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January 23, 1976 - Image 56

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1976-01-23

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56 January 23, 1976

Liberty Bell as Bicentennia

Boris Smolar's

'Between You
... and Me'

Emeritus, JTA
(Copyright 1975, JTA, Inc.)

The Liberty Bell,
Bicentennial Symbol,
Preceded Independence

"Proclaim liberty throughoat
the land into all the inhabi-
tants thereof.':—Lev. XXV. 10.


(Copyright, 1976, JTA Inc.)

For the first. time in 223
years, since the Liberty Bell
was cast for the Province of
Pennsylvania, it has just
been moved to a pavilion
across from Philadelphia's
Independence Hall to
commence the observance of
the American Revolution
The Liberty Bell is the
symbol of American free-
dom, the inspiring instru-
ment which bears the in-
scription from the Bible:

"Proclaim liberty throughout
the land into all the inhabitants
thereof." — Lev. XXV. 10.

It is not generally known,
but the Liberty Bell. the
symbol of American free-
dom, is older than our inde-
In August of 1752, dock-
men in Philadelphia un-
loaded a crate that arrived
from England. In it was a
bell, cast by the. Londoner
Thomas Lister, 12 feet in
circumference at the widest
point, and on it was the
"By order of the Assem-
bly of the Province ofPenn-
sylvania, for the State

House in the City of Phila-
delphia, 1752."
The colony for whom this
bell was cast still was under
English rule, but the bell
itself was to become known
as the Liberty Bell, and was
to serve as a challenge to op-
pressors, for under the
above explanation appeared
this quotation:

"Proclaim Liberty through all
the land to all the inhabitants
thereof. — Lev. XXV 10."

Isaac Norris, a Quaker,
was the man chosen to se-
lect the quotation for the in-
scription on the Bell. He
picked the 25th chapter of
Leviticus which contains the
famous Jubilee proclama-
tion: "And ye shall hallow
the 50th year, and proclaim
liberty throughout the land

I f

The Bell was not hung in
the Pennsylvania State
House because, upon un-
packing, it cracked after a
single stroke of the clapper
due to the brittleness of the
metal. A little copper was
added to the metal in recast-
ing by Pass and Stow, the
two workingmen to whom

was assigned the task of
placing the Bell in order.
The two craftsmen reversed
the two original lines and
the inscription on the Bell
that was hung in 1753 read:

"Proclaim LIBERTY throughout
all the land unto all the Inhabi-
tants thereof. Lev. XXV 10.
"By order of the ASSEMBLY
o f the Province of PENNSYL-
VANIA, for the State House in
"Pass and Stow, Philada

The triumphant an-
nouncement of the Declara-
tion of Independence was
accompanied by sounds that
were pealed from the Lib-
erty Bell in the Pennsyl-
vania State House, on July
8, 1776.
But with the threats of
war, it became necessary to
protect the Bell, and it was
taken for safekeeping, in
1777, to Allentown, Pa., and
was returned to Philadel-
phia after the ousting of the
British from the newly
proclaimed American re-
After Pass and Stow had
recast the original bell, a

second one was sent to Phil-
adelphia from London by
Thomas Lister. That copy
was given to St. Augustine's
Church, which was burned
in 1844 during rioting by a
mob which was incited to vi-
olence by bigotry and anti-
Catholicism by the hate
group of that day — the
"Native Americans." The
Bell was crushed, but its
remains were recast into a
symbolic relic to be seen
today at Villanova (Pa.)
The original Liberty Bell
cracked on July 8, 1835, ex-
actly 59 years after it had
pealed the triumphant an-
nouncement of the Declara-
tion of Independence, when
it was rung for the funeral
of Chief Justice John Mar-
shall. But the Bell retains
its power as a symbol of
Liberty under the banner
that carries the translation
of the five Hebrew biblical

"Ukrosem dror ba-aretz lek-
hol yoshveho" — "Proclaim Lib-

erty throughout all the Land
unto all the inhabitants thereof."

