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September 22, 1967 - Image 48

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1967-09-22

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Early History of Reform Judaism Recapitulates
Former Opposition to Zionism, Dr. Franklin's Stand

"The Reform Movement in law is not contrary to our con- right ought to be at home in all
Judaism" by Dr. David Philipsonscience, which happens perhaps in lands" and that "the mission of
first appeared in 1907. A new edi-
the majority of the questions the Jew is to witness to God all
tion was published in 1930. It is asked, Reform rabbis much prefer over the world."
Then came the Central Confer-
now available in a revised edition 1 to follow it. The newer attitude to
with an introduction by Dr. Solo- the law in the Reform movement once gathering of 1920 over which

Jerusalem's Status

Quotations concerning that city, from the Bible, Talmud,
and post-talmudic Hebrew classics.
ed residence. (Isaiah, chapter
33, verse 20)
Editor's Note: The compiler of
6. Rehabom, King Solomon's son,
these classic quotations, Saul
strengthened himself in Jerusa-
Kleiman, is a noted Hebrew
lem and reigned. For 17 years
scholar and educator of Kansas
be ruled in Jerusalem, the city
City. Mo. He is observing his 85th
which the Lord had chosen
birthday this month. They who
from all the tribes of Israel, to
currently oppose handing over
put His name there. (Chroni-
Jerusalem to Israel, and they
chorum 2, chap. 12, verse 13).
who oppose Israel's possession of
certain cemeteries and certain
7.•Thou that bringest good tidings
to Jerusalem fear not; lift up
sacred places would benefit cult-
thy voice with strength. (Isaiah
urally by reading the article
"Jerusalem's Status."
40, 9).
1. The name JERUSALEM has 8. Jerusalem has 70 names. (Baal
Haturim, Exodus 11, verse 61).
been given this city by GOD.—
(B'rayshit Rabba, chapter 22,
9. Ten measures of beauty came
down to the world; nine Jeru-
verse 14).
salem took, and one—the rest
2. If I forget thee. 0 Jerusalem.

