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September 06, 1968 - Image 4

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Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1968-09-06

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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 Friday by The Jewish News Publishing Co., 17100 West Seven Mile Road, Detroit, Mich. 48235,
VE 8-9364. Subscription $7 a year. Foreign $8.
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 14th day of Elul, 5728, the following scriptural selections will
be read in our synagogues:
Pentateuchal portion, Deut. 21:10-25:19. Prophetical portion, Isaiah 54:1-55:5.

Candle lighting, Friday, Sept. 6. 7:27 p.m.

VOL. LIII. No. 25

Page Four

September 6, 1968

Bigotry Again Raises Its Ugly Head

Once again bigots are on the march !
While their actions are not new by any means,
most of our fellow citizens undoubtedly will
marvel that the lunatic fringe once again
should be in evidence with propaganda that
Smacks of the Middle Ages. -
Apparently, there is money available for
anti-Semites to spread their lies in printed
form. Apparently also the spreaders of hate
have their advisers who are compiling all
available libels and misstatements in efforts
to arouse hatred against JeWs. Circulars that
read "Christ Killers" and revive the wildest
type of accusations point to the existence of
an element in our midst that will not stop at
anything to create hatred, to incite to riot
and to violence.
People have wondered how it was possible
for a nation like Poland which has suffered
from Nazism and whose three-and-a-half mil-

lion Jews have been reduced to about 25,000
to permit the resort to a "Zionist" charge to
be used as means of diverting attention from
political, conflicts; and how it was possible for
a Communist element to attempt to introduce
theh 'Zionist" bogey into the Czech crisis.
By the same token, one must wonder how
it is possible even for the most bigoted to
resort to the "Christ Killer" appeal at this
Stage of efforts in the ranks of religious
groups to put an end to the silly "deicide"
charge. Yet, it exists, and we are witnesses
to it.
Once again, we are admonished to be on
the alert, for the vigilant must protect the
good name of American decency. The inde-
cent are in our midst. The need is to make
certain that the unknowing do not fall prey to
vile . actions that muddy America's atmos-
phere.

Planning Ahead for Community Schools

There is cause for feeling relieved over
the avoidance of a crisis in our Jewish com-
munal school system by the settlement of
the current dispute between teachers and
administrators. If we are to have an as-
surance of a continuing amity and of whole-
some cooperation, there must be planning
ahead.
It is not enough to reach agreements on
a year's or two years' contracts. While hope
for permanence is always mingled with the
speculative, there is no obligation on the part
of all concerned to take into consideration
the element of continuity, to exercise seri-
ous concern over the major need in Jewish
life—that of providing the best available cur-
ricula and teachers in the training of our
youth.
The problems that beset mankind are in-
separable from those affecting Jewry, and

when the challenges to us as a spiritual-cul-
tural factor in American life are fused with
the issues that are creating concern in the
life of all Americans, it becomes increas-
ingly more obvious that the preparation for
our youth to understand their obligations
as citizens and to appreciate their Jewish
heritage becomes more imperative with time.
The teacher is the guide, he is the tutor
who directs the teachings of the children.
He must come to his classes with a sense of
security. And the Jewish teacher has the
added duty of preparing the child to be able
to face the many tensions in life that call
for normalization.
If we are to be assured of a proper edu-
cational system, we must plan properly. far
in advance of possible emergence of conflicts.
with a determination not to permit divisive-
ness to be injected in our ranks.

The Die Is Cast Onward in the American Spirit

.

After two national political conventions, nia, involving the irrational Communist out-
in the aftermath of bitter disputes over Viet- bursts from East Germany, do not point to a
nam, - law and order, the nation's high court, lasting tranquility. Nevertheless, if we do not
we are now settling down to business. The entertain a measure of hope and if we do not
two major candidates now emerge as the adopt an optimistic attitude, our state of mind
chief concern of the land, and the American will not be healthy.
Therefore, while deploring the unneces-
electorate is challenged to make a choice that
will react on the destiny of the American sary heat in the considerations of national
people for at least four and possibly eight and world policies, we must henceforth think
years.
in terms of youhtful approaches to all of our
There is a third candidate drawing atten- . problems; we dare not forget that in 1970
tion, who may get a very large vote, whose half of our population will be under the age
intrusion into the two-party system's compla- of 25 and that youth will soon assume power.
•,:ency may force the election into the House Citizens of all ages are obligated, therefore,
of Representatives. If that should happen, we to plan for the future with a sense of respon-
fear that the result of racism will be detri- sibility — and with due respect for the role
mental to America. But for the reason of our played by youth.
faith in the good sense of the American peo-
Naturally, fears that affect our lives can
ple, we believe that it may be averted.
not be rejected pell-mell. In an age of dis-
Nevertheless, the spread of racism, the ef- order we can not act disorderly. There is need
fects of hatreds and fears in our midst, for planning, for firmness, for consideration
threaten the soundness of our democratic way of the basic American principles—and this
of life. The urgency of eliminatincr . fears and nation has cause to feel relieved, after the
the challenge to America for retention
of our prolonged debates, name calling, abuses, diS-
6
sense of confidence in the stability of our respect for the Vice President, the Demo-
institutions becomes a major need in this cratic Party properly acknowledged his lead-
election year.
ership, the traditional role he has played as
In the months that preceded the national a pioneer in the civil rights movement, by
conventions there was activity in which the nominating Hubert H. Humphrey for the
youth was involved. There were demonstra- Presidency.
Now that the pre-convention's bitterness
tions, some of which approached the nature
of violence, and the anti-war feelings predom- has ended, we are on the road towards recon-
inated. The 'Vietnam issue appears to be stituting the normalcy that is so vital for a
nearing clarification on the basis of an estab- nation after turmoil and divisiveness. This
lished national policy, with a strong hope that nation needs to be solidified again into an
there will soon be an end to the fighting. We indestructible unity. We need an end to fears,
must hold fast to the hope—and to strive for elimination of racism, adherence to basic
its realization—that American troops may re- 'principles of mutual respect among citizens.
urn home, from Europe as well as Southeast The die was cast in Chicago last week. Let us
Asia. Unfortunately, the new developments go forth on the road to perpetuating the
involving Czechoslovakia, threatening Roma- ideals of America to its highest rank.

