Niebuhr, Carl Voss, et at
Philo-Semitism on the High
Level of Men Like Reinhold
By RABBI SAMUEL J. FOX
(Copyright, L%T. XrA.
I noble friends, to acknowledge kindnesses like the Van Aukens', to
Why is the festival of Hanuka
celebrated for eight days?
As we review the events of the past year and take into account the greet George Pierrot, to recall the cooperation of friends like the Rev.
friendships as well as the enmities, the devotions as well as the
A number of various reasons
placencies. we find many names to be honored. While there Was been hope and express confidence that the hasidei umot ha-o am, the saintly ' are advanced for this. In the Book
concern over the attitude of non-Jews towards Israel prior and after among the nations of the world, and the truly liberal will remain of the Maccabees (2 Maccabees
the Six-Day War—the indifference when an entire people was threatened the
* influential. 6:9-11) the reason is explained as
with extermination and the unreasonable begrudging of conquerors for
having to do with the festival of
Sukkot which precedes Hanuka.
their success in averting a horrible calamity to a nation surrounded Ahmed Shukairy's Resignation . . . UN and the PLO
by enemies — it is heartening to be able to compile a record of •
Ahmed Shukairy has been repudiated by his own associates It seems that, at one time, Hanuka
was substituted for Sukkot, at
Christian sympathy that denoted that the Hasidei Umot HaOtam — the . in the Pal
c Liberation Organization. The New York Times be-
saintly among the nations of the world — have not vanished from the lives that the forced resignation of the most rabid Arab warmonger least in a symbolic sense, because
Jews were at that time prohi-
and agitator is due in part to his flight- from battle. After all, the
A very few weeks after the June War, there was a historic Shukairy had advocated Israel's destruction, yet he himself was bited from observing the festival
of Sukkot in the holy temple. In
ceremony on the redeemed Mount Scopus, in the first convocation held nowhere to be see du g the war.
order not to forget the original
by the Hebrew University in 20 years, and an honorary degree was
Yet, the United Nations recognized the PLO in spite of its
accorded to a former Detroiter, the venerable Reinhold Niebuhr. The advocacy of war. It gave a platform to Shukairy's agents and earlier festival of Sukkot which lasts eight
Rev. Dr. Niebuhr, now 75, was not well enough to be present to accept in the year to Shukairy himself. In such fashion the world organiza- days another eight-day festival was
the honor. Presenting it to him in absentia, Hebrew University spokes- tion that was organized to encourage peace has been giving comfort ordained. Today, in the Diaspora
as well as in Israel, we of course
men indicated the reasons for having selected this distinguished church- to advocates of War
observe both festivals.
man for a historic honor on a historic occasion.
We have a far way to go to attain peace—and the most difficult
One of the later versions of the
Dr. Niebuhr, who served his ministry in Detroit from 1915 to 1928, task is to convert the UN itself to peace.
famous Megillat Ta'anit tells us
counted among his friends the late Fred M. Butzel and Rabbi Leo M.
that the reason for observing the
Franklin. His associations then, as they have been in the subsequent 30
festival for eight days is that when
years, have been with the major movements that aimed at securing ,Soane Political Meditations
The political year begins with the New Year celebration. The the Maccabees reentered the tem-
justice for the downtrodden, the sought relief for the oppressed, striving
Presidential aspirants are active, George Romney is making his world ple after it was defiled they
to repudiate every manifestation of bigotry.
spent eight days putting things in
A strong defender of the Zionist cause — in a series of articles in rounds, Eugene McCarthy is loquacious, LBJ has his hands full.
Romney's visit to the Kremlin may turn out to be among the huge order and that therefore the eight
the Nation on "Jews After the War" he advocated the Zionist solution ;
to the refugee problem while urging that the doors of this country be conundrums of the year. It was said frankly that Kosygin did most of days of Hanuka commemorate the
opened for the oppressed — he has consistantly battled for just rights the talking. We'll be so amazed if we should learn that Romney eight days they had to spend to
for Jewry and the recognition of the Jewish people's aspirations; be actually debated issues with Kosygin or that there was a single new put the temple in working order.
knew and understood the Middle East issues during the years preceding word from the Russian bear since the Johnson-Kosygin meeting towards The Talmud, quoting from the
above document, tells us the most
the rebirth of Israel and he has not ahandond his support for the Jewish the end of June in Glassboro, N.J.
And we'll be so pleasantly surprised if there should be a single new popular reason for the eight-day
Indeed, he was among the handful of Christians who stuck by the word about the Middle East situation as a result of Romney's jet-speed endurance of the festival, i.e. that
the cruse of oil that was the only
Zionists and made one of the strongest appeals in support of Jewish visits in Israel and Jordan!
