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June 25, 1965 - Image 17

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1965-06-25

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

Dr. Marcus: 'Ecumenical Trends Could Lead
to De Facto Establishment of Christianity'

CINCINNATI — Noted Jewish
historian Dr. Jacob R. Marcus
raised the possibility here that the
uniting of all Christians in the
United States as a result of cur-
rent ecumenical trends, might n-
o- suit in a "de facto establishment
of Christianity" with dangers to
American Jews.
Dr. Marcus was speaking at the
76th annual convention of the
Central Conference of American
Rabbis.
He said such a development
could imperil the current religious
balance in the United States and
force the Jew into a minority stat-
us presenting renewed dangers to
his religious liberty.
Stating he thought that the
* dangers to Jews under a Christ-
ian majority would manifest
themselves through federal aid
to church-sponsored schools and
a return of prayers into the pub-
.. lic schools, he urged the mem-
bers of the CCAR to continue to
press for the strict separation
of church and state in this coun-
try. He said he felt that the cur-
•-•
rent federal aid bills present a
"greater danger to our liberties
than we think."
Dr. Marcus said "the Christianiza-
tion of these United States will
only immure as Jews more firmly
—though comfortably enough —
behind unwalled ghettoes with
o. their automated bowling alleys and
kosher snack bars." He added, how-
ever, that the need for group ident-
ification would see a number of
positive aspects for the Jew. "Jew-
ishly, the intelligent child in the
religious school will know more
about the development of Jewish
pi history and Judaism than even the
medieval Rashi or Maimonides
could have known," he declared.
Birmingham Temple Rabbi Sher-
,-
win Wine's "Jewish humanistic
congregation functioning within the
framework of American Reform
Judaism" was the subject of much
unofficial discussion at the con-
vention.
Rabbi Wine, ordained at the
Reform rabbinical seminary here,
was both criticized and sympa-
thized with by his colleagues. Al-
though the issue was not on the
CCAR agenda, it was discussed in
corridors and over dinner, New
York Times correspondent Irving
Spiegel reported.
o--
Rabbi Wine asserted several

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months ago that he did not under-
stand the "meaning of the term
God" and so refers to himself as
an "ignostic." Understanding of
the concept was voiced by rabbis
here, but they criticized. his "dog-
matic rejection" of the Judaic re-
ligious tradition and historic ex-
perience, which they said had as
its core the centrality of God.
Rabbi Wine explained that the
word God was eliminated from
his service not because "we wish
to deny the existence of God but
we couldn't honestly use such
an emotionally charged word in
our service unless we clearly un-
derstood its meaning?'
He said, rather, that he preaches
"humanism," enabling man to "re-
late himself to his universe," and
places emphasis on the ethical im-
peratives of Judaism.
Rabbi Jacob J. Weinstein of
Temple K.A.M., Chicago, newly
elected president
of the CCAR, re-
jected Rabbi
Wine's "ignostic-
ism" saying it
was not compat-
ible with Jud-
aism, which "for
some 3,000 years
has been a God-
cultured reli-
gion."
A teacher of
Rabbi Wine at
Hebrew Union
College, Dr. Eu-
gene Mihaly,
praised him and
Weinstein
► is congregation Rabbi
"as a very sincere, intelligent
group of people."
In other activity, the CCAR
took to task un-synagogue Jews
who use catering establishments,
summer resorts and public facili-
ties for religious ceremonies and
services to "satisfy their minimum
Jewish identity."
A report by the CCAR's com-
mittee on decorum in Jewish life
deplored Jews who "use public
facilities for a one-time relig-
ious observance and in no way
support the Jewish religious
community.
Rabbi Joel Y. Zion, Temple Is-
rael, Lawrence, Long Island, and
chairman of the committee present-
ing the report, criticized at the
same time the "owners of these
commercial institutions who offer.

pallid Jewish religious ceremonies
for a wedding or Bar Mitzvah by
recommending various watered-
down types of new ritual."
"Such practices only serve to
help that member of the Jewish
faith who wishes to remain on the
periphery of the American Jewish
community," Rabbi Zion said.
The report particularly singled
out vacation resorts "which offer
vacation opportunities during the
High Holy Days, Passover and
other Jewish festival periods con-
joined with religious services, and
thereby stand in opposition to the
spirit of Jewish religious tradition."
They added that these Holy Days
and Festivals "require that they
be observed within the fellowship
of the family in the context of
home and synagogue."
Another nart of the statement
cited the "continuing use of pub-
lic halls, catering establishments,
hotels and country clubs which
threaten the very sanctity the
synagogue seeks to preserve,"
adding, "the sanctity of marriage
should be symbolized by the
sanctity of the wedding cere-
mony, which should be either in
the temple or in the house."
The committee felt that as a re-
sult of these practices, "the wed-
ding ceremony becomes completely
secularized."
Also mentioned in the report
were "mushroom synagogues," pri-
vate enterprises which come into
existence for High Holy Day serv-
ices, and which are organized pri-
marily for profit. The CCAR op-
poses the existence and support of
these establishments.
The rabbinical delegates were
urged, at another session, to as-
sume a "vigilant" attitute in their
communities to prevent all public
funds from being used to aid par-
ochial schools or church or syna-
gogue sponsored educational insti-
tutions.
Delegates overwhelmingly en-
dorsed the church-state report con-
tinuing the CCAR's 73-year-old
stand for strict separation.
The executive board of the CCAR
adopted a resolution urging the
U.S. government to join with other
governments and the secretary gen-
eral of the United Nations to enter
into immediate negotiations to
bring about a cease-fire and then
the conditions of a more perman-
ent truce in Viet Nam.