Golda Meir Defines Palestinians, Peace

Golda Meir, former Prime
Minister of Israel, discussed
her attitude and feelings
toward the Palestinians and
peace in a lengthly article in
the Jan. 14 New York
She repeated her state-
ment, "There are no Palesti-
nians . . . There are Palesti-
nian refugees," and
explained that it was ac-
tually the Jewish pioneers
who should be called the
Mrs.Meir states that she
expresses her sympathy for
the 550,000 Palestinian ref-
ugees, but their refugee
status can not be main-
tained indefinitely.
"I repeat again. We dis-
possessed no Arabs. Our
toil in the deserts and
marshes of Palestine

created more habitable
living space for both Arab
and Jew. Until 1948 the
Arabs of Palestine multi-
plied and flourished as the
direct result of Zionist set-
"Whatever subsequent ills
befell the Arabs were the in-
evitable result of the Arab
design to drive us into the
sea. Had Israel not repelled
her would-be destroyers
there would have been no
Jewish refugees alive in the
Middle East to concern the
Mrs. Meir continued, "I
am not prepared to accede
to the easy formula that in
the Arab-Israeli conflict
we witness two equal con-
tending rights that de-
mand further "flexibility"
from Israel.

"Justice was not violated
when in the huge territories
liberated by the Allies from
the Sultan, one percent was
set aside for the Jewish
homeland on its ancestral
site, while in a parallel set-
tlement 99 percent of the
area was allotted for the
establishment of indepen-
dent Arab states.
"We successively accepted
the truncation of Transjor-
dan, three-fourths of the
area of historic Palestine,
and finally the painful com-
promise of the 1947 Parti-
tion Resolution in the hope
for peace.
"Yet though Israel arose
in only one-fifth of the terri-
tory originally assigned for
the Jewish homeland, the
Arabs invaded the young

Mrs. Meir asks why the
Arabs did not set up a Pa-
lestinian state in accord-
ance with the UN partition
in 1947, and why the Arabs
attacked Israel in 1967
when they controlled
Gaza, the West Bank, the
Sinai and the Old City of
Jerusalem. She says these
actions show the Arabs
want the destruction of
Israel, not the founding of
a Palestinian state.
She also said that Israel is
willing to work out a solu-
tion with the Palestinians,
but the solution already ex-
ists — in Jordan. "The ma-
jority of the refugees never
left Palestine; they are set-
tled on the West Bank and
in Jordan, the majority of
whose population is Palesti-

