THE JEWISH NEVI S
Incorporating The Detroit Jewish Chronicle commencing with the issue ())*Jnly 20, 11)51
Member American Association of English-Jewish Newspapers, Michigan Press As,:ociation, National Editorial Association.
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CARMI M. SLOMOVITZ
Editor and Publisher
Alan Flitskv. News Editor . . . Heidi Press, .kssistant New s Editor
Sabbath Scriptural Selection.
This Sabbath, the fourth day of AV, 5735, the following scriptural selections will be read in our synagogues:
Pentateuchal portion, Dent. 1:1 3:22. Prophetical portion, Isaiah 1:1 27. Thursday, Fast of the Ninth of A
(Lamentations is read Wednesday evening). Thursday morning, pentateuchal portion, Dent. 4:25 40: prophetical
portion, Jeremiah 8:13-9:23. Thursday afternoon, pentateuchalportion, Elrod. 32:11-14: 34:1-10: prophetical portion.
Candle lighting, Friday, July 11, 8:50 p.m.
OL. LXV1I, No: 18
Friday, July ll, 1975
American Jewry and 1976 Politics
Political analysts have had their heydays
for many years ascribing friendship for Israel
and the Zionist cause to pressures from Jews
who purportedly resort to the "voters' clout."
Dating back to the leadership of the late
Louis Marshall, who resented the very term
"Jewish vote," in the early 1920s, and continuing
through the decades, especially in the tragic
years of Nazism when Zionism was the major
necessity both for succor and for libertarian re-
demption for the millions of oppressed among
the Jewries of Eastern Europe and the Moslem
countries, the "voters' clout" assumed added
proportions in the propaganda now spreading
from the Arab enemies of Israel and world
Resort to the "clout" is already in evidence,
in anticipation of the 1976 presidential cam-
paign. It was used in the issue that has arisen
over the letter from 76 U. S. Senators to Presi-
dent Ford, which urged adherence to the Ameri-
can friendship policies for Israel and pragma-
tism in planning military aid to assure Israel's
American Jewish realism becomes an ur-
gent necessity in the confrontations that al-
ready seem unavoidable.
The mere fact that a group has already been
formed to create a battleground against Gerald
Ford in the 1976 election serves as a warning not
to be complacent in an era of possible menace to
the dignity of American Jewry and to the re-
spect that must be given to the American politi-
A distinguished American Jewish leader
has already sounded an opposite approach in an
admonition of outright defense of the present
administration while suggesting criticisms of
Jewish leaders who had become aligned with an
Whatever the leadership that may emerge
in Jewish ranks in the year ahead, whoever is at
the helm of the major Jewish movements, may
be faced with the grave duty of exposing misre-
presentations and of setting the record straight:
that Jewish tactics are not selfishly motivated,
that there are libertarian principles involved,
that the action in defense of Jewish rights are
humanitarian. The responsibilities to assure
justice for Jewish aims may involve and demand
political action, but any reference to the "clout"
could realistically be interpreted both as preju-
dicial and based on misinformation.
It stands to reason that individuals have the
right to support any party they wish, any candi-
date they prefer. It is the basic privilege of
Americans to finance the party and candidates
of their choice. In the process of making political
analyses commentators have an obligation to re-
frain from involving an entire group — in the
instance of the present discussion the Jewish
people — as if it were engaged in a scheme to
capitalize on its possession of numerical
strength as a pressure factor in elections. In a
sense, such attitudes and approaches signify a
lack of faith in political realities.
The American experience has shdwn that in
most instances responsible elected representa-
tives in the U.S. Congress were motivated by a
sense of justice in their reactions to support for
the defense of Israel, the rescue of Jews from
lands of oppression, securing the right of emi-
gration for Russian Jews and other related mat-
ters. If the battles for justice in these enumer-
ated areas were to depend upon the strength of
the Jewish vote, the pleaders for help could
count on representatives from no more than five
or six states. The fact that the recent letter to
President Ford signed by 76 U.S. Senators car-
ried the weight of members of the U.S. Senate
from 46 of the 50 states is the most impressive
proof that the legislators were motivated by fair
play and a sense of justice and not by vote crav-
ing. It provides the strongest incentive to reject
the search for a "clout," as if there were in-
trigues and selfish motivations.
Irritating speculations by commentators
and political analysts are certain to recur. There
will no doubt be much to protest and many as-
criptions of selfish motivations to aggravate
Jewish readers. Inevitably, there is the obliga-
tion to protest against misrepresentations. The
basic appeals for help to the oppressed and en-
couragement to libertarians who are defending
their homeland must not be weakened.
