THE JEWISH NEWS
Incorporating the Detroit Jewish Chronicle commencing
with issue of July 20, 1951.
Member American Jewish Press Association, Michigan Press Association, National
Published very Friday by The Jewish News Publishing Co., 17100 West Seven Mile
Road, Detroit, Mich. 48235. Phone VE 8-9364. Subscription $6 a year. Foreign $7.
Entered as second class matter Aug. 6, 1942, at Post Office, Detroit, Mich., under
act of Congress of March 8, 1879.
Editor and Publisher
CARMI M. SLOMOVITZ
Sabbath Scriptural Selections
This Sabbath, the 12th day of Nissan, 5726, the following scriptural
selections will be read in our synagogues:
Levit. 6:1-8:36; Prophetical portion: Malachi
Passover Scriptural Selections
Pentateuchal portions: Monday, Ex. 12:21-51, NUM. 28:16-25; Tuesday,
Monday, Josh. 5:2-6:1, 6:27; Tuesday, II Kings
Licht benshen, Friday, April 1, 6:39 p.m.
April 1, 1966
VOL. MAX, No. 6
The Seder That Links All Jewry
There is no other night like the Seder that links Jews of all
lands, that creates unbreakable bonds between families.
In his "Rabbi of Bacharach," Heinrich Heine wrote: "Jews
who have long ago drifted from the faith of their fathers are
stirred in their inmost parts when the old, familiar Passover
sounds chance to fall upon their ears."
And because the Seder nights bind us together so closely,
the festival is an occasion for many practices. The youngest in
the family asks "wherefore is this night different from all others"
and the elders have an opportunity to explain, to define the fes-
tival's ideal of freedom, to indicate why one must know his back-
ground in order to be properly linked with his people.
Passover therefore is an educative process — the time to
share learning, to teach the unknowing and to learn from the
learned. It is a period of rejoicing over the freedoms attained
and of re-dedication to the goal of perpetuating liberties for all
It is an eventful time during which we acknowledge that no
one can be truly free unless his neighbors also are free.
There are many great lessons that are taught by Passover.
One is related to the compassipn that is so vital to humanitarian-
There is a talmudic legend that tells about the angels in
Heaven who desired. to break out in sang when the Israelites
crossed the Red Sea, and they were admonished by the Almighty:
"The Egyptian army is in distress, people are drowning. Would
you sing in My presence when men are about to die?"
In this one legend there is handed down to us an important
example of the humaneness of the traditions that warn us never
to gloat over the troubles of others, always to be compassionate!
Then there is the tradition of charity, which assumed such
an important role through Mo'os Hittim for Passover. In his "Leg-
ends of the Jews," the monumental seven-volume work produced
by the Jewish Publication Society of America, the late Dr. Louis
Ginzberg related the following:
"Once upon a time there lived a pious and learned Rabbi in Jerusalem,
who was in the habit of providing the poor with food and other necessities
for Passover. But it happened once that he entirely forgot to provide for
the needs of a very poor but worthy scholar, who on the day before Pass-
over had neither matzot nor wine for the feast. In his miserable state he
decided to leave his home rather than see his fancily dying of hunger.
Walking aimlessly in the streets, he was arrested by a venerable looking
old man with the following words: 'I am a stranger in this place; I beg
of you to take me to your house for the days of the festival, and here is
the money to furnish us with all our needs.' The poor scholar, though
depressed by his inability to be the host to the stranger without payment,
did as he was requested, and with the ample funds now at his
disposal prepared a really sumptuous meal for the first night of Passover.
But when the time of the Seder arrived, the stranger did not appear; all
the searching was in vain, as no trace could be found of him. The poor
scholar then realized that the stranger was none other than Elijah the
prophet who came to his assistance. On the very same night Elijah appeared
to the Rabbi of the place, and awakened him by seizing him by his throat
and nearly choking him to death. Elijah chided him for having neglected
the poor scholar, and told him that if it were not for his quick action,
God would have destroyed the entire community for not having taken care
of the worthy man. He then comnianded the Rabbi to hasten to the poor
scholar and beg his pardon for not having provided him with the neces-
sities of life."
Such are the traditions of Passover. These are the humane
rules that add value to a festival that keeps our heritage on a
high rung of spirituality, that retains for it the great humanita-
rian values. It is in the spirit of family fealty, of love of justice,
of the craving for freedom and the rejection of brutality that
the Passover continues to inspire us as one of the great festivals
on our calendar.
.1 1.11101100.1 141110101fr
Passover's Lesson: Freedom for All Peoples
"From slavery to freedom," the aspiration of the downtrodden, had its earliest
application as an organized revolt among the oppressed Hebrews in Egypt, under
the skilfull leadership of Moses, the great guide, who gained immortality as the
greatest of all Phophets and as the Lawgiver.
Under Moses, the Hebrews were formed into a national unit. They constantly -
needed his guidance, in order to acquire the freedom that was offered to them.
They were not accustomed to such a task. They lived in an age in which peoples
were subjected to the rule and domination of god-kings. Moses undertook to lift
his people out of that stage of subjection. It was a difficult task, but he sought its
achievement by a passionate adherence to principles of justice and human rights.
The passion for righteousness has been infused in the Passover Festival. When
the oppressed Hebrews first were faced with the idea of liberty, they did not know
how to accept it. Freedom often has to be imposed upon slaves. The genius of
Moses would not yield to obstacles. In his historic essay, "Moses the Prophet,"
the eminent Jewish philosopher, Ahad Ha'am, thus explained Moses' determination .
to seek the fulfillment of his hopes:
Prophet has faith in the power of the ideal. He is certain that the liberating face
great vision which he is to show to his people will overcome their inherited servility,
them with the courage and idealism that their lofty mission demands. He assembles the people at the
foot of Sinai, opens the innermost heavens before them, and shows them the God of their
fathers in a new revelation as the God of the whole universe. 'All the earth is Mine,' proclaim the,
mankind, thai' L_
God of Israel out of the midst of the fire. Hitherto you have imaged, like the rest of
every nation and country has, its own god., and that
limits of the national territory, fight and
"This is false. There is not one god for Israel and another for Egypt; there is only and one
universal God, this
God, lord of all the earth and ruler over all the nations. And this all
men are created in His image;
is the God of our fathers. The whole world is his handiwork, and
be His. peculiar people, to be
but you, the descendants of His chosen Abraham, He has singled out to
and in your individual
a kingdom of priests and
of truth and justice.
and collective lives to set before the rest of mankind the example
are not to favor
" 'Justice, justice shalt thou follow'; 'keep thee far from a false matter.'
of the weak.
the strong or to oppress the helpless; but neither are you
your life shall be
('Neither shalt thou favor a poor man his cause) The guiding principle of pervert
and *.1 the
neither hatred nor jealousy, nor love and pity, because these and those alike
judgment. Impartial justice shall be your only principle."
Such is the lesson of Passover, as incorporated in the principles pursued by
the Great Lawgiver.
It is a festival of freedom with a lesson not for Jews alone, but for all man-
kind, and it strives for justice not for us alone but for all the peoples of the enjoys
because the world can not long endure if only a fraction of its inhabitants
It is when the peoples are free that we shall have true
the bounties of ,nture.
liberty on earth.
A great ideal is offered to humanity in the Passover Idea. As we greet one an-
other on this festival, as we inaugurate it with the traditional Sedorim, we pray for
. . :the • fulfillment of its message directing mankind to social justice for all.