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August 04, 1967 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1967-08-04

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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
Association.
Publi-hed every Friday by The Jewish News Publishing Co., 17100 West Seven Mile Road, Detroit, Mich. 48235.
WE 8-9364. Subscription 96 a year. Foreign $7.
Second Class Postage Paid at Detroit, Michigan

PHILIP SLOMOVITZ

Editor and Publisher

CARMI M. SLOMOVITZ

Business Manager

SIDNEY SHMARAK

Advertising Manager

CHARLOTTE DUBIN

City Editor

Sabbath Scriptural Selections
This Sabbath, the 28th day of Tamtw, 5727, the following scriptural selections

will be read in our synagogues:
Pentateuchal portion, Num. 33:1-36:13. Prophetical portion, Jeremiah 2:4-2:28, 3:4.

Candle lighting, Friday, August 3, 8:29 p.m.

VOL. LI.

No.

20

Page Four

August 4, 1967

Social Action Needed More Than Legislation

A week of terror, of fears and anxieties,
has ended. Now we are commencing a long-
term testing period, as we enter into the
challenging days during which solutions must
be found for conditions to which the horrors
we experienced are attributable.
There is general agreement that what had
occurred was not a race riot, that the Negro
community has suffered more than the white,
that an irresponsible element among the
Negroes saw fit to resort to vandalism, to
looting, to violence, and some whites assisted
them or acted on their own during the final
hours of sniping.
Now the law-makers are at work, and with
the resumption of sanity, the return to clear
thinking, we must consider seriously whether
the need is for legislation or a much more
vast program of social planning.
There is good reason for believing, in
view of the experiences in Detroit, of the
earlier lessons in Newark, Watts, Harlem,
Rochester and many other communities, that
while legislation is vital for the retention of
a law-abiding spirit among people and for the
assurance of peace and amity among all citi-
zens, law-abiding alone is not the means for
solving social problems. Those who parti-
cipate in riots, who do the looting, who give
vent to pent - up emotions very often are un-
aware of the very existence of laws aimed
at preventing their lawlessness.
That is why the congressional anti-riot
measure or any similar proposal may have
no effect on existing conditions. What is
needed is a social study, a human determina-
tion to correct the errors of a century, based
on the people's will for harmony among all
citizens, with just rights and equal oppor-
tunities for all.

*
*
There is no doubt that black power or
white power, when it is exerted, when its
brutal aspect of superiority or quest for
domination is appealed to, contributes to
the horrifying events that have marred the
tranquility of our communities. But the ele-
ments resorting to such appeals are minori-
ties in both ranks and what is needed is
correction of the social system involving the
majorities. The overwhelming public opin-
ion is for justice to the Negro and for the
curbing of any possible factor that might con-
tribute to rioting.
To strengthen the views of the majori-
ties and the feelings of the American people
there is need for social readjustments, for
assurance of just dealings with Negroes lead-
ing to the elimination of all obstacles to-
wards the roads to equality and fair oppor-
tunities. The fact that riots have developed
in communities where it has been known for
many years that there are inequities, that,
as in Newark. Negroes are nearly half of the
city's population but are living in squalor,
points to a lack of understanding of the
existing problem.
It is a problem that cannot be solved
overnight. But it must be solved by the
social engineers in our midst, by earnest
efforts to bring whites and blacks together
as a single team to plan the abolition of ob-
stacles on the road to justice and to establish
a common understanding in a program for
amity that might assure unanimity in action
to strive for an end to hatreds that lead to
rioting, looting, murders.
*
*
*
In some instances, anti-Semitic feelings
played a role in race riots. There was a
measure of it here, but what had happened
primarily was that lawless elements ran
amuck. There was a period of hate and of
avarice, and looting resulted.
Indeed some Negro black power propa-
gators have seen fit to inject the Jewish issue
into the discussion on the racial problem. Car-

michael, Brown, Powell and others resorted
to it. It is important, therefore, to recall
a recent statement by an eminent Negro lead-
er on the existing situation. It is relevant
to the issue and it has received the endorse-
ment of the Jewish Labor Committee.
Bayard Rustin, in an address to the JLC,
said, in part, in reference to Negro reactions
in their relationship with Jews:

Nobody can be right, because the objective
situation is so bad. So they turn on the Jews. And
that is precisely because they had faith that the
Jews, who had known persecution, would continue
to stand with them as they had from the begin-
ning in this fight.
They say, "The Jews have power. They control
the unions. They own the banks. They've got
power. If they meant business, we wouldn't be in
this condition. The hell with them too." Then
they turn on the trade union movement. "If they
really meant business," they say, "conditions
wouldn't be this way." And then come the white
liberals.
But let's remember that all whites except the
police and the Jews have deserted the Negro
ghetto. What can you expect, when the general
attitude is to say, "The hell with all the white
people! These conditions get worse and worse and
they do nothing about it. They have the power,
we do not. We need power." And so Negroes
end up with the eloquent frustration called Black
Power. Meaningless? No doubt; yet it answers a
need. Stokely Carmichael knows the advantage
he enjoys, knows he doesn't have to offer a
social, economic or political program to get
applause. He need only give vent to the despairing
anger of the ghetto, and "triumph" over those
of us who see no value in anger except as it
inspires mobilization for change.
Now when everybody's deserted the ghetto
except the Jewish merchants and the police—
even if the police behaved like angels and if the
Jewish mechants behaved like angels—they would
automatically be turned on, for the very simple
reason that you can always turn on those who
are near you and with whom you do business
and about whom you care. The young Negroes
are not jumping on Wallace. They don't care
about him. But they have a relationship with the
police and the Jewish merchants. And the Jews
and the police, for the next few years, are
going to take all the pressures, all the emotional
confusion that many ghetto people feel about
whites.
Is the answer, then, that Jews should desert
the movement? Isaiah and Jeremiah made it very
clear long ago that one is not a Jew because he
declines to mix milk and meat in the same pot,
or because he's circumcised, or because he fol-
lows the law of the Tora. One is a Jew because
he stands for social righteousness, is opposed to
injustice wherever it is, first of all in himself.
That is what we blacks have learned from the
Hebrew prophets.

