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 not indicate approval.--Editor.]

The opinion that Reform Judaism and Zionism are mutually exclusive and that therefore those Reform Rabbis who desire to help in the Palestine reconstruction work but refuse to surrender their opposition to Jewish nationalism are more consistent than the Reform rabbis who are also Zionists, is voiced by the “Jewish Daily News,” orthodox paper of New York, which comments editorially on Rabbi Samuel Schulman’s recent interview in the “Jewish Daily Bulletin” on his return from Palestine.

“We can well understand Rabbi Schulman’s attitude,” the paper declares in its Aug. 23 issue. “Truth to say, such an attitude is more logical and understandable and generally more consistent on the part of a Reform Rabbi than the attitude of a Reform Rabbi who is a Zionist. Reform and Zionism, or more correctly, Reform and Nationalism, are two contrasts which cannot be united. Reform came to combat and do away with Jewish nationalism. That is Reform’s chief principle. It is obvious that Reform is and must be antagonistic to nationalism and Zionism and that the Reform Jews who are also Zionists are a ‘tarte d’sasre,’ a self-contradiction; they have no philosophy and cannot have any; they cannot explain themselves, nor can anyone else explain them.

“Hence it is more logical for a Reform rabbi who desires to help build Palestine to say: I am opposed to nationalism and Zionism since I am a Reform Jew. But Palestine is nevertheless the land of the Bible, the land of the Jewish faith with which I am connected in one way or another and therefore I would like to see it settled with Jewish colonies like Petach Tikvah, cities like Tel Aviv; I would like to see Jerusalem populated by more Jews than any other city and, also, I would like that hundreds of thousands of Jews who must leave Eastern Europe should find refuge and their bread and butter in Palestine.”

Rabbis who will take such a position, the paper contends, can do more for Palestine than the Zionist Reform rabbis.

“If,” we read in conclusion, “a propaganda for Palestine from this point of view were developed in the midst of the wealthy Reform Jews, led by rabbis who are not Zionists, who would seek in their own way to arouse an interest in Palestine, it would no doubt do a great deal for the reconstruction of the land. If Rabbi Schulman wants to start an extensive campaign among the Reform Jews under the slogan that Reform Jews must have a share in the building of Palestine, he surely has a wide field and a grateful task before him. He can still do something in this direction in his temple during the coming High holidays.”

MAXIMILIAN HARDEN ON THE RECENT GERMAN “DREYFUS AFFAIR”

A denunciation by Maximilian Harden, the noted German journalist, who is a convert from Judaism, of the atmosphere in Germany which made possible the recent frame-up against Rudolph Haas, the Jewish merchant of Magdeburg who was charged with murdering his employe and was finally acquitted when the confession of the real murderer, a German, shattered the frame-up, is contained in a Consolidated Press article appearing in the Houston (Texas) “Chronicle.”

Reciting the details of the case and the efforts of the presiding judge, Koelling, to convict Haas, even after the real murderer had made his confession, Harden concludes thus:

“Haas was in jail for seven weeks. During this period he had to scrub out cells and was led across the courtyard handcuffed. An innocent person can always fall into suspicion through a combination of circumstances, but Haas had not the slightest thing to do with the murder.

“What, then, was there against him?

“His Jewish family is said to have become speedily rich dealing in scrap iron, and that part of the bench represented by Judge Koelling remained convinced that the highest officials were moved to interfere with the examination, not by a feeling of justice, but by personal and partisan interests.

“Such an atmosphere and such a legal situation still are possible in the 7-year-old German Republic.”

DR. CHARLES W. ELIOT

The passing of Dr .Charles W. Eliot, termed “the first American,” is the subject of widespread comment in the Jewish press. His opposition to all movements of intolerance and racial hate are especially stressed.

“His voice and his pen were ever at the service of humanity and Jews have good reason to revere the memory of this great American, for he was never silent when he felt that his utterances and his unbounded influence could help to stem the tide of persecution and intolerance. When efforts were made to discriminate against Jewish students at Harvard, Dr. Eliot came out very sharply against the proposal. He never minced his words. He pronounced against lynching, the Ku Klux Klan and against false prophets. He was a great peace advocate,” writes the “Jewish Daily News.”

The “Day” observes, after referring to Dr. Eliot’s opposition to the efforts to restrict Jews in Harvard and to the activities of the Klan:

“On several occasions he expressed his friendly attitude to Zionism. This attitude arose from the same source that made him object to the ‘melting pot’ idea. For he believed that the individual characteristics of each nation and race must be preserved.”

The “Jewish Morning Journal,” dwelling on Dr. Eliot’s role as a progressive and liberal-minded educator, remarks:

“From the time when he withdrew from his activee position as head of Harvard, in 1909 at the age of 75, he continued in the public spiritual realm of American life as one of the wisest of men, an acknowledged and recognized thinker and educator in the highest sense, whose opinion on American and world problems was always listened to with respect.

NEXT STORY