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August 18, 1967 - Image 40

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1967-08-18

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Dr. Abba HiIlel Silver's Powerful Role
Shown in Volume of Chosen Writings

"'Therefore Choose Life"—what
a glorious and well selected title
for a series of books which will
contain the writings of the late
Dr. Abba I lillel Silver, his ad-
dresses and sermons!

The first volume in the series has
been issued by World Publishing
Co. It will serve as an incom
parable guide and even as a text


book for rabbis. There were few
orators who matched the forceful-
ness o - Rabbi Silver. and there
were not many who equalled him
as a scholar, as a great Hebraist.
as an author. as teacher and man
of great learning. Therefore his
approa•he• to the art of sermoniz-
ing are well worth studying.

Primarily. the collected works
should serve as an inspiration to
laymen. There are new ideas to
be found in every one of his
utterances. There are inspired
factors in his appeals to justice
and his pleadings for his people's
honor. Young and old will find
messages of great value in his
reconstructed works.

An able man. Rabbi Herbert
Weiner. has been chosen to do
the editing of these collected
essays. and another brilliant rabbi.
Dr. Solomon B. Freehof, has writ-
ten a memoir ap9ended to the first
volume in the series.
Dr. Silver's powerful role as
a Zionist. a, a Jewish leader. is

mirrored in this volume and in
his selected writings.
Rabbi Weiner. pre'acing "There-
fore Choose Life" by introducing
it as Rabbi Silver's "intellectual
a n d spiritual legacy, - empha-
sizes that Rabbi Silver's ministry
of nearly 50 years at The Temple.
Cleveland, was never allowed to
be blurred by his leadership of
men and movements, that he al-
ways "spoke as a rabbi:" that "he
consciously tried to confront the
issue at hand not only in terms
of his own personal analysis or
the context of the moment, but
also from the perspective of a
moral tradition which had been
tested in the crucible of Jewish
Dr. Freehot's recollections of
Dr. Silver are written from the
viewpoint of a classmate and a
colleague at Hebrew Union Col-
lege and the eminent Pittsburgh
rabbi states about Dr. Silver:
"He was an original. Whatever
thoughts he had learned from
people or hooks were reworked
and remade into new forms and
ideas. He was an embodiment of
the best of our Jewish literature.
He was a man of ideals and
powerful conviction. While he
lived, he was a tower of strength
to us all, and his honored
memory will, we pray, remain to
unearthen and to bless."
Recalling the debates at Reform
congregational conferences over
the Zionist ideal, Dr. Freehof pays
honor to Dr. Silver as the guide
of the younger rabbis, as the genius
o' the Jewish national movement.
He states about him: "He became
very quickly the outstanding young ,
man in the Zionist movement in
America, soon one of the coming
leaders, and after a while, the
leader. He contributed more than
any other American Jew to the
establishment of the independent
State of Israel . .
The selections for this volume
were wisely made. Sections are
subtitled The Vision. The Way
The People and The Rabbi. They
deal with science and religion.
with the home and the nation.
with the environment and social
Rabbis will find special merit
in the section dealing with spir-

Julius Horwitz's ‘The W.A.S,P:
Exceedingly Frank Negro Novel;
Gives Reason for Hatred of Jews

In view of occurrences in De- i out their history the Hebrews
itual guides of the religious com-
fru ith novel "The never gave up a part of them-
munities, and the concluding
W ' A " S •"
P by Julius Horwitz is selves. This has been their extra-
sermon in the final section,
ordinary triumph. This is why the
almost prophetic.
"There Is Yet Room for Vision."
Jewish people are hated by the
The race issue, the c h a r g e s black people of Harlem. The Jew-
the text of a commencement ad-
dress at Hebrew Union College- against whites by Negroes, the ish people have always lived in
Jewish Institute of Religion, is power struggle, the social implica- the world of men. This is another
a lasting inspiration to young tions, make this Atheneum-pub- reason why the black people hate
men aspiring for the rabbinate. lished story stand out as a chal- them. Today the black man is
more isolated than he has ever
It is interesting to note that lenging work.
Here we read the tragic story been. This is the black man's di-
"The People" section concerns it
self with matters related to "Where of the impoverished and of their sease. Isolation . . ."
Judaism Differs"—a subject that' problems and their struggles.
A bit later on, the hero of the
later became the title of one of
All the factors leading to illegit- novel goes a bit far when he
the great books written by Dr. imacy, to sex aberrations, to de- speaks of the Jewish people of

