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October 01, 1965 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1965-10-01

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

Search On for British Chief Rabbi

(Continued from Page 1)
But there was an element of
doubt about his enthusiasm
for the post. He did take a
long time to make up his mind.
and many Israelis did say that
he would be much more use-
ful to the Jewish people as a top
Israeli diplomat than as a top
rabbi. Also, some Anglo-Jews
had their doubts about the ap-
pointment. They did not ques-
tion, of course, Herzog's knowl-
edge or piety or suitability in any
other way. But he did not look
before the whole world like a
Chief Rabbi. It was the image
that was missing. The wag who
said at the time that Dr. Herzog
had gone underground to grow a
beard was merely vulgarizing an
acute problem. Sub s t i t u t e
"image" for "beard."

All these considerations m u s t
have made their mark upon a sen-
sitive and perceptive man like
Herzog. Coupled with a serious
illness and a prolonged and tedi-
ous convalescence, t h e r e was
enough force to prompt a drastic
decision.
One expects that Herzog will
soon be an ambassador of Israel in
an important capital.
But what about British Jews?
The Chief Rabbinate Confer-
ence, which consists of representa-
tives of the United Synagogues
and other Orthodox groups, and its
executive machinery are still in-
tact and will be put into operation
soon after the High Holy Days.
This is easy. But where would the
suitable man come from? Of the
nine original candidates, a p a r t
from Herzog, two stated that they
never contemplated the post (one
of them is Dr. J. B. Soloveitchik, of
Boston), and said that their names
had been put forward by error,
and the rest were considered un-
suitable for one reason or another.
No new candidates have emerged
since, at least no new convincing
candidates.

Do British Jews need a Chief
Rabbi? Must they have one?
After all, American Jews have
no Chief Rabbi. Nor have Rus-
sian Jews ever had one.
The answer is this: from the

purely religious point of view there
is no need for a Chief Rabbi at
all. The Beth Din functions quite
well even now. There are enough
Dayanim to deal with religious
problems as they arise. But there
is the representational aspect. And
there is the fact that the gentiles
have an archbishop. This is a
country with an established
church. And its Jews are con-
strained to copy the non-Jews,
with the necessary adaptations.
Again, it seems the Establish-
ment half expects the Jews to have
a Chief Rabbi. It is much more
convenient. You know whom to
invite to garden parties at the
Palace.

George V used to refer to Dr.
Hertz as "My Chief Rabbi." He
once told the Archbishop of
Canterbury of the days: "On the
Old Testament I am inclined to
consult the Chief Rabbi; it is
his province." This was, of
course, a friendly tease in an
argument with the Archbishop
but, like in every joke, 'there
was some truth in it.

There is an even more import-
ant reason why a Chief Rabbi is
needed. British Jews remain a
religious community. They know
no other brand of Judaism except
the one which finds its expression
through the synagogue. It may
be true, as has been pointed out,
that this is the Judaism of the
ignorant. But this does not alter
the fact. Even secular Hebrew
schools have to meet the religious
requirements of the communal
authorities. The type of Jew who
was a "Talmid Haham" but an
"Apikores" (not necessarily a
heretic; usually one who argued
that there Were more ways than
one of being a good Jew) is al-
most unknown in Britain. It was
nurtured in Lithuania and there
are still some specimens left in
Jerusalem, perhaps even in New
York, but not in London or Man-
chester. Thus, the average Brit-

ish Jew feels unprotected—in the
religious sense—without a Chief
Rabbi. And so a Chief Rabbi will
have to be found even if he does
not satisfy the requirements of all
parties concerned.
A warning is necessary here.
The vulgar British press is treat-
ing the election of a Chief Rabbi
as a sensational story and some
Jewish publications are copying it
(they always swallow whatever the
non-Jewish press says about Jew-
ish problems—it is a complex with
some editors). Here are some
samples of screaming headlines:
"British Jews are torn by warring
factions"; "A portly rabbi in Je-
rusalem waits for a summons" (he
is not even portly, let alone not
waiting for a summons); "British
Jews in a state of turmoil" (This
one seems to have been borrowed
from the India-Pakistan war);
"Anglo-Jews bewildered."
The actual situation can be sum-
moned up as an "interregnum" in
which diligent search for a Chief
Rabbi goes on.

