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March 18, 1966 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1966-03-18

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


'A Martyr's Crown Has Come to Rabbi Adler

(Continued from Page 1)
At 11 a.m., three hours before
the scheduled commencement of
the funeral service, people began
to fill the synagogue. It was pack-
ed to capacity and all available
rooms, including the chapel, as
well as the lobbies and the out-
side front of the synagogue, were
packed, and there were provisions
made in advance, wired into the
additional rooms, for the prayers
and addresses to be heard over
the piped-in system.
U. S. Senator Philip A. Hart was
among the early arrivals. Governor
George Romney deviated from an
established rule not to be away
from his home on Sunday, and ar-
rived for the service at 1:40 p.m.
Mayor Jerome Cavanagh and
scores of other high-ranking offi-
cials, as well as nearly the entire
judiciary in this area, were in
There were many from out of the
city, including Rabbi Leo Adler of
Washington, a cousin of the de-
ceased; Rabbi Gershon Levi of
Jamaica, N. Y.; Eli Grad of To-
ronto, former educational director
of Shaarey Zedek; former Gover-
nor G. Mennen Williams; and many
others. Walter Reuther headed a
delegation of labor leaders. There
were officials from many neigh-
boring cities, including Mayor A.
Levine and Mrs. Levine of Mount
Clemens, who have b2en regular
Sabbath worshipers at Shaarey
Zedek for many years.
U.S. Circuit Court Judge George
Edwards, Chief Judge Theodore
Levin of the U.S. District Court
of Eastern Michigan and their as-
sociate judges and the judges of
most of the courts in this area
were there.
Lt. Gov. William Milliken and
other state officials, members of
the Detroit Common Council,
members of the legislature, fa-
culty members from all universi-
ties, joined in mourning the great
One couple, Evelyn and Harry
Becker, drove in from Elyria, 0.
Rabbi Adler officiated at their
marriage in the Philippines during
World War II—under a huppah
that he had personally made out
of a parachute.
There was the unusual sight
of seeing people of all faiths
and all races, many colored
people — some from churches
where Rabbi Adler had offici-
ated when the churches had no
spiritual leaders to guide them
—and nuns with crucifixes in a
synagogue that carried on the
tradition of the ages, a tradition
they had inherited through a
faith that was an offshoot from
Among the rabbis from other
communities who flew to Detroit
to pay tribute to the memory of
a great colleague were Rabbis Ger-
son Hadas of Kansas City; Sey-
mour Cohen -of Chicago, president
of the Synagogue Council of
America; Philip Lipis of Chicago;
Eli Bohnen of Providence, R.I.;
Bernard Siegel, exceutive secre-
tary of United Synagogue of Am-
erica; Wolfe Kellman, executive

director of the Rabbinical Assem-
From St. John, New Brunswick,
Canada, came a wire from Rabbi
Abraham J. Feffer to Mrs. Adler
informing her that he was flying
in to attend the funeral and to
join in paying honor to his form-
er teacher, Rabbi Morris Adler.
The funeral service commenced
promptly at 2 p.m. Sunday and
lasted exactly an hour. It opened
with the chanting of a Psalm by
the Shaarey Zedek choir under the
direction of Dan Frohman. Then
Rabbi Irwin Groner, Rabbi Adler's
associate rabbi, announced that
services during Shivah will be lim-
ited to members of the family at
the Adler residence but that the
congregation and the community
are invited to join in special pray-
ers at the regular morning and
evening services, during which ar-
rangements have been made for
the reading of excerpts from Rabbi
Adler's writings.
Rabbi Groner, in the initial
tribute to Rabbi Adler, delivered
after the chanting of Psalms by
Cantor Reuven Frankel, read the
23rd Psalm (The Lord is my
shepherd . . ) and from the
wisdom of Ben Sira and paid
honor to "the courage and faith
which never failed Rabbi Adler."
Rabbi Groner said: "He shaped
visions into instruments of social
justice. He was gentle and warm
for those who needed support,
and he could thunder against in-
decency. He possessed fine
humor. This is the edifice he
had built. In the words of Rabbi
Meir: 'We shall not behold his
likeness again.' "
Rabbi Mordecai Halpern read
from a sermon delivered by Rabbi
Adler five years ago, on Shemini
Atzeret. It was entitled "Source of
Strength in Sorrow." He called it
an unusual sermon and added "it
was not unusual for Rabbi Adler
to deliver an unusual sermon.''
Rabbi Max Arzt, provost of the
Jewish Theological Seminary of
America, prayed for fortitude and
strength in facing the sadness of
the bereavement, and in tribute to
Rabbi Adler read his Declaration
of Faith, the text of which appear-
ed on the first page of last week's
issue of The Jewish News. "Our
hearts are heavy," Dr. Arzt said.
"in saying farewell to our friend,
our mentor, our guide."
In the principal eulogy of the
afternoon, Dr. Louis Finkelstein,
chancellor of the Jewish Theologi-
cal Seminary, spoke of Rabbi Ad-
ler as his former pupil, as his
friend. He said that it is "a heart-
breaking task to make articulate
the sorrow that fills not only this
sanctuary but the hearts of the
whole nation."
The period of. coma, Dr. Finkel-
stein said, was "the kiss of God"
for the godly man.
Deeply moved by what had hap-
pened, Dr. Finkelstein said that
he had hoped and believed that
Rabbi Adler would officiate at his
funeral, but it has been ordained
that the reverse should transpire.
He said Rabbi Adler's life was
marked by greatness from his
early youth, that he was the scion

