Preached in City Pulpits
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Preached in City Pulpits

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A multitude of topics from the Senate arms inquiry to the Geneva World Jewish Conference were covered in Rosh Hashonah sermons preached in the city’s pulpits yesterday. The following are excerpts:

Rabbi Leo Jung, The Jewish Centre:—The danger of anti-Semitism lies not in the pogroms, the discrimination, the millenial agony of Israel. It lies rather in the contraction of the vision of the Jews which such intolerance produces. Many Jews, because of the violence of anti-Semite campaigns, become completely sunk in the contemporary scene. They lose the vista of Israel as an eternal people.

We have simultaneously been accused of being the arch-capitalists and the arch-Bolshevists, the peace-makers and the war-makers of the world. We have been persecuted, simultaneously, because of our religion and our alleged Godlessness.


Rabbi Milton Steinberg, Park Avenue Synagogue, 50 East Eighty-seventh street:—In living man makes his own universe. In a great measure he finds in it a reflection of himself and discovers, in the world echoes of his own character. Wherefore, he who would find life rich and satisfying must first make his own character such.

I do not mean to assert that the world does not have its objective evil. Such a statement would be a ludicrous travesty on human suffering. But I do mean to assert that much of the evil which one finds in the world springs from himself and that the first step in reforming life is reforming one’s self.


Rabbi Louis I. Newman, speaking at services of the Young Women’s Hebrew Association, West 110th street near Lenox avenue:—The Jewish Conference at Geneva deserves the hearty approval of Jews everywhere, and the fact that misleading headlines were placed above the news accounts of the assembly should not blind non-Jews or Jews to its significance.

It is regrettable that Jewish leaders cannot come together in public gatherings where everything that is spoken is known to the press and through the press to the world without misconceptions arising regarding their deliberations.


Rabbi David De Sola Pool, speaking before Congregation Shearith Israel, Seventieth street and Central Park West:— How much easier it is to look within ourselves in self-criticism than to listen to criticism by others. Yet we all live under a constant scrutiny from without for which we should be most grateful as a disciplinary safeguard. But eventually we are helped in molding our lives more by self-criticism than by criticism of others which we tend to discount. By opening the year in a spirit of religious introspection, we may hope to attain to new heights of moral achievement as we hold before our eyes not the fall but the ascent of man.


Rabbi Israel Goldstein, Congregation Bnai Jeshurun, Eighty-eighth street near Broadway:—The investigation now being conducted in our country by a Senate Committee is bringing to light the most notorious of rackets, the racket of the war-mongers. The only remedy for this situation as an immediate measure is the abolition of the private manufacture of arms and the placing of that business into the hands exclusively of the Government. The longer range solution, however, must be universal disarmament and the outlawry of all war. It is that international ideal for which the Jew stands and for which Hitler cannot stand. Let the future decide as to who is the friend of humanity—Hitler or Einstein.


Rabbi Abraham Dubin, Temple Gates of Prayer:—If we are to remain the priest people of the world, and it is indeed our destiny whether we will it or not to fulfill that function, then we must remain steadfast and devoted to the spiritual spirit of our people’s destiny, for the world needs the Jew today as it never needed him before.


Rabbi Herbert S. Goldstein, Institutional Synagogue, 148 West Eighty-fifth street:—The resolution earnestly and seriously made evaporates and disappears from our vision….

I plead not merely for stray resolutions drafted in the old outline of life, but for a complete plan of life with which the new worthy resolutions will be in harmony.


Rabbi A. M. Heller, Flatbush Jewish Center, Church avenue and East Fifth street, Brooklyn:—The three types of sound produced on Rosh Hashonah with the ram’s horn, signifying the need for Jewish sacrifice, show the way of positive Jewish living…. The pride of being a Jew must be exemplified not alone through the urge to fight the enemy but through a greater urge to lead the good life.

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