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April 16, 1965 - Image 22

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1965-04-16

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

of Jews Up to 6,000 in Spain
Samuel Sandmel's 'We Jews and Jesus' Leaves1Number
NEW YORK (JTA) — The nol,v constitute 70 per cent of the
Spanish Jewish community, con- community.
Reviewer Puzzled Over Vague View of Equality sisting
of only a handful of Jews
While ohe stressed that the Jew-

Dr. Samuel Sandmel, Hebrew
Union College provost and profes-
sor of Bible, attempts in his new-
est book to "ar-
rive at a calm
end balanced un-
derstanding of
where Jews can
reasonably stand
with respect to
Jesus."
In "We Jews
and Jesus," pub-
lished by Oxford
University Press
(417 5th, NY16),
Dr. Sandmel
while viewing
Jesus as a Jew
who had gifts of
leadership, while
judging him as
having been moti-
vated by a Jew- Dr. Sandmel
ish loyalty, judges conversion of
Jews to Christianity as an act of
disloyalty.

,

Although he treats Jesus,
Christianity and the G o s p e l s
sympathetically, Prof. Sandmel
condemns apostasy and asserts
that a Jewish convert "not only
abandoned his Jewish faith but
allied himself to the faith of the
foe, the persecutor."

The major value of the new
Sandmel book is in his evaluation
of the Gospels and the contrasts
he indicated in them. The reader
learns much about conflicts and
inconsistencies in the Gospels. He
makes the point that the Gospels
do not reveal the true Jesus, that
they obscure him, and he states:

"With all the writings, Old
Testament, New Testament, and
the additional quasi -biblic al
literature, have in common is
that history for them was not the
quasi-sicence it tried to become
in the 19th century, but was
rather an interpretation of ac-
cepted but unproved events. No
author in those days had a Ph.D.
from a modern university, or
worked in archives, or strove to
present 'the events as they real-
ly happened.' For us to confront
those authors on the plane of
`pure' history is to expect what
they neither intended nor were
able to provide. It is a hopeless
task to disentangle history from
nonhistory in the narratives of
the Tanak, or of the extra-bibli-
cal literature, or of the New
Testament. We cannot be precise
about Jesus. We can know what
the Gospels say, but we cannot
know Jesus. If our objective is
an accurate history of Jews,
then we are more apt to find
that the Gospels obscure rather
than reveal him. The acute
differences in the Gospels rise
to impede a merely literary ap-
preciation of them."

It is additionally interesting to
note that Dr. Sandmel declares
that "the Christian way is not mine,
nor are their answers mine. But
I find no difficulty in seeing mag-
nitude in a tradition not my own,
and in discerning in that tradition
a profound groping for God in a
way different from my way. To dis-
cern such things is to view Chris-
tian Scriptures from the outside,
but in the way in which I have
often wished that Christians could
see and discern the rabbinic litera-

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ture. It means to see the writings
beyond the mere details, beyond
the merely literal, and to see in
them the just claim that they pos-
sess humanistic values."
Dr. Sandmel is critical of the
approaches to Jesus in both Graetz
and Klausner. He says the latter
did not have Montefiore's literary
skill and he prefers Montefiore's
views to Klausner's.
Dr. Sandmel poses many ques-
tions relating to the crucifixion. He
declares: "The Gospels show me
no persuasive basis on which Jews
as Jews would have leveled an ac-
cusation against a fellow-Jew; all
that I read in the Gospels is a
vague charge of 'blasphemy,' a
charge unaccompanied by any
broad effort to adduce relevant
particulars. I can see in the Gos-
pels what the Jews could have re-
jected, and what they could have,
as Jews, disliked. I cannot see in
the Gospels themselves, as I can
see in Paul's Epistles with his
scorn of Moses' laws, what Jews
as Jews would have resented so
bitterly. I can understand the
Roman motives; from the Gospels
I detect no convincing Jewish
motive. I believe that the shift of
responsibility is patent, is moti-
vated, and that we Jews have been
made to pay for what Romans did."
While the point here is made
decisively, the reader may detect
such a strong desire to prove
tolerance that he will see in Dr.
Sandmel a rather forced effort to
attain the book's goal.
But the book does serve one
major purpose: it is a strong good
will document. He states, to quote
some of his emphatic conclusions:

"In many an American city a
concern for the public welfare
brings Jews and Christians into
common endeavor, and finds
them often united in purpose and
goals, and even in co-operative
enterprises . . .
"The fact is that in the past
century in the United States, the
historic mutual animosities of
Christianity and Judaism have
given way to what is no less than
a reversal of the past .. .
"It is a matter of record that,
in the United States, Jews and
Protestants, especially among the

clergy, evolved a mutually af-
firmative approach many decades
ago . . . "
He also sees a great improve-
ment in Catholic-Jewish relations.
In his analysis of differences
among faiths, he also shows that

there are intra-faith conflicts and
that there are grounds for seeing
improvement in human relations.
Insofar as the Ecumenical Coun-
cil's work is concerned, he ex-
presses confidence in good results

and declares he is ready "to grasp
in friendship" the hand extended
by American Catholics.
"I am not a Christian," he as-
serts; "I do not share in those
convictions which make Christians
of men. Moreover, I am inex-
tricably bound up in my Judaism.
Yet I have no disposition to set
the one against the other, and to
make meaningless comparisons. I
do not regard Judaism as objec-
tively superior to Christianity nor
Christianity to Judaism. Rather,
Judaism is mine, and I consider it
good, and I am at home in it, and
I love it, and want it. That is how
I want Christians to feel about
their Christianity."
Is this too elementary? Does it
open an avenue for an encouraged
proselytization on the basis of a
love one has for his own over his

a quarter of a century ago, has
grown to more than 6,000 today,
according to Samuel Toledano,
head of the department of inter-
national Jewish organizations to
the Council of Jewish Comunities
of Spain. He described the situa-
tion of Spanish Jewry in a report
to the American section of the
World Jewish Congress here.
Toledano said the rise in the
community's size came about be-
cause of the influx of Nazi vic-
tims 20 years ago, and a more re-
cent influx of Moroccan Jews, who

Rare Hebrew Manuscript
Revealed at India School

JERUSALEM (JTA)—A palm
leaf Hebrew manuscript preserved

in the Sanskrit Academy of Os-
mania University in India, has
been identified by the Hebrew Lan-
guage Academy here as the 37th
chapter of the Book of Genesis.
The Hebrew Academy had been
asked to furnish information on
the rare manuscript which is now
believed to be the only biblical one
inscribed on a palm leaf in He-
brew.
The document, which had been
in the possession of the Sanskrit
Academy for many years, is be-
neighbor's?
lieved to have been written by
Thus, his concluding state- Jews who came to the Malabar
ment asserts: "For almost 18 coast nearly 2,000 years ago.

centuries Judaism and Chris-
tianity faced each other as
enemies. In the past hundred
years we have learned much that
earlier centuries failed to learn.
Perhaps we have now learned
that, in a world of many cur-
rents and crosscurrents, Judaism
and Christianity are not so much
on opposite sides of the fence
as on the same side . . . "

First Jewish Woman M.C.
Florence Prag Kahn, a San Fran-

cisco school teacher, became the
first Jewish woman to serve in the
Congress of the United States when
she was elected to fill her hus-
band's seat upon his death in 1924.

ish community in Spain had few

internal problems, he mentioned
that the Spanish Jews had noticed

an increase in the quantity of hate
literature being distributed in the
country. The community, he said,
hoped to put a stop to the distrib-
ution of the anti-Simitic litera-
ture by legal means.

