THE JEWISH NEWS
Incorporating The Detroit Jewish Chronicle commencing with issue of July 20, 1951
Member American Association of English—Jewish Newspapers, Michigan Press Association, National Editorial
Published every Friday by The Jewish News Publishing Co., 17100 West Seven Mile Road, Detroit 48235 Mich.,
VE 8-9364. Subscription $6 a year. Foreign $7.
Second Class Postage Paid at Detroit, Michigan
Editor and Publisher
CARMI M. SLOMOVITZ
Sabbath Scriptural Selections
This Sabbath, the sixth day of Tishri, 5726, the following scriptural selections
will be read in our synagogues:
Pentateuchal portion: Deut. 31:1-30; Prophetical portion: Hosea. 14:2-10, Micah
7:18-20, Joel 2:15-27.
Licht benshen, Friday, October 1, 5:56 p.m.
Yom Kippur Scriptural Selections
Pentateuchal portion: Deut. 31:1-30; Prophetical portion: Hosea 14:2-10, Micah
noon, Levit. 18:1-30.
Prophetical portions: Wednesday morning, Isaiah 57:14-58:14; afternoon, Jonah
1:1-4:11, Micah 7:18-20.
October 1, 1965
VOL. XLVIII, No. 6
the Holy Convocation
ought to eat and drink as much as they
Yom Kippur's significance as a holy con-
vocation is among the most sacred obligations
upon the People Israel. It dates back to
There are many aspects to the universality
most ancient times, and in the 23rd chapter
of Leviticus the rules for the observance of of Yom Kippur that merit consideration.
For instance, the reading of the Book of
the Day of Atonement are set down for us:
Jonah on Yom Kippur is explained as fol-
"Ye shall do no manner of work; it is a
lows: It is to teach us that no one can fly
statute for ever throughout your genera-
away from God; it admonishes us that God
tions in all your dwellings. It shall be unto
forgives those who turn to Teshuvah — re-
you a sabbath of solemn rest, and ye shall
pentance — as he did in Nineveh's case; it
afflict your souls; in the ninth day of the
teaches that God's compassions are for all,
Some of the narratives in "Modem Jewish Stories," edited by Gerda
month at even, from even. unto even, shall
even for idolaters.
Charles, published by Prentice-Hall, are certain to be included among
ye keep your sabbath."
the classics in short story writing. There are others in this volume
It is as a Sabbath of Sabbaths that Yom
There is also the matter of treating cus- that have been criticized and rejected as samples of acceptable Jewish
Kippur is ascribed as an everlasting statute, toms logically and permitting changes where narrations. But in the main this collection of fiction is a most impres-
and the eternity of the day is thus asserted necessary or tolerating them when practic- oive one and speaks highly in commendation of the editor.
in Midrash Mishle IX: "Yom Kippur will able.
Because she was induced by the publishers to include one of her
never be done away with, as it is said (Lev.
stories in her collection, Miss Charles' "The CzechoSlovakian Chan-
In his "Days of Awe," Agnon refers to an
16:34): 'And this shall be an everlasting sta- interesting local tradition under the title "A delier," a tale about Jews and literature, appears. One of the characters
tute unto you, to make atonement for the Puzzling Custom," quoting the following from speaks about traditional origins, with a phobia that all stems from
Bible and Talmud in Shaw, Shakespeare, etc. It is a well-written story
children of Israel, because of all their sins, Likkutim Shonim mi-Sefer debe Eliahu:
and Miss Charles' choice of a sample of her own works speaks well
once in the year."
"It is an ancient custom in the city of for her judgement.
Candia when the portion from the Book of
Most important, however, is her introductory essay in which she
While affirming the everlasting nature of
Jonah is being read on Yom Kippur to read evaluates the Jewish short story and the authors of such narratives.
the Great Fast Day for Israel, Yom Kippur
By including Isaac Bashevis Singer's "Gimpel the Fool," Leo
only the first three verses in the holy
has its vast humane significance, because the
Rosten's "Mr. Kaplan and the Magi," Isaac Babel's "First Love,"
tongue, and to translate the rest of the
atonement is not for Jews alone but for all
Dan Jacobson's "The Zulu and the Zeide," and other noteworthy
book from the beginning to end into the
mankind. And there is a humane interpreta-
examples of fiction by 20 authors, Miss Charles has pooled into
secular Greek; afterward they skip to the
a single volume authors and stories of great merit.
tion which absolves men from fasting and
Book of Micah, where they read three ver-
Rosten's a sample of his H-Y-M-A-N K-A-P-L-A-N skill. Jacobson's
from "afflicting their souls" when the need
ses, and translate in the same way. Rabbi is one
of the narratives that have drawn such wide attention that his
requires it, when there arises the necessity
Elijah Capsali (16th Cent.) thought to abro- "Zulu and the Zeide" is being dramatized for a production to be
to protect life.
gate this custom, because it is not according directed by Bore Schary, with Menasha Skulnik in the chief role as
In his scholarly work "Days of Awe,"
to the law. But Rabbi Meir (ben isaac Kat; the Zeide.
which is a veritable treasure as a collection
zenellenbogen, 15-16th Cent.) the head of
Babel's tale is a sample of the noted Russian-Jewish writer's works
of legends about the Holy days, S. Y. Agnon
the academy at Padua, heard about it,.and that stand out in fiction. It is the story of a 10-year-old boy's first
relates the followina historical incident which
wrote to Rabbi Elijah, to turn him from his love—for an older and a married woman—and the illness that fol-
points to the compulsion
to refrain from fast-
purpose. In truth this is a puzzling custom, lowed; and incidentally there is drawn into the story the history of
ing when the need requires it, as quoted from
but it is not right to rest entirely upon our the pogroms of 1905.
