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THE JEWISH NEWS
Incorporating The Detroit Jewish Chronicle commencing with issue of July 20. 1951
Member American Association of English—Jewish Newspapers,' Michigan Press Association, National Editorial
Published every Friday by The Jewish News Publishing Co., 17100 West Seven Mile Road, Detroit, Mich, 48235.
VE 8-9364. Subscription $6 a year. Foreign
$7. Class Postage Paid at Detroit, Michigan
Editor and Publisher
CARMI M. SLOMOVITZ
Sabbath Scriptural Selections
This Sabbath, the 16th day of Sivan, 5726, the following scriptural selections
will be read in our synagogues:
Pentateuclial portion: Num. 8:1-12:16; Prophetical. portion: Zech.. 2:14-4:7.
Licht Benshen, Friday, June 3, 7:45 p.m.
June 3, 1966
VOL. XLIX. No. 15
'The Jews Again': A Catholic Embarrassment
Reviewing -the revised edition of Dr.
Solomon Zeitlin's "Who Crucified Jesus?" in
the New York Review (Jan. 28, 1965), M. I.
Finley, writing under the title "The Jews and
the Death of Jesus," made this important
"There is something unhappily naive
about the implication that anti-Semitism
might quietly disappear if one could only
demonstrate decisively that no Jews, or
just a few Quislings among them, shared in
the responsibility for the Crucifixion. When
it comes right down to it, welcome as the
Vatican - Council's declaration must be, its
practical significance is problematical. Col-
lective Jewish Nvickedness permeates the
whole of western culture. Are we to under-
take a great campaign of elimination, be-
ginning, say, with Bach's 'Passion accord-
ing to St. John,' the words and music to-
gether? The dead past never buries its
dead. The world will have to be changed,
not the past."
Much has happened since then. The
Ecumenical Council adopted a statement on
the Jews which exonerates present-day Jewry
of the crucifixion charge. The statement
didn't satisfy everybody, least of all the 250
cletics who voted against it. It did not meet
with total acceptance in Jewish ranks. Prof.
Zeitlin, commenting on the Vatican debates
prior to the adoption of the statement that
was subsequently proclaimed by Pope Paul
"The words in the preliminary text of
the Ecumenical Council are: 'All that hap-
pened to Christ cannot be attributed to
the whole people then alive.' -this impliCS
that some Jews of that time were respon-
sible for the crucifixion and that is hiStoric-
ally wrong. In my book I have shown that
the Romans are solely responsible."
Regardless of the decisions that had
been reached, it is impossible to wipe out the
charges in John and Matthew, and Finley's
reference to John in his review of the impor-
tant Zeitlin book substantiates this belief,
just as the recent movie on Matthew indi-
cates how prejudice is being perpetuated.
The continuing prejudices became appar-
ent when an Italian bishop, who had led the
fight in behalf of the 250 dissidents against
the statement on the Jews that was adopted
by an overwhelming majority, reiterated the
view of those who would unhesitatingly and
uninterruptedly continue to proclaim the
charge of crucifixion against the Jews.
The liberal Catholic weekly magazine
Commonweal was distressed but realistic.
Writing editorially on "The Jews Again,"
Commonweal judged the statement by Bishop
Carli as follows:
"The recent article by Bishop Luigi
Carli of Segni, Italy, in which he argued
that "by its very nature" Judaism carries
"the judgment of condemnation by God,"
is a healthy spring tonic. It should disabuse
everyone of the romantic idea that the
Church can be reformed by conciliar docu-
ments. To his .dubious credit, Bishop Carli
is consistent. He opposed a strong state-
ment during the Council, has expressed
satisfaction since on the removal of the
word "deicide" from the final text, and
has now returned to argue the conservative
case all over again.
"We can't complain, on principle, at
his tactics. Liberals have done and are
doing, the same thing on those issues
which they believe were not dealt with ade-
quately by the Council documents. Any
argument for freedom of speech in the
Church must serve both sides in any de-
bate. Even more to the point, any argu-
ment for freedom must allow for the possi-
bility that some will want to create a "de-
bate" when, from all visible evidence, the
magisterium has decisively spoken. It was
this possibility which made it legitimate
for a number of theologians to re-open the
birth control discussion in the face of
exceedingly authoritative statements by
Pope Pius XI in `Casti Connubii.' One can-
not, logically, complain of a Bishop Carli
availing himself of the same opportunity.
"But one can and should complain,
and complain bitterly, about what the
Bishop has said. Anti-Semitism has never
needed any encouragement in the Church;
it has been there for centuries as a deeply
rooted disease, all but impervious to offi-
cial condemnations. If we need any re-
minder of this fact, Bishop Carli's article
serves well. Naturally, he denies any anti- The First Amendment Defined
Semitism. But who needs the added luxury
of professed anti-Semitism when he has
already declared the Jews to be "con-
demned" in the judgment of God? In the
long run, Bishop Carli's brand of quiet
theologizing will serve anti-Semitism as
Church-State relationship and the controversial Separation issue
well as any hate-filled pulp pamphlet.
receive such thorough and brilliant treatment at the hands of one
What can be done? Well, Pope Paul I of the men who had much to do with the Supreme Court decision
could issue a public apology, asking Jewish reaffirming the validity of the First Amendment that his latest work
forgiveness for this offense. We are not Ion the subject emerges as a most effective interpretation and as a
optimistic that he will do so. Since the most illuminating treatise.