fiance of social regulations are the Lower East Side of New York
In "The People - collection there part t of the experience of the Ne- having invaded America. that "for
are essays and sermons on the gro characte
almost 50 years New York has
e rs P ie n r this volume .
Baal Shem. "The Jew to Jesus."
been a Jewish city." He says the
There is a murder story as
personalities like Max Nordau and
black man has been unable to
Sholem Aleichem, and a prophetic part of the plot, and a white
understand "the Jewish victory,"
sermon delivered in 1926 on the I lawyer with a sense of social
or to "imitate it," and again he
responsibility is among the
subject "Nationalism—the Struggle
says "this is why the Negro in-
for Survival," in which Dr. Silver , major characters.
tellectuals hate the Jews."
dealt in part with Zionism and
Dialogues, a series of confes-
Thus we have an interesting
miracles and commented that sionals, boastings about colored comment on the possible Negro-
"Israel's life has been so full of sex superiority are elements em- Jewish differences.
miracles, its existence and sur- phasized in this novel.
Horwitz's is a very interesting,
vival has been such a marvelous
There are several references to exceptionally well-written narra-
miracle that I am ready to take a
one of his tive. It is surely one of the most
chance upon this miracle."
Numerous of the republished letters evaluating his role, the vital social commentaries and in-
essays are prefaced by corn- hero of the novel, the Negro Har- terpretations of the Negroes' role -
mentative statements which point Yard graduate, Thomas Emerson. in a world of poverty, and it is
especially brutal in its realistic
to Dr. Silver's attitudes on wrote:
"How do I know God exists? and frank approach to the sex
many subjects, his way of life,
his idealism. For instance, the How could he not exist? Through-
sermon delievered in 1936 on the
subject "The Seven Pillars of
the Home" is preceded by a
deeply moving reference to Rabbi
Silver's deep interest in his home
and his family. Under the title
"If I Am Only for Myself, What
Am I?" this one-page statement
is a gem. It is in itself a great
mark of honor in Dr. Silver's
In its totality. "Therefore Choose
Life" is one of the great collections
of sermons and of addresses by one
of the most eminent and most in-
spired leaders of our time. Those
who read this volume, those pos-
sessing it, will look forward
anxiously to the appearance of
the follow-up books in the series.
His great Zionist appeals should
Festival stamps depicting stylized scrolls of the law will be
form the substance of forthcoming
issued by the Israel Ministry of Posts in September. In five denomina-
volumes. The complete collected
tions, the stamps are multicolored, gold and silver. They can be
works are certain to be amon4
ordered from the ministry's philatelic service in Jerusalem at a
the most treasured literary works
order of $1.
in all libraries. on all bookshelves.

