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May 10, 1985 - Image 2

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Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-05-10

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2

Friday, May 10, 1985

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

PURELY COMMENTARY

sommessomi
PHILIP SLOMOVITZ

The Kaddish: Jewish Reply To The Apologetic In An Anguished. Period

Yitgadal v'Yitkadash .. .
. . . the words resound wherever
human speech is audible, in all parts of the
globe, where life is treasured and memory
is kept alive.
The Kaddish is the Jewish clarion call
to mankind at a time when errors in judg-
ment were pursued in behalf of this nation.
The chant, during all the deliberations
on the outskirts of the death camps and the
cemeteries, was a reaffirmation of com-
mitments to life. And in the course of pro-
claiming that mandate, the Jewish people
everywhere emphasized the unity inher-
ent in remembering, in paying respect to
the victims of a tragedy, the memory of
which cannot be erased. The President of
the United States, perhaps in an erase-
ment of blunders, rose to great heights in a
sharing of oratorical proclamations of
adherence to the slogan of Never Again!

The hurt resulting from misguided
judgments, the heartaches that were
caused and the debates that were aroused
may have an explanatory summary in this
statement in the New York Times editorial
on the morning of Ronald Reagan's visit to
the German cemetery: "Though America's
oldest President displays America's shor-
test memory, most Americans know the
answers. Hitler's Germany was no ordi-
nary enemy, and its defeat 40 years ago
was no ordinary victory."
Lack of understanding must be

avoided. Misinterpretation, misapplica-
tion of facts is most deplorable. It can lead
to mockery. It is mockery that the inexcus-
able balancing has led the leaders of this
nation, in their apologetics, to give em-
phasis to a 16-year-old German who was
among the buried in Bitburg. A young
German soldier equated with the Million
Murdered Jewish Children.
What a mockery — when it is neces-
sary to remember the Million Murdered
Jewish Children!
Any wonder that the Kaddish chant
echoes throughout the world?
To the apologetic, to the subsequent
whitewashing, to the bitterness that has
emerged, there was the constant reminder
to mankind contained in the Kaddish —
the magnification of a people's rejection of
the evil that harms all mankind, and the
invitation to a sharing in the dedication to
the higher goals that glorify the Resis-
tance, the spiritual and the physical that
gives life to Israel.
Many angry words were spoken and
empty apologies were expressed. The truth
in the human experiences cannot be
erased. Dominating all that has transpired
was and remains the declarative legacy
contained in the Kaddish, and its mandate
and its meaning is inerasable. All man-
kind remembers, as the Kaddish is con-
stantly chanted. Even the Hitler mania did
not suppress it and the Jewish will to live is
indestructible.

Reader- Magnified and sanctified be
his great Name in the world which he hath
created according to his will. May he estab-
lish his kingdom during your life and dur-
ing your cloys, and during the life of all the
house of Israel, even speedily and at a near
time, and say ye, Amen.
Cong. and Reader - Let his great
Name be blessed for ever and to all eternity.
Reader - Blessed, praised and
glorified, exalted, extolled and honored,
magnified and lauded be the Name of the
Holy One, blessed be he; though he be high
above all the blessings and hymns, praises
and consolations, which are uttered in the
world; and say ye, Amen.
Congregation - Amen.
Reader - May the prayers and suppli-
cations of all Israel be accepted by their
Father who is in heaven; and say ye, Amen.
Congregation - Amen.
Reader- May there be abundant peace
from heaven, and life for us and for all
Israel; and say ye, Amen.
Congregation -Amen.
Reader - He who maketh peace in his
high places, may he make peace for us and
for all Israel; and say ye, Amen.

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The Roosevelt Anniversary And A Vandenberg Memo

Franklin Roosevelt

The 40th anniversary of the death of
Franklin D. Roosevelt, marked on April
11, compelled recollections of the dramatic
era in the life of all Americans and their
President who attained greatness. There
were negations in the greatness and they
can not be erased from history.
President Roosevelt died on a Wed-
nesday in that tragic year 1945. There was
a mission to Washington less than a week
before his death in which this writer
played a role, and the importance of it was
that the assignment involved another
great American, Michigan's U.S. Senator
Arthur H. Vandenberg. Accompanying
this columnist in that mission to Washing-
ton were Dr. Chaim Greenberg, whose
name is ineraseable from the coteries of
eminent authors, historians, philosophers;
and Albert Shulman. We were to meet with
Vandenberg early Friday morning, April
6. The Michigan Central train that was to
arrive in Washington at 8 a.m. was stalled
somewhere in Pennsylvania. In some fash-
ion,. Vandenberg was reached, the ap- .
pointment was changed to 4 p.m. that Fri-