In Madrid, community growth in
the past 25 years has been accom-
panied by an increased and diver-
sified communal structure. Re-
cently, after the community had
submitted copies of its new bylaws
to the government and after com-
munity leaders had met with
General Franco, the Ministry of
the Interior confirmed the legal
status of the community at the end
of February, thus regularizing a de
facto situation that had previously
existed.
To cope with its increased num-
bers, the Madrid Jewish community
has just voted to abandon its for-
mer apartment-synagogue and erect
a $150,000 temple, center and com-
munity office. The new building
will house the Talmud Torah and
other community activities.
A new synagogue-, the third in
Spain, has just been dedicated
in Malaga. It is situated at Paseo
de Rosa les 9, in this southern
capital of the Costa del Sol, the
Spain Washington Embassy an-
nounced.

Like

GIN-

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UNITED BRANDS • DETROIT • U.S.A.

BAR MITZVAHS • WEDDINGS

Will Christians accept such a
view of religious equality? Will
Jews accept so simple a conclu-
sion?
As a good will tract, Dr. Sand-
mel's book is a strong document.
In its totality as well as its
conclusions it leaves the reader,
the lay man, wondering whether
the simplicity is not in itself an in-
troduction to an apostacy the
author himself rejects.

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Israeli Cager Coach Back in Mid East Zone

"Many of your American basket- coaches, as he prepared to return
ball terrns are the same in He- home after a four month visit to
brew," said Yehuda Birnszweig, one the United States. "Terms such as
Ex pert cleaning wall to wall carpets & furniture in
of Israel's most promising young
your home or pick up carpeting & relay elsewhere.
`jump shot' and 'pivot' are exactly
Free Estimates
the same. However, 'dump shot' is
ILAN 4 - 6 20 3
Reasonable Prices
not a Hebrew phrase simply be-
cause we can't make them.
—la
A huge smile broke out across roJOE MAIY • 510E MAY • JOE MAY • JOE MA`P -1
CHICAGO (JTA) — Chicago the f a c e of the 6'3", 225 - pound
Jewry joined the general commun-
ity in mourning the passing of Birnszweig. At 27, he has been en-
>-
0
Albert Cardinal Meyer, archbish- trusted by his country with the task OQ
op of the Roman Catholic Diocese of raising the level of Israeli bas-
here, who died last weekend at ket ball at the grass-roots level.
the age of 62.
"Most of our basketball at home 0
Cardinal Meyer was among the
is
played by clubs,' he said. "My O
most forceful American prelates
job
was to visit the United States,

who had insisted at the last ses-
sion of the Ecumenical Council, absorb as much as I could of the
and
on the adoption of the declaration latest coaching techniques,
on the relations between Jews and then try to install basketball in

Christians, which removed from Israeli's grade schools. That is
where
we
must
start
if
we
are
to
the Jewish people the stigma of
deicide and urged Catholics to make progress in the schools. We l0
have to organize school leagues and
oppose anti-Semitism.
When it was feared, during the district competitions."


closing days of the Council's last
Birnszweig came to the United
session, that the Declaration on States last Nov. 3 at the suggestion a
Jewish Relations might not be of Lafayette basketball c o a c h >-
0
voted or might be watered down, George Davidson, who spent six
m
Cardinal Meyer joined Joseph months in Israel in 1964. Davidson
Cardinal Ritter of St. Louis, in worked with the Israeli national ow
circulating a petition to Pope Paul team, conducted clinics, and was a
0
VI, requesting action on the is- visiting professor at the Orde Win-
sue.
gate Institute. Birnszweig w a s
The strong declaration was Davidson's outstanding pupil in the a •
adopted preliminarily, and will coaches clinics he conducted. When
5
1.
come up before the Ecumenical Davidson returned to the United >-
Council's next session for final States he told the United States
<
m
action.
Committee Sports for Israel about
The American Jewish Commit- Birnszweig, and the c ammi t t e e
tee, in the name of its president, sponsored Yehuda's trip to 0
PHONE TE 4-4440
Morris B. Abram, sent a message America.
OUT-OF TOWN CALLS ACCEPTED

Jews Mourn Death
of Cardinal Meyer

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recording its "profound" sorrow
on the death of "the saintly and THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
22—Friday, April 16, 1965
wise" Cardinal Meyer.

L

-

JOE MAY • JOE MAY • JOE MAY • JOE MAY

13I

!CI

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