The officers of the Israel Bond Organization
mourn with Jewry in the United States and
Israel the tragic passing of the universally
beloved Rabbi Morris Adler who in his life
and his . work ennobled and enriched the
Jewish community and all causes which he
served. In the pulpit and out he was a true
prophet in Israel and a warm and wise friend
to all those who worked with him. No monu-
ment can fully express the love he earned or
the measure of his towering achievements for
his people and his fellow man.


Vice President, State of Israel Bond Organization

of one of the noblest rabbinic fami
lies in Eastern Europe. He said:
"Ever since I knew him he was a
source of inspiration to me and
to the teachers at the seminary."
Dr. Finkelstein said Rabbi Ad-
ler died al kiddush haShem—for
the sanctification of the Holy
Name—that "a martyr's crown has
come to Rabbi Morris Adler."
He revealed that Rabbi Adler
had planned to write a bio-
graphy of Dr. Israel Friedlaen-
der (Dr. Friedlaender and Rabbi
J. Cantor were murdered by
Ukrainian bandits in Russia
while on a mercy mission for
JDC). Like Friedlaender, Dr.
Finkelstein said,- Rabbi Adler
was a martyr. He expressed the
hope that Rabbi Adler's writ-
ings will not be lost.
Dr. Finkelstein said in further
tribute to Rabbi Adler: "He was
the most prominent American rab-
bi. He was among the greatest of
our teachers."
He recalled with sorrow the last
conversation he had with Morris
and Goldie Adler—in Jerusalem.
At that time, he said, Rabbi Adler
tried to forecast, "to find a way
to bring our people to deeper
duties to our forefathers."
The service concluded with the
chanting of the El Molei Rahamim
by Cantor Jacob H. Sonenklar,
whose moving rendition drew tears
from the gathered thousands.
During the procession to the
cemetery, traffic was tied up until
nearly 5 p.m. in an area of close
to 15 miles.
Those arriving for the services
after 12:15 p.m. had to park, in
many instances, a mile from the
synagogue—past 11 Mile Road and
Lahser, and they had a long walk
to and from the service.
At Clover Hill Park Cemetery,
Rabbi Groner, Dr. Finkelstein and
Cantors Sonenklar and Frankel
officiated. There, in a tribute
to the departed rabbi, the hun-
dreds present joined in reciting
the kaddish. It was a rare occa-
sion when an entire community
paid tribute to a leader by reciting
the prayer for the dead in unison.
To Rabbi Finkelstein, as the
head of the Conservative rabbini-
cal seminary where Rabbi Adler
was ordained and as Rabbi Adler's
teacher, was given the assignment
to chant the Tzedek Ha-Din at the
The Bnai Brith delegation in-
cluded Hyman Chipkin, New York;
Martin D. Cohn, Allentown, Pa.,
and Dr. Sol Neidich, Beaufort,
S. C.
The Israel government was
represented by Aviv Ekroni, con-
sul for cultural affairs in the
Midwest consulate.
The sense of mourning that over-
powered the community already
was in evidence on Saturday.
Shaarey Zedek services that morn-
ing were attended by the largest
audience on record. The synagogue
was filled to overflowing and there
were many standing. It was a
larger congregation than at any
time except on Rosh Hashanah
and Yom Kippur.
Rabbi Irwin Groner admonished
the congregants that in Jewish
tradition there is no mourning on
the Sabbath, yet, as he spoke,
there were many tears and there
was a depressed atmosphere.
Rabbi Groner's sermon was de-
voted to reading quotations from
Rabbi Adler's Yom Kippur ser-
mon and his writings and to invok-
ing the spirit of confidence and
faith of the deceased so that there
should be re-dedication to the
ideals he had preached and lived
"He belongs to the ages,"
Rabbi Groner said in tribute to
the departed spiritual leader.
Governor Romney declared Sun-
day a day of mourning in the
State of Michigan and issued a
long statement reviewing Rabbi
Adler's many contributions to

