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January 10, 1964 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1964-01-10

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

Jacob H. Cohen (right), 90-year-old retired businessman,
presents Joseph Brainin, executive vice-president of the Amer-
ican Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science, with a
$25,000 contribution to the Kennedy Memorial Fellowships at
the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovoth, Israel. The In-
stitute has established 46 annual research fellowships—one for
each year of the late President's life. The research awards are
open to scientists from the U.S., Europe, Afro-Asian nations
and Israel. All funds raised through the Weizmann Institute's
annual dinner on February 6th at the Waldorf-Astoria will go
toward a $5,000,000 endowment fund to insure the permanency
of the Kennedy Fellowships. Guest speaker at the Weizmann
dinner will be President Johnson.

Hebrew Among Languages Helped
Invigorate English, Authors Assert

Dr. Morton W. Bloomfield,
professor of English at Harvard
University, and Dr. Leonard D.
Newmark, professor of Linguis-
tics at the University of Califor-
nia and a former University of
Michigan professor, combined
their efforts in producing an im-
portant history of the develop-
ment of the English language
under the title "A Linguistic
Introduction to the History of
English," just published by
Knopf.
Their highly informative book
is an introduction also to linguis-
tics, evaluating vocabulary,
methology and fundamentals.
This study represents a sum-
mary of linguistic studies made
during the past 25 years, show-
ing the advanced scientific
methods pursued in this im-
portant field of studies, with
emphasis on the history of Eng-
lish.
Emphasizing the importance
of word usage in this study,
the Index of Morphemes,
Words and Phrases—mostly
English but also Garman,
Finnish, Russian, Lithuanian,
Arabic, Sp a n i s h, French,
Italian, Greek, Indo-European,
Sanskirt, Albanian, Dutch,
Gothic and Primitive Ger-
manic—serve a valuable pur-
pose for the student.
The authors state that "ori-
ginally artificial languages, such
as Esperanto and Modern He-
brew, have become natural
languages, exactly to t1:e extent
that users of those languages
have made the language usage
primary over the formulations
of the rules that originally es-
tablished them."
Profs. Bloomfield and New-
mark mention the relationship
between Hebrew and Arabic.
Yiddish, described as "a Ger-

manic language spoken by East-
ern European Jews who
migrated from Germany during
the 14th, 15th and 16th cen-
turies, is listed among the
"present-day major Germanic
languages."
The authors also state that
"words are often borrowed
from the archaic vocabulary
of the same language." They
add: "In some languages
there is much borrowing from
older archaic forms of the
same language or of a closely
related one. Modern Hebrew
and Hindi provide many ex-
amples."
Asserting that Hebrew and
Arabic are among the langu-
ages that "have made important
contributions to the English
vocabulary, the authors con-
clude: "To these, and to a
number of other languages with
which speakers of English have
had close contact, English owes
a vocabulary which is cosmo-
politan and varied, affording us
units in which we can express
ourselves exactly and vigor-
ously."

St. Louis Centers
Dedicate Building

ST. LOUIS, (JTA)—A barren
cornfield in the west suburbs of
this city has ben transformed
into a multi-Million-dollar com-
plex of ultra-modern buildings
and outdoor facilities to become
the headquarters of the Jewish
Community Centers Association
and the focal point for its ulti-
mate 15,000 members.
Centered on a 104-acre site of
rolling land, the $2,100,000 Car-
lyn H. .Wohl Building was offi-
cially opened December 22 as
the grand finale to a $3,805,000
overall capital development pro-
gram of the JCCA.

