[The purpose of the Digest is informative: Preference is given to papers not generally accessible to our readers. Quotation does not indicate approval.–Editor.]
“I thank Thee, Almighty God, that Thou hast not made me a minister of the Polish cabinet!” This, we are told facetiously in “Der Moment,” Warsaw Yiddish daily, is the Polish Jews’ new version of the old prayer of blessing, wherein the Jew each day thanks God for not having made him a woman.
The matter has a serious background and is explained by the writer as follows: “The three million Jews in Poland are happy today in the thought that they have not yet furnished a minister, neither to the Right cabinets, nor to the Left, neither to the Center Right nor Center Left nor to the Coalition. Thank God that we have not been involved in this portfolio game. We have not had the honor to stand at the rudder of the ship of state, and hence it is impossible to attack the Jews and charge them with leading the ship into the present swamp and wrecking it. This libel our enemies have not had the sense to prepare.” The various Polish ministers are accusing each other for the catastrophic state of affairs in Poland and, we read further:
“What a splendid scapegoat the Jew would make in the circumstances! Were there at least one Jew in one of the Polish cabinets, even if he served for but a single brief week, it would be so easy now to utter a sigh of relief and say: ‘That is where all the trouble comes from! Poland wished to play the role of a liberal government, to give the Jews equal rights and a minister–and see what has happened to us!”
That is why, the writer says, the Jews, though eager to help Poland our of her troubles, would rather not serve in the Cabinet. “The way for Jewish ability,” we read in conclusion. “has been blocked and what was easy in the old days when the Polish feudal lords sought the counsel of Jews in moments of distress, is impossible now in democratic Poland. Both sides know that there is a way but betwen them stands a wall.”
FELIX ADLER AND THE DECALOGUE
The criticism made against the Ten Commandments by Dr. Felix Adler, head of the Ethical Culture movement, is seen by the “Jewish Morning Journal” (May 14) as “merely an explanation why this logical and progressive religion of Dr. Adler remains limited to a few small groups.”
“This heresy (Ethical Culture) is too dry,” the paper contends, “it has too little to offer to the spirit and the emotions to warm the hearts of the wide masses. When Dr. Adler goes so far as to mummify religious ideals, as he did in his analysis of the Decalogue, then there is no longer any need of him nor for the small dose of religion which he offers. That is why his church remains the gathering place for an exclusively limited circle, which, feeling uncomfortable elsewhere, listens to its high-priest ‘kibetz’ Moses or amuse it by working out new commandments, a pastime indulged in for many years by humorous sheets.”