Menu JTA Search

Rabbi Cautions Youth to Avoid Mob Hysteria

SIGN UP FOR THE JTA DAILY BRIEFING

“American youth must avoid surrendering to mob hysteria,” said Rabbi Louis I. Newman of Temple Rodeph Sholom, speaking at the graduation exercises of the Thomas Jefferson High School at the Brooklyn Academy of Music yesterday.

“The young men of Europe have shown themselves in the past to be mere ‘canon fodder’ or gullible tools in the hands of selfish conspirators against the common good. American youth must think through the problems of economic, social and political readjustment. They must not become the victims of catch-phrases; they must not adopt absurd panaceas; they must not be diverted by the preachment of racial hate; they must not be hypnotized by agitators and propagandists.

“They must instead bring to bear the best intelligence of which they are capable in the endeavor to solve the vexing problems of contemporary American life. They must find inspiration in the contributions of the ‘Brain Trust’ to a new technique wherewith to meet America’s difficulties. They must so discipline and fortify themselves that they will be prepared when the summons comes to them for enlistment in the battalions of recovery.

“The danger in America is that the present ‘Brain Trust’ will exhaust its originality of thought and policy. Fresh recruits must then step forward to shoulder responsibility. Just because young people are young does not make them infallible. The chief virtue of youth is optimism, but this can be speedily replaced by despair if problems prove too complex. The world in which young people are rising to maturity is vastly more taxing and unfriendly than heretofore; it behooves them, therefore, to train themselves so thoroughly and effectively that in the struggle for the prizes of life, in the accentuated competition of the times, the same rewards may go to excellence that excellence has won in the past.”

NEXT STORY