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February 06, 1970 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1970-02-06

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

THE JEWISH NEWS

Incorporating The Detroit Jewish Chronicle commencing with issue of July 20, 1951

Member American Associaton of EncIsh-Jewish Newspapers, Michigan Press Association, National Editorial Association
Published every Friday by The Jewish News Publishing Co., 17515 W. Nine Mile, Suite 865, Southfield, Mich. 48075.
Phone 356-8400
Subscription $7 a year. Foreign $8.

CARMI M. SLOMOVITZ

PHILIP SLOMOVITZ
Editor and Publisher

Business Manager

CHARLOTTE DUBIN

City Editor

Sabbath Scriptural Selections

This Sabbath, Rosh Hodesh Adar 1, the following scriptural selections will be
read in our synagogues:
Pentateuchal portion. Eiod. 21:1-24:18. Prophetical portion, Isaiah 66:1-24.

Candle lighting, Friday, Feb. 6, 5:34

Page Four

VOL. LVI. NO. 21

February 6, 1970

Facing the Threats Within Our Ranks

Dr. Sara Feinstein, an American Jewish
Committee education specialist, believes that
from the ranks of the radical Jewish activists
there is beginning to resound a new Jewish
voice on the campus in opposition to the
New Left self-effacing Jewish students' "anti-
Jewish, anti-Israel posture."

Because the assumed threat to the Jewish
community from the New Left had taken on
proportions of panic in many quarters—a
fear we always believed to have been based
on exaggerated reports of indifference in the
ranks of Jewish youth—it may serve a good
purpose to take serious account of the state-
ment by Dr. Feinstein in Dimensions in
American Judaism, a quarterly of the Union
of American Hebrew Congregations, in which
she asserts that there is growing concern
over the anti-Israel sentiment of Jewish stu-
dents that prompted fellow radicals to de-
clare in new campus publications that "Israel
is not Vietnam. that El Fatah is not Vietcong.
Dr. Feinstein elaborates:

"The overriding attitude one finds is repug-
nance toward Jewish self-effacement, self-hatred
and self-abdication by fellow Jewish radicals.
Their militant particularism finds concrete expres-
sion in revulsion toward some SDS activists who
manifest a tendency to recoil from Jewish con-
cerns by 'turning against their own people.' They
see this exemplified in their reluctance to even
discuss Israel's stake in the Middle East
conflict .

"They deplore the fact that many Jewish
activists are not disturbed in the least by the
seeming double standard they create in condoning
separatism for some while demanding uncondi-
tional integration for others. Because they possess
a deeper awareness of the meaning of ethnic
identity and fear of the subtle tyranny of a Homo-
genizing Society that tends to deprive individuals
of the right to 'be as oneself,' they try to develop
a rationale by means of which to reconcile this
inconsistency. They do so by drawing parallels
between Jewish and black struggles for liberation,
for self-awareness, for self-respect. They draw
strength for their argument by maximizing the
similarities and minimizing the differences be-
tween black aspirations and the striving of the
people of Israel for self-determination."

The issue that caused the American Jew-
ish Committee's expert to pursue a study of
the subject is not one related to or affecting

Israel alone. It influences relationships be-
tween our communities and youth on many
fronts, and also the domestic issues. If youth
will assume an antagonistic attitude to Jew-
ish identity, to obligations that call for their
intimate relationships with parents, with
communal agencies, with kinsmen and fellow
men, then we will have failed in everything
we may have ever undertaken to bring the
young closer to us and to their people.

There does exist a sense of fear that we
are losing our youth. You hear it in Israel,
and Jewish leaders are upset by the lowered
state of Jewish cultural developments in
American Jewry. They fear that we are in-
deed vanishing. They are influenced by the
rising tide of intermarriages and by an as-
similation that is more natural today than
the merging with alien cultural traits that
threatened to undermine Jewish existence
during the period of Enlightenment in Eu-
rope or in the earlier part of this century
in this country. Our youth are more free to
merge with others than they have ever been.
It is freedom's influences that add to the
panicky interpretations of the outlook for
the future.

Nevertheless, we do not abandon hope.
We believe that the time may have arrived
for a change in Jewish attitudes and for the
adoption of a program of proselytism—if
resort to so un-Jewish a term may be per-
mitted—in order that those who marry Jews
may adopt the Jewish faith and we may thus

gain rather than lose adherents.

Furthermore, the influence of Israel
must not be minimized. We doubt whether
very many young Jews will join the ranks
of those who aim to undermine Israel's
existence. We do not believe our young peo-
ple will sell either Israel or Jewry down the
river.
The very concern expressed, the studies
that are being made, are in themselves con-
tributing factors towards guidance away from
total assimilation and a direction towards a
search for strengthened Jewish identities.
We need to be on guard. We also need
to be confident that our problems can be
faced with courage and dignity—with a self-
assurance that Israel's future and security
is in our hands, and if we hold on to tradi-
tional inspirations no enemy or threat poised
against us can ever prosper.

