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January 17, 1969 - Image 11

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1969-01-17

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

Prof. Hermann Cohen's Philosophy
Defined in Rabbi Melber's Analysis

.

, A scholarly analysis, "Hermann
Cohen's Philosophy in Judaism,"
by Rabbi Jehuda Melber, publish-
ed by Jonathan David (131 E. 23rd,
NY10), adds invaluably to an un-
derstanding of thelogical problems,
issues that divided Jewish ranks
towards the end of the latter and
the beginning of the present cen-
tury, and notable Reform Jewish
approaches to major issues.
Acknowledged as one of the chief
figures in the Wissenschaft des
Judentums—the School of Scienti-
fic Judaism—in Germany, Dr. Her-
mann Cohen (1842-1918) was a
chief figure in the philosophic
evaluations of Jewish regulations
and ways of life; of Zionism, the
question of kashrut and intermar-
riage, etc.
The author of this work, Rabbi
Melber, a leader in the Religious
Zionist Movement of America, a
student of Maimonides, holder of a
PhD in philosophy from Tufts Uni-
versity, has thoroughly absorbed
the issues related to Hermann
Cohen's time and has developed a
most interesting theme in his an-
alysis.
Cohen's view of a "Religion of
Reason" is described as explain-
ing the doctrine of Judaism in
terms of a world-conception ap-
plicable to all mankind. The pro-

18 Months Later:
Israel Stronger,
Peace Hopes Dim

NEW YORK (ZINS) — Qualified
political observers at the United
Nations have described the situa-
tion of Israel 18 months after the
Six-Day War:
The pessimists' contention that
outside forces wilt not permit Is-
rael to remain in the occupied ter-
ritories has not materialized. De-
spite all Soviet threats, the Suez
Canal has remained blocked, and
the world came to realize that its
importance has been exaggerated.
Jerusalem remains unified and
is under Israeli control, and the
world is becoming accustomed to
this reality, although it has not
yet fully accepted it.
In the rest of the occupied lands,
Israel has not met with serious
opposition from the local inhabit-
ants, and no major efforts have
been made to change the existing
conditions.
In the international arena,
too, Israel's position has improv-
ed. Even Israel's most formid-
able foe, the Soviet Union— it
is reported—is amenable to free
passage of Israel's ships
through the Suez and the Straits
of Tiran — unthinkable only a
year ago.
Militarily, also, Israel has grown
stronger: her army more season-
ed in battle. her military equip-
ment more sophisticated.
On the other hand, say the poli-
tical observers, the optimists'
prophecies did not materialize
either.
The brilliant military victory of
the Six-Day War did not bring the
long-cherished peace. All facts
point in the direction of continued
tension and an exacerbating situa-
tion.
Israel is not likely to have
peace in the near future, and she
is faced with a complicated poli-
tical struggle.
Arab terror is expected to
mount, and anti-Israel propagan-
da will, no doubt, become more
waspish and irrational and will
spread not only among Israel's
enemies but among her friends as
well.
Yet, Israel will overcome all
obstacles and difficulties by stand-
ing firm and remaining reason-
able. What Israel now needs are
powerful weapons and strong
nerves — the political observers
contend•

Friday, January 17, 1969-11

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Yeshiva U. Tutors Help YoUths for Third Year

NEW YORK (JTA)—A group of funded or sponsored by any gov-
95 Yeshiva University undergrad- ernment agency.
uates are in their third year of a
tutoring program for disadvantag-
ed pupils in two elementary
WHEN YOU .f.44--A COWAN.
schools near the university's main

center in upper Manhattan.
Members of the Yeshiva Univer-
sity Neighborhood Youth Corps
• U PS 00,
UNITED BRIPMS • OE 001, t S
each give an hour a week helping
children to read. The efort is not

