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January 14, 1966 - Image 32

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1966-01-14

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

1966 and 1866

,.

Beginning 1966, what could be
better than to glance back at 1866?
Johnson was President of the
United States then too—Andrew
Johnson of Tennessee. It was just
after the Civil War and there was
a bitter Civil Rights struggle then
as now. Johnson, a Southerner,
had been a strong opponent of
slavery, but in the matter of Civil
Rights for the Negroes, he did
not entirely satisfy the Northern
radicals and he was the first and
only President against whom im-
peachment proceedings were
launched.
"How say you, is the defendant,
Andrew Johnson, President of the
United States, guilty or not guilty,"
asked Chief Justice Chase, presid-
ing at the trial.
By a margin of one vote, John-
son was acquitted and continued
as President.
In London, in 1866, the son of
Hirschel Marx, a Berlin lawyer,
was wondering no doubt how his
new book would make out. Ex-
pelled from France and Ger-
many, he had settled in London
and in 1865 finished his book
on capital. He himself had so
little capital, he lived largely on
the charity of friends. This work
by Karl Marx, the son of Hir-
schel Marx, the lawyer, as you
know, is still talked of today.
In England in 1866, Jews had no
civil rights either. They were not
permitted to vote, but one Jew,
whose father had him baptized as
a child was a member of Parlia-
ment. When he made his first
speech in Parliament, he was
howled down, but as he took his
seat, he said, the time would came
when they would hear him. In
1868, it came, when Benjamin Dis-
raeli became Prime Minister of
Great Britain.
In 1866 the great Jewish phil-
anthropist Moses Montefiore
visited the Holy Land. Thirty
years before he had proposed
to the Turks, who controlled
Palestine, that they permit the
mass resettlement of Jews there,
but his plea was denied. His
visit in 1866 was in conjunction
with the implementing of the
bequest of a great American Jew-
ish philanthropist, Judah Touro,
who had left a large sum of
money, with Montefiore as the
"Executor" for the Jews of the
Holy Land. The money was used
for a housing project outside of
the old walled city. It marked
the beginning of modern Jeru-
salem.
Technologically, the world was in
its infancy in 1866. The railroad
and the telegraph were there but
there was no electric light, no tele-
phone, phonograph, moving pic-
ture, radio or television and the
country enjoyed none of the bene-
fits of smog, air pollution or traf-
fic jams of today.

By DAVID SCHWARTZ

(Copyright, 1966, JTA, Inc.)

What will the next century
bring?
The mind almost reels at the
possibilities.
We shall certainly have reached
the moon long before that. We
hope the Consolidated Edison
Company doesn't come to own it.
We should hate to be billed for
moonlight too.
Probably by that time, the pro-
cess of learning while sleeping, at
which some experiments have al-
ready been made, will have been
developed. We can imagine a
teacher saying to a pupil: "Young
man, the trouble with you is you
keep awake too much. How do you
think so and so got so many de-
grees and became President of
Harvard? He put in 16 solid hours
of sleep every day."
We should like to see science
concentrating on two projects in
the coming century. Television
commercials and Peace.
The commercials that most of-
fend us are those in which some
poor boobs offer testimonials to
patent medicines for relief of
headaches. If we didn't have to
listen to such commercials, we
should have less headaches in the
first place. And we don't like to
see actors like Arlene Francis get-
ting us and telling us what patent
medicine reaches the blood first.
Miss Francis is very good on
What's My Line, but medicine isn't
her line.
As to peace, we think it would
be wonderful if some scientist de-
veloped a pill to ease men's ag-
gressions towards one another. A
friend of mine however favors a
different kind of pill. He thinks
an anger pill should be developed.
He says he is opposed to going
to war and killing or mutilating
people against whom he has no ill
will. He doesn't want to kill any-
one if he is not in the mood for
it. With an anger pill, he could
develop the mood.

Educational TV Testing
Completed in Israel

TEL AVIV (JTA)—Test trans-
missions for Israel's developing
educational television system were
completed here Monday. Regular
broadcasting of educational tele-
vision programs is scheduled to
start next March. These programs
will be beamed, at first, only to
schools in Jerusalem and in the
central areas of the country. The
educational TV system for Israel
is being financed by the Roths-
child Foundation.
Educational TV for Israel is the
forerunner of an over all TV pro-
gramming service, which is ex-
pected to start operating in two
years. Already, however, Israelis
possess thousands of television re-
ceivers. On these sets, Israelis
have been tuning in to broadcasts
from the neighboring Arab coun-
tries.

