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July 04, 1969 - Image 31

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1969-07-04

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

Jews Who Seek Isolation From Urban Woes
Condemned as 'Marginal' by Head of NCRAC

PITTSBURGH (JTA) — The
chairman of the National Jewish
Community Relations Advisory
Council termed as a "return to the
marginal Jew" those concepts of
Jewish survival which propose
that Jewish organizations restrict
themselves solely to Jewish edu-
cation, culture, worship and other
"uniquely Jewish purpose" and
withdraw from involvement in the
nation's racial and social problems.
w h o
Criticizing individuals
favor such "isolating" trends,
Jordan C. Band of Cleveland, in
an address commemorating the
NCRAC's 25th anniversary, warn-
ed that this process could only
weaken the "democratic plural-
ism" of American society on
which, he said, the status and se-
curity of Jewish life depends.
In a speech to some 250 repre-
sentatives of the NCRAC's nine
national and 82 local organizations
holding their annual conference
here, Band urged his listeners to

combat a trend among Jews who
are "turning inward" and who
"may even look upon withdrawal
from the great social issues of
American life, to devote their en-
ergies solely to 'taking care of
our own,' as a kind of program
for Jewish action in these times."
He recalled that a generation
ago, "it was considered deplorable
that the Jew was a marginal man,
living a kind of schizoid existence,

affair also was a tribute to
Isaiah Minkoff, NCRAC's exec-
utive vice chairman since its in-
ception and the guiding force in

its development.
The delegates also castigated
"Jewish extremist groups" that
seek to justify "violent and coer-
cive tactics in what they deem to
be defense of Jewish security
and Jewish interests." This
criticism was apparently directed
partly in the American culture, at—but did not name—the Jewish
partly in a culture essentially Defense League in New York.
alien to America." This "mar-
Denouncing vigilante tactics,
ginality" created "Jewish hang- NCRAC declared that paramilitary
ups of alleged Jewish inadequac- or any organized private use of
ies and maladjustments," he said. force, threat of force, intimida-
"Now, it appears, we are being tion or coercion (is) destructive
summoned to marginality as a of public order and injurious to
Jewish virtue."
civil liberties."
Band was re-elected to a third
The NCRAC statement said
one-year term.
that such actions should not be

The NCRAC celebrated its
growth and expanding areas of
activity in the 25 years since it

was established in this city. The

the values inherent in Rabbi
Landman's study for laymen as
well as rabbis and students of
the Talmud. The dictum Dina
D'3Ialkutha Dina is attributed ac-
cording to the Talmud to the
3rd Century CE Babylonian
scholar Rabbi Samuel and Rabbi
Landman's study indicates how
it is quoted in his name several
times.

released by mere verbal emanci-
pation."

The Dina D'Malkutha concept
developed through the ages,
according to Dr. Landman's anal-
yses in the Gaonic period. Did
Samuel's edict contradict sacred
law and Divine injunctions? This
explanation by Rabbi Landman
clarifies and justifies the accept-
ance of the law under which Jews

live:

"During the talmudic and Gao-
nic periods, as well as long after-
wards, the prevailing opinion was
that no king could come to power
unless God so willed it. Any indi-
vidual who ascends the throne,
does so by Divine Will. An edict
issued by the king expresses the
desire of the king, and since the
king himself is sanctified by God,
his laws have authority.
"On the basis of this theory,
the Geonim justified Samuel's
law. Just as God rules over the
kingdoms of the world, so it is
the right of a king to rule over
the property of man and to do
with such properties as he pleas-
es. He acts according to his will,
and his subjects must obey ..."

Taking up the matter of a possi-
ble contradiction in practice, and
the injection of the theory of the
"rule of kings," Rabbi Landman
adds:
"Actually there is no contradic-

tion. The Geonim had no need to
relinquish their autonomy. The
kings, to a great extent, allowed
them self-government. They were
permitted to live according to the
Samuel's role emerges here in
the outline presented at the outset ; dictates of Jewish law. Conse-
quently, their theory never enter-
by Dr. Landman based on acquisi-
ed into conflict with life. They
tion of land and rulings of a Gen-
recognized only the need to sup-
tile court.
port governmental law when it
Instances illustrating the point
involved the welfare of the state
that "the law of the kingdom is the
and the welfare of the public.
law" are presented; and one of the
Towards
this goal they whole-
references to Samuel's law, accord-
heartedly subscribed."
ing to Dr. Landman,
In later periods, when Jews were
"occurs when the Talmud speaks .
of a Gentile who failed to pay his', deprived of their just rights, as in
head tax and was required to ! the 14th Century Spain, Rabbi
work for a Jew who paid the , Landman points out that "the kings
head tax for him. Rabbi Papa! were denounced,"" Samuel's law