hibition of image-worship was ex- tractate Sabbath we read: 'The
plained as "worship and love sages wished to hide the book
belong together, forming a con- Ecclesiastes (to exclude it from
the canon and make it apocryphal),
ceptual unity."
Cohen had recommended a shift because its words are self-contra-
of the Sabbath from Saturday to dictory. Yet they did not hide it,
Sunday, and in this work it is ex- because its beginning is religious
plained that his design was to teaching and its end is religious
eliminate anti-Semitism by bring- teaching.' In the beginning it re-
ing about an harmonious life be- jects hedonism, and in the end it
tween Jews and Christians. It is a teaches reverence for God.
view criticized in Melber's an-
is pleased to announce that
"Similarly, the value of Cohen's
alysis because "Cohen overlooked
the fact that from the Christian study is to be seen in the begin-
aspect Sunday is not just a day of ning and the end of his book 'The
rest of a strictly sociological na- Religion of Reason.' In the begin-
Director of the
ture, but it is the 'Lord's Day' with ning, he negates the plurality of
all its religious implications." It is religion and establishes Judaism
also pointed out that Christians as the only valid religion of
"would look with resentment and reason. In the end he emphasizes
will speak on
bitterness at Jews for having the belief in messianic - world-
What You Face in Israel
changed the character of the Sun- peace- which will engender com-
day from a religious to a sociolo- plete adherence to the monotheistic
8:00 P.M.
January 20, 1969
God and His morality among all
gical day of rest."
Objection to Cohen's views also mankind. By virtue of this, Cohen
Jewish
Community
Center,
18100
Meyers
is expressed on the score of the appears as the greatest exponent
Interviews with Mr. Brauner may be arranged for Mon-
philosopher's opposition to Zion- of Jewish thought since the En-
day or Tuesday by calling DI 1-4200.
ism. Dr. Melber refers to the lightenmeent in the 18th Century,
attitudes of eminent Jews who, and as the most important thinker
Ruth Rosenblum—Hebrew Department for appointment
contrary to Prof. Cohen's preach- in the field of modern-Jewish phi-
ments, strongly adhered to the losophy."
Zionist idea. The views of Albert
Einstein are among those invoked
in the argument.
Of major interest in Dr. Mel-
ber's book is the full account it
gives of the disputes between
Prof. Cohen and Dr. Martin Sil-
ber. The latter's strong espousal
of Zionism, his defense of Jewish
aspirations for national rebirth,
are developed at great length,
and the debate between the two
giants as presented here devel-
ops a significant subject and
enlightens the reader to a chief
issue in Jewish life.
Dr. Melber states that it is ques-
tionable whether Buber intended
his argument as a personal attack
on Cohen, but Cohen was sensitive
and took it as a personal insult.
Cohen remained adamant in his
opposition to Zionism until the end
of his life.
Curiously, Cohen's opposition to
Zionism was his belief in messian-
ism, also his German patriotism
and his opinion that Zionism meant
opposition to the loyalty to the
state in which a Jew lives.
Dr. Melber is thoroughly fair to
the Cohen view by presenting the
anti-Zionist philosopher's complete
declaration on his advocacy of
anti-nationalism in opposing Zion-
Su Its
ism.
The latest styles, the latest weaves, and the
Interestingly, also, Dr. Melber
lowest prices. A wide selection of regular,
defends Cohen, stating that he
longs and shorts to fit everyone.
was misinterpreted as if he were
an advocate of Jewish suffering
in general. He states: "From
Cohen's statements, it would
seem that his justification of
Jewish suffering applied only to
New Slimmer, smarter lines in your choice
the specific aspect of Jewish
of many rich, luxurious fabrics. An ample
poverty, namely the unique posi-
selection of sizes to fit everyone.
tion of being a stateless people."
Dr. Melber states that to Cohen
"Zionism was antithetical to
Jewish destiny and to the world's
messianic spirit."
There is an interesting epilogue
in which Dr. Melber summarizes
Selected Groups
Wide array of fine fabrics
his views on Hermann Cohen's
in numerous shades and
of
philosophy. He states:
patterns. And remember,
up
"In a general evaluation of
DRESS SHIRTS
nobody
fits
it
like
Block's.
Cohen's work, one must admit that
SWEATERS
in spite of the sharp criticism that
KNIT SHIRTS
might be expressed against some
of his views, his elucidation of
ZENCHY117P/IVeae,
77"-
Judaism in the light of modern
philosophy signifies an important
contribution to a better understand-
GROUPS ON SALE
ing of Jewish doctrine. His com-
mitment to Jewish unity, his in-
sistence on Jewish uniqueness, his
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A.A.C.A.

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