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March 04, 1966 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1966-03-04

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Purely Commentary

Recollections About Herzl,
His Progeny . . . Berlin's
Scholarship, Impetuousness

By Philip


"I was sound asleep—for it was already long past midnight—
when I heard someone calling: 'David ! Are you sleeping, my
It was a mere pamphlet, but it revolutionized Jewish history.
friend?' I felt a hand pass gently over my face as the voice con-
Theodor Herzl's "The Jewish State," which appeared on Feb. 14, 1896,
tinued: 'Don't you want to see our mother Zion, David? Get up—
set forth an idea. Dr. Herzl was not even fully cognizant of the role
the light of morning is already shining on the towers of Jaffa !
of Eretz Israel in his appeal to the Jewish people to seek territorial
We can already see their gleaming !'
security as an escape from the horrors of the persecutions that were
"Rising from my bed, I was amazed to see Herzl attired as
then rampant. But he soon became aware that it was the Land of
for an audience with an emperor. His face glowing, his eyes
Israel that must provide haven for the People Israel, and soon his
shining, he exclaimed: 'Come, David, get dressed ! Let us go see
"Jewish State" led him to the formation of the great Zionist movement.
our beloved motherland I'
"I dressed and we went up on deck, whence we could see
the pointed minarets of Jaffa beckoning to us. We fell into each
other's arms, and tears rose to our eyes as we whispered softly:
'Our country! Our mother Zion!' "
It had taken but a short time for Herzl to realize that a Jewish
State must be in the land of Israel, and, although he supported the

70th Anniversary of Historic Pamphlet








Uganda proposal that was offered for Jewish settlement by the British
government, he did not deviate from the Palestinian hope.
Herzl began to think of the Jewish problem some time before he
was moved to propose statehood as a solution to the Jewish troubles.
He wrote a play, "The New Ghetto," in 17 days—from Oct. 21 to Nov. 8,
1894—and it was produced in the Karl Theater in Vienna in January
1898. The play aroused mixed emotions. Many Jews called it anti-
Semitic, and anti-Semites in Poland protested against its staging. The
Kehillah of Bruenn condemned the play, but a liberal Polish theater
manager and critic, Thaddeus Pawlikowski, commended it.
Having been written before "The Jewish State," and having been,
perhaps, Herzl's first published concern with the Jewish needs, "The
New Ghetto" must be viewed with some interest even today. In it, a
young Jewish lawyer—Jacob Samuel—who could well have been Herzl
himself — combined in him the contrasts of high-minded idealism
mixed with materialism as well as a tendency to compromise. Jacob
Samuel takes up the cause of miners in his community, but the rabbi
advises him not to get mixed up in the issue involving the plight of
the workers. Samuel's brother-in-law Reinberg is a company promoter
who floats a bond issue for Baron Schram's mine. There is a strike
followed by an explosion and Samuel is accused of having caused it,
with the result that the shares collapse, Samuel is mortally wounded
in a duel with the baron, and there is an implied message of social
justice in the unspoken lip movement as Samuel dies.
Herzl's journalistic career was in itself dramatic. He had written
many feuilletons for the Vienna Neue Freie Presse. He was famed
as a critic. But his fame came with his Zionist pioneering and his
prophecies have placed him among the great in Jewry and in mankind.




The title page of the historic pamphlet, the 70th anniversary of
which we are now observing, reproduced here, states in German the
idea that motivated Herzl's revolutionary act after being moved by
the anti-Semitic shouts of a mob that dominated over the Paris court-
room where Alfred Dreyfus was being tried in 1896.
In the pamphlet that made history, Herzl wrote as a prophet.
"Here it is, fellow-Jews!," he declared in "The Jewish State." "The
Jewish State is essential to the world; it will therefore be created . . .
The Jews who wish for a State shall have it, and they deserve it . . . "
And he proceeded to declare:

"Therefore I believe that a wondrous generation of Jews will
spring into existence. The Maccabeans will rise again.
"Let me repeat once more my opening words: The Jews who
wish will have their State.
"We shall live at last as free men on our own soil and die
peacefully in our own homes. The world will be freed by our
liberty, enriched by our wealth, magnified by our greatness.
"And whatever we attempt there to accomplish for our own
welfare, will react powerfully and beneficently for the good
of humanity."

