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February 18, 1966 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1966-02-18

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THE JEWISH NEWS

One Rotten Apple

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

CARMI M. SLOMOVITZ

SIDNEY SHMARAK

CHARLOTTE HYAMS

Editor and Publisher

Business Manager

Advertising Manager

City Editor

Sabbath Scriptural Selections

This Sabbath, the 29th day of Shevat, 5726, the following scriptural selections will
be read in our synagogues:
Pentoteuchal portion; Exod. 21:1-24:18 and 30:11-16; Prophetical portion: II Kings
12:1-17.

Licht benshen, Friday, Feb. 18, 5:49 p.m.

VOL. XLVIII, No. 26

Feb. 18, 1966

Page 4

Brotherhood Week: Event for Perpetuity

Like his predecessors in the White House,
President Johnson has issued an impressive
statement appealing for nationwide observ-
ance of Brotherhood Week which, this year,
has been set for the period from Feb. 20
to 27.
Once again the skeptics will say, as the
publicity material for Brotherhood Week af-
firms, that "Brotherhood Week is a week
FOREVER." It is the limitation—the week—
that weakens the movement, and it is the
appeal for perpetuity that strengthens the
hands of those who sponsor the activities
intended to encourage good will and good
neighborliness.
President Johnson's message has a spe-
cial significance at this time. It declares:
"Brotherhood Week 1966 brings with it
for all Americans a poignant realization of
our awesome moral responsibility to uproot
social and economic injustice and a most
timely reminder of our unfinished tasks on
the road to the Great Society .. .
"An unstinting dedication to freedom,
tolerance, and individual dignity gave us our
mighty nation. United and determined we
must stand ready to preserve our legacy.
Americans of all races, creeds, and walks of
life must join hands to meet the problems
which threaten to corrode the very core of
our nation's life. Beginning with the fam-
ily and local community, we must together
seek to extend to every American the human
compassion and liberty of opportunity which
have been the hallmark of America's great-
ness.
"I earnestly ask that all my fellow Ameri-
cans join with the National Conference of
Christians and Jews in working toward the
eradication of the sources of discord which
have turned brother against brother and man

Escapees from Judaism
Who Harm Their Youth

Revealing facts contained in a survey con-
ducted by the United Synagogue of America,
indicating a, tendency among Jewish families
to "drop out" of congregational life after the
Bar Mitzvah of their children, are the most
disturbing on record. They are more devas-
tating than the figures of the growing mixed
marriages among young Jews, and they point
to a serious problem facing the American
Jewish community.
It is heartening to know that Detroit's
experiences are contrary to the national
poll, that there are less drop-outs here,
and in the view of most rabbis very few if
any. But that does not reduce the shock
occasioned by the national survey.
The figures quoted in the survey point
not only to a sad state of affairs in family
circles, where the interest in the inherited
Judaism is limited to the Bar and Bat Mitz-
vah celebrations, but also to the type of Jew-
ish education which apparently has been so
weak, in the preparations for the Mitzvot
among youth, that the young were quite an-
xious to quit their studies and not to protest
against their parents' resignations.
For a time it was believed that our chil-
dren had brought Jewishness into their
parents' homes upon being inspired in their
classes in Jewish schools. Now we are pre-
sented with a tragic reality: that once the
show is over, to actors have quit the stage.
It is a tragedy reminiscent of the old and
sad joke about a Negro whose skin was pale,
who would not acknowledge his background,
and when confronted by a friend who knew
his family with the truth of his origin, said
"I done resigned from the Negro people."
Whereupon his friend said: "But your resig-
nation ain't been accepted."

against his neighbor in a land resplendent
in the bounty of God's blessings. May the
humanitarian spirit symbolic of this Brother-
hood Week enkindle in the hearts and minds
of all Americans a strong and enduring de-
sire to restore righteousness and human dig-
nity to those plagued by injustice and bigotry
and to bring to every citizen of our land a
lasting participation in the American dream."
It is an old theme, but the President's
appeal. does emphasize the responsibility of
the home and the family, the duty to work
together on community basis to extend the
human compassion.
arrA
Besides striking against hate and bigotry,
there is another factor involved in the ob- 'He Surrendered Nothing
.
servance of Brotherhood Week. _ It is the
need to eliminate fear, to make sure that
there is an end to panic resulting from
rumors.
In a poem which he originally entitled
"The Choice," the late William Rose Benet
best described the need for an aspiration for
There is deep enrichment for artists in the critical essays, "Art
brotherly amity in "In the Sun's Free Dower,"
and
Culture,"
by Clement Greenberg, the internationally known critic,
thus:
published by Beacon Press.

Greenberg's 'Art and Culture'
Evaluates Kafka's Jewishness

Fear said to Hate
8
"Come, let us build a State
Proscribing all save of one tribe or skin
From joy therein!"

But Spirit said to Love ,
"See a huge world, whereof

All are one body. Quickly, in every land,
Reach hand to hand!"

Covering important subjects and noted personalities related to
literature and art in the United States, in Paris and in general, the
author evaluates the creations of Marc Chagall, Jacques Lipchitz,
Master Leger, Cezanne, Thomas Eakins, John Martin, Milton Avery
and many others.
Important literary works are discussed and there is an especially
important essay an "Kafka's Jewishness."