(This applies also to Senator Percy and to others who go to one found after the victory of the
Statehood before the Anglo-American Commission on Inquiry in 1946.
Dr. Niebuhr's understanding of Jewish-Christian relations place listen to repeated assertions of concessions to Israel that are mean- Maccabees, being enough to last
him at the head of the list of theologians who have elevated the cause ingless as long as those who must live side by side as neighbors can only one day,, lasted eight days.
of good will and true brotherhood to high standards of mutual respect not converse together in neighborly fashion. Romney, Percy, others eight days.
among faiths. like them didn't have to go to listen to echoes of lip service: all they
The Gaonic literature (Otzar Ha-
At 75 Dr. Niebuhr remains one of the most creative personalities needed was to hear the most recent anti-Israel threats at the UN to Gaonim. Shabbos p. 23) expands
reason by adding th., explana-
in the theological efforts to eliminate prejudics that have invaded
tion that it took eight days to
church and have affected synagogues. His name is already recorded Lion there is no neighborliness, no peace, no hope for amity.)
new oil for kindling the
indelibly among the greatest of all libertarians of our time and he is,
if they have an eye for the White House. or even for the Senate!
lights in the sanctuary. this being
indeed, the most honored Hasid in the ranks of the Umot HaOlam.
That's how it is and will remain with McCarthy (he wants a free the reason for which the original
half hour of TV to answer Johnson's two-minute reference to him!), oil had to last eight days. The
and with the many who will do a lot of traveling to gain attention. author of the Shulchan Arudi
Dr. Carl Hermann Voss — True Christian Zionist
And we need not fool ourselves that Romney might have rescued Rabbi Joseph Karo, further ex-
When compiling the names of tho true Christian friends, especially
those to he counted in the Zionist ranks, we place on top of the list the the Michigan Legislature open housing bill had he been here. Proper plains the necessity for waiting
name of Dr. Carl Hermann Voss, who will be here next week for an legislation can be helped by an individual, but what is needed is deep eight days for the new oil, by say-
conviction regarding the basic principles involved in solving the race ing that all the people involved
Israel Bond function.
A Christian minister, an educator, noted lecturer, Dr. Voss is issue — and that must come soon if we are to end tensions and avoid were in a state of ritual impurity,
remembered by many as the director of the American Christian the horrors that struck our community and other cities last summer. having come in contact with the
dead in battle. It thus took seven
• • •
Palestine Committee. In that capacity he pioneered with a number
days for them to get over their
of eminent non-Jews in defense of the Zionist cause.
Cities Without Newspapers: Images in Decline
state of impurity plus one day for
Like Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr, he is consistent. He is not misled by America's genius is imbedded in its free press, without which squeezing the oil out of the olives,
false propaganda. He supports the right of Jews to their ancient home- there can be no free speech. We have reached a stage. in our major and preparing it for the light of
land and he does not permit a s i ngle opport unity to arise to speak up cities, of such serious threats to existing newspapers that we are often the sanctuary.
in defense of that cause.
!—as in Detroit now—left with a minimum of news coverage dependent
What do the Hanuka candles
He had befriended many leading Jews, notably Dr. Stephen S. upon radio and television. Under existing local conditions, discussion
Wise. Dr. Abba Hillel Silver, Judge Morris Rothenberg and scores of and free expression is not only curtailed but completely ended. Sub-
According to one Midrashic
others. Ile keeps building Jewish friendships and there is a mutual high stitutes are of such poor quality and so inadequate that the image
source (Pesikta Rabbati) the can-
regard between them.
of our own community has declined drastically,
George Eliot once said: "No one need despair as long as there is Yet the mayor, and a bishop—others, perhaps—have declined to dies symbolize a historic occurence
a single person in whom he can place trust and confidence." How well mobilize forces to encourage a settlement of labor disputes that strike that took place after the victory
Jewry can eliminate despair as long as it can count for friendship and at the very root of democratic life. Those who were called upon to--9f the Maccabees. After winning
understanding on the Hasidim like Niebuhrs and the Vosses.
intercede, to urge an early settlement of the strike, should have the battle, the heroic soldiers, who
set ,bout to reinstate the service
acted in the First week when presses stopped producing daily news- in
the Temple, found seven (some
papers. An entire community's social standards are in bankruptcy
Among the Many Philo - Semites
eight) spits which they stuck
because cessation of newspaper publishing has been permitted here.
