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December 06, 1963 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1963-12-06

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Hanukah Lights of Freedom


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

Member American Association of English—Jewish Newspapers, Michigan Press Association, National
Editorial Association.
Published every Friday by The Jewish News Publishing Co., 17100 West Seven Mile Road, Detroit 35,
Mich., VE 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 twenty-first day of Kislew, 5724, the following Scriptural selections will

be read in our synagogues:
Pentateuchal portion: Gen. 37:1-40:23. Prophetical portion: Amos 2:6-3:8.

Licht Benshen, Friday, Dec. 6, 4:43 p.m.

VOL. XLIV. No. 15

Page Four

December 6, 1963

Hanukah-Festival of Strength and Faith

While the basic Jewish credo as
handed down to us in Zechariah 4:6 is:
"Not by might, nor by power, but by My
spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts," it is an
acknowledged principle that man must
defend himself when attacked, that people
have the right to uphold their spiritual
rights, that tyranny should be rejected
even if the force of arms is required.
Hanukah did just that: it became the
first festival An mankind's history to mark
a triumph for religious liberty.
The victory of the Maccabees over the
Syrians prevented the opposition of pa-
ganism upon the Jewish people. The suc-
cessful struggle of the Maccabees paved
the way for continued, unhindered spiri-
tual teachings by Jews, and that right
thereby was inherited by others, notably
the Christians who were an offshoot from
* *
Hanukah represents something even
more important: the victory of the Mac-
cabees assured for the Jewish people, and
for others who sought that rights in the
generations that followed, the right to be
different. A p e o p 1 e's free conscience
emerged from the fight against Hellenic
rule. It was the triumph of individualism
against totalitarianism, it was the success
in the struggle to prevent the type of
dictatorship which would have made
Israel the vassal of the demagogue and
would have shelved Judaism into oblivion.
At the same time, it reaffirmed faith
in spiritual power and gave reality to the
declaration of Mattathias that "none who
put trust in God have wanted for strength.
Thus, while Hanukah marks a great mili-
tary triumph, it is also the symbol of
faith, as indicated in the last speech of
Mattathias to his son, recorded as follows
in Maccabees I:

"In our days tyranny and cruelty have
gained the mastery and our religion and laws
are threatened with overthrow. God's wrath
rests upon his people Israel. But you, my sons,
be ye very zealous for His Law and ready to
give your lives to preserve God's covenant
with your fathers.
"For call to mind the heroic deed which
our fathers did in times of trial and sorrow,
and you also by showing yourselves strong
may receive great glory and create for your-
selves an undying name. Was not Abraham
found faithful when he was tested by God
with the command to offer up Isaac? Joseph,
in the hour of his trial in Egypt kept the com-
mandments. When Israel was threatened with
disaster, Pinhas showed himself brave and
zealous for the good name and purity of his
people. When the spies brought their evil re-
port of the land of Canaan, Caleb stood forth,
though the people threatened to stone him,
and bore faithful witness to the land, Joshua
fought the battles of his people and became
ruler in Israel. Elijah was exceedingly zealous
for God's Law, and stood well nigh alone
against the enemies of his people. Haaniah,

Azariah and Michael trusted in God and were
saved out of the fiery furnace and Daniel in
his uprightness was saved from the mouth of
the lions.
"Thus, consider ye, how from generation

to generation, none that put their trust in
God have wanted for strength. So ye, also be
not afraid of the arrogant boastings of the
blaspheming Antiochus, for his kingly glory

shall decay, it shall become dust of the earth.
Today he may be lifted up as a king; but

tomorrow he shall be laid in the dust and
evil purpose against Israel shall have per-
ished. So ye, my sons, be strong and show
yourselves men in the Law of Israel, for herein
shall ye obtain glory."

* *
Hanukah left its mark upon the Jew- 'Communist Rabbi Hess'
ish people. It became an inspiration for
the youth of our people throughout the
ages, and from this festival young Jews Mary Schulman's Study Views
repossessed "eternal youth." This was
interpretation that was given the festival Him as Prophet of Zionism
by the eminent Zionist leader, the late
Mrs. Mary Schulman, a New York high school teacher, has
U. S. Supreme Court Justice Louis D.
made a thorough study of the life and Zionist ideology of Moses
Brandeis, who said:


"The Jewish calendar has many sorrowful
Holy Days. Hanukah—the Feat of Maccabees
—is one of the few joyous Red Letter days.
It celebrates a victory—not a military victory
only; but a victory also of the spirit over things
material. Not a victory only over external
enemies—the Greeks; but a victory also over
more dangerous internal enemies—the Sad-
ducees. A victory of the many over the ease-
loving, safety-playing, privileged, powerful
few who in their pliancy would have betrayed
the best interests of the people, a victory of
democracy over aristocracy.
"As part of the eternal world-wide strug-
gle for democracy, the struggle of the Macca-
bees is of eternal world-wide interest. It is a

struggle of the Jews of today as well as of

Palestine. It is a struggle of America as well
as of Palestine. It is a struggle in which all
Americans, non-Jews as well as Jews, should
be vitally interested because they are vitally
"For the Zionists the day has special sig-
nificance. The Maccabees' victory proved that
the Jews—then already an old people—pos-
sessed the secret of eternal youth. The ability
to rejuvenate itself through courage, hope, en-
thusiasm, devotion and self-sacrifice of the
plain people. Then they achieved a rebirth.
They will bring again a Jewish Renaissance."
* * *

"Moses Hess, however, like Judah Halevi, saw 'Jewish nationalism
and development as a link in the process of human civilization, and
Zionism as a necessary consequence of that process.' Israel in its own
land would not only serve as a place of refuge for the persecuted Jew,
but would bring about the messianic era, a redemption of humanity, by
helping to introduce perfect harmony and amity among nations. Israel,
where Jews would develop according to their Jewish or Mosaic prin-
ciples, would therefore become a cultural force in the development
of all humanity."

