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June 25, 1982 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1982-06-25

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2 Friday, June 25, 1982

Purely Commentary

To the Credit of U.S. Jewry:
Revised Bible Translation
Advances Jewish Scholarship

American Jewry is often subjected to criticism, its cul-
tural role suffering criticism, whatever there is of affluence
being distorted into the description of "people of the
pocketbook." It is an unjust valuation. Whatever the re-
sults of aims to create high standards in education, they are
in no sense less than those of other religious or ethnic
groups in the land.
In some respects,
cultural attain-
ments are on a
higher level than in
other ranks. It is in
the strictly Jewish
sphere that this is
especially evident.
The completion of
1‘,EIliCil 11%4
the revised transla-
tion of Scriptures by
scholars represent-
g t
OO Pi ti
ing the Jewish Pub-
lication Society of
America provides
reason for pride in
"The Writings —
Kethubim" now
glorify the book-
shelves with the re-
sultant improve-
ments in transla-
tions, presented, in anticipation of possible criticism that
may border as resentment of proferred changes, as a need to
restore the English text "to its pristine meaning." This is
the explanation provided by one of the leading Bible schol-
ars, Prof. Nahum Sarna of Brandeis University, a member
of the working committee who completed the translation
revisions. -
Dr. Sarna made his comment on the changes, referring
especially to transforming in Psalm 23 the earlier "valley of
the shadow of death" into "the valley of deepest darkness."
Prof. Sarna explained: "While this is a new rendering
of the Hebrew, such an interpretation was in fact recog-
nized by Rashi, the leading Jewish Bible commentator of
the Middle Ages."
This is the revised translation of Psalm 23 in its total-
23—A psalm of David.
The Lord is my shepherd;
I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me to water in places of repose;
He renews my life;
He guides me in right paths
as befits His name.
Though I walk through a valley of deepest darkness,
I fear no harm, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff—they comfort me.
You spread a table for me in full view of my enemies;

THE 18/RI fl N 6S

By Philip

Jewish Publication Society Reaches New Heights With
Publication of the `Kethubim: Marking Completion
of the Revised English Translation of the Scriptures

You anoint my head with oil;
my drink is abundant.
Only goodness and steadfast love shall pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
for many long years.
It is far from a simple matter to differ with the hitherto
accepted King James version. The JPS committee of trans-
lators dared to do it in order to preserve the proper and
actual meanings of texts in the Hebrew original.
Thus, as another example, "Koheleth — Ecclesiastes"
does not commence as "Vanity of vanities," but is changed
to "Utter futility, all is futility . . .":



The words of Koheleth son of David, king in
Utter futility!—said Koheleth—Utter futility! All is
futile! What real value is there for a man in all the
gains he makes beneath the sun?
One generation goes, another comes, but the earth
remains the same forever. The sun rises, and the sun
sets — and glides back to where it rises. Southward
blowing, turning northward, ever turning blows the
wind; On its rounds the wind returns. All streams flow
into the sea, Yet the sea is never full; To the place
(from) which they Clow; The streams flow back again.
All such things are wearisome: No man can ever state
them; The eye never has enough of seeing, Nor the ear
enough of hearing. Only that shall happen which has
happened, Only that occur which has occurred: There
is nothing new beneath the sun.
There is so much to account for in the changes that the
studies of them will surely provide sources of endless edu
cational programs, with emphasis on the interest to be
inspired for adult courses.
Perhaps the introductory to "Shir HaShirim" — "The
Song of Songs" also merits special attention:

1:3'1 , V711 , 1,


The Song of Songs, by Solomon.
Oh, give me of the kisses of your mouth,
For your love is more delightful than wine.
Your ointments yield a sweet fragrance,
Your name is like finest oil—
Therefore do maidens love you.
Draw me after you, let us run!
The king has brought me to his chambers.
Let us delight and rejoice in your love,
Savoring it more than wine—

Like new wine they love you!
I am dark, but comely,
0 daughters of Jerusalem—
Like the tents of Kedar,
Like the pavilions of Solomon.
Don't stare at me because I am swarthy,
Because the sun has gazed upon me,
They made me guard the vineyards;
My own vineyard I did not guard.
Tell me, you whom I love so well;
Where do you pasture your sheep?
Where do you rest them at noon?
There is genuine fascination in what has been
achieved. The Jewish Publication Society had to its credit
the first revised translation, in 1920, and Scriptures in that
text had been used until now.
There is fascination in the new text, in the rev(' un-
ary changes, in the daring to abandon the King
version by turning to the realistic in the Hebrew original.
This generation can feel itself fortunate to be the witnesses
of a notable accomplishment that attests to American
Jewry having truly reached cultural maturity.


