Law, Order of Design
Is the process of design spon-
taneous and intuitive, or is it the
kiesult of methodical planning? Is
the artist on his own, or must he
Follow certain natural, immutable
laws that govern design?
The debate is as old as design
Itself, and in our time the most
notable and controversial propo-
nent of design by law and order
was the American writer and
teacher, Jay Hambidge.
In his main work, "The Elements
Mendelssohn's 'Jerusalem,' Other Writings in Alfred Jo spe's Volume
Jewish enlightenment, as per-
sonified by Moses Mendelssohn
(1727-1786), the noted works of the
18th Century scholar, are the sub-
ject of a volume that reconstructs
the period when there was a search
for reconciliation between the cul-
ture of that era and Jewish tradi-
"Jerusalem and t er Jewish
Writings by Moses Mendelssohn,"
of Dynamic Symmetry" (Dover pa-
perback reprint), Hambidge main-
tained that design was not purely
instinctive, but that there were
certain mathematical principles of
design that the artists must take
into account in much the same way
that the musical composer must
be familiar with the laws of coun-
terpoint and harmony.
Hambidge's theory, and Ham-
bidge himself, attracted a group
of devoted followers intrigued by
the possibility of establishing a
logical basis for the process of de-
sign. One of the most gifted of
these followers was Edward B.
Edwards. an American designer
and illustrator, who took Ham-
bidge's principles and applied them
to actual design, creating patterns
whose elements conformed to the
laws of "dynamic symmetry."
In his book "Pattern and Design
with Dynamic Symmetry" (Dover
paperback reprint), Edwards ex-
plores the numerous combinations
and variations available in "dyna-
mic symmetry," creating over 115
vivid designs composed of trian-
gles, diagonals, reciprocals and
spirals, including Greek meander
patterns, interlacing curves, and
Faith in a holy cause is to a
considerable extent a substitute
for the lost faith in ourselves. —
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
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The brevity of the essays lends
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the exactness and firmness with
which many of the issues are tac-
There is the moral
of all human tales;
'Tis but the some rehearsal of the
Wealth, rice, corruption,—barbarism
—George Noel Gordon, Lord Byron
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character by defining religion as a tween religions will not last for-
system of self-evident ideas and ever, that ultimately there will be
beliefs," Jospe makes this inter- one shepherd and one flock, and
that the acknowledgement of the
ings and explaining the role of ' esting comment:
Mendelssohn and his views.
"What has really been seen is true God will cover the earth as the
cover the sea. At that time,
the fact that Mendelssohn, de-
Jospe, who is the Bnai Brith di-
spite the philosophical questions divine wisdom may no longer find
rector of programs and resources,
raised by his definition of Juda- it necessary to set us apart from
points to Mendelssohn as "a key
ism, came close to the truth in other peoples by special ceremonial
figure in the struggle for the social
feeling that the historical dis- laws. In fact, it might choose a
and intellectual emancipation of
tinctiveness of Judaism has al- second public manifestation to in-
the Jews in Central Europe. As a
ways manifested itself primarily troduce rital observances that will
definer of the concepts of Judaism,
in Halakha, a specific way of life link the hearts of all men in adora-
Mendelssohn's approach is de-
guided by a system of law gov- tion of their Creator and in mutual
scribed as having "reflected the
erning ethical conduct and ritual love and benevolence."
peculiar dualism of his background
So—a dream repeated today was
practices. Mendelssohn's position
and orientation," a "citizen of two
is in harmony with Judaism's expressed two centuries ago by a
worlds—of the ghetto—with its mi-
persistent aversion to the formu- philosopher none of whose progeny
lieu of Jewish learning and loyal-
lation of creeds and its insistence is to be found in Jewish ranks.
ties, and of the 18th Century En-
Thus, in Jospe's book, a contro-
that man wins merit primarily by
lightenment, with its glorification
his affirmation of God through versial figure, and his works, once
of man's reason as the supreme
are presented as an interest-
judge and arbiter of all human
"Jerusalem or On Religious Power ing subject for discussion.
"Judaism," the essay in which
Mendelssohn attempted to "rec- in the book. Presented here also
oncile philosophically what he was are: "Covenants — Old and New,"
able to fuse in his personal life," "A Religion of Reason," "Tradition
is described as expressing his as Idea and Experience," "On the
"unquestioning loyalty to the Meaning of the Law," "A New
God of Sinai and the philosophic.
al rationalism of his age."
The idea of a revised Bible trans-
"Reason and revelation" are the lation, into German. offers interest-
two sources of Mendelssohn's ap- ing data relating to events in our
proach to the knowledge of truth. own time.
Jospe points out that "Mendelssohn
The Credo asserts that "all
introduced his famous notion that prophets of the Old Testament are
Call Evenings Until 9
Judaism is not 'revealed religion' agreed, and reason fully concurs in
but 'revealed law.' " The author of this hope, that the difference be-
the essay defining Mendelssohn's
position states that the 18th Cn-
tury philosopher was "not aware of
the paradox of his position." saw no
SEE or CALL
contradictions in his attitudes and
to him "the God of reason and the
God of Sinai are one and the
Emphasizing that "Mendelssohn
proclaimed the heterogneous char-
1350 N. WOODWARD, BIRMINGHAM
acter of Judaism by defining it as
revealed law while at the same
CALL BUS. MI 4-1930
time asserting its autonomous
by Alfred Jospe, published by
Schocken Books, contains an im-
portant essay introducing the writ-
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