into the ground and which they
There have been roanisfestations of bigotry, of jealousy, of be-
used to hold the oil to light the
grudging Israel its June 1967 victory. In some Christian quarters there Misunderstan dings
d M* reP
lights that originally were lit in
has been a sort of "ganging up" under the guise of helping the poor
There are so many misunderstandings and misinternretations of the original Menora. Apparently
Arab. In those areas there was, as there remains, a lack of under-
standing that the only way to help the Arabs — who were not helped world affairs that the political sphere emerges all-too-often as puzzling. this was the first act of the holy
A typical example was provided just before the Congressional functions which the Hasmoneans
by those in whose midst they were concentrated in refugee camps
for 19 years — is by providing them with self-help, by encouraging adjournment in the U.S. Senate, when Senator Byrd of West Virginia reinstituted in the Temple.
them to become self-sustaining and by guaranteeing them statehood opened the discussion on the proposed bill to achieve a durable peace
Some claim that the practice of
under accepted international terms of cooperation and of the embattled in the Middle East through the proposed desalination program. Senator lighting candles was instituted
later so as to convert the celebra-
antagonists talking to each other.
Overshadowing this element, there is and there always have been for provisions for nuclear desalting plants to aid the economic statue tion of Hanuka from the re-
friends of Israel, true liberals, genuine defenders of just approaches of Israel and the Arab states, said, in his speech in support of the plan: joicing over a military victory to
"The Arabs will not talk to the Israelis, and the Israelis will not that of the commemoration of a
to human relations. In the years prior to Israel's rebirth, the American
Christian Palestine Committee, which was directed by Carl Hermann talk to the Arabs. Other governments have tried without apparent spiritual achievement. Some like
to bring the warring parties together.. . ."
to associate the candles of Hanu-
Voss, numbered many of the most distinguished Americans. There
This is not altogether true to facts. The Israelis do wish to talk to ka with the festival of Succot
were scores of Detroiters among them.
whose happy events (in the course
We recall the friendship of the late Howell VanAuken, one of
of the ceremony of the water liba-
Detroit's most distinguished attorneys, for whose fraternal association tried to bring them together?
While planning for peace, the facts should be correct. We admire tion) involved the kindling of
we were indebted to another eminent Christian, the late James L.
Devlin, a brilliant newspaperman who covered many Jewish affairs. Senator Baker's anxieties and his earnest desire to sponsor measures lights.
The most popular reason for the
Howell was with us at many of the pro-Palestine functions. Now his that will assure peace and its durability. But on the two points just
wife, Clara, who shared that interest in our movement with him, referred to, there is misunderstanding, and we hope he will correct it. Hanuka lights is, of course, the
of the miraculous
accompanies a New Year greeting with this comment:
Minister Levi Eshkol indicated that the joint American-Israeli project duration of the cruse of oil for
"Wasn't Israel magnificent in war and in peace? The whole to build a nuclear powered plant in
Israel for the desalination of sea eight days instead of the logical
world should be grateful to the Israelis because the Arab Republic
water may never materialize, unless Israel receives part of the one day at the end of which it
was the greatest threat to humanity since Hitler. I am so very necessary cash outlay in the form of
a grant and the rest as a low should have gone out.
much impressed with the Israeli representatives who have spoken interest loan. He estimated the cost of
the project at $200,000,000 and
Basically speaking, any special
at the UN."
said it was still in the planning stage, and that there has been no day in Jewish life is accompanied
Scores of friends could be quoted, but we choose this brief note decision to go ahead.
with the kindling of lights. Hanu-
because Howell was so cooperative and Clara remains so friendly. In
When the desalination plan — a product of the joint thinking of ka, would of course be no excep-
the years when they were counted among the Zionist friends, there former President Dwight D. Eisenhower and former Atomic Energy tion. The unusual emphasis which
were others. We won't forget George F. Pierrot, who was associated Commission Chairman Lewis L. Strauss — was first proposed, we is placed on the lights during the
with us, and we recall his assistance because he may be in the lime- expressed the view that just as the joint plan for harnessing the waters Hanuka festival is due either to
light in a matter of days, on the occasion of his 70th birthday. George of the Jordan had failed when the U.S. offered it, due to Arab intran- the miracle of the cruse of oil or
is in the limelight constantly, with his magnificent World Adventure sigence, so, also, the desalination idea is certain to fail because the to the emphasis which the rabbis
Series and TV programs. George once interviewed the Egyptian ruler Arabs won't work with Israel_ That's the tragedy of the hour. Perhaps wanted to place on the spiritual
Mohammed Naguib, in Cairo, and brought us a message of cheer: he the hopes and aspirations of the U.S. Senators, through the desalination value of the holiday as against
believed Naguib was ready to come to terms with Israel. But what idea, will have better fortune. We pray that it should.
the military prowess which others
has happened to Naguib, who has vanished?
may have wanted to celebrate on
At any rate, this is a good occasion to remember the genuine and 2—Friday, December 29, 1967
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS Hanuka.
Reinhold Niebuhr M'Hasidei Umot HaOlam