There is no doubt that Rustin, as a spokes-
man for the Negroes, expressed his views
with sincerity. Jews, however, have cause to
be disturbed by affirmations of anti-Semitism
by Negroes, even if their attempt to philoso-
phize is aimed at minimizing the ill effects
of such attitudes.
a
*
The existing misunderstandings, preju-
dices, ill feelings are manifold. They are
part of the existing racial issue. They must
be corrected. And for that purpose we need
social engineering, not politics.
And if the social engineering is made
practicable, we can hope for an end to riot-
ing and looting and we can all contribute
towards the relief of the thousands who are
suffering innocently from the crimes of a
small minority of deluded and possibly also
demented law-breakers.
Meanwhile what is needed is firmness—
the determined policy of local, state and
federal governments to punish law-violators
while fulfilling the obligation of wiping out
injustice by instituting social programs to
eliminate want and ignorance. Crime must

not be condoned and justice must be enforced

to the fullest degree.

NI I c, , f.(11.1;‘7i..,"'?....?'

Jewish Liturgy's Development,
History of Synagogue, Prayer

Schocken Books has reissued, as a paperback, one of the most
instructive books available on the subject of liturgy, the prayer book,
development of services, the Siddur and Mahzor—their origin and
their liturgical order.
In "Jewish Liturgy and Its Development," Prof. A. Z. Idelsohn
describes the form of worship and of the prayers in ancient Israel
and the reforms that were initiated in the course of time. He des-
cribes the forms worship took in the Temple in Jerusalem, dating
back to 980 BCE, tells of radical reforms that were introduced by
King Josiah during the Second Temple and of their radical reform
influences upon the worship of Israel.
In his analyses, the author describes the Temple service,
the order of which is retained in the Mishna. lie explains how
during the Second Temple there developed a sanctuary that was
destined to replace the Temple—a sanctuary that "was unique
in its purpose, for it was dedicated to the study of the Holy
Scriptures and to prayer without sacrificial rites. Its origin
seems to date back to the exilic era, when people would congre-
gate for worship and for divine instruction. When Ezra insti-
tuted public instruction on Sabbaths and festivals, the need for
a 'house of assembly'—'Beith Haknesseth'—in Greek Synagogue—
was strongly felt . . ."
In his explanation of the growth of liturgy after the Second
Temple's destruction, Dr. Idelsohn explains the formulation, by Ray
Amram Gaon, of the first prayer code. He describes the fixing of the
Amida, the Eighteen Benedictions, the addition of an Arvith service
to the two already observed, the Shaharit and Minha. "Later," he
writes, "the institution of the three daily services was accredited to
the patriarchs"—the morning service to Abraham, the Minha to
Isaac and the evening service to Jacob.
The poetry of the services, the Piyyutim, are reviewed histori-
cally and there is a listing of the synagogual poets of the Arabic
world and their poetry.
The influence of the Kabbala upon liturgy similarly is out-
lined and the description of the liturgy, the defining of prayers
—of the Kadish, Shema, Amida, Kedusba, etc.—provide valuable
guides to all who seek knowledge about Jewish religious ser-
vices, the prayers, their sources, etc.
The detailed explanations of the Amida and other prayers, of
all the benedictions, of the holy day services as well as the daily
and Sabbath observances, are minute in their details and the authori-
tativeness of the author of this valuable work elevates it to con-
siderable significance for those seeking knowledge about their ob-
servance as Jews as well as students of the history of religions.
The author explains the merits of private devotion and he states
that "private devotion has been the source out of which fixed public
and private worship sprang forth." Out of it, he states, there developed
the "tehinoth," the literature of private devotions.
The "Tehinoth," he explains, "deal not only with religious mat-
ters, such as mercy, forgiveness, but also with the daily life of the
medieval Jew in his insecure trade and occupation. The wife deals
with his well-being during his travels on business through districts
which had no protecting laws for the Jew . . . The 'Tehinoth' are
folk literature . . . They are the prayers of the people, reflecting the
uncritical sincerity of humble men and women . . ."
An important chapter in "Jewish Liturgy" is devoted to "The
Liturgy of Reform Judaism."
Appendices are devoted to analyses of "Jewish Elements in the
Early Christian Liturgy," "Rabbinate Elements in the Karaitic Litera-
ture," "Poetical Insertions for Special Sabbaths and the Three Festi-
vals," "Selihoth and Kinoth." There are many explanatory notes and
a general index and the index to Hebrew prayers and poetry is most
valuable in the search for specific liturgical facts.

Implications of Intermarriage

The rising rate of religious intermarriage has the rabbis talking
like psychiatrists and the psychiatrists like rabbis.
This is the impression one receives from a comparison of "The
Psychological Implications of Intermarriage"—the proceedings of a
1966 Conference addressed by leaders in that field—with "Intermar-
riage and the Future of the American Jew"—a previous conference
which examined the subject from the religious point of view. Both
conferences were sponsored by the Commission on Synagogue Rela-
tions of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York.
"The Psychological Implications of Intermarriage" was published
by the Commission on Synagogue Relations, 130 E. 59th, NY 22

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