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October 05, 1973 - Image 19

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1973-10-05

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19th Century American Unsure of Survival of Jewish State

In the early 1860s one of
the most distinguished Jews
in the South, writing a book
in defense of his people, said
that a Jewish state in Pales-
tine might well be establish-
ed, but that, if left to its
own devices, it could not
maintain itself because of
the reFlious and cultural dif-
ferences between Jews and
because of the danger of an
established Orthodox Jewish
These statements were
made about 1862, the year
that Zebi Hirsch Kalischer.
a German Orthodox rabbi,
and Moses Hess, the famous
loft-wing Jewish journalist,
ocated the return to Pal-
...: pine and the rebuilding of
the ancient homeland. There
is no evidence that the Amer-
ican knew anything about the
writings of Kalischer and

The American, a Charles-
tonian by the name of Jacob
Clavius Levy, represented
the best in American Jewish
secular culture. He was a
fervent loyal Jew who fol-
lowed his father, Moses Cla-
cius Levy, in his devotion
to the faith of his ancestors.
The elder Levy, a native of
Galicia, had come to Charles-
ton in the postrevolutionary
period and had made a for-
tune as a merchant. As one
of the pillars of the congre-
gation, Moses Levy had of-
ficiated as a volunteer Ka-
zan, when almost 90, had
rushed to the synagogue to
save the Torahs in the dis-
astrous fire of 1838.

Arab Birth Rate
Down in Israel

Preventing Blindness
Fifty per cent Of all blind-
ness is preventable, accord-
ing to the Detroit Society for
the Prevention of Blindness
— Metropolitan Detroit So-
ciety for the Blind, a Torch
Drive service. An eye exam-
ination every two years and
good eye safety standards
are the best insurance against

▪ Ab undance, peace _And

good Jleaft4

Jo All Our

ef ient3 and Jriencli

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What a sorry sight we aro
indeed! We are not consid-
ered by the nations of tho
world and our voice is not
taken in account in the coun-
cils of its peoples. not even
when our own affairs are
concerned. Our homeland—a
strange country, our unity—
dispersion, our solidarity —
eneral hatred towards us,
slr weapon — humility, our
defense — flight, our indi-
viduality — adjustment, our
future — tomorrow. What a
contemptible goal for a
people which once produced
the Maccabees.—Y. L. Pins-
ker, "Auto _ Emancipation,

• We extend Our Re3t Wiihe
J or _A Year of




Vision of Past, Future

3, 17/4-17

time to the Charleston Theo Jewry.") The title of course Einstein on National Self -Repect
We Jews become once feeling of solidarity. It is not
ter, the entire audience ros., was not original with him,
in tribute to her beauty. but was borrowed from Ma- more conscious of our na- sufficient for us to take part
Levy's fortune was tied up nasseh ben Israel's defense tionality, and regain the self- as individuals in the cultural
with the Jewish banking firm of the Jews against slander- respect which is necessary to work of mankind: we must
of Joseph in New York, and ers in the days of Oliver our national existence. We also set our hands to some
must learn once more to work which conserves the
Joseph's colleagues in tho Cromwell.
avow our ancestry and our ends of our corporate na-
post Jacksonian depression
Levy's "Vindication" is an
led to heavy losses for Levy. impassioned apologia for the history; we must once more tional existence. In this way,
He retired from business to Jews and an attack on Chris- take upon ourselves, as a na- and in this way only, can the
devote himself to cultural tianity and the Church which tion, cultural tasks of a kind Jewish people regain its
pursuits. During the days had so often and so cruelly calculated to strengthen our health. — Albert Einstein.
when many of the more ven persecuted the Israelites. In
t u r e s o m e Charlestonians the course of his work, Levy
moved "West" into the new made the statement that per-
cotton lands, he followed haps France or England
them and made his home in might want to re-establish
Savannah where he was high- the Jews in Palestine for
ly respected as a member purely political and strategic
of the city's cultural elite. reasons. He wrote:
He died there in 1875, at
"What in common could
the age of 87.
there be between an Oriental
Moses Levy had seen to it or a North African Jew and
one from the most enlighten-
that his son Jacob received ed portion of Western Eur-
an excellent education eni- ope?" If the prayers of the
phasizing the ancient clas- Jews for the restoration
sics, and it was character- were heard and the new gov-
istic of Jacob and of his ernment was "left to Jewish
generation that he introduced ecclesiastical power or in-
his only son, Samuel, to the fluence," it "would soon be
mysteries of Virgil at the a Babel . . . Nothing could
age of 7. Jacob C. Levy was be achieved in civil or re-
at home in Latin and Greek ligious security, nor would
and also in some of the mod- the idea of any constitutional
ern languages, but his He- check be countenanced."
All this Levy foresaw in
brew was weak. We wrote
poetry, composed hymns, and the 1860s — almost 90 years
4628 N. Woodward Ave.
reviewed books in the South- before the new republic of
Royal Oak
ern Quarterly Review, but
his magnum opus, still un- recognize the religious rights
published, is "Vindiciae Ju- of Reform and Conservative
daeorum," ("Vindication. of Jews.

[ PlailtlinoS

rate of natural increase has
declined in Israel since 1971,
even among the Arab popu-
Jewish mothers of Oriental
origin now have the highest
birth rate, according to a
statistical study released by
Dr. Moshe Sikron, govern-
ment statistician.
Israel's total population is
3,300,000, of which 2.800,000
are Jews. During 1972, the
ponulation increased by 105,-
000 or 3.3 per cent over 1971,
Dr. Sikron reported.
But the rate of natural in-
crease dropped from 2.9
births per woman in 1971 to
2.7 in 1972 among women
born fn Western countries.
There was a similar de-
cline in births by native-
born women and women of
Asian and African origin.
But the latter had an aver-
age of 3.8 children in 1972
compared to 3.4 children born
to Christian Arab mothers.
The Arab birth rate generally
has shown a decline, accord-
ing to the statistics.
Immigration figures drop-
ped slightly. During the first
nine months of this year,
39,000 immigrants arrived in
Israel, compared to 41,000
in the same period last year.

During the War of 1812
young Jacob Levy was the
secretary of the Charleston
Riflemen. As a businessman,
he pioneered in the insurance
industry and engaged exten-
sively in banking and ex-
change. In the late 1820s,
during the bitter days of the
Nullification C o n t r o v ersy
when the South Carolinians
threatened to secede, Levy
was a Unionist. While on a
trip to England he had met
Fanny Yates of the Yates-
Samuel clan to which the
later Viscount Herbert Sam-
uel, the first High Commis-
sioner of Palestine, would
also belong. Fanny Yates be-
came Levy's wife, and when
he brought her for the first

Prvauy, ucrooer



Professor of American Jewish
History, Hebrew Union College,


8 Mile

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