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October 24, 1975 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1975-10-24

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2 October 24, 1975


Purely Commentary

City of Hd'pe — Institution
With Confidence in Cures

How Yiddish Classicists Raise Standards of
Language Treasures ... The New Role of Good
Will Tasks in U.S.... Sakharov's Courage

The situation has changed. Dr. Hyatt acted firmly and
promptly in time of need, as Dr. Voss indicated in his splen-
did article which is welcomed with gratitude.

City of Hope, the famed medical research and curing
center in Duarte, Calif., merits widest recognition for one Yiddish Classicists
primary principle: its physicians and sponsors have faith Raise Language Standards
that even the severest illness could be curable. Therefore the
Defying the drastic declines in the status of Yiddish,
approach is to search for cures and to effect them. That is lovers of the language that was the tongue in usage by mil-
why the research conducted at Duarte, in this important lions of Jews for several centuries keep upholding its banner
medical center, is so valuable for mankind.
and do not hesitate to advocate its usage, retention and
City of Hope provides hope that emphysema can be pre- survival.
vented. It seeks relief for sufferers from many diseases that
They are the Yiddish classicists whose love for the lan-
have been viewed as incurable. It specializes in caring for guage has enabled them to introduce Yiddish courses in
patients who suffer from cancer and leukemia. Many who universities and to encourage publication of Yiddish liter-
suffer from respiratory effects, from heart ailments, have ary gems.
been helped in that medical institution. Many other ail-
Sadly, most of the published works are translations.
ments are considered seriously with a view of curing and The originals of the Yiddish heritage are not used because
providing the relief sought by many.
of the decline in usage. But the love for Yiddish encourages
In the process of caring for patients, research is con- the view that it may yet see a revival in originality.
ducted as a blessing for all, everywhere.
The interest in Yiddish is often expressed in queries
Modern facilities, in 40 buildings on 94 acres of grounds about origin of words, translations, the source of many of
set aside for this work make City of Hope an ideal for the the treasures that have enriched Yiddish literature and
many who labor for it. For several decades groups of De- knowledge about authors of Yiddish works.
troiters who are devoted to the task of assisting City of
Yiddish linguists take etymological pride in tracing
Hope have helped provide this community's gift to this in- word origins, in testing translations, in perpetuating the
stitution. Now in the process of an annual effort in behalf Yiddishisms that have made the language a rich source of
of City of Hope, the Detroiters dedicated to it merit the epigrams, anecdotes, proverbial gems. Therefore there is,
support they seek.
the frequent quest for proper translations and search for
roots of words.
.Andrei Sakharov's Consistency
A reader inquired about the Yiddish translation of ad-
as a Great Libertarian
vantage. The search for it produced another aspect of Yid-

Long before he had any indication of the honor to be dishist status. It has developed that there is no term in Yid-
accorded him as the 1975 selectee for the Nobel Peace Prize, dish to describe advantage and that the translation used is
Andrei Sakharov fearlessly defied Kremlinism to defend Hebraic, maaleh. It is pronounced mauleh in Yiddish and
the right of Jews to emigrate to Israel and in giving full it gives credence to the fact that Yiddish depends in large
credit to Israel herself as a nation with the right to live and measure upon Hebrew. The language has drawn mostly
upon German, and etymologists have asserted that for a
to welcome his fellow Russians of the Jewish faith.
Nearly a year ago, Commentary in The Jewish News of genuine knowledge of German origins of words one must
Nov. 29, 1974, devoted most of a full page to an acknowl- turn to the Yiddish which has borrowed and perpetuated so
edgement of the Sakharov views on Jews and Israel and on many of them. Yiddish has drawn upon other languages.
Yiddishists in this country inevitably if inadvertently drew
the struggle for just rights for all in the Soviet Union.
Sakharov remains fearless.. After the announcement of greatly upon English and American Yiddish is flavored
his being named for the Nobel Peace Prize, he responded to with English terms.
a call from the Israel Radio with a message of cheer to the
What a pity that so many of the people who now hold
Russian Jews who settled in Israel, with an expression of major roles in Jewish life do not know Yiddish! Even the
admiration for Russian Jews who embraced the Zionist rabbis do not know the language and therefore do not read
ideal and settled in the ancient homeland of their people.
Yiddish periodicals. It was different some 60 years ago. A
Such is the courage of the great Russian for which he distinguished leader like Louis Marshall found himself
must be admired. What a wonderful choice — that Andrei helpless in leadership without a knowledge of the language.
Sakharov should have been named a Nobel Laureate!
Therefore that semi-assimilated Reform Jew began to
And now he is joined in the Nobel ranks by another study Yiddish. He said that if he is to lead Jews he must be
Russian Jew, Leonid V. Kantorovich. Who said justice and able to converse with the people. Therefore, he must be able
recognition of merit can be suppressed, even by authoritari- to read their newspapers.
Yiddish was so important as the language of the Jewish
masses in the first two decades of this century that when
A Marked Improvement
William Randolph Hearst Sr. ran for governor of New York
in the Good Will Movement
A revealing article in this issue throws light on several
issues stemming from the so-called Good Will Movement.
Dr. Carl Hermann Voss, an eminent philo-Semite, a leader
in tasks for the advancement of closest relations between
Christians and Jews, a pioneer in the ranks of Christian
supporters of Zionism and the state of Israel; comments on
the new spirit that has elevated the National Conference of
circles, in Sons of St. Tam-
Editor, Jewish Currents
Christians and Jews under the leadership of its present
many, in the French So-
president, Dr. David Hyatt.
ciety of Friends of Liberty
Bordeaux, France was and Equality, in the Dem-
Dr. Voss is an authority
and what he has written, on can sentiment that the citi- ocratic Society (Jeffer-
sonian), and the Pennsyl-
Page 56 in this issue, reveals
Jews included, raised vania
a prejudice even among those zenry,
Abolition Society.
who, for public consumption, present to our embattled
Freeing his own slave in
subscribed to the theories of country. And it was from
1793, Nones often helped
the- National Conference of Bordeaux that 20-year-old secure the freedom of other
Christians and Jews. The ex- Benjamin Nones came in slaves, persuading even
ample he quotes is that of a 1777 to enlist in the revolu- French Jewish refugees
from the 1793 slave revolt in
founder of the NCCJ, Newton tionary army.
D. Baker, who was U.S. Sec-
Santo Domingo to free
retary of War during World dier of Pulaski's Regiment
slaves they had brought
War I.
with them.
certified in Dec., 1779 that
An active and pious Jew,
Baker was not alone.
Nones was president of Mik-
There was an experience lo- marked Nones' "behavior
veh Israel Congregation
cally, in the crucial years of under fire in all the bloody
from 1791 to 1799. By 1783
World War II and thereafter,
he was also a member of
when Zionists struggled for
Coming to Philadelphia,
Lodge No. 2 of the Masons,
the cause of a redeemed Jewish national home. The director the center of the Revolution,
which Haym Salomon
of the Detroit Round Table, the local arm of the NCCJ, was Nones, the young immi-
joined in 1784.
asked to intercede in a serious matter involving defense of grant veteran, May 2, 1782
In the election campaign
the Zionist libertarian ideal. He said he was personally married Mitiam Marks
of 1800, Nones attended "a
sympathetic, but there were rabbis, a Detroiter among (1764-1822), already a third-
Jeffersonian party nomi-
them, who opposed the ideal. He would not act. There was generation American; from
nating convention. In a
hiding, and fear of truth and the justice that stemmed from 1783 to 1805 she bore him
scurrilous account of this
the aspirations for an end to Jewish homelessness. This was between 13 and 15 children,
convention, the Federalist
true even in the years when a third of the Jewish people was five of them daughters.
journal, spitting anti-Ne-
being massacred by the Nazis.
In business as a broker
gro, anti-labor, anti-intel-
Dr. Voss renders a service by exposing the fears of the and merchant, Nones be-
lectual and anti-demo-
chameleons, the hidden antagonists even of those who took came involved with the
cratic venom, ended with
most drastically advanced
leadership in so-called Good Will mouthings.
an anti-Semitic sneer at