Dr. Rosen's 70th Birthday:
Acclaim by World Jewry

Representatives of Jewish communities throughout
the world will be participants in an event of major signifi-
cance, in Bucharest, Romania, July 12-15. It will be occa-
sion to honor that country's Chief Rabbi, Dr. Moshe Rosen.
He has labored with dig-
' nity and with courage in
protecting the rights of his
people, their religious dig-
nity, their educational
aims. Dr. Rosen is able con-
tinually to confer with the
heads of the Romanian
Communist regime, secur-
ing results, in defense of his
kehillot in the surviving
Romanian Jewish com-
munities, for the protection
of schools and synagogues.
At the same time, he suc-
ceeded in enabling
thousands of Romanian
Jews to settle in Israel and
to establish a dignified
Jewish existence in the Jewish homeland.
Dr. Rosen is himself a survivor from the Nazi terror.
His parents, many others in his family, perished in the
death camps. He provides comfort for the survivors in the
services he continues to render in elevating the standards
of Jewish life in his country, where he has been highly
honored and serves as a member of the Romanian parlia-
Those who have enrolled in delegations to join in hon-
oring Dr. Rosen form a veritable Who's Who in World
Jewry. Not Jews alone but all in mankind who are aware of
his courageous services to Jewry and to mankind join in
greeting and appiauciing him with deepest appreciation.


Lester Book Gives Additional Emphasis to Wallenberg Campaign

Mounting evidence that ing number of books dealing
Raoul Wallenberg is alive is with the heroism of the
emphasized in the increas- Swedish non-Jew who
single-handedly conducted
the life-saving campaign
that rescued tens of
thousands of Hungarian
Jews from the Nazi gas
Adding to these views is
the latest of the new works
on Wallenberg, in which an
extensive study is made of
the tragic era, the anti-
Semitic acts of the Hunga-
rian Arrow Cross and the
international involve-
"Wallenberg: The Man in
the Iron Web" (Prentice
Hall) by Eleanore Lester
matches the earlier works
in the detailed accounts
that serve to arouse public
sentiment in support of ef-
forts to press fo; Wallen-
berg's release.
Miss Lester was among
the first in the past few
years to arouse interest
in the case of the hero
who was arrested by the

Russians on charges that
were never made public.
The reason for his arrest
was never clarified.
The gripping story by
Miss Lester, first published
in the New York Times
Magazine Section and now
extensively elaborated
upon, traces the story and
also documents it with data
about the Russian actions.
It does even more — it
goes into details about the
barbaric activities of the
Nazis and pro-Nazis during
the Hitler era and up to the
end of the war, when the
Russians occupied
Budapest and arrested Wal-
Describing her visit in
Budapest in 1980, Miss Les-
ter tells of the impression
that was left upon those who
knew him and his heroic ac-
tivities upon survivors from
that era. She also relates
how the events are kept as a
secrecy under present Hun-
garian domination, how the
planned monument for Wal-

lenberg was reduced in the
anticipated significance.
Here is how she exposes the
denuding of the monument
that had actually been
"The remaining Jewish
community of Budapest did
not forget Wallenberg. They
were convinced he was dead
and wanted to dedicate a
memorial to him. They
commissioned Pal Patzai, a
noted Hungarian sculptor,
to design a monument. A
friend of Patzai's had been
rescued by Wallenberg, and
he undertook the assign-
ment with enthusiasm.
"He designed a heroic
bronze figure battling a
snake with a swastika
head. This rested on a
pedestal bearing a relief
profile of Wallenberg.
The inscription beneath
read that the monument
was to express 'our silent
and eternal gratitude to
him and should always
remind us of his enduring
humanity in a period of

"The monument was set
in its place in St. Stephen's
Park, and one Sunday
morning in April hundreds
of Budapest citizens, com-
munity leaders and repre-
sentatives of the Swedish
legation arrived for the
dedication. When they
reached the appointed spot
they found that the 18-foot
statue and pedestal had
been removed during the
"The statue was found
Many years later in an
abandoned building on the
outskirts of Budapest, but
the pedestal with the relief
portrait of Wallenberg and
the inscription was not
there. Years later the statue
turned up again, set outside
a pharmaceutical factory
near Debrecen. The swas-
tika had been removed from
the serpent's head.
"The figure in that con-
text appears to be that of
Man or Science battling dis-
ease. However, many Hun-

garians are aware that the
figure represents Wallen-
It was on her Budapest
visit that Miss Lester
found there was no offi-
cial anti-Semitism in
Hungary, yet when she
interviewed a survivor he
made certain his com-
ment was to be treated in
privacy and he said:
"Forget it. Go home.
There was no Wallenberg.
There were no Jews, no
Holocaust. Our children
don't want to hear about it.
We are all trying to live to-
Her story is an a.,--ted
enlightenment about the
A reception honoring
Miss Lester was held in
Washington on Capitol Hill
on Tuesday. Sponsors of the
event included Senators
Claiborne Pell and Rudy
Boschwitz, and Con-
gressmen Jack Kemp and
Tom Lantos.

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