New Jewish Center Aims for Practicality
Greater Detroit's very- progressive Jewish
community is chalking up a new triumph to its
many accomplishments. The cornerstone unveil-
ing ceremony on the building of the Jewish
Community Center that is nearing completion
was a memorable event. It was a signal of undi-
minishing interest and concern for the many
services — recreational, educational, social —
which the Center provides for the Jews of this
Recognized nationally as one of the most
creative in dedication to Jewish needs in the set-
tings of a communal center, the Detroit Jewish
Community Center has earned the role of guide
in programming for centers throughout the
land. The Hebrew language classes, the Yiddish
programs, the Book Fair — these and many
other achievements have given Detroit's center
In a matter of seven or eight months the
Jewish . Community Center's address will be
West Bloomfield. Its programmatic approaches
will be the same, and it is to be hoped that the
locale will be as approachable to the masses as
well as the classes as they have been in the past.
One need not be too touchy in resorting to
terms "masses" and "classes" because they re-
tain their realism everywhere, among all peo-
ples; and a _ n address for the former becomes
more vital with the changes that take place in
neighborhoods and in the spreading of residen-
The new Jewish Center has a hearty wel-
come from all Detroit Jews, and the architects
of the impressive structure soon to be completed
have earned their constituents' gratitude. Now
the community must hope, as it awaits continu-
ity in the established excellence of the pro-
grams, that those who need its services will not
be penalized by distance. Those who plan good
programming also are expected to fulfill the
need of fullest participation in such programs.
Religious, Ethical Concepts
'A Philosophy of Mizvot'
Dr. Gersion Appel has produced a classical work on "The Reli-
gious-Ethical Concepts of Judaism, Their Roots in Biblical Law and
the Oral Tradition." That is the sub-title of his new work, "A Philoso-
phy of Mizvot," published by Ktay.
Dr. Appel, chairman of the department of philosophy at Yeshiva
University's Stern College, says:
The "Sefer ha-Hinnuk" has long been recognized as one of the
principal, medieval works in Jewish ethical and halakic literature, and
as a primary source for an investigation of the meaning and the pur-
pose of the mizvot. Notwithstanding this, there has been no system-
atic study, either in Hebrew or in English, of the Hinnuk's ethical and
religious philosophy, nor has there been a definitive evaluation of his
contribution to the search of ta'amei ha-mizvot, the reasons for the
commandments, to which Jewish philosophers have been committed
in every age.
"A Philosophy of Mizvot" seeks to fill this need, and also to relate
the Hinnuk to the philosophical schools and the intellectual currents
of Jewish thought which preceded him. In this respect, it is devoted
not only to a study of the Hinnuk, but to a broader exploration of the
main concepts of Jewish ethical and religious philosophy.
The Hinnuk emerges as a towering figure in Jewish scholarship
and, more significantly, as a great educator and moral and religious
guide. His classic work is revealed as a treasure-trove of Jewish knowl-
edge, moral insights, religious inspiration, and brilliant perceptions in
the molding of human character.
The Introduction of the book attempts to define the nature of
mizvot and to indicate the necessary relationship between the mizvot,
the Halakha and Jewish philosophy. Chapter I is a brief, historical
survey of the subject of ta'amei ha-mizvot, and serves as an introduc-
tion to the Hinnuk's work in this field. Chapters II through X are a
study of the Hinnuk's exposition of the mizvot and his views in the
areas of Jewish ethics and Jewish religious philosophy. Chapters XI
and XII are an evaluation of the Hinnuk's thesis, and include, as well,
a discourse on new perspectives and directions that may prove produc-
tive in a further investigation of the subject. The Excursus concerns
itself with the Hinnuk's sources and the problem of authorship.
Notes placed at the end of the book are designed to provide docu-
mentation and references to relevant sources, as well as additional
information. Dr. Appel said they are intended not only for the schol:
but also for the general reader who desires to follow the discourse oh
Also included are an appended index of biblical, talmudic and rab-
binic references, the index of mizvot and an index of subjects.
The mizvot are numbered according to the standard, printed edi-
tions of the "Sefer ha-Hinnuk," which follow the scriptural sequence.
Quotations from the "Sefer ha-Hinnuk" have been translated by the
author from the Hebrew original.
Dr. Appel's easily-read writing style is evident in this example,
which discusses "Acknowledging God as Master:"
"The service of God entails a true conception of God as Creator
and Master of the universe. The thesis, frequently propounded by the
Rabbis, that man must acknowledge God's proprietorship is at the
basis of several of the mizvot. The reason we are commanded to dedi-
cate our first-born and our first-fruits to God is 'that we may know
that all is His, and that man has nothing whatever in this world but
what God in His grace gives him.'
"Similarly, we are to take cognizance of God's mastery of the
world by counting the Sabbatical years up to the Jubilee year when
all property must revert to the original owners. 'The reason for this
mizvah is simply that God wished to make known to His people that
everything belonged to Him, and that in the end it must return to the
one to whom it pleased God to give it in the first place, for the land is