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July 12, 1974 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1974-07-12

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THE JEWISH NEWS

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

Memb3r American Association of English-Jewish Newspapers, , Michigan Press Association, National Editorial Associa-
tion. Published every Friday by The Jewish News Publishing Co., 17515 W. Nine Mile, Suite 665, Southfield, Mich. 48075.
Second-Class Postage Paid at Southfield, Michigan and Additional Mailing Offices. Subscription $10 a year.

PHILIP SLOMOVITZ

Editor and Publisher

CARMI M. SLOMOVITZ

Business Manager

CHARLOTTE DUBIN

City Editor

DREW LIEBERWITZ

CHEERS !RTHE 6ANEISTSR

Advertising Manager

Sabbath Scriptural Selections .
This Sabbath, the 23rd day of Tamuz, 5734, the following scriptural selections
will be read in our synagogues:
Pentateuchal portion, Num. 25:10-30:1. Prophetical portion, Jeremiah 1:1-2:3.
Candle lighting, Friday, July 12, 8:50 p.m.
, July 12, 19'74
Page Four
VOL. LXV. No. 18

More Wholesome Inter-Racial Relations

Unfortunate prejudicial attitudes toward
Jews in the black community appear to be
vanishing to a degree, and there is hope that
a traditional friendship will be reaffirmed.
Prominent black leaders reasserted, in recent
months, the basic truths related to the Jewish-
Black background positions and experiences.
While many in the ranks of the Blacks had
been misled by agitators, mostly under the
inspiration of Arab and anti-Israel leftists, in-
to animosities that caused serious concern, the
knowledgeable among them_ have refused to
join the ranks of inciters to enmity.
A typical example of most recent occur-
rences is the declaration by an eminent black
psychiatrist, Dr. Alvin F. Poussaint, who sees
great danger if the schism between Blacks
and Jews should continue in this country and
who admonished:
"The historic alliance between Jews and
Blacks has been important to the individual
advancement of both groups and the black
community should not relinquish this alliance
on either the Israeli dispute or quota argu-
ments."
Dr. Poussaint, a member of the faculty of
the Harvard Medical School, warns that Blacks
who promote anti-Sem•tism may be falling
into a trap laid by their enemies and he
pleads for affirmative action by both groups
so that their social and academic needs should
be brought into perspective. He gives this ad-
ditional advice to his fellow Blacks as a re-
minder of what has been accomplished coop-
eratively in the past by Jews and Blacks:
"The Jewish community has long been
one of the strongest allies of the Blacks. More
than any other white group, Jews helped to
spearhead and support the civil rights move-
ment."
This remains and continues as a policy
in Jewish community relations ranks. The
basic principle of justice can never be negated
by Jewish traditionalists. It its necessary
that Blacks, too, should reaffirm their posi-
tion of friendship with Jews who have backed
their just struggle for hurhan rights.
Prejudices stemming from black sources,
especially aimed at undermining favorable at-
titudes toward Israel, have drawn repudia-
tions from distinguished black leaders.
Bayard Rustin, executive director of the A.

Philip Randolph Institute, writing in the Crisis
magazine, official organ of the NAACP, took
issue with Israel's critics. He expressed con-
cern for the refugees but acknowledged that
the refugee problem was built up by the Arab
nations as an instrument aimed at Israel's
destruction. On the question of black atti-
tudes toward Jews and Israel he stated:

Israel's black critics have misrepresented Is-
rael's policy toward black African nations. The
suggestion, for example, that Israel has syste-
matically supported and aided Portugal against
the liberation forces in its African colonies is
simply not true. Israel has in fact been a con-
sistent supporter of the freedom movements in
Angola and Mozambique and has demonstrated
this support through her anti-colonialist votes in
the United Nations and through technical aid
extended to the liberation forces themselves. The
Afro-Asian Institute, for example, has from the
outset carried out a policy of recruiting trainees
from the freedom movements in nations still
under minority white dominance.
Furthermore, the critics generally fail to an-
alyze in any depth the nature of Arab and Is-
raeli societies. To propose, as some have, that
the Arab nations in general and the Palestinians
in particular represent a revolutionary vanguard.
for the underdeveloped world is simply to ig-
nore the realities of the Arab social structure.
And to assert that there are historic - ties of
brotherhood linking black Africans to Arab Mos-
lems requires both a substantial rewriting of
history and a disregarding of the tensions be-
tween Blacks and Arabs which exist to this day.
The conflict between Africans and Arabs
dates back many centuries. Moslems were in
fact one of the first outside forces to enslave and
uproot tribal Africans on a wide scale. -

A new hope emerges, from the ranks of
the recognized black leadership, that the
prejudicial views can and will be overcome
and that the rational in their ranks will not
permit the disruption of an established friend-
ship. The Black-Jewish amicable relationship
must not be undermined by bigotries emanat-
ing from areas where slavery rather than
freedom is still dominant. On the strength
of a relationship that has built friendship,
and in the interest of a cause that in itself
spells freedom—the Zionist idea—there can
be no other approach but that of strengthen-
ing a good relationship for Jews in black
ranks. The eminent leaders who are contrib-
uting toward it have earned appreciation from
all libertarians.