An interesting story about Herzl and his dreams was told by
the dean of Zionist orators of a generation ago, the late Zvi Hirsch
Masliansky, who, in his published memoirs, recalled a meeting with
David Wolffsohn, Herzl's successor to the presidency of the World
Zionist Organization. Masliansky wrote:

It was toward the end of July, 1908, that I met David Wolff-
sohn at the Zionist headquarters in Cologne. This successor to
Herzl was a man of great dignity and brilliant intellect, yet kindly
and modest in his bearing. Practical-minded, and endowed with a
knowledge of men, he was a fit heir to the political mantle of
Theodor Herzl; and like his master he realized the value of
political negotiations for the cause of Zionism.
At that time Wolffsohn had just returned from Russia, where
he had gone to influence Premier Stolypin in favor of Zionism,
which suffered from much governmental obstruction in that coun-
try. After Herzl had established the tradition of dignified political
action, the attitude of both Jews and non-Jews had changed, so
that Wolffsohn was received by the Russian Premier not as an
humble suppliant but as the representative of a recognized body
One evening soon after his return, Wolffsohn related his
Russian experience to a group of Zionists of various countries
who were gathered in his house. His conversation with Stolypin,
he told us, had been quite private, so that both were able to
speak with entire frankness. Thus when the Premier had asked
Wolffsohn whether he could guarantee the absence of Socialists
and Anarchists from the Zionist camp, the Zionist leader had
countered his question with another: Whether Stolypin could
guarantee that none of his own employes were Anarchists, and
the Premier had answered, gravely: "No."
"How, therefore," Wolfsohn had asked, "can you expect me
to vouch for tens of _thousands of men who are not dependent
upon me?"
After Wolffsohn had finished his narrative of his visit to
Russia he embarked upon a long series of reminiscences of Herzl,
his leader and friend. He spoke for hours, relating many charm-
ing little stories that revealed the nobility and idealism of the
unique personality of Theodor Herzl. Perhaps the most moving
of all was that of his approach to Palestine, where he had gone
with L. Wolffsohn and others.
Story of Arrival


(Copyright, 1966, JTA, Inc.)

Is it a Jewish custom to burn
the villain Haman in effigy on

This custom originated during
the period of the Talmud and later
in the Gaonic period. The young
men would make an effigy of Ha-
man and throw it in the bonfire
while joking and singing. (Aruk
S. V. "Shevar"). According to the
Italian writer Kolonymos, the Ital-
ian Jews in Medieval times made
merry around a puppet which was
supposed to represent Haman.
which was subsequently burned. -
late as the eighteenth centurk; -:
wax figure of Haman was set afii,_
In the nineteenth century the Rus=
sian Jewish traveler, Chorny, re-
ports seeing the burning of Ha-
man in effigy by the Jews of Cau-
casus. However, in this latter
case it was not done publicly. Ba-
sically there seems to have always
been a Jewish tradition of some-
how destroying some symbol rep-
resenting Haman as a fulfillment
of the Biblical commandment
"Thou Shalt Blot Out the Remem-
brance of Amalek (Deuteronomy,
25:19), since Haman was a de-
scendant of Amalek. This may have
taken various forms at different
times. In the current practice,
noisemakers are used to blot out
the sound of his name when it is
read in the synagogue from the
Scroll of Esther. In Western civ-
ilization burning his effigy was
apparently discontinued since such
practices were very distasteful and
were often practiced by bigots.

Why do some people masquer-
ade on Purim?

The Herzl Progeny

LEIPZIG and WIEN 1896.