ence of Hebrew in America is much older than the 200 years
since the American Revolution. It goes back to the Colonial
time. It came over with the Pilgrims on the Mayflower. Pro-
testant ministers were expected to know Hebrew so that
they could read the Bible in the original. In any college cur-
riculum Hebrew was a required language on a par with
Latin and Greek. The texts used were the books of the Old
Testament written in Hebrew.
Harvard, the first college established in America, as-
sumed leadership in the early study of Hebrew. For over a
century and a half the commencement exercises included an
oration in Hebrew.
Yale, established in 1701, at first felt that Hebrew -cvL,
a province for advanced students, but later introduced He-
brew also for students of the first year. Its president, Ezra
Stiles, was an ardent Hebraist and philo-semite during his
entire lifetime. He made the knowledge of Hebrew an inte-
gral part of a scholar's liberal education and a requisite for
a minister. The seal of the Yale University carries the He-
brew words "Urirn V'Tumim" — words that had been en-
graved on the breastplates of the priests in the Temple in
Today, there are about 800 colleges, universities and
theological schools in the country accepting Hebrew as
meeting their language requirements. Some of them have
modern Hebrew courses and a number have established
chairs in Hebrew culture and education.
Yiddish in this country started only about 100 years ago
when Jews began to immigrate in large masses from East-
ern European countries where Yiddish was their mother
It was these immigrants who inspired the great Ameri-
can Jewish poet Emma Lazarus to write her classic poem
"The New Colossus" which is enshrined on the Statue of
Liberty at Ellis Island._
Today the most known of the Yiddish writers in this
country — whose works are translated into English and
other language — is Isaac Bashevis Singer. He
is an outstanding figure in American literature
F., although he writes his works originally in Yid-
dish and publishes them first in the Jewish
')76-19-/6 Daily Forward, the largest Yiddish newspaper.
Before his time, it was Sholem Asch — who also wrote his
works originally in Yiddish and published them first in the
Forward — who was the most gifted novelist accepted into
American literature through translation. He was men-
tioned as candidate for the Nobel Prize shortly before his
The Jewish world celebrates now the 100th anniversary
of the birth of Abraham Reizen, the classic Yiddish poet
and short-story writer who emigrated from Czarist Russia
to this country and became a leading figure in the world of
Jewish poetry. He too made his "home" in the Jewish Daily
Forward, but many of his sensitive poems found their way
into American literary publications, translated in English.
Yiddish playwrights too have made their impact on
American culture. S. Ansky's "The Dybbuk," Sholem
Asch's "God of Vengeance," Peretz Hirschbein's "The Green
Pastures," were translated into English and successfully
produced on Broadway and in cities other than New York.
"Fiddler on the Roof," based on Sholem Aleichem's writings
in Yiddish, has made history on the American stage by run-
ning years longer than any play ever written by. any Ameri-
can playwright.
JEWISH IMPACT: American Jews also contributed
to American literature gifted writers who wrote their
works in English. "The Rise of David Levinsky," a novel re-
flecting the life of Jewish immigrants, written about a half
a century ago in English by Abraham Cahan, the great edi-
tor of the Jewish Daily Forward, is still being reprinted to-
day in new editions.


Soviet Anti-Semitism Drive Seen as Heinous as Ever


Public Information Officer,
National Conference

on Soviet Jewry

NEW YORK — Anti-
Semitic propaganda in -;:he
Soviet press has developed
over a number of decades.
According to recent re-
ports reaching the N,-..ional
Conference on Soviet Jewry,
many of the items now deal-
ing with Israel in the Soviet

press and radio have placed
heavy emphasis on the UN
General Assembly resolu-
tion equating Zionism with
The articles and broad-
casts justified the UN deci-
sion by charging that Zion-
ism is not only a racist
theory because it claims
that Jews are an "exclusive
and superior race," but
that the state of Israel
which is the embodiment of
Zionism, is a country in
which racist practices are

directed against Arabs and
non-Jews, as well as some of
the Jews themselves.
S. Astakhov wrote in So-
vietskaya Kultura in No-
vember, 1975, "A pathol-
ogical hatred for the Arab
peoples, a policy of geno-
cide — that is what in-
spires Zionists and they
speak about this openly
without shame . . . And
the Zionists 'build' their
own 'civilization,' their
own 'Greater Israel,' us-
ing for this the experience

of their ideological teach-
ers — the Hitlerite Nazis
— they are building this
Israel on the bones and
blood of the neighboring
Arab peoples . . . "
With the defeat of the Ar-
abs in the Six-Day War, the
Soviet government began a
full-fledged propaganda
campaign against "inter-
national Zionism." The So-
viet media created countless
conspiracies between
"Zionists" with every type of
totalitarian regime, blam-

ing the Jews for the Czarist
pogroms as well as Nazi
By the early 1970s official
Soviet publications were
equating Zionism as the
new Nazism, that the
"progressive world was
threatened by this Hitlerite
The October War was the
signal for a new Soviet cam-
paign of anti-Semitism dis-
guised as anti-Zionism. As
in the past, such campaigns

have had a multiple pur
pose. First, they play a part
in the Soviet Union's pro-
Arab Mideast policy with
the avowed purpose. of un-
dermining the survival of
the Jewish state. Secondly,
such a campaign serves as a
threat toward Soviet Jews
regarding their continued
struggle for immigration to
Israel. Thirdly, it is part of
the overall switchboard ac-
tivities of the USSR by
which anti-Semitism is kept
alive worldwide.

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