The controversial Philip Roth tale "The Conversion of the Jews"
Ir Vilna and the Orhot Hayyim of the Ray
intelligence, and abrogate an ancient cus- is part
of the collection and there are stories by Yehuda Yaari, "The
tom. It is necessary to find an explanation Judgment
of Solomon," a deeply moving tale about a boy who was
for it. That is what all our early sages did, rescued from Nazi horrors, the woman who cared for him and the
"When there was a cholera epidemic in
whenever they came across a puzzling mother siibo wanted to take him back but was faced by the child's
1848, Rabbi Israel Salanter posted an-
nouncements in all the Houses of Prayer of
preference for the good foster mother; by Nadine Gordimer, Irwin
Here we have a perfect example of logical Shaw, Isaae Rosenfeld, Arnold Wesker, Brian Glanville, S. Yizhar,
Vilna on the eve of Yom Kippur, urging the
toleration of a custom, even when it is strange Alexander Baron and Bernard Malamud.
people not to fast on that holy and awesome
Gerda Charles goes back, in her introduction, to "The Book
to the rest of Jewry.
day, and to cut short the recitation of the
of Ruth" and to "Esther" to prove that "the first short stories
liturgical poems of the day, and to go walk-
ever written were of course Jewish short stories." She turned to
Thus, while prescribed rules sound harsh,
ing in the fresh air. After the Morning
the "baba buch" and the "maase buch" to describe the emergence
there is humanity in the interpretations of
Prayer on Yom Kippur he took a roll in his
in the 16th century of the prevalence of short stories that were
the admonitions. And their application is an
hand and stood on the pulpit and after mak-
written in Yiddish.
indication of the humanitarian role of a
ing the blessing ending 'who creates various
The sentiments that motivated the writings of Sholem Aleichem
sacred day on which all men confess their and Israel Zang-will are reviewed—both as the realists, the latter----
kinds of foods,' ate the roll before the eyes
sins and commence a new life without harm "compassionate but clear-eyed."
of the entire congregation, that the people
Yet she shows that while there were many creative Jewish wriL,i -s -,
to fellow-men. This is, indeed, the basis for
might see him and follow his example; for
the Great White Fast we are soon to observe. in the latter years of the 19th and the first part of this century, "their
much is permitted when there is mortal dan-
It will be a day of fasting, but the fasting connection with Jewish life was on the whole minimal. The raw,
ger, and the life of a single person was
becomes easier when there is the knowledge blatant life of the immigrant masses was so horrifying—and worse,
dearer in his eyes than all the wealth of the
that the compulsion is not the cruel and un- constricting—to live that the Jewish artist's first thought on
intelligible rule of abnegation and self-denial
"During the epidemic, God preserve us,
Then came the breakthrough—the impact of the Nazi horror,
but the basis for a higher spirt inspired by "the prideful creation of the State of Israel and a strengthening
the pious Rabbi Shalom of Belz (19th Cen-
the most sacred day on the Jewish calendar. patriotism .. . the fact that Western civilization has now become so
tury) announced that all who felt faint
20 Noted Modern Jewish Stories ,Th
in Collection by Gerda Charles
A Deserved Honor and a Boon to Israel Bonds
For several years, under the leadership
of Tom Borman, the Israel, Bond Organiza-
tion has made great progress here in secur-
ing support for investments in Israel.
It was thanks in large measure to the
efforts of Mr. Borman that new records were
set in Israel Bond sales. His devotion to duty
as the chairman of the Detroit Israel Bond.
Committee, his constant efforts here as well
as during sales efforts in Florida among va-
cationing Detroiters, have brought unusual
Now, on the eve of his retirement as
chairman, the local Israel Bond organization
is honoring Mr. Borman with a testimonial
dinner. He has well earned that honor.
In the process, many Israel Bond pur-
chases are expected to be made in Mr. Bor-
man's honor. Thus, even in his retirement,
the honor accorded him will be a boon to the
Israel investment effort. Which again speaks
highly in tribute to the Israel Bond leader.
The community-wide response to the Bor-
man testimonial dinner is part of a pattern.
During the 14 years since the inauguration
of the Israel Bond campaigns there has been
in evidence a growing enthusiasm for efforts
to assist Israel by means of investments.
To uphold the hands of the Israelis in
their struggle foi4 survival, the major debt
can be repaid by their kinsmen elsewhere by
assisting them economically, and this is best
done by means of private investments. Israel
Bonds continue to lead in such endeavors.
urban and industrialized that it suits and feeds the natural Jewish
bent to the fact that most of our younger writers are now two or three
generations removed from the old, forcibly transplanted stock and
so feel rooted enough to flower. But whatever the ultimate cause,
stories by Jewish writers with Jewish content have at least leaped the
barriers which for so long separated them both from the non-Jewish
reading world and from 'literature.' "
"In general," Miss Charles indicated, "outside Israel (where some
very remarkable short stories are being written) the great splendid
achievement is with the English-speaking countries: England, the Com-
monwealth and, above all, America."
She points to the writers who have excelled in writing "the humor-
ous story" and: "Perhaps the most important of all the qualities to be
found in our best contemporary writers is one which I might define
as a kind of tender sophistication. It is an emphasis on feeling . .
but it is at the same time complex and subtle, radiant with imaginative
sympathy •nd—above all—forgiving. There is, in the greateSt Jewish
short stories, a kind of wise, patient, accepting forgiveness for all
our faults. And with it goes equally an unashamed emphasis on the
necessity of goodness."
This sounds like a confessional by the author of one of the stories
in the editor's collection. Her analysis of the short story as written
by Jews is as commendable as her choice of s.tori._