'Synagogue Statesmen' Honored
Nahmanides Man of Many Names
TH/s MAN HAD MANY NAMES .,,
BUT WE KNOW H/A4 AS NAHAfAN/PES
OR THE RaMBaN, siiaer FoR
RABBI MOSES BEN NAHMAN
BY N/GHT HE STUD/ED TORAH,
HE WAS CALLED GEROWD/ ( BECAUSE
HE WAS BORN /41 GERONA, SPA/N),
SPAN/SH NAME w4S ,
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HE IVROTE CoAlMENTARLES ON
THE 5/BLE AND TALMUD AND
BY DAY HE HEALED THE sycg
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THE S/X DAYS OF CREATION STAND
FOR 6,000 YEARS THAT FOLLOW
AND THEN—THE MESSIAH./ Are
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The Synagogue Council of America presented to Judge Emil N.
Baar, Israel Berman and Samuel Rothstein the Synagogue States-
man Awards for 1965 at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York,
Sunday. The three were 'honored for their dedication to the tenets
and traditions of their faith, devotion to country and accomplish-
ment on behalf of the community. The SCA, composed of official
bodies of Conservative, Orthodox and Reform Jews, presented its
Judaism and Peace Award to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Nobel
Peace Prize winner.
Threaten Berlin Center; Patrols Are Reinforced
TEA/CM/VG AND if/R/T/NG.IY/S A/4Mb-
Z/VES FOREVER, FOR I/E- WAS A
HERO OF OUR Re-no4k--•
cp. a c
WEST BERLIN (JTA) — The neighborhood were reinforced. The
Jewish Community Center here re- Jewish institution is located on the
ceived anonymous telephone site where the Berlin synagogue
threats that it would be burned to was burned by the Nazis on Nov.
the ground. Police patrols in the 9, 1938.
REMEMBER . .
DAD • SON • BROTHER
This cartoon is reproduced from "A Picture Parade of Jewish History" by Morris Epstein, published
by Shengold Publishers, New York, by special arrangement with the author and publishers.
The beginning of the end of the
Golden Age in Spain is marked
by the exile of one of the out-
standing scholars and Bible com-
mentators of the Middle Ages,
Rabbi Moses ben Nahman, also
called Nahmanides ("Son of Nah-
man"), also called Gerondi (he
was born in Gerona, a city in
Aragon, Spain), also called Ram-
ban (from the initials of Rabbi
Moses ben Nahman).
Nahmanides lived quietly in
Gerona, earning his living as a
physician, studying and writing
and growing in scholarship until
he was widely acknowledged as
the spiritual leader of Spanish
Leadership carries with it re-
sponsibility, and fame is sometimes
accompanied by misfortune.
Chief among the increasing num-
ber of enemies of the Jews were
the Dominican friars, who were
slyly suggesting to the king that
there were too many Jews in high
places. A favorite method of point-
ing an accusing finger was to
challenge an intended victim to a
religious debate. In these "disputa-
tions," Jews were called upon to
defend their faith before the world.
When a Dominican friar named
Pablo Christiani, who had once
been a Jew himself, persuaded
King James of Aragon to arrange
a disputation with the most fa-
mous rabbi in Spain, there was
only one man who could serve as
In the year 1263, at the age of
68, Nahmanides reluctantly took
up the challenge. The debate was
held in the king's palace at
Barcelona in the presence of nobil-
ity and churchmen. The judges
were Christians. Nahmanides had
but one slim hope: he had re-
quested and received from King
James permission for full free-
dom of speech.
Pablo began by reminding the
judges that the Jews had always
believed in a Messiah. He con-
tinued by describing Jesus as the
true Messiah, and concluded by
insisting that the Jews should ac-
cept Jesus as the Messiah and thus
prove the greatness of Christian-
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
18—Friday, December 10, 1965
four days, his opponents were
anxious to halt the debate, and
the king dismissed Nahmanides
with a gift of gold. The friars re-
fused to admit defeat, however,
and when Nahmanides published
a true account of what had been
said at the debate, they accused
him of attacking their faith and
had him banished from Aragon.
Nahmanides was 72 when he
left his homeland. He came to
Palestine, where he spent the re-
maining three years of his life
rebuilding the scattered Jewish
communities, giving public lec-
NEW YORK — Harry Hersh- tures, and completing his com-
field, dean of American humorists, mentary on the Bible.
was honored on his 80th birthday
at a dinner attended by 1,200 per-
sons, including Mayor and Mrs.
Wagner, at the Waldorf-Astoria
well known as
New York's toast-
Issued in a large-sized paper-
master -in -chief.
Born in Iowa, he back, "The Alphabet of Creation"
went to N e w has been published by Schocken
York in 1909 as Books with drawings by Ben
a sports cartoon- Shahn.
It is an impressive work and it
ist for the old
New York Jour- contains the ancient legend from
nal. He branched the Zohar which relates how the
out into the comic Aleph was rewarded for modesty
serial field and and was placed first in the Hebrew
then went on alphabet.
Adapted from Edmond Fleg's
stage as a mono-
logist on a vaude- "Jewish Anthology" which orig-
was published by Behrman
Hershfield vine bill. Eddie inally
House in a translation by Maurice
Cantor and George Jessel were Samuel, this charming tale com-
also on the bill.
mences with the Tav, the first
Asked how he can take the letter to appear before the Al-
round of banquet fare which mighty to claim priority because
apparently hasn't changed his it is the letter that initials the
slender frame, Hershfield said Torah. But one after another of
he always asks the maitre d' "for the letters was rejected because
a helping of chicken in the pot they were either immodest or
with matzo ball and broad wicked or boastful.
When the Aleph appeared and
Hershfield recalled his favorite showed its modesty by not claim-
banquet, given by the Jewish ing too much, it received first
Theatrical Guild in the 1930s for place.
the late Will Rogers, cowboy
The lettering by Shahn adds to
humorist. "It stands out in my the new work's significance. Shahn
mind because Will practiced all skillfully delineated the spirit of
week to speak Yiddish," he said. the legend from the "Sefer Ha-
"He gave the speech in Yiddish Zoar" — the "Book of Splendor."
with a gentile accent and no one This paperback is a magnificent
work that will please lovers of art
Proceeds from the birthday ban- as well as those who will read with
quet went toward the New York pleasure again a splendid tale so
Cardiac Center, which Hershfield well retold in a fine English
helped found 30 years ago.
Nahmanides replied with great
strength and courage that the
Jews did not believe that the
Messiah would be a god. Further-
more, according to Jewish tradi-
tion, the Messiah's coming would
bring peace, not bloodshed.
So successful was he that, after
Still Brings Laugh
on 80th Birthday
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