Turkey Ousts
24 Greek Jews
on Short Notice

ISTANBUL (JTA)—Thirty - four
Greek nationals, including 24 Jews,
were called to the police depart-
ment Sept. 23 and ordered to leave
Turkey within a few hours.
Earlier this month, the 34 per-
sons had been ordered to leave
Turkey by the first week of Octo-
ber and had been preparing them-
selves accordingly. Initially, it was
reported that the 34 all were Jews.
No reason was given for the ad-
vanced deadline, and their request
for an extension of a few days were
rejected.

Nine of the Jews left at noon
for Israel, eight by air and one
by boat. The rest left for Athens.
They were allowed to take with
them only their personal belong.
ings. Only two of the Jews leav-
ing for Israel were accompanied
by their wives. The others left
families whose members were
Turkish citizens.

The expulsion order, which the
police said was an official govern-
ment ruling, specified that the 34
could never return to Turkey.
The Istanbul press reported that
the reason for the expulsion was
"activities detrimental to national
interests." The expulsion brought
to about 8,400 the number of
Greek nationals, m any of them
Jews, ousted from Turkey or who
have left voluntarily as a result of
the Turkish-Greek conflict in Cy-
prus.
It had been charged that the 24
Jews had contributed "large sums"
to local- Greek clubs which the
Turkish authorities had shut down
several years ago. However, the
newspaper Hurriyet reported that
the Jews had been obliged to con-
tribute to the clubs as a "sort of
tax" to extend their passports. The
Greek Jewish nationals also were
charged with allegedly smuggling
large sums of money out of Turkey.
Greek Jews previously had been
exempt from the government deci-
sion to expel Greek nationals,
which went into effect last year.
The Greek Jews had been allowed
to remain and to work, although
their capital and assets, like those
of other Greek nationals, were
blocked by the government.
The expulsion deepened fears of
the 100 remaining Greek Jews that
they also will be expelled in the
apparent Turkish drive to oust all
Greek nationals, Jewish and Chris-
tian.

A survey conducted by Engi-
neering News-Record, and report-
ed in the March 25, 1965, issue,
noted an acceleration of Michigan
highway development in 1965,

calling for an 83 per cent increase
in planned contracts over 1964,
which will place Michigan ninth
in the nation this year.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
Friday, October 1, 1965-5

U-M President Will Speak in Haber's Honor

Dr. Harlan Hatcher, president
of the University of Michigan, will
be the principal speaker at the
dinner to be given in honor of Dr.
William Haber, president of
American ORT Federation and
dean of the University of Mich-
igan College of Literature, Science

first became chairman of the Cen-
Reservations for the dinner are
tral Board of the ORT Union. In being taken at WO 1-0282.
addition, he has been president of
the American ORT Federation for
"Cultivate the physician as you
many years.
need him. Him too, God has
"Since its birth 85 years ago, ordained."
ORT has developed into the larg-
—Ben Sira
est single voluntary non-govern-
mental vocational training system
in the world. In 1964, it provided
vocational training in 625 trade
schools, adult courses, and other
types of training units in 21 dif-
We now add
ferent countries to over 42,000
Photography
persons. During the years since
the war, 500,000 persons have en-
to our many
rolled in its institutions, consti-
services!
tuting a substantial contribution to
Jewish economic well-being.
Murry Koplin
"In honoring Bill Haber on Oct.
Advertising
31, we shall of course be honoring
also ORT and its magnificent
world-wide program of rehabilita-
tion through training."
4-

-

rs- T il L . . y . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

..„ ......... .. ...... •..".w,-,.,,
a

/

F

Elliott and Bill Elkin

DR. HARLAN HATCHER

and the Arts, on Oct. 31, at the
Pontchartrain Hotel, by the De-
troit Men's ORT Chapter.
Announcing the speaker, Harry
Platt, chairman of the recently-
formed ORT chapter, made this
statement:
"Many people know Dean Haber
for his outstanding achievements
in the field of education and for
his public service to the state of
Michigan and to the nation, but
not everybody knows what he has
done for world Jewry and for the
ORT program. It's not generally
known, for example, that he has
been the guiding spirit of ORT in
all its aspects since 1955, when he

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