Appreciation of Polish Jewry's Labors
in Quarterly of Cultural Clubs' Council
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
Friday, Sept. 28, 1973-31
Midrash Commentary on Drink
Recognition of Polish Jew- in Warsaw in 1968, the Go- they went about it. The au-
By DR. SAMUEL J. FOX
Drink wine, and you will then three-quarters of his
(Copyright 1973, JTA, Inc.)
ry's great contributions mulka government pursued thor also describes the initial
condemn the innocent, and intelligence is gone, and his
toward their country's needs an anti-Semitic purge that passivity of the Jewish popu-
acquit the guilty. Therefore mind is so confused that he
and aspirations is expressed left the ranks of universities, lation and then the intense section in which the offering it has been said, "A judge begins to say unseemly
in an editorial in Quarterly political bureaus and thea- heroism of an aroused cul- of incense is described in who has drunk a quart of things. But if he drinks a
Review, publication of the ters decimated. The reason ture defending itself in the detail.
wine may not sit in judg- fourth quart, then all his in-
American Council of Polish for the purge was more than Ghetto Uprising in 1943. Col-
Most prayer books contain ment, and a rabbi who has telligence goes, his mind be-
likely politcial — the regime onel Osmecki also gives a this passage only in the be- drunk a quart may not comes addled, and he can
no longer talk, for his tongue
Contrary to whatever sus- was in trouble and needed a brief history of Jews in Po- ginning of the service. Some teach . .
When wine comes in, has become paralyzed. —
picions may exist regarding scapegoat, but the purge also land in the introduction to prayer books have this pass-
age also at the end of the knowledge goes out . . .
Poland's non-Jews' attitudes, served to cloud the recent the book.
the American Polish organ history of Jews in Poland,
The second part of this his- service.
If a man has drunk one
writes with appreciation of especially their ordeal during tory concerns the Polish ef-
Since the prayers represent quart of wine, a quarter of
He who hates a man is as
the Second World War.
the Jewish role in Poland.
forts to save Jewish lives. He the sacrifices which used to his intelligence is gone. If if he hated God. — Pesikta
This book is a detailed ex- notes that there were ele- be offered in the Temple in he has drunk three quarts, Zutarti Behaaloteka.
The editorial in Quarterly
amination of the life of the ments in the extreme right Jerusalem, the section on in-
Jewish population, chiefly in of the political system who cense is included in the
"Thirty years ago Polish
Warsaw, during World War were anti-Semitic during the prayers because the incense
. , locked up in the Nazi-
II and puts into focus all the war, but that the under- was offered after the sacri-
created Warsaw Ghetto rose
events during the confusion ground press supported the fices were offered.
in a desperate do-or-die
of the genocidal German oc- Jewish struggle and reported
The prayer represents the
22173 COOLIDGE HYW.
armed struggle against the
might of the German Reich. cupation. It helps to dispel the enormity of the crimes idea of sacrifice because
some of the doubts and ques- that were being committed man, in the experience of
Their heroic stand lasted
tions some may have as to by the Germans against all prayer, stands committed
almost three weeks and end-
the role the Jews played dur- Poles, no matter what their before God.
ed, as they knew it had to
ing the war years.
The spices which were of-
end, in a complete massacre.
Story after story is re- fered for incense were con-
Only a handful survived. De-
Illii3hin g everyone
was working for the London counted of the populace giv- sidered to have many vir-
molished by thousands of
tues. Some claim that these
bombs, burned street by
and participated in the War- ish countrymen. The Home spices served to atone for
fiappy and ichalih y
street, the Ghetto was then
slander in the evil tongue,
bulldozed over by the victors, saw Uprising in 1944. With Army was instrumental in just as the spices spread
such a vantage point he has supplying the Jewish fighters
so that no trace would be
left of the some 30 city written a clear and well doc- with guns and supplies in
umented study of the ordeal their struggles in Poland's
The Aramaic translation
blocks in which over half a
for the Hebrew word used to
million men, women and chil- of Jews in Poland during the Jewish ghettoes.
This book gives one a express the idea of offering
dren were forced to live and war as well as the story of
the valiant help Poles ex- great deal of insight into the the incense implied the idea
die in most inhuman condi-
tended in hiding and helping important interdependent re- of "binding." The offering of
KOZIN'S KOSHER CATERING
the persecuted religious mi- lationship that both Jew and the spices, therefore, serves
"To commemorate the an- nority.
Gentile had in Poland during as a binder between man
niversary of the Warsaw
The book consists of two the war. The Jewish popula- and God.
Ghetto Uprising and to hon- parts divided in this way. tion in Poland has dwindled
Some claim that the col-
or its valiant heros, we de- The first part examines in considerably, but as this book umn of smoke that issues
vote a major part of this is- great detail the plans of the indicates, neither Jew nor from the offering of the
sue to Polish Jews.
