
outlined in Wayne State University
Borman lectures here recently, holds
that "the common background of
Greek and Hebrew civilizations is
due mainly to the Northwest Semitic
that covered the entire East
Mediterranean (Palestine. Syria, the
coast of Asia Minor, Cyprus, Crete
and the Aegean) down to 1500 BCE.
The author of "Before the
Bible" contends that "Greek and
Hebrew civilizations are parallel
Structures built upon the same
East Mediterranean foundation . "
Dr. Cyrus Gordon
In the course of his presentation of this interesting subject,
Dr. Gordon shows that "only two people in East Mediterranean
antiquity developed canonical Scripture: the Greeks and the
Jews." He emphasizes that "the Greeks treated Homer as their
Scripture par excellence, much as the Jews regarded the Bible.
The establishment of the Textus Receptus of Hebraic Scripture
and Homeric Epic were parallel manifestations of the same
movement. Hebrew and pagan Greek scriptures were each con-
sidered the divinely inspired guide for life. Just as the Jew and
Christian turn for guidance to the Bible, the ancient Greek
turned to the Homeric text."
Reviewing the patterns of the national epic of ancient
Jewish history, analyzing the various Scriptural books and
the eras relating to them, explaining the function of reciting
Pentateuch and Homer at national reunions of the two
peoples, Dr. Gordon explains that "as in Greece, so in Israel,
historiography and drama were rooted in the epic"; that
"the device of reconstructing history in the form of ver-
batim speeches is inspired by the epic."
The author emphasizes that "archaeological discoveries at
sites like Ugarit prevent us from regarding Greece as the her-
metically sealed Olympian miracle. or Israel as the vacuum-
packed miracle from Sinai. Warning against his work being
regarded as detracting from Hebrew and Greek achievement, he
emphasizes that in his study "the greatness of Homer and Bible
emerges, as never before, when we see how they towered above
their predecessors and contemporaries."
Analyses of the Scriptures and of Homeric writings emerge
as valuable scholarly elements in Dr. Cyrus' book. There are
numerous evaluations of traditional practices, explanations of
the military skills, observations on early Greek and Hebrew usages.
The core of his book is to show the parallels in the East
Mediterranean heritage. the Hebrew-Greek common denominator,
while asserting that "it would be foolhardy" to offer an "ex-
haustive list of Greco-Hebrew differences" because "everyone
knows that Homer is very different from the Bible."
To indicate the parallelism, Prof. Gordon devotes him-
self to a study of the Cuneiform world, to reviews of the
activities of peoples in ancient times, to the role of Egypt in
East European history.
He states that "Hebrew narrative prose style is heavily in-
debted to the Egyptian," that "there were tie-ins between Egypt,
on the one hand, and Israel and Greece, on the other."
The link between Canaan and the Aegean, as evidenced by
the Ugrait discovery, is thoroughly studied and Dr. Gordon de-
"The mythology of Canaan is important . . . Its chief signifi-
cance lies in its effect on ancient Israel. Both where the Old
Testament incorporates it, and where the Old Testament reacts
against it, Canaanite mythology continues to exert its impact
upon us through the Bible. The epics of Ugarit are of central
significance for the history of literature, for they link the early
literatures of Greece and Israel."
Dr. Gordon's observations on Homer and the Bible are among
the contributing factors towards making his book of great value
in the study of ancient civilization. and in viewing the rela-
tionship between Israel and Greece the author's thesis has note-
worthy merit.

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