10—Friday, March 18, 1966

every phase of life in Michigan.
He urged "every citizen to observe
this period of mourning in his own
way and personally to strive in
thought and action to fulfill the
high standards of moral and ethi-
cal behavior to which Rabbi Ad-
ler devoted his life."
In his proclamation Governor
Romney said:
"The State of Michigan has suf-
fered a great spiritual and civic
loss with the passing of Rabbi Mor-
ris Adler.
"Although many had anticipated
the worst since the events that
felled him nearly a month ago,
the loss is no less tragic in its
final impact.
"Rabbi Adler was a great leader
of his own congregation and of his
faith not only in Detroit but
throughout the state, nation and
"Yet his magnificent contribu-
tions to the moral and spiritual
betterment of all men knew no
theological bonds.
"In addition, he was a good per-
sonal friend. His advice and coun-
sel on ethical and moral matters
were a constant source of help to
me for many years, in industry
and in public life. He had most re-
cently served actively on the Gov-
ernor's Ethical and Moral Panel.

"Mrs. Romney and I join thou-
sands of other citizens in extending
our deepest sympathy to his widow
and family, and to the members of
his congregation.
"And while he has been ir-
revocably taken from us in body,
his spirit and his works will re-
main with us."
Mayor Cavanagh acclaimed
Rabbi Adler as "one of the great
citizens of our community" and
called his death "a personal loss."
Extending sympathy to the s
vivors, Mayor Cavanagh spoke o
Rabbi Adler's role in the Detroit
Round Table of Catholics, Protes-
tants and Jews; described his rec-
ord as "a renowned scholar, edu-
cator, spiritual leader and a man
deeply conscious of human prob-
lems;" extended sympathy to
the survivors and declared that
the entire city "joins with the Jew-
ish community in observing the
traditional period of mourning
and sits shivah."
Archbishop John F. Dearden of
the Catholic Archdiocese declared
that "a dedicated and inspiring
life has been lost to the world"
and added: "In the name of the
Archdiocese, I express my deepest
sympathy to his family, to Congre-
gation Shaarey Zedek and to the
(Continued on Page 11)

Bar-Ilan University in Israel and Bar-Ilan's friends
in Detroit and throughout the nation mourn the pass-
ing of a great man, a dedicated spiritual leader. In the
person of Rabbi Morris Adler we have lost a devoted
Jewish leader and great friend. .

We of Bar-Han University will always recall with
gratitude the role Rabbi Adler played in giving us en-
couragement in the cause of Jewish learning by parti-
cipating in the great event we sponsored in November
in honor of the Governor of Michigan.

We pay tribute to the memory of


and extend heartiest sympathies to Mrs. Adler, her
children and grandchildren.

Dr. Joseph Lookstein

Bar-Ilan University

Mrs. Max Stollman

National Chairman,
America Women for
Bar- I Ian

Phillip Stollman

Zvi Tomkiewicz

American Committee for
Bar-Ilan University

Executive Director,
Bar-Ilan Committee

In His Life We Were
Blessed. In His Death
We, of the JEWISH
Stand Bereaved. May
the Blessing of His
Memory Serve to Guide
and Strengthen Us.

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