Weekly Quiz

By RABBI SAMUEL J. FOX

Why are the Tefillin (Phylac-
teries) not worn during the
afternoon prayers of Minchah
like they are worn in the morn-
ing prayers?

even though they may have them
handy. This was their policy be-
cause of the fact that they feared
that if scholars would don their
Tefillin in the afternoon prayers
(having their Tefillin more acces-
sible bo them than others would)
it would become a mark of the
scholar to do so and many charla-
tans would do it in order to make
the false impression upon the pub-
lic that they are scholars too. Thus
even the scholars refrained from
putting their Tefillin on at Min-
chah. Furthermore, (they did not
want to make the rest of the popu-
lace embarrassed or belittled over
the fact that they could not wear
their Tefillin at Minchah while
the scholars do. On Tisha B'av,
when the Tefillin are not worn in
the morning service, everyone
wears Tefillin during the after-
noon service of Minchah.

Originally the Tefillin were
worn all through the day and
hence must have been worn dur-
ing the afternoon service of Min-
chah too. Later on, when occupa-
tions and professions called for
people to work in various environ-
ments and in areas where the
required standards of cleanliness
and purity were not easily attained,
it became the practice to wear the
Tefillin only in the morning dur-
ing the morning service. Theoretic-
ally, they should be worn during
the afternoon Minchah service too
—however, there were at least two
practical reasons why this was not
instituted. First, some congrega-
tions were in the habit of reciting
the Minchah prayers even after
sunset and Tefillin are not to be
worn after sunset.
Secondly, because the places of
labor and business came to be so
far away from home it would be
impractical to have a man go home
to get his Tefillin before offering
the Minchah prayers in the after-
noon. If this were required it
might even turn out that many
would not offer the afternoon
prayers because they did not have
their Tefillin with them. Most in-
teresting is the fact that even
scholars who spend the whole day
in the study halls of learning
do not don the Tefillin during the
afternoon prayer of Minchah —

(Copyright, 1965, JTA, Inc.)

Why is it that in some con-
gregations the one who leads the
service wears a Tallith (prayer
shawl) at the Minchah service
while the congregation does not?

The reason for which the con-
gregation does not don the Tefil-
lin is the same as given above for
their refraining from wearing
Tefillin during the Minchah pray-
ers. The reason for which the
leader of the service wears the
Tallith is that this is done for the
"honor of the congregation." The
Almighty is pictured in the Tal-
mud as a "leader of the service
(Shaliaoh Tzibbur) wrapped in a
Tallith." Thus the leader of the
service wears a Tallith at Minchah
in many congregations.

Johnson Ends Ban on Food Shipment
to Egypt; Goods Va lued at $37 Million

(Direct JTA Teletype Wire
to The Jewish News)

WASHINGTON — The State De-
partment announced that President
Johnson "has determined that it
is in the United States' interest to
fulfill remaining commitments
under PL 480 (Food for Peace)
agreements with Egypt," which
terminate this coming Wednesday.
Accordingly, the U.S. govern-
ment is proceeding with the is-
s u a n c e of authorizations total-
ing approximately $37,000,000 for
Egypt. Included is wheat valued
at $22,400,000, vegetable oil valued
at $5,600,000, dry milk at $1,000,000,
and tobacco, $8,900,000.
The State Department said, "In
connection with this agreement,
the Egyptian government has un-
dertaken to enter into discussions
with us on any outstanding dif-
ferences and to resolve these to
our mutual satisfaction."
These "differences" no doubt
refer to a promise by the Egyp-
tian government to compensate
the United States for the John F.
Kennedy Library, burned in
Cairo last November, and to pro-
vide interim rent-free headquart-
ers.
The House of Representatives
had been so incensed by the burn-
ing of the library, operated by the
U.S. Information Agency, that it
had ordered a flat ban last Jan-
uary on any further aid to the
Nasser government, including the
$37,00,000 shipment.
Secretary of State Dean Rusk
and Undersecretary George Ball
persuaded the Senate Appropria-
tions Committee to modify the
House language, and Mr. Johnson
made a public appeal at a news
conference for a "free hand" in
the matter to enable him to work
for improved relations with the
UAR.
A State Department spokesman,
in announcing the President's de-
cision, said "there has been a
definite improvement in our rela-
tions with the UAR since aid was

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
Friday, June 25, 1965-17

suspended six months ago."
Alaska Senator Ernest Gruening
denounced Wednesday the end to
the ban.
It is believed that the agreement
will cause a new storm of criticism
by other members of Congress who
have noted Egyptian shipment of
its own rice crop to Communist
China and Cuba.

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