Purim Quiz

There is nothing left of the Herzl family. There are no known
Most historians feel that mas-
survivors, although there may be grandchildren and great-grandchil- querading on Purim did not origi-
dren with whom Jewry has lost contact.
nate until the 15th Century.
But on Aug. 18, 1939, there appeared this classified advertisement As a matter of fact, there was
in the London Jewish Chronicle:
some question among the rabbis
WILL someone please offer post as companion to only surviving as to whether masquerading as
sister-in-law (65) of Dr. Theodor Herzl, now in Vienna.—Address, such should be allowed, since the
7.416, Jewish Chronicle.
Bible prohibits a woman from
There is no record of replies, of acceptance of any offers, of this wearing the clothes of a man, or a
sister-in-law ever having been located. Hitler was approaching Vienna, man from wearing the clothes of a
and the destruction of Austrian and most European Jews was then woman (Deuteronomy 22:5). How-
about to commence.
ever, it generally found accep-
There was not too much joy for Herzl in his family life. It took tance among the rabbis. Some say
a strong man to carry on a great work while suffering heartaches in that justification was found for
his own household. And nearly 20 years after his death there was a this practice in the Talmudic
tragedy attached to the name Herzl when his son Hans first abandoned statement that Esther is found in
his faith and then committed suicide.
the Bible in the passage which
speaks of God as "hiding" from
Isaiah Berlin
The Eminent British Jewish Scholar
the people of Israel (Chulin
Announcement by the City University of New York that Sir 139:B). This was a means of con-
Isaiah Berlin will join its faculty for a year, next fall, was front- sidering the name Esther as re-
page news. This is understandable. Sir Isaiah is one of the brilliant lated to the Hebrew root which
scholars who have emerged among the great in the last decade means "to hide." The moralists
or more. He has attracted worldwide attention with his essays, his find in the masquerading a symbol
erudite lectures, his ability to interpret historical events.
of the fact that God's hand was
What the news releases did not indicate was that Sir Isaiah "hidden" in the Purim story. First
had written extensively on Zionism, that he has authored important It was "hidden" when He seem-
ingly allowed the evil decree to
essays on Chaim Weizmann and Moses Hess.
Of special interest is the fact that Sir Isaiah was among the be set forth against the Jews and
notable world scholars who were asked by David Ben-Gurion to it looked as if the Almighty
express their views on Who or What Is a Jew, and he was among was "turning away" from them.
Secondly, He was "hidden" when
those who presented their views on the subject.
The venerable Gentleman from Mount Clemens, Baruch Litvin, the final solution came. The Al-
had gathered all the replies. He went to great trouble, to immense mighty, thus, "masquerades" be-
expense, to have them translated into English—in instances of their hind the figures of human charac-
having been written in Hebrew and other languages—and he secured ters carrying out his Provident:
Ben-Gurion's permission to have them published. They were prepared through them.
for the press, and they had B-G's approval.
Then—Sir Isaiah Berlin registered a protest. He would not Sees Liberal-Herut Union
consent to the publication of the essays. He would not be included
in the printed records. Ben-Gurion withdrew his permission for the Complete Within 2 Years
publication of the book, in spite of all the trouble and expense
TEL AVIV (ZINS)—The Liberal
that had already been involved.
Party and Herut, now joined in a
A distinguished Israeli leader, an ambassador to a world capitol parliamentary bloc, will also be
flew to. Jerusalem to plead with Ben-Gurion. He pointed out the united organizationally in the next
injustice of the withdrawal of the previously granted permission, and two years, a spokesman of the
again Litvin was told he could go ahead. He did, and he published Liberals told journalists. In the
the very important book, "Jewish Identity—Modern Responses and meantime, a joint finance com-
Opinions". It was issued by Philipp Feldheim, New York publisher, mission was established by both
and was reviewed on the front page of The Detroit Jewish News on parties to deal with economic
Oct. 29, 1965, the review continuing at length on Page 10 in that issue. problems.
It is to Litvin's credit that his collected work was not suppressed.
Sir Isaiah's act is difficult to understand. Perhaps he'll explain it THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
2—Friday, March 4, 1966


Congress Bill Bans Bias Against Jews Assigned to Overseas Positions

Richard Schweiker, Pennsylvania
Republican, introduced a resolu-
tion in the House of Representa-
tives Feb. 24, calling for an end
to discrimination in the assignment
of United States employes to over-
seas posts and citing anti-Jewish
bias in assignments to Arab coun-

tries. He said the State Department
has admitted distinctions between
Jewish and non-Jewish employes
in its assignment policy.
Rep. Schweiker charged sur-
render by the State Department to
Arab prejudices. The concurrent
resolution he introduced would
express "the sense of the Congress

that the President should take
such steps as may be necessary
to assure that the assignment of
United States employes in the
United States and at posts abroad
shall be made without regard to
race, religion, color, or national

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