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July 05, 1963 - Image 7

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1963-07-05

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

Hebrew Medical Journal Discloses
Spinoza's Influence on Medicine

Volume 1, 1963, of the He-
brew Medical Journal of which
Dr. Moses Einhorn of N e w
York is the editor, marks the
inauguration of the 36th year
of Continuous publication.
Written in Hebrew and English,
the journal has played an im-
portant part in the fostering of
a medical literature and term-
inology in the language of the
Bible.
The current issue contains
an exhaustive study of the role
of Baruch Spinoza in medicine
and his impact on the physi-
cians of his time. Author Wil-
liam Aron, lists the back-
grounds of numerous outstand-
ing physicians, both Jewish
and non-Jewish, with whom
Spinoza associated and cor-
responded, and discusses the
mutual influence exercised by
the fruitful relations between
the pholosopher and his con-
temporaries.
According to William Aron,
Spinoza acquired knowledge of
medicine as an autodidact and
not as a university student; he
was erudite in many sciences
including medicine, even be-
fore he reached maturity. He
attended but one school, the
"Yesihva Tree of Life in Am-
sterdam and was a favorite
pupil of Manasseh ben Israel,
himself a profound philosopher
and physician who perhaps was
responsible for initiating Spin-
oza into some of those mental
exercises which afterwards
stood him in such good stead.
When Spinoza was 30 years old,
he had already completed the
studies of medicine. His library
was rich in treatises on Medi-
cine, anatomy and physiology.
Hormonal Treatment of Fe-
males from the Standpoint of
Jewish Law is the topic of dis-
cussion by Dr. Jacob Levy of
Jerusalem.
The prevention of pregnancy,
says Dr. Levy, is contrary to
Jewish law which re v o l v e s
around the commandment "Be
fruitful and multiply." Rabbini-
cal authorities found it difficult
to resolve the problem and to
unravel the complex of prohibi-
tions. On the one hand, they
confronted grave injunctions
and prohibitions. On the other
hand, they had to deal with
cases involving danger to life.
The number of responsa grew
in the course of the years.
Some rabbis made conces-
sions reluctantly and only in
the most severe cases, while
others took issue with leniency.
However, the scientific revolu-
tion of our time has revealed
new methods in the solution of
the problem. Thousands of ex-
periments have already been
conducted and it has been
clearly demonstrated that preg-

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nancy can be prevented through
hormonal treatment. However,
these findings require elucida-
tion by Jewish legal authorities.
It goes without saying that
the recently devoloped method
of causing temporary sterility
through hormonal treatment
was never examined in rabbini-
cal literature. But there is an
area to which Jewish law has
given a lot of thought, namely
that revolving around the "cup
of sterility" ("kos akarin"), an
ancient preparation containing
drugs which had the power to
prevent pregnancy. The author
cites Maimonides' view as fol-
lows:
"A woman is permitted to
drink the 'cup of sterility' so as
to prevent the ability to repro-
duce." Other rabbinical authori-
ties permitted the "sterility
cup" only to women who had
already borne children and had
fulfilled the commandment of
the birth ordeal. The author.
therefore, concludes that from
the legal point of view there is
no reason to hold that the use
of hormones to establish tem-
porary sterility invalidates the
commandment of the birth
ordeal.
Ulcerative Colitis and Reg-
ional Enteritis Among. Jews is
discussed by Dr. E. D. Acheson
of Oxford University.
The section "Historical Medi-
cine' presents an exhaustive
study by Dr. Benjamin L. Gor-
don, on the impact of astrology
on medicine, from the dawn of
civilization to present time.
The section "Personalia" pre-
sents an interesting biogra-
phical sketch of Dr. Harry
Friedenwald (1864-1950), noted
B a 1 t i m or e ophthalmologist,
medical historian, and out-
standing Zionist leader. The
author, Robert Szold, examines
Dr. Friedenwald's contributions
to the field of historical 'medi-
cine and reviews at length his
noble role as chairman of the
First Zionist Commission in
Palestine which laid the foun-
dations for the Jewish Com-
monwealth. The article is a
first-hand report on the early
phases of American Zionism by
a veteran Jewish leader.

Boston Law School
Dean Writes Book
on Church-State Rule

The Supreme Court's banning
Bible-reading and the recitation
of the Lord's prayer have focus-
ed wide public interest on the
state role in the religious life
of the nation.
These two cases and the
whole question of church- :state
relations are reviewed by Rob-
ert F. Drinan, S. J., Dean of
Boston College Law School, in
a new book, "Religion, the
Courts, and Public Policy,"
which McGraw-Hill will publish
on July 8.
Father Drinan examines the
three big problems which have
aroused so much controversy
in the past few years; religious
education in the public schools,
tax-support of Church related
schools, the Sabbatarians' re-
quest to work on Sundays; and
the three major issues arising
which have reached the Su-
preme Court: released time,
Bible reading, and the reading
of the Lord's prayer.
Father Drinan discusses these
from the point of view of the
main parties concerned, Pro-
testants, Catholics, Jews, and
non-believers, and also exam-
ines the historical and legal
aspects, pointing out the con-
fusions that have arisen be-
cause of the many interests
involved and because of what
he feels are the inherent "con-
tradictions of recent Supreme
Court decisions defining the
place of religion in relation to
the tax-supported school.