Prof. Barrows Dunham, whose
earlier work, "Man Against
Myth," created wide discussion,
has produced a most challenging
work with his "Heroes and
Heretics—A Social History of
Dissent," which has been pub-
lished by Knopf.
The heretical figures who pass
in review in this volume stem
from all faiths, many climes
and d i f f e r i n g philosophical
thoughts.
There is a lengthy analysis
of events that occurred in the
biblical era and during the
periods of the prophets. He is
critical as well as analytical, he
exposes myths and he points to
evidences of free expressions
in numerous periods in history.
For instance, quoting from
Daniel 11:36-45, of the time of
the Maccabean revolt against
Antiochus IV, he describes the
following as a phenomenon that
occurred for almost a thousand
years:
"The king (of the North)
shall do as he pleases, he
shall uplift himself and exalt
himself above every god, ut-
tering amazing vaunts against
the God of gods; he shall
prosper until the wrath divine
has run its course . . . For
his strong forts he shall pro-
cure soldiers who worship a
foreign god; his favorites
shall advance to high honor
and make them rulers over
the masses, selling land to
them for a bribe. When the
end arrives, the king of the
South shall butt at him, but
the king of the North shall
attack him like a whirlwind
. . . He shall also invade the
fair land of Palestine, and
myriads shall be killed . . .
the land of Egypt shall not
escape, but he shall lay hands
on the treasures of gold and
silver and all the valuables."
The lesson drawn from "his
favorites he shall advance to
high honor" is that "national
liberation involved social revo-
lution."
Dr. Dunham proceeds to
show that "in the Judaic tradi-
tion, the prophets are revolu-
tionary and the priests reac-
tionary. The priests, ideological
spokesmen for the governing
class, were in daily administra-
tion both of public affairs and
private behavior'. The prophets
sprang from lower social ranks,
especially from the peasantry,
and won leadership by the
eloquence with which they pro-
claimed existing social facts and
mandatory moral values.
(In a footnote, the author
points out that "to prophesy"
meant originally "to announce"
—not necessarily "to foretell
the future.")
The history of the Maccabean
period is reviewed by Dr. Dun-
ham, and the anticipation of a
"predestined Messiah, the son
of David," is followed by this
interesting evaluation of the ap-
pearance on the scene of Jesus:
"And then in Judea, in the
reign of Tiberius, there ap-
peared a man of lowly origin, a
carpenter's son, who, having la-
bored to save his people, was
posthumously believed to have
saved mankind, and who, in-
stead of being (like the Cae-
sars) a man enlarged into a god,
was held in the end to have
been a god diminished into a
man."
Prof. Dunham views the
Jewish people as having
earned, "with much gallantry,
a reputation for rebellious-
ness." He adds: "The first
Christians were a sect within
the synagogue, and the first
Christian missionaries were
Jews with a special message."
Mythology and historical facts,

Christian and Jewish data, are
used to illustrate the points re-
lating to the movements of so-
cial dissent dating back to
earliest times.
Prof. Dunham explains how,
as in the case of the Jewish
convert to Christianity Johann
Pfefferkorn, who became a vi-
olent anti-Semite, "all converts
like to 'attack the organization
they have abandoned." He de-
scribes the sufferings of Reuch-
lin, the founder of the move-
ment of Hebraic studies for
Christian scholars, who was im-
prisoned and whose books were
burned.
He refers to Erasmus' state-
ment that he "would not pol-
lute" his papers by even men-
tioning the name of Pfeffer-
korn whom he condemned as
"a veritable Satan."
Spinoza's thinking, the phil-
osopher's experiences, the evils
of the Inquisition, are incor-
porated in this social history of
dissent.
The expose of the Inquisi-
tional brutalities is accompanied
by references to numerous his-
torical cases. The author states:
"After the Inquisition had
entered a town and fastened
upon it, all human choices
sank to an astonishing sim-

plicity. There were, in fact,
just two pairs of choices: (1.)
you could fend off- attack by
turning informer, or you
could risk attack by declining
to inform; and, (2.) once ac-
cused, you could surrender
utterly the conduct of your
own life, or you could try to
protect your integrity, through
increasing degrees of tor-
ment, to the final sacrifice at
the stake. This last choice
was fraught with peculiar dif-
ficulty, because the torments
were of such a sort as to
make surrender almost an au-
tomatic response."
Dr. Dunham, describing the
cruelties under the Inquisition,
recalls that it was to the Domin-
icans ("named after Domingo
de Guzman, their founder, 1170-
1221"), who "abandoned their
purer insights rather too soon,"
that "the Inquisition was en-
trusted, so that they acquired
the satiric, punning title of
Domini Canes, 'hounds of the
Lord.' "
Thus, ad infinitum, Dr. Dun-
ham has exposed tyrannies and
hypocrisies, has described re-
volutionary movements involv-
ing heroes and heretics, and
has provided us with a powerful
"history of dissent."

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9-THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS—Friday, January 10, 1964

$25,000 Gift for Weizinann Institute Dunham's Challenging 'history of Dissent'

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