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February 04, 1966 - Image 4

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Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1966-02-04

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The New Jerusalem Skyline

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
Association.
Published every Friday by The Jewish News Publishing Co., 17100 West Seven Mile Road, Detroit 48235 Mich.,

YE 8-9364. Subscription $6 a year. Foreign $7.
Second Class Postage Paid at Detroit, Michigan

PHILIP SLOMOVITZ

Editor and Publisher

CARM1 M. SLOMOVITZ

Business Manager

SIDNEY SHMARAK

Advertising Manager

CHARLOTTE HYAMS

City Editor

Sabbath Scriptural Selections
This Sabbath, the 15th day of Shevat, (Tub' Shevat) 5726, the following scriptural
selections will be read in our synagogues:
Pentateuchal portion: Exod. 13:17-17:16; Prophetical portion: Judges 4:4-5:31.

Licht benshen, Friday, Feb. 4, 5:31 p.m.

VOL. XLVIII, No. 24

Page 4

Feb. 4, 1966

Realistic Approach to Interfaith Dialogues

Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, the ac-
knowledged outstanding scholar in world
Jewish Orthodoxy, has offered a most real-
istic guide for dialogues between Jews and
Christians.
At the convention of Orthodox rabbis, last
week, Rabbi Soloveitchik accepted, and en-
couraged, discussions on an inter-religious
basis on subjects related to secularism, civil
rights, freedom, war and peace, the elimina-
tion of poverty and other issues related to
them. But he called it "improper" for such
dialogues to deal with Jewry's attitude on
Jesus, the messianic idea in Jewish and other
faiths, our view of monotheism and the Chris-
tian idea of the Trinity and the concept of
the Covenant in Judaism and Christianity.

His claim that a mutual understanding on
these issues is an utter impossibility must be
accepted as rational, since Jews and Chris-
tians move within different frames of refer-
ence and evaluation.
If the views of Rabbi Soloveitchik could
be adopted as a basis of approach to dialogue,
controversy could be avoided and adherents
of the differing faiths could go on worship-
ing and practicing in accordance with their
heritage while, at the same time, working
together with others in matters involving the
human values of all fellow citizens in the
various countries in which Jews and those of
other faiths live in amity. It is the injection
Schocken Books has reissued as a paperback a classic—"On Jewish
of the controversial and unbridgeable that
Learning" by Franz Rosenzweig.
causes unnecessary obstacles.
Edited by a distinguished scholar, Dr. N. N. Glatzer, whose intro-

Rosenzweig's 'On Jewish
Learning' in a Paperback

Responsibility for Peace in Middle East as in Asia

President Johnson's excoriation of aggres- forces to such an extent that the situation
sion, in the speech he delivered at the dedica- is more than threatening: there is real danger
tion of the Truman Peace Center to be built of another conflict which could broaden into
at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, was another unnecessary war.
so effective that it deeply moved his audience
Our government therefore owes a respon-
— both in Independence, Mo., and the mil- sibility not to the Asian countries alone but
lions who heard him over the nationwide to the basic democratic principles involved in
hookups.
assuring the security of Israel as well. This
The warning against aggression was so cannot be attained by constantly feeding the
thoroughly applicable to the threats leveled armed forces of Israel's enemies with • addi-
by Arabs against Israel that the hope arose tional ammunition. The flood of arms to that
that, perhaps, our Chief Executive will apply area must stop. Guilt for the increased threats
his sentiments to the Middle East as effective- to Israel's existence must be directed at our
ly as he does to the Far Asian threats to State Department, and the White House must
democracy.
share responsibility for the existing condi-
There is a full awareness among those tions. They must act to avert a catastrophe.
who also are concerned about the situation
It is distressing that the many appeals
in the Middle East of the seriousness of the against the arming of Arabs at Israel's ex-
situation in Vietnam. All - liberty-loving peo- pense, for serious talks to avoid conflicts,
ple must work together to assure a speedy have fallen on deaf ears. All that has occurred
peace in that area. But peace is desired for until now merely credits the belief that the
the entire world, not for a mere segment of State Department is pro-Arab, that at best it
the globe, and the threats, the saber-rattling operates in fear of what the Soviet Union
that continue to make. the Middle East a together with the Arabs may do to gang up
powder keg, call for action there as well.
against this country. But in the long run it
Instead, however, of resisting the outra- has been proven that in a showdown such
geous threats to Israel, the war-mongers are fears are groundless, that Nasser always re-
being given encouragement. The escalation treats in an hour of danger to himself.
of the arms race in the Middle East, the vast
supplies of armaments that are being shipped Under the existing conditions, the policies
to Egypt, Jordan and other countries by the of anti-Israelism have been myopic and it is
United States, Russia and Great Britain have hoped that they will end quickly in the
forced Israel as well to expand her defensive interest of world peace.