Gershenson Predicts 1963 Allied Jewish
Campaign Total Will Exceed $4,600,000

"Total pledges to the Jewish
Welfare Federation's 1963 Allied
Jewish Campaign will substan-
tially exceed the $4,500,000 an-
ticipated total announced at the
campaign clos-
ing dinner,
May 7, accord-
ing to Chair-
m a n Charles
H. Gershen-
son.
Gershenson
told the Fed-
eration board
o f governors
that campaign
activity after
the closing
dinner ex-
ceeded the
most optimis-
t i c expecta-
tions.
Gershenson
"When the
final campaign report is made
Sept. 11, it should be in excess
of $4,600,000 and possibly
considerably in excess of that
figure," Gershenson predicted.

N.Y. University Will
Present Leaders of
Israel in Workshop

Shneor Zalman Shazar, Presi-
dent of Israel, will join a list of
prominent Israeli officials and
scholars as a lecturer at New
York University's Professorial
Workshop in the Land of the
Bible, Dr. Abraham I. Katsh,
director of the NYU Institute
of Hebrew Studies, announced.
Twenty - one professors of
Bible and Hebrew from colleges
throughout the United States
will participate in the work-
shop in Israel, from July 3
thtrough Aug. 9 in cooperation
with the U.S. Department of
State. The State Department
has released $33,000 in local
currency in Israel to cover
costs of the workshop and
travel expenses of the partici-
pants.
Dr. Katsh, who will direct the
workshop, said that among the
46 lecturers will be Dr. Abba
Eban, minister of education;
Gideon Hausner, former Israeli
attorney general and prosecutor
at the Eichmann trial; Moshe
Sharett, former prime minister;
Dr. Elihu Elath, president of
the Hebrew University in Jeru-
salem; and Dr. Israel Goldstein,
rabbi emeritus of Manhattan's
Congregation Bnai Jeshurun,
who now lives in Israel.
The workshop will include
seminars and lectures covering
all aspects of Israeli life—so-
cial, economic, cultural, and re-
ligious—as well as daily instruc-
tion in modern Hebrew and
field trips to major cities, his-
torical areas, and archaeological
sites.
Two features of the work-
shop will be a meeting with a
biblical study group at the resi-
dence of former Prime Minister
and Mrs. David Ben-Gurion and
a two-day visit to an archaelogi-
cal site at Arad in the Negev
where the professors will par-
ticipate in the diggings.

U.S. Rabbis Denounce
Official Persecution of
Buddhists in Vietnam

NEW YORK, (JTA) — Three
American rabbis joined with
eight Protestant clergymen and
a Buddhist in a denunciation
of the South Vietnam govern-
ment for its religious persecu-
tion of the country's Buddhists.
Rabbis Julius Mark, Edward
Klein and Judah Cahn were
among the signators of a full-
page advertisement in the New
York Times which reproduced
a photograph of a Buddhist
priest who committed suicide
by fire as a protest against the
Government's policies.

The adornment of the face is
the beard.—Sabbath 152.

"To date the campaign has re-
ceived 22,734 gifts. Included in
that total are 1,015 contributors
who were not on our rolls last
year," Gershenson reported.
In other statistics of the cam-
paign, Gershenson reported that
gifts by women totalled $621,614.
The campaign is divided into
10 units including seven trade
and professional divisions, and

junior, metropolitan and wom-
en's divisions. The mechanical
trades division, under the chair-
manship of Harry B. Aronow,
secured more than a million
dollars, while the junior divis-
ion, under the chairmanship of
Louis M. Stern, secured $25,000
from children in religious
schools, youngsters in their
teens and their early twenties.

White House Favors Ratification
of Genocide Pact; Seek Senate OK

—KIAMESHA LAKE, N.Y.,
(JTA) — Myer Feldman, De-
puty Special Counsel to Presi-
dent Kennedy, told the 58th an-
nual convention of Brith Sha-
lom at the Concord Hotel here
that the United States Adminis-
tration intends to ratify the
United Nations Convention on
Genocide if the U.S. Senate
consents.
Feldman said "we share the
views which prompted Presi-
dent Truman 15 years ago to
urge the consent of the Senate
for United States' ratification."
He expressed hope that the situ-
ation in the Senate develops
favorably so that the Adminis-
tration can ratify the genocide
accord.
He pointed out that the geno-
cide resolution was passed by
the United Nations in 1946 fol-
lowing the mass murder of
European Jewry, and that it

designated a n d condemned
genocide as a crime under in-
ternational law. He said the
United States took part in draft-
ing the convention and voted for
it in the United Nations. Feld-
man recalled that former Presi-
dent Truman sent it to the
Senate for advice and consent
and that hearings were held. But
he noted that 15 years later the
matter is still on the calendar
of the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee.

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