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 Mlle Road, Detroit, Mich. 48235
VE 8-9364. Subscription $6 a year. Forelen $7.
Second Class Postage Paid at Detroit. Michigan
Editor and Publisher
CARMI M. SLOMOVITZ
Sabbath Scriptural Selections
This Sabbath, the 2Ist day of Tamuz, 5727, the following scriptural selections will
be read in our synagogues:
Pentateuchal portion, Nom. 30:2-32:42. Prophetical portion, Jeremiah 1:1.2:3.
Candle lighting, Friday, July 25. 6.37
VOL. LI . No. 19
July 28, 1967
Our City's Calamitous Humiliation
How cloth the city sit solitary,
That was full of people!
How is she become as a widow!
She that was great among the nations,
And princess among the provinces,
How is she becoming tributary!
A curfew for our beautiful and great city !
Who would have believed that such a calamity would be possible before
the tragic hours of last Sunday evening?
It happened contrary to all hopes, to all beliefs, to all serious aims to avoid
strife among peoples, to prevent race hatred in our midst !
Indeed, the opening words of the Book of Lamentations come to mind about
our great city: "How is she become tributary !"
As we view the ruins and examine the results of days and nights and hours
'Jewish Wedding Book' — Great
Guide for Betrothed and Parents
Mothers — and fathers, too — of betrothed may be so busy making
wedding plans that they probably wouldn't take too much time to study
rules and regulations. Brides and bridegrooms and parents would do
well to get hold of a new book and become acquainted with laws, with
traditions, with precedents, with benedictions and the historic refer-
ences to marriage.
Lilly S. Routtenberg and Ruth R. Seldin have prepared a mag-
nificent work dealing with the subject, and their "The Jewish Wedding
Book," published by Harper & Row, serves a wonderful purpose.
This "practical guide to the traditions and social proprieties of
the Jewish wedding" belongs In all libraries, on all private Jewish
bookshelves, as an informative work worth reading. Even after the
wedding the newlyweds and their parents will learn from it and will
delight in the knowledge attained. But if it is secured before the wed-
ding it will guide all concerned regarding engagement etiquette,
planning the wedding, issuing announcements and invitations, being
guided as to acceptances, arranging the wedding party, organizing the
bridal processional and many related formalities.
The basic value of the book, of course, is in the explanations
of horror, we have compassion for the hundreds of thousands of Negroes in our
community who are much more disgraced than we are, who have been shamed
by their children, whose hopes for a good life in good neighborliness with the
white community have been besmirched by vandals who have not yet learned the
lessons of common decency.
Who would ever have believed that the occurrences of Newark and Roches-
ter and Watts and Harlem and Minneapolis would be repeated here?
Corroborated figures show that more than 40 per cent of the Negroes in our
city are home owners. Many of them hold responsible positions in city, state and
government offices. They are among our teachers. They are high up in the ranks
it provides for the Ketuba — the marriage contract — text with
of the labor unions.
translation being incorporated here; the Huppa, the required
Minyan, the witnesses and many more related traditional re-
Surely, these are people who abhor violence, who would not countenance
crime, who would themselves punish looters.
There is an explanation for the breaking of the glass, the reminder
Yet it happened here, and it took the form of violence far more reckless, of the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple and other calamities that
Jewry "to temper the joy of the occasion." The authors add to
brutal and frightful than that of any other community where hatred had already befell
erupted into a mass criminal act.
"This custom dates bock at least to talmudic times. The Talmud
a story of one of the sages who arranged to a marriage feast
We are told what had happened in our city was not organized. Our relates
for his son. 'He observed that the rabbis present were very gay. So he
Mayor said it, our Governor repeated it. This is unbelievable. How could an un- seized a costly goblet worth 400 zuzim and broke it before them. Thus
organized crime possibly occur almost simultaneously on 12th Street, Grand he made them somber.'
"At Sephardic Jewish weddings, the following verses from Psalm
River, Dexter, the fashionable Livernois Avenue, Six Mile Road, Seven Mile
137 are recited when the glass is broken: 'If I forget thee, 0 Jeru-
Road? How could so many fires have been kindled to mount the tragedy and salem,
let my right hand forget her cunning . . . ' "
to increase the losses?
There is a section in the Routtenberg-Seldin book devoted to
menus and to a listing of traditional foods. Another section ad-
How could so many outrages occur simultaneously in so many communities?
vises on choice of music, the floral arrangements and the photo-
Somewhere, somehow, things went wrong.
Primarily, the value of the book is in its evaluation of the customs
the Aufruf at synagogue services, the Kiddush, the prayers.
Leadership has failed ! Some of the spokesmen for those who called them-
rules on honoring the memory of deceased parents are outlined,
selves aggrieved have justified violence as a way of getting the Negroes' rights. The
the ritual immersion is defined, there is advice on the veiling of the
bride, and an old custom of a seven-day celebration, now observed
They have sinned ! They must atone !
by Hasidim, is referred to.
Why do we say this?
As an additional service, this book deals with special situations,
such as a second marriage and how to play the wedding and whether
Because during the curfew, between 9 p.m. last Sunday and much after the children
should be invited.
early hours of Sunday morning, youngsters still were roaming the streets of De-
Then there are the regulations regarding intermarriage, the con-
troit, defying law and order. Therefore we pose the question: where were the version if that occurs and the special prayers and the names to be
parents, why did they permit their teen-agers to resort to violence, to turn into used at the wedding in such an instance.
The authors deal also with marriage regulations involving a
gangsters? Why did they permit children 5 and 6 to become accessories to convert.
In relation to a civil marriage, they state: In the eyes of the
crime? Has parenthood failed? Is there no authority left?
religious community, the civil marriage is considered a repudiation
both of Jewish law and Jewish sentiment." But they concur that
We had hoped that legislation would not be necessary to curb crimes in- legally such a marriage is recognized and "the children of a civil
are regarded as legitimate, and are entitled to participate
volving racial conflicts, that social engineering on a high scale would be sufficient marriage
various rites and rituals of the Jewish religion."
to bring order out of chaos. Now we wonder whether so much griping, so many in the
even devote space to discussing the marriage of a rabbi
complaints were justified without willingness to cooperate in assuring amity in or a They
member of a rabbi's family. Regulations involving elopements,
the requirements of witnesses for technical reasons, are alluded to.
The authors even discuss situations involving changes in wedding
The entire nation is affected by what had happened in Detroit and in the plans due to deaths or other causes.
Then there is a concluding chapter devoted to guests for whom
score of other communities where looting and pillage and hoodlumism have run
rampant. The crimes that were committed can no longer be excused. They must they provide a guide regarding presents, what to wear, synagogue
be dealt with firmly. And the people who must take the lead in assuring a re-
What makes a home Jewish when the wedded become Mr.
turn to sanity are the Negroes themselves. Negro leadership must assert itself.
and Mrs., adherence to kashrut, attachment of a mezuza and other
obligations are outlined.
It must do its utmost to wipe out crime in its midst. And the white community
A long glossary is of added assistance to the wedded and to those
must stand ready to help in every form.
interested in the marriage ceremonies and customs.
This is a joint responsibility. Laboring together, we can hope that the crimes
Indeed, "The Jewish Wedding Book" is a very valuable book for
the betrothed, parents and students of Jewish customs and ceremonies.
of the past few days, in Detroit and elsewhere, will never recur again.