mon B. Freehof, published by Ktav l may be defined in the phrase that Rabbi Franklin presided, and Dr.
the Halakha is not our governance Philipson's report on that confer-
(120 E. B'way, NY2).
ence reads:
Tracing the Reform movement but our guidance."
from earliest times, outlining the
"The San Remo Conference of
Dr. Freehof makes this im-
the Allied Powers who had been
history of the development of ' portant declaration regarding
change in Jewish religious observ- ! recent changes and the readop-
victorious in the World War is-
ances through the centuries and j tion of 'ceremonials: "Changes in
sued to Great Britain the man-
reviewing the movement's history increased ceremonial observance date over Palestine. The presi-
' have not nullified the basic Re- dent of the conference Rabbi
form principle that ideals and Leo M. Franklin had declined
the invitation of the Zionist Or-
ethical devotion are the essen-
ganization of America to appoint
tial and the ceremonials are only
a delegation to participate in a
auxiliary. Just as certain cere-
monies have been adopted for meeting to be held in the city of
of the world took. (Tractate
let my right hand forget her
their mood, so they can very New York on May 9, and 10, 1920
Kidushin page 49a).
cunning ! Let my tongue cleave
well be rejected again if they to celebrate this event. In his
to the roof of my mouth, if I re- 10.Comfort ye my people, said
message read at the meeting of
cease to be helpful in promoting
your God, I return to Zion and
member thee not, if I set not
the conference held in Rochester
shall dwell in the midst of Je-
basic ideas and attitudes. If, for
Jerusalem above my chiefest
in June, 1920, he reported that he
example, Bar Mitzva, which
rusalem. (Zachariah 8, 10),
joy.' (Psalms, chapter 137).
had refused the invitation on the 3. Jerusalem is destined to be- 11. Jerusalem shall be called "The
has been almost universally
adopted in Reform synagogues ground that the conference had
City of Truth". (Ibid).
come the metropolis of all
placed itself on record very defin-
in recent years proves for var-
countries in the world. (Midrash 12.Jerusalem is called "a beauti-
itely in this matter. He quoted the
ious reasons to be a drawback
ful district," a joy to the whole
Rabba, Sh'mot, B'shalah, Par-
resolution adopted at Chicago in
to spiritual progress, it may
worlds. (Book of Psalms, Psalm
sha 23).
1918. But he stated at the same 4. Thus said the Lord: I return to
very well be. widely rejected as
48, verse 3).
it was once widely reintroduced. time that he believed the con-
Zion and I shall dwell in the 13. God said to David and to his
ference would lend its coopera-
Reform still holds firm to the
son Solomon: "In this house, in
midst of Jerusalem, and Jeru-
tion to any movement for the
basic principle made clear in Dr.
Jerusalem, which I have chos-
salem will be called "The City
rehabilitation of Palestine, so
en from all the tribes of Israel,
Philipson's , book that only the
of Truth." (Zachariah 8, 3).
that it be made not only a "ref- 5. Look on the town of our sol-
ideals and the spiritual faith
I shall put my name "forever".
are the essentials and such ob- uge for the down-trodden Jew
(Chronicles 8, chapter 33, verse
emn assemblies; your eyes shall
servanees as the various cere- but as a place where a fuller
see Jerusalem as an undisturb-
in this country and in Europe, Dr.
monials are incidental and dis- expansion may be given to the
Philipson's work emerges as inter- ,
pensable." spiritual genius of the Jew." He
esting today as it was when it first , Dr. Freehof refers to Dr. Philip- asked that the conference en-
dorse this letter. The committee
Dr. Philipson pointed out at the son's anti-Zionism. He explains in
on the President's Message in re-
outset that: "Some striking in- 1 his introduction: "To him nation-
sponse to this request submitted is similar to
stances may be cited0o prove alism was a denial of the role of
130 .4 61
riDil .4 6 6
a majority and a minority re-
that, although the moviement for . Judaism as an ethical and cultural
doh - me
port, the former signed by
was a
con-I influence in the world. It
religious reform as a distinct,
fifteen members and the latter wait (m.s.)
modern new isolationism . . . He was
8 7I13 .4 6 2
certed movement is a
by two."
ndh - ahl
phenomenon, yet the reinterpreta,1 proud of the fact that as a young
The majority report which was
religious I rabbi in Baltimore he was called
tion and revaluation of
r.4177? .4 6 3
Kpin .4 6 8
teachings and the accommodation : to the Pittsburgh Conference in adopted by a vote of 58 to 8 follows
of religious institutions to meet' 1885, at which the clear statement this explanatory note.
was made that we are no longer a
help (m.s.)
changed conditions and situations :
.4 6 9
.4 6 4
reform ' nation. So he remained an un- been associated with the Amer-
which are the motifs of the
yielding anti-Zionist to the end of ican Council for Judaism, was
movement, appear in Jewish ex -; his life. Of course as all members among the first of the associates
.4 70
Mit .4 6 5
periences from very early days." of the Reform movement, he sup- of the anti-Zionist organization
Among his emphases is this ported Jewish settlements in Pales- to quit its ranks and to repudi-
explanation: "In t a 1 m u d i c a 1 tine, but the concept of a revived ate its policies. He supported
days, great rabbinical authorities Jewish nationalism was to him a many Palestinian causes and his
set np hermeneutic rules where-
were primarily in opposi-
by biblical laws were occasion- betrayal of all the dreams of the views
tion to "political Zionism.")
changes have taken place
accommodation to changed Zionism that lasted for decades, since then.
The Reform rabbis are
needs and circumstances. A clas.,
instance of early reform is Dr. Freehof comments that among in the main not only pro-Israel but
1?7 ,13!1211 17414 1/711
But Dr. Phil-
the Prozbul which Hillel institu; the changes that have taken place
ted to ameliorate the hardships' since Dr. Philipson's presentation ipson's review of Reform history
of the case for Reform "the coop- ends long before the great changes.
caused by the as
Among the great changes was
law." Israel is the onicome of the disillu- the condemnation of the American
i 1139
sion with the immediate possibili- Council for Judaism at the Reform




