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July 30, 1976 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1976-07-30

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14 Friday, July 30, 1976

Dropsie Library Noted on University's 70th

Our 36th Annual


(Continued from Page 13)
considered the third larg-
est collection of Hebraica
and Judaica in the United
States. Its Rare Books
Rooms house hundreds of
rare editions from the 15th
Century, incunabula and
Its vault contains part of
the priceless Geniza Frag-
ments, from the Cairo Syn-
agogue which was estab-
lished in 616 CE. Before the
recent discovery of the now
famous Dead Sea Scrolls,
the Cairo Geniza was con-
sidered the most important
colleCtion of ancient Jewish
documents, letters and liter-
ary remains in Hebrew and
Aramaic. There is hardly a
branch of Jewish learning
that has not been enriched
by the discovery of the Gen-
iza treasures.
Dropsie is also well
known in the scholarly
world for its publication,
the Jewish Quarterly Re-
view, which publishes schol-

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arly articles on the entire
range of Jewish studies. The
quarterly is considered the
outstanding scholarly mag-
azine in the world in En-
glish language. It reflects
the Judaica research pro-
jects undertaken by Jewish
and Christian students,
professors and scholars the
world over.
One of the pillars of the
Dropsie University is Wil-
liam B. Thomas, a noted
Jewish industrialist and
philanthropist. He is chair-
man of the board of gover-
nors of the university. Leon
J. Perelman, a prominent
Philadelphia communal
leader, is chairman of the
executive committee.
It is a Trojan job to con-
duct an independent,
small institution such as
Dropsie with out proper
financial backing on the
part of the American Jew-
ish community. Dropsie
receives small financial
assistance from some Jew-
ish welfare funds, but its
existence depends largely
on endowments, on gifts
from foundations or from
interested groups.
Its major financial sup-
port comes from those who
hear of the university by
word of mouth, or from oc-
casional articles written
about Dropsie, or through
reading its publications,
says Thomas. He is devoting
much of his time and energy
to broadening the univer-
sity's sources of financial
support and to augument its
current endowment income.
Perelman, who has de-
voted much of his time to
the day-by-day operation of
Dropsie University as chair-
man of the executive com-
mittee for many years, will
assume the administrative
responsibilities of the uni-
versity as acting president
until a successor to Dr.
Katsh is named.
Dr. Katsh is one of the
three presidents of Dropsie


during all the years of its
existence. The first was the
eminent Dr. Cyrus Adler
who occupied that office
from the establishment of
the institution until his
death in 1940.
He was succeeded by Dr.
Abraham A. Neuman, the
well-known historian, until
Dr. Katsh, who was in-
augurated as the third
president in 1967, is the
author of about 20 books.
He was the first American
permitted by the Soviet
authorities to work in the
famous Saltykov-Shedrin
State Library in Lenin-
grad which ranks third in
importance in the world
after the British Museum
in London and the Bibliot-
heque Nationale in Pars.
I was the second Ameri-
can so far permitted to
spend some time in this li-
brary to which no foreigner
is admitted. A Soviet citizen
can enter there only if he is


The 'Three Weeks' Defined,
Restrictions Enumerated


The current three weeks
on the Jewish calendar are
referred to as "Beyn ha-
Two reasons are advanced
for this title depending upon
the translation of the term
"M'tzorim". According to
one interpretation the term
comes from the word
"Tzara" which means
In this case the meaning
would infer that this, is the
period between two fast
days, the 17th of Tammuz
(July 15) and Tisha b'Av
(Aug. 5), each of which are
observed as an anniversary
of an episode of "trouble" in
Jewish history.
The first fast day com-
memorates the initial epi-


1976, JTA,


Judge Thorburn

Judge Webster




An Oakland Circuit Judge since 1963,
James S. Thorburn is the Chief Judge
of the Oakland County Circuit Court.
Judge Thorburn, a University of
Michigan Law School graduate and a
decorated World War II naval aviator, is
past president of the Oakland County
Bar Association.

Oakland Circuit Judge Robert B:
Webster has served as Alternate
Presiding and Alternate Chief Judge
of the circuit since 1974. A graduate
of the National College of the State
Judiciary, Judge Webster is
Chairman of the Michigan Supreme
Court Committee to Revise &
Consolidate Michigan Court Rules.

Oakland Circuit Judge Steven N.
Andrews, a practicing attorney in the
county for 16 years, is past president of
the Oakland County Bar Association.
Married, with three children, Judge
Andrews is a graduate of Adrian
College, served for eight years as
Clawson City Attorney.

Judge Andrews




• .•

• • •

a scholar or scientist whose
research is important to the
interest of the state.
The secret behind this
most famous library is that
it contains documents and
books which the Soviet gov-
ernment does not want any-
one to see, except by special
permission. They include
the best collection in the
world of the centuries-old
Geniza material and ex-
tremely valuable Hebrew
books and manuscripts.
I was permitted to enter
this sancta sanctorium
when I visited Leningiad
in 1968, and was even
presented with an honorary
membership card after
the authorities, obvious',
checking on me, discovered
that a number of my books
are on the shelves of this li-
brary. Dr. Katsh was' given
permission by the library
authorities to microfilm the
Geniza material there. His
microfilms are now in the li-
brary of Dropsie University.

pd. pol. adv.

sode of the destruction of
the First and Second Tem-
ples (along with other
troublesome episodes)
while the second fast day,
three days later, comme-
morates the final episodes
in the destruction of both
Temples. These three
weeks thus represent a
period between two trou-
blesome episodes.
According to a second in-
terpretation the word
"M'tzorim" means
"boundaries". In this case
the name is applied because
the portions of the Torah
that are usually read in the
synagogue during these
three weeks are ones where
the division of the holy land
into tribal and family plots
is described, spelling out the
inner boundaries of the
Holy Land.
No meat is eaten during
the last nine days of this
three-week period.
During these three weeks
a mourning period is ob-
served for the destruction of
the temples. Meat at a Jew-
ish table is symbolic of the
animal sacrifices once of-
fered in the temple of Jeru-
salem, from some of which
the meat was consumed by
the people.
The refrain from con-
suming meat was indica-
tive of the fact that we
have•no temple in which
sacrifices can be offered.
Furthermore, the presence
of meat on a Jewish tablr
is indicative of a spirit ci
joy. The absence of meat
would thus indicate th.
absence of joy during this
sad period.
In a similar sense the next
of kin are forbidden to eat
meat during the period be-
tween the death and the
burial of a loved one; since
the death of loved ones is
compared to the destruction
of the temple, a family
being considered as a tem-
ple of love and death being
considered a partial de-
struction - of that structure
of devotion.

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