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July 08, 1966 - Image 4

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Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1966-07-08

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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 Associatibn, National Editorial
Association.
Published every Friday by The Jewish News Publishing Co., 17100 West Seven Mile Road, Detroit, Mich. 48235.
yE 8-9364, Subscription $6 a year. Foreign $7.
Second Class Postage Paid at Detroit, Michigan

PHILIP SLOMOVITZ

Editor and Publisher

SIDNEY SHMARAK

CARMI M. SLOMOVITZ

Business Manager

Advertising Manager

CHARLOTTE HYAMS

City Editor

Sabbath Scriptural Selections
This Sabbath, the 21st day of Tanimus, 5726, the following scriptural selections will
be read in our synagogues:
Pentateuchal portion, Num. 25:10-30:1; Prophetical portion, Jeremiah 1:1-2-3.

Licht benshen. Friday, July 8, 7:51 p.m.

VOL. XLIX No. 20

Page 4

July 8, 1966

Vietnam Situation and Right to Dissent

There is a serious difference of opinion
in Jewish ranks over the right to dissent and
to register protests on public issues. The
situation in Vietnam, the numerous protests
against administration policies, the confusions
that have arisen over the demonstrations in
universities against President Johnson's cur-
. rent position, are the causes of so much
concern that there has developed an extrem-
ism in thinking on both sides.
It is as a result of the divided views in
the American population at large that opin-
lions among Jewish groups are similarly split.
But it is -evident that the overwhelming ma-
jority among those who are legislating in
' behalf of Jewish movements is in support of
protests, in defense of dissent — favoring
the right of people to express their views on
public matters, even if they are in opposition
to those of the President and his administra-
tion.
Thus, at the sessions of the National Com-
munity Relations Advisory Council, held in
Washington last week, only one national
group—the Jewish War Veterans—opposed
a resolution on dissent, while the major
Jewish movements acted on their own to
support such an expression. Backing the ac-
tion of the seven major Jewish organizations
also were 31 community councils, including
Detroit's.
Fully to understand and to evaluate the
_position of the majority, it is necessary to be
acquainted with the full text of the resolution
backed by the majority of national Jewish
organizations, including the Conservative,
Reform and Orthodox religious groups. The
statement on Right of Protest and Dissent
reads:

tion at any time of an atmosphere of conformism
which inevitably restricts free speech and mean-
ingful discussion of crucial national issues in
public forums and government instrumentalities
on every level, a public discussion so essential to
our political system. We assert the danger, to
minority groups especially, of an atmosphere in
which protest and dissent is considered an evil,
an atmosphere which has always fostered sus-
picion of one's neighbor, lynch mob mentality, the
vigilante spirit, mindless name-calling, and irra-
tional chauvinism.