By Philip


he established a Yiddish newspaper to serve his needs. Was
it the famous Yiddish, orator Zvi Masliansky who helped
him in that task?
Now Yiddish is popularized in translation. Schocken
Books, for example, in a single season published "Yiddish
Proverbs," "Selected Stories of I. L. Peretz" and "Voices
from the Yiddish" edited by Howe and Greenberg.
Perhaps the glory of Yiddish has vanished only par-
tially. The revival, however, must include continued knowl-
edge and usage of the language itself, in the original, not in

Leadership Under Scrutiny:
Jewish Roles Need Testing

The Louis Harris Survey indicates that confidence in
leadership in this country has declined, that 60 percent have
lost confidence in the leaders of this country and only 30
percent have a measure of faith in the heads of government.
Similar percentages show -sa feeling of a worsening
quality in men on top.
Perhaps it is fortunate that no such poll is being taken
in Jewish ranks. Feelings expressed in some quarters re-
cently indicated a growing feeling of concern over the lead-
ership, both in the Conference of Presidents of Major Amer-
ican Jewish Organizations and the movements affiliated
with this group.
One of the tests of leadership and of independence in
thinking is certain to come up in January or in February
when the Jewish Agency, will meet and will have on the
agenda the election of, a chairman to succeed the late Pinhas
Sapir, who had taken over leadership from the late Arye
Two men are in the running for the job at present —
Yosef Almogi and Leon Dulzin. The former is the candidate
of the dominant Israel Labor Party. The latter is also a
party man, representing the Liberals and the General Zion-
ists, but he can be considered the career man who now is the
acting chairman and has the background that unquestiona-
bly qualifies him to contintle in that post. Even if Golda
Meir, who also has been mentioned for the post, were to
become available, neither she nor Almogi could be viewed as
qualified in contrast with the experienced Dulzin.
The test will be in the American and Diaspora ranks of
the Jewish Agency. Will the American representatives take
orders from the Labor Party or will they show independ-
ence in judgment to assure continuity Eby a man of experi-
ence and unquestioned ability?
This is one way in which leadership is tested. There
may be issues involving independent thinking and acting
that is vital for acceptance by constituents. It applies espe-
cially to the American faction which is often under the test
of resisting pressures — perhaps also pressures from Israe-
lis who could be better guided if tensions stemming from
pressures could be reduced or eliminated.
The test of leadership is the criterion of a people's cour-
age. Much of the latter will always be needed in Jewish


A Bicentennial Feature

Benjamin Nones: Revolutionary, Republican

Nones. Nones' reply, pub-
lished in the Jeffersonian
press, is an historic docu-

To the Federalist charge
"of being a Jew; of being a
Republican; and of being
Poor," he proudly pleaded
guilty. What is new in this
is his response to the charge

that he is a "Republican," a
term of the worst abuse at
the time, meaning that he
was an extreme radical.
Nones proclaimed his
duty as a Jew thus to be in
the forefront of the fight for
progress. "I am a Jew, and if
for no other reason, for that
reason am I a Republican."

Artist's painting of Benjamin Nones.

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