*

*

*
Alarmed from ambush, sullen before all light,
Greenberg asserts that Kafka's "Jewishness accounts for as much
Crouch Fear and Hate within the caves of night,
in his art as Frenchness accounts for in Flaubert's art," that in Kafka
While Spirit and Love, from no man fugitive,
Walk in the sun's free dower through which "the intuition becomes Jewish in style as well as in sense."
we life.
"Unlike Heine," Greenberg states, "Kafka surrenders nothing
How well this expresses the need for a
of his Jewish self-possession in order to possess German. „ .
spirit of love to "walk in the sun's free
Kafka's real strangeness lies in his modalities, in his fictions of
time, space, movement, character—not in his rhetoric. . ."
dower through which we live." And how
much we really have to learn truly to inspire
This interesting critical essay adds this evaluative comment:
brotherhood, not only for a single week, but
"The treadmill of routine and logic, or rather of reasonableness,
FOREVER. May the current Brotherhood
in which Kafka's heroes find their only safety and only intelligible
Week bring us closer to the realization of reality
bears at many points a resemblance, distorted and undistorted,
a perpetuated respect of man for man, of to an institution to which all of Diaspora Jewry looked during 2,000
an acceptance of the high regard to humani- years for the shape and identity as well as the security of its life. I
tarianism that will bring an end to conflicts mean that body of law, and the mental activity by which it is created,
and will assure peace for a troubled world.
that are called Halacha. Designed to cover the whole life of the pious
This applies to the fearful, to the es- Jew, Halacha is the logical derivation of rules of conduct and ritual,
capists in all ranks. No one forces Jews to and the derivation upon derivation of these through the Oral Law,
remain Jews. But history has been a sad from the Pentateuch, which is the Written Law or Torah. . . Within
last century and more, Gentile history has begun to intervene it
teacher. Its lesson has been that when the the
Diaspora Jewish life in a new way by 'emancipating' Jews, which means
resignations of Jews were not accepted, they by 'enlightening' as well as by recruiting them as citizens. But this
were non-Jews who rejected the resignations. turns out not to have rendered Gentile history any the less hostile,
And that being the case, the resigners ren- whether to Orthodox or to assimilated Jews. . . . Therefore emanci-
der a great disservice to their children who pated Jews must still resort to some version of Halachic safety and
may be left without a heritage, without na- stability, or rather immobility. If this new Halacha can no longer be
tural roots that could designate pride in nor- derived from religious sanctions, then the Jewish 'way of life,' which
mal living, and who may become spiritual for such a long time has been a quintessentially middle-class one, will
pariahs who will be subjects to ridicule in a have to do, with its petty concerns, its parochial absorption in the
here and now, and its conformism . . . The emancipated Jew longs
society that does not tolerate self-hatred.
for history more deeply and at the same time more immediately than
the Orthodox Jew; he feels more suffocated outside it; nevertheless,
it is he himself who must deny history to himself because he continues
to fear it, at bottom, just as much and even more than the Orthodox
A new idea — observance of Hebrew Jew, who is able at least to feel indifferent toward it for the time
Teachers' Month—which commences today— being — as he feels indifferent toward everything Gentile."

.

Teachers' Month

is intended to introduce the community to
our teachers who play such a vital role in
the life of our children, and to encourage
young people to enter the Hebrew teaching
profession.
Since the recruiting of teachers repre-
sents the most serious need of our time, the
observance of such a teachers' month has for
its purpose a very urgent objective. If it can
inspire even a handful of our youth to pre-
pare themselves for Hebrew teaching it will
have served a very great purpose.
Meanwhile, the Hebrew TeLchers' Month
should assist in another vital current pro-
ject: to raise the standards of Hebrew teach-
ing, to gain for our teachers the respect that
is due their calling and to elevate them to
the high rank that is traditionally given the
Jewish teacher—that of the most glorified of
people in whose hands we place the training
of our children.

*

Having offered this view on Halachic rules and Jewish acceptance
or rejection of it, Greenberg thus explains the Kafka position:
"This whole complex of feelings is bodied forth, shaped, even
explained in Kafka's fiction, and in turn it helps explain the latter's
form. Kafka's own awareness of what he intuits about the Jewish
condition through his fiction also explains why he became a
Zionist. Jews like Karl Marx tried to flee the Jewish condition
by foreseeing or hoping for the imminent conversion of the
Gentiles to a kind of humanity to which Jews could more easily
assimilate themselves. Kafka, the Jew of Prague, was more loyal
to his experience, which presented the Gentile world and Gentile
history as a trap for the likes of him and his, and nothing else
but a trap. And how right he was, for his time and his place.
Instead of being closed inside a wide-open Gentile world, the new
Halacha of the emancipated Jew turned out, less than 20 years
after Kafka's death, to be wide open inside a CLOSED Gentile
world."
Greenberg declares that "the Jewish truth in Kafka, or the truth
of his Jewishness, also accounts for some of the frustrations of his art."
This essay on Kafka is one of the most brilliant interpretations
of the great author's works. It is a most noteworthy factor in Green-..
berg's "Art and Culture."

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