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Daily Digest of Public Opinion on Jewish Matters

[The purpose of the Digest is informative: Preference is given to papers not generally accessible to our readers. Quotation does indicate approval. - Editor.]

A defense of his pro-Palestine sympathies is made in the “Forward” by Abraham Cahan, editor of the “Forward,” and noted Jewish Socialist leader of America, whose Palestine articles, following his recent trip to that country, have called forth criticism from a number of Jewish Socialists.

Answering his critics one by one Mr. Cahan demonstrates that Socialist conviction and sympathy for the reconstruction of Palestine ### a Jewish Homeland are not incompatible, as some Jewish Socialists hold.

“Our Socialism is just, great and sacred. But we have no monopoly on sincerity. Zionists are just as sincere and idealistic in their way as we are in ours,” Mr. Cahan writes in reply to Mr. Litwak. “My desire has always been for more tolerance in our movement… We must do whatever we can to help the Jewish workers in Palestine.”

Replying to the charge of sentimentalism aroused by the popularity of Palestine among the Jews – not only among the Zionists, but among Jews generally – has a tragic content which has absolutely no relation with chauvinism. It is because of this tragic phase that Palestine’s popularity appeals to me.

“The Jewish ‘frats’ in the colleges call forth my sympathy because of the tragic nature of their popularity among the Jews. My feelings to Palestine are of a similar category.

“Whether Palestine will become a large homeland for the Jews or not, the feeling remains the same. The thought that the Jews are seeking to establish there at least a little home of their own where they will not feel like stepchildren, and the thought that that is the former home of the Jewish people – that is what makes Palestine popular and this popularity permeated with a tragic element, appeals to me.”

Concerning the possibilities of Palestine, Mr. Cahan reiterates his former stand, which is summarized in the following paragraph:

“Palestine, Syria, Mesopotamia and other neighboring lands are in the hands of a people that has remained behind present-day Europe some two or three thousand years. There are industrial and commercial possibilities there and the Jews in Palestine can use and develop them in time. Just in what manner that will be done, no one can say definitely; and it is impossible to give a written guarantee that it will turn out this way or that. But it can be said in general that energetic, capable people, having European conceptions and methods, can accomplish a great deal.”

“STILL CREATING IN THEIR OWN FASHION”

Two famous Jews of our day, Dr. Sigmund Freud, originator of the psychoanalytic theory, and Dr. Felix Adler, founder of the Ethical Culture movement, are the subject of widespread newspaper comment. Dr. Freud has reached his seventieth year; Dr. Adler his seventy-fifth, which coincides with the 50th anniversary since the birth of Ethical Culture.

That Jews have distinguished themselves by their courage as well as their originality in the field of scientific research, is pointed out by the press in commenting on Dr. Sigmund Freud.

The “Jewish Daily News” draws a parallel between Freud and Albert Einstein. “Freud belongs to the same category as Einstein, especially in regard to courage and determination. It requires a heroic spirit to create and propound a theory like that of Freud,” the paper says.

The “Jewish Morning Journal” thinks Freud’s contribution to the though of mankind “bears, more than Einstein’s, the stamp of the Jewish spirit,” and points out that the work of Freud and Einstein “have given a concrete proof to the world that the Jews have not ceased to create in their own fashion.”

Joseph Wood Krutch, well known American literary critic, writing in the “Times” of Sunday, sums up his opinion on Freud as follows: “Time alone can arbitrate between Freud and those who have introduced modifications into his theory. But whether his doctrines are modified much or little, his name must continue to be the one most closely associated with the development of one of the great conceptions of science.”

Editorially, the “Times” of same date, observes:

“Much can be and is said against the Freudian theories, but it cannot be denied that Freud set psychiatrists all over the world to thinking along a new line.”

Dr. Felix Adler’s life and work are outlined in the New York “World” of May 9. The paper refers to the fact that the founder of Ethical Culture was the son of a rabbi and elsewhere says:

“Dr. Felix Adler has been an outstanding figure in the life of New York during the last half century, and through his influence, the Ethical Culture movement has rendered conspicuous service in tenement house reform, in the organization of the first free kindergarten in this city, etc.”

The New York “Times” also devotes an article to Dr. Adler in which his influence as leader of the Ethical Culture movement and his activities as a constructive social reformer are described.

IMMIGRATION QUOTAS AND “NATIONAL ORIGINS”

Two different opinions on the subject of the immigration quotas based on “national origins” which are to go into effect in July, 1927, are expressed by the New York “World” and the “Times.”

The “World” is displeased with the new law, because the basis of “national origins” is difficult to determine, and observes:

“However modified, the new quotas will mean an increased limit of admission for the British, who do not need it and who do not fully use the quota they already enjoy, and still harsher restrictions against most of the nations of the world. It is not to be wondered at that there is reported from Washington a growing dissatisfaction with the prospect.”

The “Times,” on the other hand, thinks that “while this plan has certain objections, the foremost of which is the difficulty of gauging with complete accuracy the present racial composition of the American people, it seeks its justification in historical facts rather than in arbitrary restrictions. The American people today are the children of many different races. In so far as it is possible, credit should be given to these races in proportion to the total number of their descendants in the United States today. This takes account not of the numbers of a certain race here on a given date, but of all of those who have given their blood to the people of America since the founding of the nation.”

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