Russia's Suppression of Truth on TV

It took two seconds for the Russian KGB
agents to disrupt the American television op-
erations which would have brought to the
American people and to the world the voices
of the courageous opponents of oppression in
the USSR.
The Kremlin succeeded in stifling the ap-
peals for fredom while President Nixon was
in Russia, and the many dissidents who were
arrested were, reportedly, freed the moment
the President left Russia.
What had occurred re-emphasized the con-
ditions. Proof of Soviet tyrannical policies was
proVided by the oppressors themselves. The
evidence of attempts at enslaving the Russian
people was flaunted by the government.
In evidence was another significant occur-
rence: the emergence of a courageous move-
ment for freedom and justice that defined
one of the oppressive government. Non-Jews
and Jews spoke their minds, demanding
justice, the right to affirm their beliefs, the
privilege of emigrating wherever they chose.

It is hardly to be expected that any action
could have been taken or may be encouraged
in adding America's protests to the suppres-
sion of freedom to assert themselves by the
people of Russia. The Russians, too, together
with the world at large, were to have shared
in the views that were to be presented on
American TV from the USSR. But President
Nixon had already aligned himself, prior to
his trip to the Kremlin, that this country
could not intercede in the internal affairs of
another land. That's what happened when
Franklin Roosevelt failed to act during the
emerging years of the Nazi Holocaust. That's
what gives the go-sign to terrorists.

Will the American TV crews' experiences
serve as a warning to a generation advocat-
ing and striving for freedom of expression
to reject and condemn the Communist meth-
ods of suppressing truth? A few such voices
could go a long way in preventing frequent
repetition of the indecencies.

dmstirn

Tribute to Famous Rabbi

'Revered by AIV—Biography
of Eminent Hafets Hayyim

One of the great rabbis of the last and the present centuries is
the subject of an interesting biography by Dr. Lester Samuel Eckman,
a Hebrew scholar who is now a professor of history at Touro College.

Delving deeply into the nearly a century covered by the life of
Rabbi Israel Meir Kagan, who became famous as the Hafets Hayyim,
Dr. Eckman appropriately calls his biography, which has been pub-
lished by Shengold, "Revered by All." Because of the reverence in
which the eminent rabbis was held and whose writings still are studied
and treated with great respect, that the term revered is properly ap-
plied to the noted teacher and scholar who died in 1933 at the age of 95.

Having studied in Vilna, with the famous Rabbi Israel Salanter,
Rabbi Kagan in 1869 — he was then 31 — became rosh yeshiva of the
* ► Radun Yeshiva which soon became known as the Hafets Hayyim
Yeshiva. But, as the biographer points out, Rabbi Kagan did not earn
his living from his work as rosh yeshiva but from the saving of his
numerous books, "allowing himself only a small profit."

Dr. Eckman goes into detail about the Hafets Hayyim's views on
Zionism. Orthodox rabbis, messianically motivated, condemned the
movement as being secularist. Rabbi Kagan tried to be neutral, but
in his private writings, Dr. Eckman shows, he was distressed because
he viewed Zionists as breaking with tradition. Dr. Eckman states
that when Asher Ginzberg—he fails to identify him as Ahad Ha'am-
brought reports that in schools of Palestine the critical method was
applied to Bible studies, Rabbi Kagan forbade his students to join
the Zionist movement.
But by 1925, when eminent contemporaries like Rabbis Isaac
Reines, Samuel Mohilever, Abraham Kook and others became avoved
Zionists, Rabbi Kagan began to think in terms of himself settling in
pre-state Israel and he ended the opposition to Zionism and his debates
with Zionists.
After World War I, Rabbi Kagan had occasion to protest again
Communist oppression of Jews.

He continued his battle for traditional Judaism and in 1927 be
urged rabbis and lay leaders not •to participate in a secular conference
on communal problems.

The author of this biography was told by Rabbi Kagan's son-in-
•aw, Rabbi Mendel Zaks, that the Hafets Hayyim was invited to come
to America to help strengthen Judaism and establish yeshivot in this
country, but he felt he was needed in Europe. Dr. Eckman praises
the Radun Yeshiva directed by Rabbi Kagan as one of the great
schools of learning.
The biographer hails Rabbi Kagan as a "genuine folk hero," that
he was "revered by all," that "there was no situation, no edict, no
tribulation of his time which Rabbi Kagan did not inquire into." There
is this added tribute to the Hafets Hayyim by Dr. Eckman:

"His impact on the dissemination of the teachings of the Torah, on
the education of children, on the establishment and maintenance of
yeshivot, is immeasurable. His contributions to rabbinic literature
show him to be one of the most prolific and influential writers of his
time, his pen enriching almost every aspect of rabbinical literature
and his concerns . encompassing all Jews and every aspect of their
relations with one another, with the non-Jewish world, and with God."

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