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By S. J. GOLDSMITH

England's Jewish Marriage Problem

LONDON — The latest contro-
versy to exercise Anglo-Jews is
the question of the validity of
marriages performed in Reform
and Liberal synogogues.
The London Beth Din, the Man-
chester Beth Din, and several in-
dividual Orthodox rabbis went on
record that Reform and Liberal
marriages were invalid from the
point of view of Jewish Law.
Nevertheless, one of them opin-
ed, if such a marriage were to
be dissolved, for whatever reason,
there must be a Jewish "get."
Otherwise it is not properly dis-
solved.
The issue is serious to the ex-
tent of making a number of
couples feel embarrassed and un-
happy. For they do wish to re-
main Jewish and observe the basic
Jewish tenets, and they were un-
der the impression that their mar-
riage was valid not only in Eng-
lish law but also in Jewish law.
What is the Halachic position?
Much Jewish law is as am-
biguous as the laws of other
nations. It all depends upon the
man who does the interpreting. But
this is another day's work.
The Ministers' Assembly of
the Reform Synagogue of Great
Britain protested in a joint
statement. A number of Ortho-
dox groups and individuals al-
so protested emphatically. A
powerful intervention came, a-
mong others, from Dr. Louis
Jacobs, the minister of the New
London Synagogue. It will be
remembered that this group was
expelled from the United Syna-
gogue because it had appointed
Dr. Jacob as its rabbi and min-
ister, while the Chief Rabbi and
the Beth Din did not approve of
his religious views). Ile points
out that such marriages are valid
in Jewish law, and uses his con-
siderable armoury to strengthen
his case. It is almost irrefutable.
Naturally, such arguments, how-
ever powerful, are not likely to
influence • those who refuse to
yield one iota of their orthodoxy
and maintain that he who gives
way even in regard to one Jewish
custom exposes himself to the
danger of heresy; he creates a
chink in his religious armour, as
it were.
This phalanx of defenders of
Orthodox Judaism are not homo-
geneous body. There is no Joseph
B. Soloveitchik among them, to
be sure. England does not pro-
duce this type of religious men-
tor. But there are some very
learned and respected rabbis -who,
from the Halachic point of view,
differ from Dr. Jacobs.
Then there are those who are
Orthodox from habit and look
upon Reform and Liberal Juda-
ism as a kind of watered down
version.
Finally there are religious bi-
gots. You will find them in all
faiths, and we have them too,
especially in England, where the.
Neturei Karta have their follow-
ers. The English accept such peo-
ple as a matter of course. After
all, if the Rev. Angus Smith had
to be removed from the Quay-
side forcibly, because he tried to
prevent a boat from landing on
Sunday, why should not the Rev.
Abraham Ex talk and behave like-
wise?
And there is the United Syna-
gogue, the largest synagogal group
in the United Kingdom. It is an
Orthodox community, and it ac-
cepts the rulings of the Beth
Din, even if individual members
of its various synagogues
are not very happy with all of
them. (There is no Chief Rabbi
at the moment; we have a "Beth
Din-In-Commission" acting for the
Chief Rabbi.) A member of the
Beth Din, whom I must not men-
tion by name, told me that, while
accepting the responsibility for
the ruling that Reform and Liberal
marriages are not valid in Jewish
Law, they would not, as a body,
have come out with a statement
to this effect just now. But Day-

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
32—Friday, January 14, 1966

(Copyright, 1966, JTA, Inc.)

an Morris Swift had said it in a British Jews, applicable to them
sermon. The argument had start- in a real sense.
ed, and the Beth Din "had to do
The Lubavitch Movement here
its duty," as he put it.
has not taken part in this contro-
versy. Their stress upon the
There are no reports of any-
mystique of Judaism, rather
body actually having divorced
than formalistic observance,
his wife — with a proper "get"
and their Ahavat Yisrael (love
— because of the position of the
of one's fellow Jews in the
Beth Din. But it has brought
wider and deeper sense; a love
about a new wave of communal
which is essentially humanistic
strife.
and therefore chauvinistic) pre-
Once the argument has descend-
ed from the theological to the vent them from entering such
communal level, a number of lead- a controversy. After all, one of
ers and ordinary Jews, laymen them said the other day, it is
all, decided that now they might equally important not to cause
take a hand in the controversy. fellow-Jews annoyance or anxiety
and to avoid strife.
Some are greatly worried. Their
children are likely to contract
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"mixed marriages," as one father
put it, and they would not like
to feel that such marriages were
invalid.
It must be pointed out here
Art Classes
that, in 1961, the Conference of
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riages solemnized in Orthodox
synagogues and by Orthodox re-
ligious functionaries are valid in
Jewish law. However, that par-
ticular statement was not directed
at anybody. It was merely an
Orthodox point of view for gen-
eral guidance. It was soon for-
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