Israeli Stamps Show Scrolls of Law

Soviet Jews Franticallv Beg Not to Be Deserted,
JPS Volume Reveals Plight

other tourist describes how he was asked
culture, literature, art—how much more so basis of any description or analysis of
(Continued from Page 1)
the same question by a Jew at the exhi-
, then your is it true in the case of the Jewish prob- the situation,
i st h e case
bition held at Gorki Park, and still
criterion is inherently wrong. Where• indeed tem. where Soviet authorities do not even
another in the lobby of the Bolshoi
One summer evening I was sauntering
are the rest of the Jews, those who do not acknowledge that a problem exists, or else
Theater. And this makes me think that
go to the synagogues? On your own admis- claim that the problem has been completely along the walk of a Black Sea Resort in
the restless Jew at the Black Sea resort
sion. those who attend the synagogues are resolved and that they have little or nothing the company of an Israeli family. The '
and others like him are, in a sense,
only a small minority of the Jews there. ' to publish on the subject. Hence, to gauge resort was crowded with thousands of
wandering Jews who, while rushing from
the precise value of cumulative personal holiday seel7ers from every corner of the
one town to another, between train and
I had no ready answer to these goes• impressions gathered through direct con- country. It was not difficult to identify us
plane, between festival and theater, man-
tions. Such answers are not easy to come tact with Soviet reality, is a far more diffi- as foreigners, and our clothes, bathing suits,
age to spot Jews "from there" and ask
by even for a person like myself who has cult matter in the Jewish sphere than it is and the beach balls of the children—all
them the same question: "Why have you
of foreign manufacture—made us the cen-
made several trips to the Soviet Union
forgotten us?"
and has lived there, all told, quite a lengthy in any other,
ter of natural and lively interest on the
Nly survey is of a collective and cumu- part of the people on the beach. The Jews
period of time. Needless to say, they are
This Jew is one of the mosaic stones in
much snore difficult for one who has been lative nature. I was not the only one to on that beach recognized us immediately as my cumulative model or image. But there
travel the length and breadth of the Soviet Israelis, what with the noisy sabra Hebrew is another kind of Soviet Jew. When he
there only briefly.
I must admit that it is, and will re- Union, from Birobidjhan to Brest, from of the children and the El Al flight bag my recognizes an Israeli he presses his nose
main, impossible to make a systematic Leningrad to Sochi. Nor was I the only wife was holding.
closerto the book he is reading, or veils
and scientific social survey of the state one to meet old and young Jews, men and We sensed hundreds of eyes following his face more closely with the paper he is
of the Jews in the Soviet Union, just as women, scientists and ordinary folk, where- us as we walked along, and these included scanning; and when, at some international
it is impossible to conduct such a survey ever they happened to live in the fifteen • many Jewish eyes (bear in mind: in the congress, he sees "Israel" on the identity
on the various other social problems of Soviet republics. Before me, during my Soviet Union there quickly develops inside tag pinned to a delegate's coat, he turns
that country. The scientific area of study . stay, and afterwards, Jews from the `"ou t - one a special sixth sense that helps him to
now known in the West as Sovietology side"
had met many of the Jews "inside." tell. by looking in a person's eyes, whether
is also one of the components of
rests on the analyisis of data published In past years thousands of Jews from the . or not he is a Jew). Then a Jew got up awHaey.
the mosaic. And so are the young Jewish
who clasp hands with an Israeli
on specific topics in the Soviet Union,
and is supplemented by impressions beaches
and resorts,
festivals and con- as though meaning to ask casually, "Ex- tourist in the dark ; amidst a crowd of
gained during tours, visits, and conversa- grosses. This is true of tourists from Amer- cuse me, what time is it?" asked "Why have thousands, in the open space before the
tions, as well as by various guesses, ica, businessmen from England, visitors you forgotten us?" Still walking, and as synagogue on Simhat Tora, and who awk-
opinions, analogies, and conclusions. ' and delegates from Israel, scientists from casually as if we meant to say, "It is ten wardly dance the hora with him and his
These observations are not intended as many countries, sports groups, musicians. after five." we answered just what he children, and joins him as he sings.
a derogation of Sovietology in any way. or just "folk" who came from Western expected to hear: "We have not forgotten
Thus, after lengthy visits to the Soviet
Rather, they are meant to give some idea lands to meet a brother or cousin whom vou." That was the end of it. ,The Jew
(1 Union, after traveling thousands of miles
of the difficulties and obstacles encount- they had not seen for decades. All of these N . v en t back to his bench and we contini ,
by train, boat and plane from one end
brought back with them a rich store of sauntering along ; the walk,
ered in dealing with Soviet Russia.
; of the country to the other, after hundreds
If this is the case with regard to sub- impressions, conversations, and experiences.
of conversations and meetings with Jews,
When I relate this little incident to
jests about which the Soviet Union pub- They spoke at length or briefly with count-
someone else who has also visited the ' one manages to collect in his bag a varied
lishes a great deal of information—such as less Jews throughout the Soviet Union.
assortment of mosaic stones from which he
economic matters, the situation in agri- ; This extensive sampling must form the Soviet Union, he smiles and says: "This
tries to reconstruct the collective face of
: happened to me at the Kiev railway sta-
the Jew in the Soviet Union.
I lion," or "at the Tashkent airport." An-

go i n g on^ If th a t

40 Friday, August 18, 1967


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