Basic principles are involved in this
declaration. There is reason to believe, based
on their repeated statements, that President
Johnson and Vice President Humphrey are
not opposed to differences of opinion, that
they welcome criticism, much as a great deal
of it may be to their personal chagrin; that
these two heads of our government have no
intention of suppressing expressions of views
Dr. Morris Mandel, a noted psychoanalyst, presently on the guid-
regarding American foreign policies and our ance staff of the Wingate High School in Brooklyn, has written 10
military actions.
books. One, "Stories for Speakers," which was reviewed in The Jewish
News, is a guide for public speakers. His newest, "Story Anthology for
In principle, the declaration of the seven Public Speakers," published by Jonathan David (131 E. 23rd, NY10)
major Jewish organizations opposes conform- will be additionally helpful to orators who seek proper stories to
ism, decries the fostering of suspicions, pleads illustrate their talks.
for the right of people to express their views
Some of the best stories have been gathered for inclusion in this
on public matters, upholds the right to dis- anthological work. Every conceivable subject is provided for. Practically
sent. Once these basic American ideals are all situations are taken into consideration. Even the subject of birth
sacrificed, the very foundations of our Ameri- control is included and this story is related:
"Clarence Darrow, the eminent criminal lawyer, was once
canism will have been abandoned. This must
asked
whether or not he believed in birth control.
not be tolerated.
" 'Whenever that question is put to me,' he answered, 'I always
While the position of the Jewish War Vet-
remember that I was the fifth.' "
erans on matters relating to Vietnam is under-
There are several Jewish stories, one about . Tisha b'Av, another
standable, it does not justify opposition to about Rabbi Salanter and how to perform a mitzvah.
One of the Jewish stories also is about Clarence Darrow. Here it is:
the right to protest and to dissent. It is to be
Darrow once was asked what he thought of Jews. Were they
hoped that on this point they will soon come
inferior to the common run of human beings? 'You must_ under-
closer to the views of the overwhelming ma-
stand,' answered the trial lawyer, "that when yours and my an-
jority.
cestors were sitting on trees cracking nuts with bare paws, the
Jews came around and sold us nutcrackers.' "
There is no doubt that the phrasing of
"The principle of the free expression of
There are several Bible stories—one about. Rabbi Akiva—and a
a new idea regarding the right to dissent by
opinion and the right therefore to dissent is the
national Jewish organizations will create one number about anti-Semitism.
cornerstone of the American democratic process.
A rabbinic Sabbath story is especially applicable in treating issues
of the bitterest controversies in Jewish life.
America was founded by dissenters; our govern-
related to goals.
The
action
introduced
by
the
largest
Jewish
ment was born in acts of protest, and free speech
There is especially this fine story, in relation to anti-Semitism,
movements already has drawn criticism, and quoting
is enshrined in the Constitution as a sacred right.
Weizmann:
the debate it has generated may be the cause
"An Englishman once asked Dr. Chains Weizmann, "Why is
"There is ample historical precedent to
of
unprecedented
tensions
in
many
of
our
it that all Jews are said to be usurers?'
demonstrate the validity, and even the necessity
_ communities. Perhaps this new debate over
" 'For the same reason,' replied Weizmann, 'that all English-
of dissent with established policies and acts of
a major American issue is the result of fear
men are said to be gentlemen.' "
government. Especially in times of crisis when
There are splendid stories about atheism, study, success, suicide,
— of panic that often arises because Jews
emotion may suffocate - rational consideration of
vital issues, and dissent is viewed with suspicion,
inject themselves into controversies involving wealth. youth, tact—in fact, about every imaginable idea that can
dissent is most necessary for the decision-making
national policies. The demonstrations by Jew- serve the purposes of yarn-seeking by public speakers. Dr. Mandel
indeed, performed a mighty good task in his collection of tales,
process of a democracy. In its absence the nation
ish students and members of faculties of has,
yarns, tall stories, factual data, historical material—all certain to be
suffers by the failure to subject pressing issues
American universities already have resulted helpful to orators, whether they're those already on the public plat-
to close examination and through the creation of
in condemnations and challenges far more form or those seeking the public limelight.
conditions which threaten basic freedoms and
harsh than those expressed by non-Jews about
values.
involvements by academicians in matters in-
"We are mindful and encouraged that in this
volving
our military actions. If the reactions
period of crisis opposing views on basic issues of
in
the
Jewish
communities are the result of
war and peace are more freely being expressed
Schocken Books has just issued as a paperback the Nahum N.
a newly-generated panic, then the hesitancy Glatzer classic, "Hillel the Elder—The Emergence of Classical Juda-
than in comparable war-time periods of American
to endorse the right of protest and dissent ism," which first appeared in 1956 as part of the Hillel Little Books
history.
becomes all the more deplorable.
series.
"However, we deplore all action which
As the eminent author points out in his introduction, knowledge
threatens expression of dissent in connection with
It is much easier to shout hallelujah every about
Hillel the Elder is essential for an understanding of the first
U.S. foreign policy, particularly in the case of the
time a public official expresses a policy in- pre-Christian
century as well as the period that preceded the destruc-
Vietnam war; or to discredit such expressions by
volving
the
American
people.
It
is
more
tion of the Temple in 70 C.E.
the propagandistic association of dissent with the
difficult to criticize a President and his ad-
Dr. Glatzer explains that "we apply the terms 'classical' to the
bizarre, disreputable, or unpatriotic elements in
ministration. But the interest of the country period of Hillel (who is never called 'rabbi') because it was then, and
society. Such action threatens to recreate the
and the country's traditions calls for free ex- not in biblical times, that a central line, a point of departure—and
hysteria of the McCarthy period, which happily
pression of views. Else whatever is called return—for all forms of Judaism yet to come was established."
we overcame.
Hillel's work, it is shown in this brief but very significant book
freedom can so easily terminate as tyranny.
"We call therefore for resistance to the crea-

Tall
Many
i Tales, of Splendid
Vintage, in Orators'Anthology

Glatzer's 'Hillel the Elder'

The Myopia in Diplomatic Circles

There is no end to pro-Arab propaganda,
and the Faisal "incident" now is being uti-
lized to interfere with whatever efforts may
have been made with a modicum of success
to bring Arabs and Israelis together for peace
talks. But the insistance upon making the
issue a "Zionist" one, while all Jews are being
maligned and harmed is adding to discord
rather than to amity.
In the meantime, Ahmed Shukairy, the
leader of the abortive "Palestine Liberation
Army," has begun a campaign to oust King
Hussein of Jordan; Russia is reported in Lon-
don to have joined in "efforts to subvert

Jordan," and there is a movement to get
Jordanian army officers to desert their posts
as part of the campaign against their ruler.
Neither is there even a measure of accord
between Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The en-
tire Moslem league has been upset by ha-
treds. Only Israel seems to unite them. But
officials of Western states act as if the Arabs
are the only element to kowtow to, especially
as part of a policy of subverting Soviet
influences in the Middle East. That's part
of the blindness in evidence today in diplo-
matic circles.

of less than 100 pages, "gives direction to the generation after him.".
Delineating the status of the Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes
and the Dead Sea Community, in his presentation of the historical
background, Dr. Glatzer reviews Hillel's ascent, his introduction of
a new note in the house of study, the emergence of the two schools,
Hillel and his rival Shammai and the laws an which they differed.
Discussing "community versus state" and the influence of Hellen-
ism, Dr. Glatzer points out that there was a Hellenism which was
"consciously accepted, carefully integrated with Jewish thought;" and
the term "Zealotism" as applied by Toynbee to the leader of that
time, to Hillel and Johanan ben Zakkai, is rejected.
Hillel's proselytes, Johanan ben Zakkai as his disciple, their teach-
ings, are interestingly treated and there is a concluding chapter on
"Classical Judaism" in which Dr. Glatzer declares:
"Classical Judaism, as it emerges in Hillel, stands first of all for
Torah: its source is the divine revelation to Israel . . . Classical Juda-
ism emphasizes learning . . . The Torah is mare than a book; - the
teacher more than a dispenser, the disciple more than a recipient of
information. The study of the Torah is a living bridge between the
divine and the human. . . ."

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