A suggestion for the revival of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish religious supreme court, in Jerusalem for deciding new questions which are arising in modern times due to the economic and social changes, was made by Dr. H. Pereira Mendes, aged Orthodox Rabbi and first president of the Union of Orthodox Congregations in the United States and Canada, in an address he delivered Tuesday evening over the radio from station WJZ. The occasion was a “radio dinner” arranged by the Union of Orthodox Congregations as a tribute to the Rev. Mendes’s fifty years of service.
Dr. Elmer E. Brown, Chancellor of New York University, Dr. David de Sola Pool, Rabbi of the Spanish and Portuguese ynagogue; Rabbi Herbert S. Goldstein, president of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations, were the speakers at the “invisible dinner.”
“The time has come when we are able to reconvene our Supreme Court called the Sanhedrin. We need to decide upon the many religious points that are brought up by modern civilization, by modern scientific discoveries, by the present needs, duties and calls of modern life. I say to you we have no choice in the matter, if we are Orthodox Jews. For it is a mighty principle of Orthodox Judaism that we are to be guided by the Bible. You will read in Deuteronomy that when any question arises which we cannot decide at home, we are to go to the central authority in Jerusalem, a Supreme Court, a Sanhedrin,” Dr. Mendes declared. The Sanhedrin would be composed of religious, judicial and lay representatives of the Jewish population in various countries. It would command the respect of Jews in all parts of the world, he stated.
Dr. Pereira Mendes also suggested that to enable Jews to observe the Sabbath in accordance with the Biblical injunction, an appeal he made to the clergy of the various Christian denominations, that they, too, change the rest day from Sunday to Saturday, as it is in accordance with the Bible and the founder of Christianity observed not Sunday but Saturday as his Sabbath.