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May 24, 1968 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1968-05-24

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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.
Published
every $7
Friday
by Foreign
The Jewish
VE 8-9364.
Subscription
a year.
$8. News Publishing Co., 17100 West Seven Mile Road, Detroit, Mich. 48235,

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 27th day of /yar, 5728, the following scriptural selections will be
read in our synagogues:
Pentateuchal portion, Lev. 25:1 27:34, Prophetical portion, Jeremiah 16:19-17:14.
Rosh Hodesh Sivan Tora selection, Num. 28:1-15.

-

Candle lighting, Friday, May 24, 8:36 p.m.

VOL. LIII. No. 10

Page Four

May 24, 1968

Is Jewish Education Atrophied at 13?

While the perplexing problem is placed
in this headline in the form of a question, it
has become apparent through the years that
the Bar Mitzva halting station assertion can
be safely uttered exclamatorily rather than
queringly.
American Jewry is far from being cul-
turally impoverished—we can take pride in
much scholarship, in earnest desires on the
part of many men and women of research to
probe for knowledge and to produce new
creative accomplishments in literature, in
religious and philosophic pursuits.
Nevertheless, in the total panoramic Jew-
ish experience, there is a minimum of learn-
ing, studies do cease at 13 and there is too
little inspiration for a continuation of Jewish
learning. The writings of many of our young
novelists often reveal the lack of information
on the basis of which negative approaches
emerge from books that often become best
sellers. Young writers crave for a Yiddish
word and often use Hebrew phrases, and most
of them are so distorted that they are indica-
tions of misinformation while there is the
evident desire to hold on to a portion of the
heritage which all too.often is expressed in

a meaty phrase rather than in a sound idea.
There was a time when it was believed
that young Jews feared their being exposed
to public light as Jews, especially in the uni-
versities. This is no longer true. Now the
youth displays a measure of pride in being
Jewish, especially in view of the kinship with
Israel. But even on that score there has re-
cently developed an antagonism that stems
from the influences of a disruptive and ill-
d'eveloped New Left which has chosen to
make of Israel a scapegoat in the race issue.
On this score, as in most matters related to
Jewish affiliations and loyalties, lack of infor-
mation also is accountable for young Jews'
failures to understand the negative aspects
of a revolt in which the Jewish position is
seriously harmed.
What is happening today in Jewish ranks
undoubtedly is part of the revolt that has be-
gun to make itself felt in the conflict between
youth and the elders. Just as it is so vitally
necessary to attain understanding on the
American and world scenes, so also does the
Jewish community need a serious approach
to an understanding of issues and responsibil-
ities. That approach will become more distant
if education will remain atrophied at 13.

'Six Days in June =A Call to Action

"Six Days in June" will for many years
be the topic of a great chapter in Jewish his-
tory. The events of 1967, the determined will
of an enbattled people to resist destruction
and the devoted efforts of the kinsmen of that
threatened element in Jewry to assist in de-
fense of an entire nation's life will not be
forgotten.
The anniversary of that event calls for
renewed stock-taking, for introspection, for
further planning.
Realistic students of the conditions in the
Middle East are aware that the dangers have
not ended, that the threats persist, that the
People Israel is in danger in the Land of
Israel. And if the State of Israel should be
endangered, the historic status of the entire
Jewish people will be in jeopardy.
It is of vital importance, therefore, as the
anniversary of the significant June 1967
occurences are being reviewed that Jews
everywhere should take into consideration
the unending obligations of Jews to Israel.
Detroit Jewry has just concluded a most
successful philanthropic drive. The activities
of a dedicated community will go down on
record crediting the 1968 Allied Jewish
Campaign-Israel Emergency Fund as a dem-
onstration of friendship, loyalty, devotion,
dedication to an historic need.
Now comes the second chapter in the

year's planning in Israel's behalf—the com-
mencement of the Israel Bond drive which
directs a renewed appeal to Detroit and other
Jewries throughout the land to give Israel
encouragement in the economic planning.
To assure a total all-out effort in Israel's
defense, the Israel Bond drive should be as
successful as the charitable undertakings. The
June 4 event should be a beginning for re-
newed great tasks to spur the economy of
Israel and thereby to provide assurance that
Israel will live and that the Am Israel Hai—
the people Israel lives—slogan will continue
to serve as an inspiration to Jewry.
The anniversary dinner here has an ap-
pealing element in the fact that a leader of
one of Israel's major parties, Herut, will be
the guest speaker. Herut's chief spokesman,
Mehahem Begin, like others of opposition
parties in Israel, joined in forming coalition
government efforts to solidify Israel's role as
a defender against the combined Arab armies
that threatened Israel's existence. It was by
offering such cooperation that Israel's sur-
vival was assured.
One of Israel's most important personal-
ities, Mr. Begin is certain to draw a large
attendance at the Israel Bond dinner. That
event must serve as an impressive occasion
for the extension of Detroit Jewry's support
to all efforts in Israel's behalf.