that was instituted by Hillel by ties of In
this connection,
an interest-
which the borrower obligated him-
ing reference to the role in the
self that the law requiring release
debates over Zionism by Detroit's
of debts at commencement of the
Dr. Leo M. Franklin deserves
Sabbatical Year should not apply
special attention in Dr. Philip-
to the transaction then to be en-
son's chapter dealing with "Re-
tered. This law operated until the
in the United States."
Year of Release was abandoned in
Dr. Philipson quotes the resolu-
the Middle Ages. Hillel's prozbul is tion that was adopted at the con-
regarded of historic significance
indirect abrogation venting of the Central Conference
as it was the
of American Rabbis in Chicago in
of biblical law. Its issuance denoted June
1918 which expressed appre-
the passage of the Jewish state
from agricultural to a commercial ciation for the Balfour Declaration,
affirmed the right of Palestinian
He shows how through the ages Jews to equal rights but refused
reforms have been instituted and to subscribe to the idea of a Jewish
his volume deals with the treat- "national home-land" because "we
that Jettish people are and of
ment of kahrut which was abro- hold
gated; the abrogation by many
reform groups of
circumcision: the
discarding of the

In his introduc-
tion Dr. Freehof

explains Philip-
s o n's attitudes,
his view of Re-
form as "a
volt against the

codes. He points

out, for example:
"If a certain
commandment in
Tewish law is di-
rectly contrary to
o u r conscience


Dr. Freehof
as, for example,a law based upon
the inferior legal status of women,
this law would not be deemed to
lave authority. But wherever the

rabbis' convention in New York in
June 1943. The resolution asking
for the dissolution of the anti-
Zionist-now also in large measure
anti-Israel-Judaism Council was
introduced by Dr. reehof. The
minority resolution was presented
then by Rabbi Sam el Goldenson
of New York's Temp e Emanu-El.
Soon thereafter Rabbi Franklin
was among the Reform rabbis who
resigned from the Council for
But these occurrences post-dated
Dr. Philipson's book. As history of
the Reform movement Dr. Philip-
son's remains a most valuable ex-
planation of Reform and its his-

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3 Egyptian Troop Carriers Damaged
in Two Attempts to Use Suez Canal

Teletype Wire
later, to get through. The Israelis
Jewish News)
to The
opened fire again from the east
TEL AVIV — Egyptian attempts bank, hitting one of the vessels.
to transport troops on the Suez There were no casualties on the
Canal in violation of an agreement Israeli side from the Egyptian re-
under which both Israel and Egypt turning fire.
were to refrain from use of the
Under a "mutuality" cease-fire
waterway, resulted in two inci- arrangement, negotiated by Lt.
dents Wednesday morning and the Gen. Odd Bull, the United Nations
damaging of three Egyptian ves- secretary-general's personal repre-
sets by Israeli guns. senative on the spot, neither side
Both incidents occurred at the is to use the waterway unless both
southern end of the canel, near sides have equal access. The Egyp-
Port Tewfig. The first came when tians have steadfastly refused to
six E g y p t i a n vessels, carrying agree to Israeli use of the canal
troops, moved into the waterway. and the only shipping permitted is
The Israelis opened fire, hitting of the vessels supplying foreign
two of the vessels. The Egyptians freighters which were stranded in
made a second attempt, two hours the canal during the June war.

t -eriagti 7 :43 -
MR E!'? TW? s'irP?


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Reading material in vocalized Easy Hebrew, and also material fee
advanced students may be obtained through your local Hebrew.
Organization or by writing to: Brit Ivrit Olamit, P.O.B. 7111 1

Published by Brit Ivrit Olamil

48—Friday, September 22, 1967


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