In her able analysis of Hess' works, in her thorough study
of Hess' life and his refusal to truncate Judaism and Jewish na-
tionalism, Mrs. Schulman also reviews the events that influenced
the Socialist-Zionist and she points to the fallacies of those who
hoped for emancipation. She is critical of the Reform Jewish
movement in Germany and she commends the efforts that were
exerted to stem assimilation.
* * *
Her study of Hess and his ideas includes evaluations of
As we are about once again to observe various Zionist trends, including the religious Zionist movement
the Festival of Lights, we review anew and she points out that in "Rome and Jerusalem" Hess

the values gathered from physical as well
as spiritual strength in striving for our
people's survival. As long as our youth
gather for the observance of Hanukah in
their homes and in the synagogues, we
shall always have the evidence that the
festival gives us renewed "eternal youth,"
that those who remain devoted to their
heritage will stand up to defend it, and
that none that have trust in their people's
basic principles shall ever want for

America s Genius: Orderly Government

We are still in a spirit of mourning.
The dastardly act which took from us
our great President will not be forgotten,
and the name of John Fitzgerald Kennedy
remains indelibly written in our history.
It is an added tribute to the memory
of our late President that the orderly
functions of government which he advo-
cated remain intact, unhindered, inde-
This, indeed, is the genius of Amer-
ica: that the people as a unit remain
united in time of national crisis, that
destructive elements can not gain favor
among us when the welfare of the Amer-

Hess, and her "Moses Hess: Prophet of Zionism," published by
Thomas Yoseloff (11 E. 36th, NY16), is a valuable addition to
the bookshelf on Zionist personalities.
Mrs. Schulman evaluates the socialism of the pre-Herzlian
Zionist philosopher and his approach to the Zionist idea, and,
hailing him as "a modern Jewish prophet," declares that "Mes-
sianism (which she calls the core of all Jewish prophecies) was
likewise at the heart of the philosophy of Moses Hess."
* * *
Comparing the ideas of Moses Hess (1812-1875), whose "Rome
and Jerusalem" was published in 1861, long before the appearance
on the political scene of Theodor Herzl, with those of modern
Zionism, Mrs. Schulman expresses the view that practical Zionists
"felt that the Jews needed Zion because of anti-Semitism and
economic exile." She believes that the spiritual need was to politi-
cal Zionists "of secondary importance" and declares in tribute to
the subject of her biography:

ican people is involved. That is why our
Government continued to function and
was immediately restored to normalcy,
under the guidance of another great legis-
lator, within a matter of less than two
hours after the functioning President had
been taken from us.
It is with confidence in the ability of
our new President to carry on the func-
tions of our Government as ably as he
had guided his party through many diffi-
cult eras while he was Majority Leader
in the Senate that we acclaim him and
wish him well. May he be granted the
health and the wisdom to lead our nation
towards paths of justice and peace.

"gave due credit to the part that true inspired Orthodoxy had played
in the Jewish revival, giving particular emphasis to the role of
Hassidism . . . The Jewish movements and countermovements of the
era in which Moses Hess lived and wrote ran the gamut from extreme
denial of Judaism to a fanatical affirmation of Orthodoxy. Moses
Hess saw, understood and evaluated them all, concluding that in the
phases of Jewish thought an affirmative, self-helping Jewish national-
ism, based on pride in its religious heritage, was the only path towards
a well-adjusted Jewish life; and that a national home for the Jews in
Palestine, run according to the tenets of Mosaic justice as a way of
life and as a teacher of the world, was the only possible and desirable
way for achieving Geulah, the Jewish redemption.'

Mrs. Schulman's review of all of Hess' ideas regarding the
movements of his time make her 128-page book especially valuable.
She points out that "Hess' Jewish messianism, his Jewish national-
ism and his humanitarianism are all-embracing and interchangeable
terms in his concept of the world."
She emphasizes: "Hess did not deny, as Mendelssohn did,
that Judaism is dogma. But it is a dogma that has never become
fossilized; it has never become extinct. It grew and developed as
the Jews grew and developed, and as the rest of humanity grew
and developed."
* •* *
Because he had been referred to as "Communist Rabbi Hess,*
the views of the pre-Herzlian Zionist, his interpretation of religious
beliefs, are important for an understanding of the man. Mrs.
Schulman writes:

"To Moses Hess, Judaism was a spiritual entity which must have
a spiritual basis • . . To him the true object of rejuvenation of the
Jew was not biological, social, political or economic self-assertion but
the social education of the entire human race. It was therefore not
necessary for Jewry as a whole to settle in Palestine. A spiritual center
of action in Palestine was sufficient to make the influence of Judaism
felt by the whole world."

Hess' background, his birth in Germany and his studies in
Poland, his dedication first to Socialism and then his advocacy
of Zionism, form the basis for a fascinating biography. Mary
Schulman's job is well done within the scope of the emphasis
she places on this "Communist Rabbi Hess," in this "Prophet
of Zionism."

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