Endorsement of Rabbi Joseph Silverman’s opinion, expressed at the hearing of the New York Board of Education, that the reading of the Ten Commandments in the public schools would mean the introduction in the schools of the Jewish religion, is contained in an editorial of the “Day” of Jan. 27.
“The attitude of Rabbi Silverman and of many other religious Jews against the introduction of the reading of the Decalogue in the schools is the right attitude, and the only one which religious as well as non-religious Jews should take,” the “Day” states.
“Rabbi Silverman declared that the introduction of the Ten Commandments would mean the introduction of the Jewish religion, and he is opposed to any kind of religious instruction in the public schools. That is perfectly right. The public schools must remain secular institutions. If parents wish to give their children a religious training they should send them to special schools, of which there are many. Of course, the reading of the Ten Commandments is not religious instruction. But it can easily lead to that. And this must be combatted.”
The paper also expresses the conviction that the movement for the reading of the Decalogue in the schools had its origin not in a desire to combat the spread of crime but in the recent tendency in this country to abolish the separation between church and state.
The “Jewish Daily News,” which , during the recent Wise controversy demanded Dr. Wise’s resignation, regards Rabbi Silverman’s remarks at the hearing as being tactless toward the Christians, but finds reason to be gratified at another angle of the situation, summing up its view in these words:
“On the one-hand, it is somewhat gratifying that in these days of propaganda for Jews by Dr. Wise and his assistants, which leads not only to the church, but to conversion and assimilation.another rabbi points out the distance between Christianity and Judaism, but on the other hand, it is deplorable that tactless words were uttered at the hearing from the Jewish side, words which could not have come from those who are true representatives of Judaism and Jewish life.”
The dangers involved in the proposal for the reading of the Decalogue in the schools are dealt with by the “American Hebrew.” in an advance copy of an editorial which will appear in the issue of Jan. 29.
“The greatest objection to such a movement.” the paper avers, “is the fear that it may be an entering wedge for the teaching of religion in the schools. The Decalogue, too, as our readers will recall, contains at least one injunction the constant mention of which is sure to arouse prurient and morbid curiosity. To combat crime, communities should get squarely behind an educational square deal for every child. embracing a program that takes care of mental, social and religious needs in schools, settlements and churches: and often they must insist on drastic law enforcement, not nullified by corruption or maudlin sentimentality. There is no verbal cure-all for the lax morality of the day.”
Half of the quota for Quincy, Mass. in the United Palestine Appeal was subscribed at a mass meeting. Joseph B. Grossman is director of the campaign, Quincy’s quota is $2,000.