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November 10, 1967 - Image 15

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1967-11-10

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Weekly Quiz

Samaritans Extend Holiday Greetings

What is the origin of prayer?

High Priest Amram Ishak, head of the Samaritan Community
of Nablus, accompanied by his brother, conveying New Year's greet-
ings to Meyer W. Weisgal, president of the Weizmann Institute of
Science. They arrived without notice in a car carrying license plates
of the West Bank.

13111 Mauldin Steals the Show
at Klutznick-Weizmann Fete;
Two Delightful Anecdotes

Special to The Jewish News

REHOVOTH, Israel — Philip
Klutznick, former international
president of Bnai Brith, received
his deserved honors here on Mon-
day, at the introduction of the
Klutznick Chair at the Weizmann
Institute. It was, in actuality, an
honor extended by two nations —
Israel and the U. S. Adlai Steven-
son II participated in the program.
There were spokesmen for the
Israel government. Many notables
from all parts of the U. S. attend-

Beth El Panel to Report

on 'Issues of Conscience'

Mrs. Marshall M. 'Miller, chair- 1
man of the community affairs com-
mittee of Temple Beth El, and Dr.
Burton Gordin, director, Michigan
Civil Rights Commission, will par-
ticipate with *Dr. Richard C. Hertz,
senior rabbi, on "Report to the
Congregation of Issues of Con- 1
science" 8:30 p.m. today at the'
The report will concern itself
with a series of discussion groups ,
which were held at 24 different
homes, involving several hundred
members of the congregation, whd
came together for discussions on
Detroit's issues of conscience.

The show was stolen by the
eminent cartoonist, Bill Mauldin.
He had been to Israel during the
Six-Day War. He covered five
other wars. He had effectively por-
trayed the Arab-Israel war as hav-
ing been won by the Citizens Army

of Israel.

According to the opinion of the
Rabbis in the Talmudic literature,
the act of prayer is as old as man
himself. Adam is said to have of-
fered a Psalm to the Almighty
(i.e. the Psalm which we consider
as the Psalm for the Sabbath Day).
Cain's plea to the Almighty (Gene-
sis 4:13, 14) is regarded by Nah-
manides (in his commentary to
the Pentateuch) as a prayer. The
clause found in the early chapters
of Genesis stating "Then began
men to call upon the name of the
Lord" (Genesis 4:26) is interpret-
ed by the Targum (onkeles) to
mean that they then began to pray
unto the Almighty. The Talmud
(Ta'anit 2a) interprets the bibli-
cal commandment "to serve the
Almighty with all your heart" to
be a biblical commandment order-
ing the Jew to pray. Apparently,
it seems that man fulfills one of his
most basic needs in his act of
prayer, i.e. to establish contact with
a Higher Power and to feel that
man has someone to whom to ad-
dress himself in his hour of need,
someone who is powerful enough
and in a position to help man.
What Judaism did was to formu-
late and standardize as well as
regulate the form, the pattern and
the regularity of prayer, to the
extent that prayer became a daily
exercise for man's soul so that this
soul could at all times be kept in
a most healthy state of well be-
ing. Prayer for man's soul is like
food for his body. From his very
first day on earth, man learned to
eat when he experienced hunger.
It was the gradual development of
his civilization that taught him to
regulate his eating habits and par-
take of food at regular intervals
to preserve his physical health. So
did Judaism do with man's soul
which it trained to exercise in
prayer at regular intervals instead
of waiting until there was spiri-
tual threat to his existence.

He drew longest laughs and pro-
longed applause when he told
about his little son who said to
him: "Dad, you enjoyed your
sixth war best because on Israel's
borders you could tell the differ-
ence between the good guys and
the bad guys."
Two anecdotes from the hun-
dreds that go rounds here are
worth retelling:
The telephone numbers in Tel
Aviv are in six digits. The ques-
tion was posed: what's Nasser's
phone number; the answer:
According to Judaism how does
Then there was the query put prayer influence the Almighty?
One statement in the Talmud
to an Israeli private: How could
you tell the difference between claims that the prayer of the right-
Egyptian and Israel armored tank
forces? Answer: if it's a well or-
ganized array of tanks and armor-
ed cars, it's Egyptian; if it's a col-
lection of trucks, milk wagons,
dog catchers' vehicles, ice cream
* U.S. Savings Bonds
vans, garbage trucks—it's Israel's
* New Freedom Shares



(Copyright, 1967, JTA, Inc.)

eous can annul the decree of the
Almighty himself (Mo'ed Katan
16b ). Another statement, in a mil-
der form, states that the prayer of
the righteous can transfer God's
attribute from anger to compas-
sion and in this same reference the
Talmud states that the Almighty
sometimes withholds something
from man so that man will pray
for it (Yebamoth 64a). Thus were
the matriarchs barren because the
Almighty w a n t e d to hear the
prayers of the patriarchs asking for
offspring to carry on their heritage.
Nahmanides (Commentary on
Genesis 46:15) regards the changes
in the world effected by prayer
as one of the veiled miracles in the
universe. According to Albo (Book
of Principles 4:19) the change
brought about by prayer is the
result of the change in the wor-
shipper himself. The saintly Rabbi
Kook of blessed memory claimed
that prayer neither changes God
nor does it change man. It serves,
he said, as a means of elevating
man (Olath Ri'iyah 1:14). It is
possible that this elevation makes
man himself realize that whatever
is happening is all for his eventual

good. Contemporary writers have
said that actually prayer does not
change the intent of the Almighty.
He, in his infinite wisdom, never
intended to cause any harm. What
prayer does bring about is only
the eventual outcome of His Great
Eternal Plan which was for the
good of man all along (B.S. Jacob-
son, Shanah B'Shaonoh, 5723, p.

Friday, November 10, 1967-15




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Pictured above at academic convocation of Bar Ilan University where Max Fisher was presented
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