American Jewish Congress' 50th Anniversary

A number of important anniversaries were
marked this year, including those of the Bal-
four Declaration, the United Nations decision
in support of Israel's statehood, the 70th an-
niversary of the world Zionist movement, and
others. Locally there are a number of anniver-
sary events worth recording, including that of
several social service agencies and the 50th
anniversary of the Jewish National Fund
Council of Detroit to be observed at a dinner
that will honor Paul Zuckerman.
Of major national significance is the 50th
anniversary of the American Jewish Congress.
While that movement commenced in 1914,
under the leadership of 'Pinhas Ruttenberg,
the famous engineer who pioneered in ad-
vancing the electrical industry in Israel, and
Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis,

the movement officially got under way in
Philadelphia, after national democratic elec-
tions of Jewish Congressmen, in 1918. Then
the great leader of the movement was Dr.
Stephen S. Wise, and his associates were many
of Jewry's most noted leaders, including Jus-
tice Brandeis and Judge Julian W. Mack.
With the eminent author and historian
Bernard G. Richards as secretary, the Ameri-
can Jewish Congress went into action 50
years ago to represent American Jewry at the
Versailles Peace 'Conference after World War
I. It continued its efforts in defense of
Jewish rights everywhere, in behalf of the
Zionist cause, striving to protect Israel's role
in the world and presently serving as one of
the leading organizations in this country in
the cause of human rights for all citizens.

Reason Reconciled With Faith

'The Universality of Maimonides'
Outlined in Rabbi Melber's Book

Maimonides' universal role is emphasized in an interesting review
of the great philosopher's life by Rabbi Jehuda Melber, in "The Uni-
versality of Maimonides," published by Jonathan David (131 E. 23rd,
NY10).
Analyzing Maimonides' teachings, quoting from his works, linking
the story of the philosopher-physician with the important events and
personalities of his time, Dr. Melber has produced a work of historical
merit.
The life of Moses ben Maimon, or Maimonides, (1135-1204) as Rabbi
Melber has reviewed it takes the reader through various eras of the
world-famous thinker's travels, his life under Islam, his relation to
Arab and Greek philosophers.
Inter alia, the reader is given an idea of the conditions in the
Arab world in the 12th Century. Rabbi Melber shows how Moslem
Spain had become the seat of Jewish learning as well as of Arab
universities.

The manner in which Maimonides reconciled reason with faith is
analyzed here, and the attitudes of other scholars of that era or the
century that preceded him—Averroes, Avicenna, the Catholic Peter
Abelard and others—are accounted for to ascertain the philosophic
developments. Rabbi Melber also indicated how Maimonides had re-
jected Aristotle's theory of the eternity of the universe, believing that
such a theory "would result in a universe of fixed laws, unchanging
nature and without the supernatural that would permit the explanation
of divine revelation, miracles and prophecy." Dr. Melber states that
"to Maimonides . . . the supernatural is the realm of God's free ac-
tivity which transcends the realm of necessity."
The basic teachings of Maimonides are quoted here—the Thirteen
Principles of Faith, his view on miracles, the soul, search for God
through learning, repentance, freedom of will, charity.
Maimonides was in agreement with Plato on the immortality of
the soul, Rabbi Melber explains, but he derived his view from tal-
mudic and rabbinic sources. Aristotle disagreed with Plato on
matters relating to reincarnation, immortality and innate ideas.
Maimonides held that reason is the form of the body which, as mat-
ter, has merely a potentiality for existence. Rabbi Melber explains
that Maimonides differed with Aristotle by asserting that the human
form "needs in turn a form in order that it may become a reality;
and this form is reason, or more definitely, the acquired reason."
The nature of charity is among the very. impressive items in
Maimonides' teachings dealt with in this book, and the author elabo-
rates upon the famous Eight Degrees of Almsgiving as well as the
manner of distributing charity and the form of reply to be given to
those who apply for it.
Maimonides' description of four goals of life, defined by Rabbi
Melber, indicate the one that "makes man truly human." The four
goals are presented as follows:
The first, acquisition of property and wealth, is viewed as the
lowest: the second, also excluded, is the one that aims at perfectioi,
of limbs and body; the third, approaching the desired goal, seeks
moral perfection; the fourth is "the true perfection of man; the posses-
sion of the highest intellectual faculties; the possession of such notions
which lead to true metaphysical opinions as regards God."
Maimonides' conclusion to the "Guide to the Perplexed," "God
is near to all who call Him, if they call Him in truth and turn to
Him. He is found in every one who seeks Him, if he always goes
towards Him, and never goes astray," also is used as a conclusion to
this book.
Rabbi Melber, who was ordained in Poland, received his doctorate
in modern Jewish philosophy at Yeshiva University. 'He was chaplain
of Hagana during Israel's War of Liberation and received the Ben-
Gurion Award. He had served as chairman of the department of
culture of Mizrachi in Israel and is a leader in religious Zionist
circles in this country.

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