Germans' Desire to Forget Rather Than Atone

This summer, to help overcome "a virtual
vacuum" in information on Jews and Ju-
daism, a group of American Reform rabbis
will go to Germany to lecture at universities
and to overcome "a warped view" about us.
Explaining the objective of the Union of
American Hebrew Congregations in accep-
ting the invitation of the West German gov-
eminent to offer such a course of lectures,
one of the spokesmen said that Germany's
educational institutions seek to instill into
the new gereration "a sense of atonement,
and there is an honest attempt to recount
the tragedy of European Jewry."
There is no doubt about the importance
of such an undertaking, especially in view of
the impoverishment of German Jewry itself
which no longer possesses sufficient leader-
ship to deal with the misunderstandings. The
visiting rabbis should understand, however,
that the view that "there is an honest attempt
to recount the tragedy" is widespread in
Germany even among educators.
The fact is that German public opinion
polls have shown that there is an overwhelm-
ing sentiment to acquire "forgetfulness," that
Germans are anxious to have the past erased
from memory.
A study of "Germany's Emerging Lead-
ers," under the title "Does Nazism Live in

duction adds much value to this important work, the 130-page book
includes an exchange of correspondence between Rosenzweig and Martin
Buber on the theme of "The Builders," and the entire brochure, in spite
of its brevity, serves an important purpose as a guide to educators and
as an inspiration to laymen as well.
Rosenzweig (1886-1929), who came from an assimilationist environ-
ment, was on the verge of converting to Christianity when a Yom Kip-
pur experience brought him back to Judaism as a creative force.
Prof. Glatzer indicates in his introduction that Judaism ap-
peared to Rosenzweig "in its ancient profundity and universality
of concerns," that he invited us "through learning and action to
become partners in the life process called Judaism, "that he pointed
"to the fullness of Jewish life expressed in the Halakha, in the
universal implication of the law in classical Judaism."
Dr. Glatzer points out that Rosenzweig's treatise "The Builders"
("Die Bauleute"), "written in the summer of 1923 and addressed to
Martin Buber, takes the fateful step from Jewish knowledge to Halakha,
the structure and body of the law, and the Mitzvot, the commandments
and their observance."
Three of Rosenzweig's epistles are included in this paperback:
"It is Time: Concerning the Study of Judaism," addressed to Hermann
Cohen; "Towards a Renaissance of Jewish Learning," addressed to
Edward Strauss; and "The Builders: Concerning the Law," addressed
to Dr. Buber.
In the appendices are the Buber-Rosenzweig exchange of letters,
a draft of an address, "Upan Opening the Juedisches Lehrhaus," and
two letters on "More Judaism" to Richard Ehrenberg and Hedwig
Cohn-Vohssen. Concluding the book is the brief essay "The Command-
ments: Divine or Human."
The appeals are for more Jewishness. To Hermann Cohen, for
example, he addressed the plea:
"The reactionaries of the middle of the 19th Century wanted
to create a body of Jewry. We want an organic representation of
Judaism. We do not want to have organizations of Jews, but • spir-
itually Jewish organizations. The spirit of Judaism must be planted
and raised in institutions of its own. The problem of Jewish educa-
tion, in every stage and in every form, is the task of the moment.
Of the moment; for, verily, the time has come to work. 'It is time
the Lord; they have made void Thy teachings.' (Psalm
to 19 work

The epistle to Eduard Strauss points to Zionism's assertion "thi:-
the only healthy, the only whole thing about the Jewish person—is th..,
Jewish person himself." Yet he said that when the question "wha.--
should be done now" was posed at the time he wrote his essay—nearly
a half century ago—Zionism as well as the other forces failed. And a
bit later he referred to the German non-Zionist element as "the
stuffed shirt."
Rosenzweig's teachings are as valid for evaluations of Jewish
learning as they were so many decades ago when the great adherent
to the law and our traditions first developed them, and the Schocken
paperback is a valuable addition to the Jewish library.

Hitler Youth?," appearing in the National
Observer, quotes an American who lived near
Bonn for a number of years as agreeing that
the Nazi ideology has rarely surfaced in the
former members of the Hitler Youth he has
known, but the very persons least suspected,
the followers, may be the most dangerous.
There are more indications of a desire to
"forget" than to atone, and when our lectur-
As part of the adult education program of Bnai Jeshurun syna-
ers go to Germany, they should keep this in
gogue in New York, Rabbi William Berkowitz has conducted dialogues
view.
dis-

'Heritage and Hope' Dialogues

The Center Festival

A vital step in the direction of advancing
Jewish art, embracing the theater, music,
painting, sculpture and the dance has been
taken by the Jewish Community Center. The
Festival '66 program inaugurated last week,
to continue through the entire month of Febr-
uary, embraces so many important activities
that it has served to bring added status to the
center's standard of high-rate programing.
Renewed interest in the Yiddish theater,
emphasis on cantorial art, important creations
by noted Jewish artists, and numerous other
factors are included in the current center
festival. The exhibits, the theatrical perform-
ances, the selected films — all add up to a
program of great merit, deserving of par-
ticipation by the entire community.

in Judaism. During the 14 years of his ministry, he has directed
cussions in which many prominent figures participated.
The newest in his literary efforts — the compilation of texts of the
dialogues—is "Heritage and Hope" which has just been published by
Thomas Yoseloff.
A variety of important and timely subjects was under discussion.
Prof. Horace M. Kallen, Dr. Nahum Goldmann, Louis Nizer, Ogden
and Mary Reid, Congressman Emanuel Celler, Richard Tucker, Rabbi
Walter H. Plaut, Rabbi Bertram W. Korn, Fannie Hurst, Abraham
Harman, Prof. Sehnan A. Waksman and Judge Michael A. Musmanno
were the interviewed.
Musmanno discussed the Eichmann trial and dealt with the tragic
era in world history. Waksman commented on science and human.
ism. Korn is the authority on the Civil War era. Nizer spoke on
every man's right to a day in court., The others dealt with topics
related to their movements and life's dedicated work and causes.
The platform provided in such dialogues has made available for
public discussion and for consideration by a large congregation—
and now for a larger group by the appearance of major views of
interest to many more—basic issues. The authorities who led in the
discussions serve as stimulants for further consideration of vital issues
introduced into a congregational program by an enterprising rabbi.

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