Arthur Vandenberg

day and the delegation met in his office.
We had come to appeal in behalf of the
Zionist cause, in support of rescue efforts in
what was then Palestine for the Nazi sur-
vivors. The doors were practically shut to
newcomers from the Nazi hell by the
British.
Vandenberg did most of the talking.
He turned to FDR. He picked up a copy of
what was then the New Palestine, the
organ of the Zionist Organization of
America. He read the headline, something
to the effect of: "Roosevelt Reaffirms
Pledge of Zionist Support . . ." It is difficult
to recall the exact words now.
Then, Vandenberg said: "The trouble
with you Zionists and most Jews is that
every time the Great White Father (mean-
ing FDR, of course,) waves the wand, you
jump through the hoop."
Then he continued to state that "only
yesterday" Roosevelt had broken a pledge
to Vandenberg on a national matter, that
he had planned to go to him that morning
with a demand for correction, and stated
that he didn't go, explaining: "But he is

such a sick man, such a sick man!"
Roosevelt died the following Wednesday.
Then Vandenberg picked up the copy
of the New Palestine from his desk and
threw it into his wastebasket in disgust.
Leaving the office of Vandenberg the
Republican, this writer turned to Green-
berg and Shulman, both of whom had been
sympathetic to the Democratic Party, and
commented: "Our trouble is that Vanden-
berg is right about Roosevelt."
This recollection calls for an explana-
tion about Senator Vandenberg as well.
This columnist had established contact
with him from 1929 — when he addressed
the men's club of Temple Beth El — until
his death. He was intermediary with him
for the Zionist leadership. Vandenberg be-
came the associate chairman, with New
York Senator Robert Wagner, of the
American Christian Palestine Committee.
We established the contact and there
was the genesis of a friendship, and it was
expressed scores of times. Here is an exam-
ple of it:
Washington, D.C.
May 19, 1939
5:16 p.m.
Philip Slomovitz,
Detroit, Mich.
I believe today more than ever
in the Zionist home in Palestine. As
a member of the original Christian
Pro-Palestine Committee I thought
I saw a great vision. It is clearer
than ever today and the inhuman-
ity of man makes it more logical
and more essential than ever. I
emphatically favor every coopera-
tion that America can give to the
promised culmination of this
promised Jewish homeland. The
Balfour assurances should not de-
fault. The Jews of the world took
them in good faith and have in-
vested heart and fortune in them.
They have a right to every interna-
tional cooperation in behalf of this
Jewish homeland. Count upon my
interest to the limit.
Senator A. H. Vandenberg

There is another sad addendum.
Friendships often cool off, especially when
a dream becomes a reality. It was easier to
gain support for Zionism when it was a
mere aspiration. In its fulfullment, there is
the cooling. Therefore, several years after
the above communication, it often became
necessary for Abba Hillel Silver, as chair-
man of the Zionist Emergency Council, to
call and urge this writer to make an over-
night trip to Washington to plead again
and again with Vandenbeg. Silver to this
writer: "There is danger Vandenberg may
turn against us . . . see him . . . arrange for
a meeting for me with him . . . We strug-
gled to retain friendships . . . It was not an
easy road."

Schools As Symbols
Demanding Priorities,
Challenging Attitudes

An anniversary is a time to honor the
personalities involved, the occasion com-
memorated, the ideals and achievements
recorded. These anticipations of an impor-
tant date in Detroit Jewish history relate
to the United Hebrew Schools.
The schools' 65th anniversary, on this
month's agenda, has much to be remem-
bered. Many of the most eminent men in
the community had a role ingliNationally
recognized educators were in the cast of
characters among the builders of the school
system.
The very act of organizing and unify-
ing the schools was of great significance
here. In its genesis, the educational move-
ment introduced a dedication to great his-
toric legacies and they were not totally
endorsed. It was five years later, thanks to
the vision of a lawyer turned volunteer so-
cial worker that the unified system of
schools become a part of the community.
Thanks to Fred M. Butzel, who hailed from
somewhat assimilated German-Jewish
roots, the UHS became a part of the Jewish
Welfare Federation, in 1925. It met with

Continued on Page 12

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