Germans for solving the Catholic will forget their or- spices is a symbol of the
"The Jewish people lived "Jewish problem" and how deal together during the war. soul which tends upward
side by side with Poles for
toward unity with God.
over 600 years. Some of them
Others claim that the spices
became more Polish than Prof. Neusner's 'From Politics to Piety' are the most intangible item
Jewish, some stayed faithful
From Politics to Piety— complexities of rabbinic in- when they have been re-
to their customs and tradi- The Emergence of Pharisaic terpretations of the Pharisaic duced to odors. They there-
tioni, but all were an integral Judaism," the latest work roles.
fore represent not the out-
part of Polish life. The Polish by Prof. Jacob Neusner, pub-
Dr. Neusner defines the ward physical reality but the
Jews' contributions to the lished by Prentice-Hall, En-
role of the "more than 6,000 inward spiritual reality
culture of Poland are im- glewood Cliffs, N.J., draws Pharisees" who refused to which man achieves through
mense—be it in art, medi- upon Josephus, traditions de-
take an oath of loyalty to sacrifice or prayer.
cine, philosophy, education, scribed in the Talmud and Herod and points out:
It is said that King David
business and finance, music, the Gospels to indicate the
yearned to offer spices. When
"The Pharisees claimed to he realized that he was not
poetry, or science. Some
be authoritative because they to be the builder of the Holy
were giants in their fields,
taught a philosophy that de- Sanctuary in Jerusalem, he
some just plain little people, 'Es Vet Zein Gut'
By MAURICE SAMUEL
rived from Moses at Sinai." at least sought to offer a
but they left an imprint on
Polish culture—a saying, a In "The Grand Perspectives A small group in Palestinian prayer symbolizing the
of Jewish History"
Jewry, the Pharisees' posi- spices.
recipe, a joke . .
There have been times tion is described as follows:
Generally speaking, the
May the new year
"There is an odd void now when we have been obviously
"They claimed the right to
in the streets of Polish cities threatened with complete de- rule all the Jews by virtue of spice offering indicates the
and towns. Something is very struction. Somehow or other their possessing the 'Oral meaning of sacrifice, in the
much missing. Then, sudden we came through. It doesn't Torah' of Moses, that is, the sense that it is not the physi-
realization — there are no mean that the Jewish people, body of traditions not writ-
Jews! No white-stockinged as such, is a very extra- ten in Scripture, but revealed sires, but rather the sacri-
little boys in skullcaps, no ordinary moral phenomenon. to Moses at Mount Sinai fice of man's spirit to His
bearded merchants, no long It means that there seems to along with the written Torah. infinite realm.
black coats and fox-fur hats be incorporated in this group They referred to a list of
To bear other people's af-
of the rabbis. A part of the an idea which is imperish- masters extending back to
Polish 'scene' is gone. A part able. It is this notion of the Moses, whom they later flictions, everyone has cour-
Con oe e Food Centers
of the soul of Poland went up ideal of the unphysical tri- called 'our rabbi.' In their age and enough to spare.—
umphing over physical which own setting, however, the
This issue of the Polish 1 — whenever I get these tern- Pharisees were much like
periodical merits special at- porary moods of depression any other Hellenistic school
tention. It contains a lengthy, and uneasiness — lifts me or sect.
two-page, eight-column ar- outside the temptation to
"Their importance in later
ticle on Janusz Korczak—by speak sadly, and sends me times derives from two facts.
Henryk Grynberg — describ- out again after a momentary First, they play a large role
ing the martyrdom and hero- period of recovery, to tell my in the Gospels' accounts of
ism of the famous writer and fellow Jews, "Es vet zein the life of Jesus. Second,
they produced the rabbinical
physician who conducted an gut—it will be good."
It may take a long time. masters who, after 70 C.E.,
orphan home and was mur-
dered with the orphans by but if we can't have this defined the law and doctrine
feeling, if we can't have this that became normative for
There are other features faith, then the whole busi- the Judaic tradition. Judaism
dealing with Polish Jewry, ness, all the miserable as it is now known begins
including a full-page illus- struggle, the agonies, and all with the Pharisees of the
trated article on Artur Szyk the self searchings don't two centuries before the
mean a thing. And I am not destruction of Jerusalem and
by Maria Erdman,
prepared to admit that the the Temple in 70."
THE TRAGIC YEARS
Major factors in Dr. Neus-
world doesn't mean a thing.
He Who Saves One Life, by If I were, I'd stop writing, ner's research are his anal-
Kazimierz Iranek - Osmecki, I'd stop lecturing, I'd just lie yses of the Hillel and Sham-
Crown Publishers, Inc., N.Y. down and perish without a mai era, the Yavne tradi-
Kadish. I just do not believe tions, the Pharisees in his-
Viewing the "tragic years, that the world doesn't mean tory and the rabbinical tra-
there is a review of "He a thing. And the people, or ditions about the Pharisees
Who Saves One Life" by Ka- the group, the community and Pharisaism.
zimierz Iranek-Osmecki, in which has longest and most
The historical chronology
WEST BLOOMFIELD, MICH.
which the reviewer, Piotr Ko- persistently repudiated the relating to the subject and
477-2343 • 474-9670
idea that the universe doesn't an important glossary are
Mon., Tues., Wed., Sat. 10-6
Tues., Wed., Sot. 9:30-6
For a period of several mean a thing is the one in valuable additions to this
Thurs. & Fri. 10-9
Mon., Thurs., Fri. 9:30-9
years after the student riots whose employ I am.
HAPPY NEW YEAR
THE ROSE FLORIST SHOP
A HAPPY and HEALTHY
BILL BORKIN AND FAMILY
BERNIE ZIVOV AND FAMILY
And Entire Staff