wonders whether the Gentile is was declared inapplicable "to
subject to all the laws of a slave high-handed and inequitable laws
so that when he is to be eman- just as it does not apply when
cipated he would require the cus- extortionate taxes are levied." It
tomary bill of manumission. was then there was a turn of
Rava, in the name of Rabbi She- events in Europe where Jews until
shesh, replies that it is the law of the 13th Century enjoyed freedom,
the king that he become the slave but with a turn of events Jews
of the one who pays his head tax. "no longer saw the relationship
'The law of the kingdom is the between themselves and the king
law' and as such requires the in terms of 'social contact.'"
Under rule of discriminating
Gentile to become a slave. Should
he wish to marry a Jewess, he kings, the Dina D'Malkutha con-
would have to receive a writ of cept underwent changes and ap-
manumission and undergo con plications to the times of stress.
version rites before he may do Threats of expulsion compelled
so. Should a Jew redeem the submission, but when law under
head tax of a fellow Jew,- the consideration was not for the en-
latter would also require a writ tire kingdom, as when clergy was
of manumission. He could not be exempt from taxes, laws against

and rejected their contention that
white and black cultures were in-
compatible.
Earlier, David Ginsburg, former
executive director of the Kerner
Commission, told the NCRAC,
"It's one year later and one year

ernment to take "over-all respon-
sibility for public education. Dr.
Drachler said only the national
government has the necessary re-
sources available for performing
the "improvements needed in
American public schools.")
The NCRAC took issue last

American public over such issues
as the plight of Arab refugees
and the administration of Jeru-
salem "but little general knowl-
edge of the basic political, terri-
torial and security issues between
Israel and the Arabs."
On the situation of Jews in So-
viet Russia, the NCRAC said there
were indications that the Kremlin
was not insensitive to the pres-
sure of world opinion. It noted
Soviet toleration of open demon-
strations of interest in Judaism
on the part of young Russian Jews,
the availability of matzo for the
Passover holidays and last year's
visit of Moscow rabbi Ychuda
Leib Levin to the U.S.• with offi-
cial consent.
The NCRAC urged the Jewish
community to keep up its public
agitation, particularly for the ful-
fillment of Premier Alexei Kosy-
gin's 1966 promise to permit So-
viet Jews to emigrate in order to
be reunited with their families.

worse," in an assessment of de-
velopments in the urban crisis
since the commission issued its
historic warning last year that
America was heading toward
racial polarization.
The council charged Monday

forms" of public assistance to
parochial and private education.
The dissenting group was the that some major Protestant
Union of Orthodox Jewish Con-
church groups, whose overseas
gregations of America which has
missionary activities play a dom-
endorsed public aid to sectarian
inant role in shaping church
schools on the grounds that the policy, were among the "major
assistance is essential to the pupil
vendors" of the notions that Is-
and not to the religious group in- rael is "inflexible and obdu-
volved.
rate" about a Middle East peace
(D et roit Superintendent of settlement.
"confused" with the activities of Schools Dr. Norman Drachler
The delegates also found "wide-
groups that, in cooperation with earlier called on the federal gov-
spread emotionalism" among the
police, patrol areas in which the

incidents of violence is high.

'Dina D'Malkutha Dina' Precept Thoroughly
Reviewed in Landman's 'Law Confrontation'

A basic Jewish principle, from
the Talmud — "Dina D'Malkutha
Dina"—"the law of the kingdom is
the law"--is given thorough eval-
uation in a significant study by
Rabbi Leo Landman of Philadel-
phia. It has been published by
Dropsie College under the title
"Jewish Law in the Diaspora:
Confrontation a n d Accommoda-
tion."
In a foreword to the volume.
Prof. Solomon Zeitlin of Dropsie
College gives due recognition to
Dr. Landman's research by stat-
mg:
'•Dr. Leo Landman, in his book
'Jewish Law in the Diaspora: Con-
frontation and Accommodation. -
shows his mastery of the Responsa
and skill of interpretation. It is an
admirable piece of work, full of
new insights and ideas. The book
will be indispensible for historians
of the Middle Ages. At the same
time it is a valuable book for the
intelligent layman who wishes to
learn about the Jews and Judaism
in the Middle Ages. It is a remark-
able accomplishment."
This commendation summarizes

