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March 18, 1966 - Image 20

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

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

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Boris Smolar's

'Between You
. . and Me'

By BORIS SMOLAR
(Copyright, 1966, JTA, Inc.)

PASSOVER POINTS: Comes the Passover season, Jewish writers,
publications, as well as firms engaged in the production of Passover
articles, are confused. They wonder how to spell certain words dealing
with Passover and the holiday's ritual.
Various Jewish encyclopedias spell, for instance, the word
"matzoh" in various ways. Some prefer to spell it "matzo," others
spell it "matzoh." The most accepted Jewish encyclopedia spells it
"mazzah." The same confusion prevails when using the word in
plural. Some encyclopedias spell it "matzoh," others prefer to spell
it "matzos." The weighty Jewish encyclopedia which spells "mazzah"
in singular, spells it "mazzot" in plural.
The same is true with regard to the word "Hagadah." Some spell
it with one "g" while other encyclopedias prefer to spell it "Hag-
gadah." Some spell the charming verse that is sung at the end of
the Seder service as "Had Gadya" while other encyclopedias spell it
"Chad Gadya."
The chaos in the transliteration of Hebrew words into English
is prevailing even to a greater extent with regard to other holidays.

*

*

*

PERTINENT PROPOSAL: There is no end to the number of

Hebrew words differently transliterated into English by different
authentic English-Jewish encyclopedias, handbooks and dictionaries.
This poses a serious problem which only our institutions of higher
Jewish learning could solve.
It is high time for Yeshiva University, Jewish Theological
Seminary, Hebrew Union College—Jewish Institute of Religion, and
similar other Jewish institutions to get together and establish a joint
committee which should once and forever bring clarity into trans-
literations. The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research has done it with
regard to the Yiddish language, why cannot institutions engaged in
Hebrew scholarly work do the same with regard to Hebrew and
biblical words?

(Editor's Note: The American Jewish Press Association has
been laboring on this problem for a number of years, but has failed
to get the cooperation of the national organizations. Leo Frisch,
editor of American Jewish World, Minneapolis-St. Paul, heads the
AJPA committee. The Detroit Jewish News has long ago abandoned
the confusing transliterations.)

*

*

*

Unless our learned Jewish authorities in this country will under-
take the much-needed job of creating a uniform system of trans-
literation of Hebrew words into English spelling, the chaos in this
field will grow even larger than it is today.
There are more and more books published in this country in
English containing Hebrew words in English transliteration. Some of
them are written by rabbis, others by American Jewish novelists. The
first know Hebrew and English, but their transliterations of Hebrew
and biblical words differ just as they differ in encyclopedias and in
dictionaries. The second know no Hebrew and their transliterations
of Hebrew words in their works are often amusing. They are based
not on the origin of the word, but on how the word sounds in 'English.
Such a mishmash testifies only to the fact that there is little or
no interest on the part of Jewish scholars in this country to face the
problem of bringing unification into spelling of Hebrew words used
in English. This is especially regrettable because of the fact that
more and more such words are now coming into use among Jews—
and even non-Jews—in this country since the establishment of Israel.

Feinberg's 'Storm Gates of Jericho'
Pleads Effectively for Human Justice

Rabbi Abraham L. Feinberg of
Toronto has spoken out numerous
times against intolerance in de-
fense of the underdog, in appeals
for justice. Some of his major dec-
larations of faith, his appeals for
fair play, are incorporated in an
impressive volume, "Storm the
Gates of Jericho," published by
Marzani and Munsell (100 W. 23rd,
NY 11). In this volume, which has
been highly praised by Bishop
James A. Pike and other theolo-
gians, as well as communal lead-
ers, he has included courageous
views against war, in support of
racial equality, analyses of subur-
bia and snobs, with explanations
of the rabbi's duties.
The book is not, as he explains
in his forward, a collection of
commons. It is not "an answer to
riddles." But it is an expression of
views for which he has been called
a "radical" and which he considers
a compliment.

BALTIMORE (JTA) — Awards
totaling $39,040 were given to 84
dog," that he is especially effec- students in the last year by the
tive. His chapter "My War Against Central Scholarship Bureau here,
War, Fascism and Nazism" is a an organization that has been pro-
superb indictment of brutality.
viding free loans for Baltimore stu-
He is equally effective in dis- dents since 1924.
cussing theological themes in his
discussion of sex and other prob-
Respect for one's parents is the
lems.
highest of the duties of civil life.
"Storm the Gates of Jericho" is —Chinese proverb.
an appeal to action by those who
of
for
1173 ~
would truly join the battle for
MORE REPEAT
righteousness in the world.

There are high tributes to him
in the introduction written by
Charles R. Allen Jr. (author of
"Heusinger and the Fourth
Reich"). "The author," Allen
states, "recounts with roaring
beauty the destruction by Hitler
on the Lithuanian ghetto that
bred the Jewish piety of his par-
ents; he lampoons with both sav-
age and public irony, the shame
of the professional clergy (in-
cluding his own); he laughs with
wry self-pity at the anti-Semitic
pretensions of fundamentalist
Christian theology to leaps with
unflagging vigor to the barri-
cades against fascism—but al-
ways with a deep sense of the
tragedy of life and the compas-
sion for the human being. As a
cleric, he looks upward—quizzi-
cally, not prayerfully, nor ex-
pecting much—to God; as a Jew,
he looks backward to the stub-
born traditions of his own peo-
ple . . . "

Rabbi Feinberg's book, while not
an autobiography, opens up with
"Grinkishok" as a tribute to the
birthplace of his parents and as
a condemnation of Hitlerism that
destroyed the sanctified Old World.
The very next chapter, "Bow
Mothers," is a tribute to his moth-
er. There are other reminiscences,
and his "Huck Finn Versus Heder"
is a charming elaboration on Jew-
ish studies. On "the richly sea-
soned gamut of Jewish cooking,"
he comments that "it is hard to be
Jewish Philanthropist Gives Schools to Mexico
a Jew, and it's fun !"
MEXICO CITY (JTA) — Elias of science studies at the University
It is in his emphasis on the
of
Mexico.
Sourasky, noted Jewish leader here,
Previously, Sourasky had contri- need for justice to the Negro, in
announced Monday that he is con- buted to Mexico several other build- his "commitment to the under-
tributing several school buildings, ings for education purposes, among
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
at a cost of over $1,000,000, to the them an institution for vocational
20—Friday,
March 18, 1966
Mexican Ministry of Education. training. He has also been a heavy
One of the buildings will house a contributor to Tarbut Organization
science center for the integration for Hebrew Education.

IMO

DOE U

BY HENRY LEONARD1

Loans Help in Baltimore

CUSTOMERS SAY:

Ask Government to Pay
Special Heed to War Crimes

STRASSBOURG (JTA) — The
international convention of the
World Federation of War Veterans
adopted a resolution here appeal-
ing to all governments not to treat
Nazi war crimes as ordinary o
crimes.

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