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May 28, 1976 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1976-05-28

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

May 28, 1976 5

Readers Digest Article Is Called Biased; Editor Denies Charge

NEW YORK (JTA) — A
Readers Digest article
which repeats the allegation
that Jews were responsible
for the crucifixion of Jesus
brought an angry protest
from an official of a Jewish

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organization and subscriber
to the mass circulation
monthly and a disclaimer
from its senior staff editor
that either the Digest or the
author of the article "is in
any way anti-Semitic."
The article, titled "The
End Is Life," was extracted
from "The Magnificent De-
feat," a paperback book
published in 1966 by the
Seabury Press Inc. of New
York. The author, Frederick
Buechner, was described by
the Digest as an ordained
Presbyterian minister and
author of several other
books. The extract appeared
in the magazine's April is-
sue, coinciding with the
Easter and Passover holi-
days.
The opening paragraph of
Buechner's article reads:
"Heaven knows the old men
had put Pilate - through
plenty already: insisting
that he try the man for of-
fenses against Jewith piety
when as far as he was con-
cerned, Jewish piety could
not have mattered less; then
threatening to inform
against him if he did not
yield to their pressure and
have the man executed,
which, of course, he finally
did, although not before
announcing first that as far
as he was concerned, the
man was innocent . . ."
Later in the article,
Beuchner wrote that
"Beneath the fear that
the Jewish elders spoke
about to Pilate lay another
fear, the fear that the man
whom they had crucified
would really come alive
again as he promised.
That the body that now lay
dead in its tomb, disfig-
ured by the mutilations of
the Cross, would start up
in its graveclothes and
move toward them with
unspeakable power . . .7
At the end of the Beuchner
article the Readers Digest
advised readers how to
obtain reprints.
Mrs. Shifra Hoffman, ex-
ecutive director of "Shuva,"
the aliya movement of the
Jewish Defense League,
protested in a letter to
Readers Digest managing
editor Edward T. Thompson
that "Reverend Buechner's
view of the Resurrection
means revival of the infa-
mous 'Jews are responsible
for the death of Jesus' myth
which, together with the
equally infamous 'blood li-
bel' . . some were foolish
enough to believe ecumen-
ism had forever laid to rest."
Mrs. Hoffman provided

Rabbis Denounce
UN Anti-Zion Act

LONDON (JTA) — The
10th Conference of Euro-
pean Rabbis, which was at-
tended by almost 100 Ortho-
dox rabbis from Europe,
Israel and the U.S., adopted
resolutions denouncing the
UN anti-Zionist resolution,
called for solidarity with
Israel, reasserted the indivi-
sibility of Jerusalem and
called on the Soviet govern-
ment to permit emigration
and to grant its Jewish citi-
zens the right to pursue
their reVious, cultural and
a l'a. spirat
c o rnmur
,
, io n s. ` :

the Jewish Telegraphic
Agency with copies of her
letter and of the reply she
received from Senior Staff
Editor Jeremy Dole who
expressed "astonishment"
at her protest. Dole wrote,
"You have given an interpre-
tation to Frederick Beu-
chner's opening paragraph
that we don't believe is justi-
fied. I can assure you nei-
ther Buechner nor his arti-
cle nor the Digest is in any
way anti-Semitic."
Mrs. Hoffman, who in-
formed Readers Digest that

you (Readers Digest) sanc-
tion."

she was cancelling her sub-
scription, said in her letter
she is urging other subscri-
bers to do likewise to pro-
test against "the bigotry

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