Replacing Tanks With Tractors

Less than a dozen words from the Israeli
chief of staff, Gen. Haim Bar-Lev, throw
light on the total Middle East picture. Bar-
Lev called attention to Nasser's refusal to
acknowledge the cease fire. Therefore he
gets what he wants: no cease fire.
This, of course, does not tell the whole
story. The point is that Israel's enemies are
being armed to the hilt, that not only Russia
and France but Great Britain and other coun-
tries are selling munitions to the Arabs.
Only the United States remains a staunch
friend of Israel, as is now being indicated
both in the statement that was issued through
Max Fisher by President Nixon and in the
friendly evaluations of Israel's needs in
many of the most important American news-
papers. But the President's latest declara-
tions need firmer implementation, rejecting
the threats that stem from antagonistic
quarters.
We had trouble enough not only with the
Arabs but primarily with the Soviet Union,
and now the friendly French people are be-
ing -disiihzsionect •by its •government that -

-

has adopted a shocking attitude that leads to
militarism on a world scale, that gives com-
fort to Israel's enemies, that undermines
peace.

When President Pompidou of France
comes here for his visit with President Nixon
he will undoubtedly receive the kind of
welcome that is due to a man who has fol-
lowed a Gaullist line of enmity to Israel.
Perhaps President Nixon will raise the issue
with him. Or, perhaps French attitudes will
change before Pompidou comes here, so that
a good friendship may be repaired and
threats to peace be eliminated.
At any rate, the situation has become
clarified. It is evident that the war-mongers
are not 'receiving as much encouragement as
they had hoped from the democratically-
minded peoples of the world. Perhaps Israel's
determined will to live and the people's
exertion to protect that right will truly unite
the humanitarians of the world in defense of
the only democracy in the Middle East. Then
the oppressed under Nasserism may also hope
-for -a- substitution. of the tractor for the tank:

Epstein's Volume on Holidays
Suggests 2 Extra Observances

A highly useful work, "All About Jewish Holidays and Customs"
by Morris Epstein, with impressive illustrations by Arnold Lobel, has
been reissued by Ktav Publishing House with important emendations.
Containing additional chapters on Yom HaAtzmaut and Yom Ha-
Shoah—Day of Remembrance for the
Six Million—this volume is splendid as
a textbook in our schools for our youth
and as a guide towards observance of
the festivals and historic days in the
home.
Dr. Epstein is highly qualified to
present this series of holiday descrip-
tions by virtue of his editorship of World
Over, the children's magazine, and his
professorship at Stern College of Yeshi-
va University.
What he does in this volume is
Dr. Epstein
not merely to explain the holidays
but also to deal elaborately with customs, ceremonials, traditions,
the legendary and the factual in Jewish history.
A typical example is his manner of dealing with Passover. Here
he goes into detail about matza designs, shemura matza, Ma'-ot Hitim,
as well as explanations of the Hagada, the Exodus, 'the complete
Bible story.
For a total understanding of the Jewish year he explains the
calendar, the manner in which the Sanhedrin developed its exactness,
the introduction of the Leap Year and the extra month of Adar-
as it occurs this year on our calendar.
As the title of Dr. Epstein's book states, it deals not with holidays
alone but as much with customs in Jewish life, those related to the
festivals and others.
The section on the Sabbath is especially inspiring, in all the
aspects covered by Dr. Epstein.
The new chapter on Yom HaAtzmaut is a description of the
joy of Israel's independence. It offers a quick view of Israel's
new role and of the manner in which statehood was attained.
Then there is the chapter on Yom Ha-Shoah. It is a deeply mov-
ing description of the Holocaust, containing references to the heroes
as well as to the martyrs, and to the children who suffered at the
hands of the Nazis but reacted to the horrors by writing poems, paint-
ing and drawing. The Anne Frank story is described as "an immortal
diary." The author lists communities where Yom Ha-Shoah is ob-
served as the Day of Remembrance of the Six Million on the 27th day
of the month of Nisan.
Dr. Epstein renders a special service in his book with the chapter
on "The World of Jewish Books." Here the reader finds encourage-
ment in the selection of the best available books on Jewish subjects.
Thus this reprinted volume has many merits in describing holidays,
listing customs, outlining the cultural Jewish treasures.

Fishman's Biblical Outline

"Remember the Days of Old," by Dr. Isidore Fishman, published
by Hartmore House, Hartford, Conn., is, as the subtitle indicates "an
introduction to biblical history." It "deals with the relationship of man
to God, and of man to his neighbor," while evaluating the various
aspects of the Bible stories, commencing with Abraham,, reviewing
the numerous experiences in ancient Jewish history, touching upon
the admonitions of the prophets, concluding with Nehemiah.
Dr. Azriel Eisenberg, in a foreword, commends the author for
his aim "to inspire the reader to seek a deeper knowledge of his Jew-
ish background through studying the original biblical text on which
these stories are based.
Marked by brevity, the Epstein coverage nevertheless is thorough
and complete. For example, in dealing with "The Kingdom of Judah"
and "Decline and Fall of the Southern Kingdom," he gives a splendid
view of the kings of the periods, their activities, the form in which
their experiences, "punishments for disobedience to God's command-
ments," injustices and greeds are recorded in the Bible.
There is a chapter on "The Return" from exile under Cyrus, and
the roles of Ezra and Nehemiah are outlined.
It is a brief book but serves an important purpose
in its inspira-
.
lioaal, ebaracteriv -
tr`
"

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