Supreme Court Justice William 0. Douglas, in "The Bible and
Council Fathers could not quite bring
Schools," published by Little. Brown and Co. (34 Beacon, Boston),
themselves to ask Jewish pardon for cen- I the
traces the historical background in the long struggle between those
turies of shame, it is unlikely the Pope will ' who
sought federal aid for schools, the elements that supported goy-
break the pattern because of one incident. ernment assistance to church-sponsored institutions, and brings the
We Catholics don't mind asking forgive- reader up to date in his explanation of the issue and in his presenta-
ness, you understand—but only in dark tion of his personal views on the serious question which so frequently
confessionals where no one can hear, emerges to divide opinion in this country.
where there can be no danger that the
Mr. Justice Douglas' brochure originally was prepared to be
given as a lecture before Phi Beta Kappa in New York on Nov.
imperturbable, transcendent image of the
22, 1963. The national tragedy that occurred on that day called
Church as an indefectible institution will
for its deferment and the publication of this book presents that
lecture in "new dimensions." The book properly commences with
"Yet, as a mental exercise, assume
a foreword containing the text of the late President Kennedy's
that the Pope did ask Jewish pardon for
statement on the Supreme Court's school aid decision in which he
Bishop Carli's statements. Assume also
urged support of the high court, expressing the view that the
that, in an extraordinary session, the Coun-
court's decision "would be a reminder to every American family
cil Fathers reconvened to strengthen the
that we can pray a good deal more at home, we can attend
statement on the Jews. Assume that every-
churches with a good deal more fidelity, and we can make the
true meaning of prayer much more important in the lives of
thing Pope John wanted in the first place
all of our children."
finally found its way into a solemn docu-
Mr. Justice Douglas, too, commences his statement by declaring
ment. Would that finally set the matter at
"we Americans are a religious people and prayer plays an
rest? Not at all. Diseases are not so easily
part in our lives." Then he declares: "We are truthfully
cured; they never have been. They are only important
one nation 'under God' and our institutions 'presuppose a Divine
cured by a total transformation of the Being.' Those propositions are not a matter of speculation, for the
Church. And such transformations are rare. First Amendment bars the federal government from enacting any
This is one disease, it appears, we will all law 'respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free
have to live with for decades to come. We exercise thereof'."
are pained. We are embarrassed. Bishop
Thus, he proceeds to explain, "the Constitution has been con-
Carli is not a man from outer space, or a strued to mean that neither the federal government nor the States
member of some odd sect. He is a Roman can pass a law 'respecting an establishment of religion or the free
exercise thereof.' It is the concern of the Free Exercise Clause that—
Catholic. One of ours."
Douglas Outlines Separation
Idea in 'The Bible and Schools'
Here we have two views by non-Jews,
one declaring "the dead past never buries its
dead," the other asserting that the disease of
prejudice and anti-Semitism is one "we will
all have to live with for decades to come."
They are not happy thoughts. The picture
certainly is not a pretty one. But as long as
there are a few who recognize the basic evils,
all is not lost.
There are many revelatiOns of the mis-
deeds—and the failures to act—of the past.
Gideon Hausner's "Justice in Jerusalem,"
just issued by Harper & Row, is more than
an account of the Eichmann trial. It is an
expose of indifference, a condemnation of
the lethargy and the fear, the lack of historic
sense that go with war and with blindness to
reality. These revelations should stand us in
good stead in preventing recurrence of the
crimes of four and three decades ago.
Meanwhile, it is especially vital that Jews
themselves should understand what is in
store for them, what is implied. If we have to
live with the charges—we call them libels—
of the past, we must at least be prepared to
face them and to be able to counteract them
when they re-emerge. That's where our
repeated warning comes in: that if our chil-
dren are to be happy, they must be the in-
formed who will always be able to counter-
act the libels with facts. Woe unto the
every person worship as he pleases or not worship at all. PerhaiX,,
he is an atheist or agnostic and if he were able to summon enoug h;
votes he could put legal barriers in the way of the 'free exercise'
of others. No atheist or agnostic, however—or any combination of
them—has that power. Nor may those who believe in one faith use
their power to make nonconformists worship as they do. Thus the
First and the Fourteenth Amendments, by making religious liberty
available to all, without discrimination, implicitly recognize that men
have a relation to God that is in their own keeping and free from
interference by others."
It is in his analysis of the historical events that had led to differen-
ces of views on the issue, of the numerous cases that had come up be-
fore the high court, that his comparatively brief essay serves such a
very valuable purpose.
He makes the significant point that "there is enough muci-
lage to hold our society together without the regimentation of
any particular theological doctrine."
He then proceeds to set forth this view on the question of Bible
teaching in the schools:
"As to prayers in the public schools, we should remember that
public schools are supported by all sects nonbelievers as well as
believers, by minorities as well as by the majority. In America public
schools have a unique public function to perform. They are designed
to train American students in an atmosphere that is free from
parochial, sectarian, and separatist influences. The heritage they
seek to instill is one that all sects, all races, all groups have in
common. It is a civic and patriotic heritage that transcends all
differences among people, that bridges the gaps in sectarian creeds,
that cements all in a common unity of nationality, and that reduces
differences that emphasis on race, creed, and sect only accentuate."
The manner in which the First Amendment is defined, the views
of statesmen and clergymen, the historic comment by Benjamin
Franklin in 1780--all fuse in the Douglas brochure to offer a most
important declaration that fully clarifies the first position of the
high school upholding the separation idea.