'Teachings of Judaism' Stresses
Highest Levels of Humanization

Research on Jewish ethical teachings, conducted more than 40
years ago in Germany, is available in a new volume just issued by
Ktav Publishing Co. (120 E. B'way, NY2).

" The first volume of "The Teachings of Judaism, From the Sources,"
compiled by Dr. Simon Bernfeld for the Union of German Jews, has
been issued under the title "The Foundation of Jewish Ethics." The
authorized translation from the German edition is by Dr. Armin
Hajman Koller, assistant professor of German at the University- of
Illinois. The collected essays are additionally implemented by an ex-
planatory introduction by Rabbi Samuel F. Karff, of Chicago, who is
visiting professor at Notre Dame University.

Eminent scholars whose names have enhanced Jewish literary
creativity and whose teachings remain among the major contribu-
tions to Jewish life in this century participated in producing this
work. Dr. Leo Baeck, Prof. I. Elbogen, Dr. A. Loewenthal and Dr.
Hochfeld collaborated with Dr. Bernfeld with introductory essays
to. several of the sections in this anthological effort.

-

Analyzing Jewish ethical teachings related to Purity of Soul,
Freedom of Will, Reward and Punishment, Will to Live, Equality of All
Human Beings, this volume deals extensively with the fundamental
views of morality as Judaism's basic requirement.

Dr. Bernfeld's original preface, written in Berlin, in July 1922, is
supplemented in the new Ktav volume with a preface by Armin H.
Koller, written in Urbana, Ill., March 22, 1929.

In his illuminating introduction, Rabbi Karff includes a brief bio-
graphical acount of Dr. Bernfeld (1860-1940) and explains that "The
central foundations of Jewish covenant ethics is the faith that He who
holds man accountable for the moral demand is active in history to
fulfill His purposes." Rabbi Karff points out that Bernfeld's volume
"contends that ethical conduct is the touchstone of covenant fidelity"
and that "prophetic literature veritably pulsates with this teaching."

Rabbi Karff makes the further comment that "One of the foun-
dations of Jewish ethics is an affirmation of one's dependence on
divine gifts, including the grace of forgiveness," and acitiv, "A
compendium of Jewish ethics composed 'after Auschwitz' ivtcu-fiiH
doubtless also linger more appreciatively on those traditional
sources which, without denying man's embryonic 'purity of soul,'
soberly rehearse his demonic potential and his ever tenuous claim
to menshlichkeit."

Of interest also is the comment by Rabbi Karff that "Despite
the anguish of the Nazi inferno, Leo Baeck refused to trade the faith of
Israel for the myth of Sisyphus." (SiSyphus, a Corinthian king, was
condemned in Hades to roll a heavy stone up a steep hill, only to have
it always roll down when he approached the top).

Rabbinic authorities, Maimonides, Philo, Herman Cohn, Rabbi S. R.
Hirsch and others are quoted, and their authoritative commentaries are
drawn upon in support of the theses in this volume. Non-Jewish schol-
arly works also referred to, and the list of sources is impressiVe.

A brief but impressive section is devoted to "Knowledge and Mor:
tality" and in the introduction to it Dr. Samson Hochfeld asserts:

"Knowledge makes from the brick of moral deeds a unified life
structure; it brings reconciliation into the discord and contrariness
otherwise connected with the occurrence of conflicting situations; •ft
leads up to moral principles, to moral character. .. . Far from making
the moral deed a cold intellectual product, of debasing it into an act of
calculation, Judaism, on the contrary, shows it to be the way of ascent
to the very highest peak of true humanity."

Introducing the "Equality of All Human Beings" portion of the
book, Dr. Hochfeld asserted: "The deepest meaning of God's bestowal
of grace upon Israel is a mission to influence the rest of mankind by
leading the way in morals: it must not keep its ethical gifts to itself,
but is to communicate them to all peoples so that they may ascend to
ever higher levels of humanization."

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