"Our condemnation is directed to
j those who take the law into their
own hands," the statement de-
' dared.
In a not he r policy action,
NCRAC warned of a "spreading
pattern" of state aid to church-
related schools and other continu-
ing "circumventions" of the Con-
stitutional separation of church
and state. It reaffirmed, with one
dissent, its opposition to "all

a minority group were not con-
weekend with demands by some
black extremists that college ad-
sidered valid.
missions be based on the ratio
It is interesting to note this de-
of the Negro population to the
finitive statement by Rabbi Land-
man explaining the Jewish atti- , whole and that the same "pro-
tude: "The Jews, in every age, portional quota system" be ap-
did not allow themselves to be ; plied to private and government
employment.
consistently and logically limited
strangled by the secular authori-
The delegates went on record
ties and certainly not by means in favor of Jewish support for
of their own principle. The law of special education, job training.
the kingdom was the law, but welfare aid, employment and

when they found that the power
thereby extended to the monarchs
threatened to hurt them, they
and curbed such power. Obvious.
ly their protests were not heeded,
since the king's authority and
force did not depend upon the
approval of the Jewish commu-
nity. Nevertheless, internally, the
Jews applied the concept of Dina
D'Malkutha Dina.
All applicable matters are dis-
cussed in this study, including the
matters of taxes, loans, interest,
land possession, the courts and
judges.
Inter alia. Dr. Landman dis-
cusses the position of the Bet Din,
the Jewish court of law, and in ex-
planation of the mingling of Jews
more freely with the non-Jewish
world he shows how the Bet Din's
power waned and comments:
"A once powerful and significant
institution in Jewish life has all but
disappeared except in areas dealing
solely with religious law. How have
the mighty fallen!"
Rabbi Landman shows how "with
modern times, and modern prob-
lems, modern applications of Dina
D'Malkutha Dina were made," he
summarizes:

other assistance for disadvantaged
minority group members. But
they insisted that such aid must
be based on individual needs, "not
race, religion or ethnicity."
The issue of "compensatory ra-
cial or ethnic quotas" arose re-
cently in the controversy over
admissions to City College of New
York. The delegates. in a policy
statement, contended that a free
admissions policy based on min-
ority group population figures
"would be inconsistent with the
concept of equality of education."
The NCRAC delegates also de-
plored black advocates of "full
and permanent black separatism"

Jews in Vancouver
Jews have lived in Vancouver.
British Columbia, since the muni-
cipality's founding in 1855. Its pre-
sent Jewish population is -10,000.
1 The city's first synagogue, Beth
El, was established as an Ortho-
dox synagogue in 1887 and is now
a Conservative congregation.

Zuckerman Family Establishes
Detroit Garden in Jerusalem

"The law of Samuel, Dina D'Mal-
kutha Dina, which came into
being in the 3rd Century CE
was constantly developed to meet
the prevailing conditions in every
nation and at all times. However,
neither Samuel nor the rabbis
after him made use of Dina
D'Malkutha Dina when dealing
with religious law, Only when
civil issues were involved was
Samuel's precept invoked.
"'The law of the kingdom is
the law' was the central factor
which guided the Jew along a
- path true to his ancestral way of
life and yet in harmony with the
laws of the nation in which he
lived." "
Thus there never was abandon-
ment of Jewish adherence to the

religious heritage of the people in
the application of this principle.
Rabbi Landman's is a highly in-
formative volume. It is valuable
for the lay reader. For the rabbinic
student his book can well serve as

a textbook on a most important
Jewish subject into which are inter-

Two views of the Detroit Garden in Jerusalem, which was estab-
lished by the family of Paul Zuckerman, were taken recently while

Zuckerman, national chairman of United Jewish Appeal was attend-
ing the Conference on Human Needs. The meeting was called by
Prime Minister Golda Meir and brought together experts from Jewish

communities throughout the world to consider social welfare problems

related issues involving Jewish re-
in Israel.
lationships with their neighbors and
citizenry's duties to state.
32—Friday, July 4, 1969

,

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

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