The Human Touch

With this column I say "Good-Bye" to the readers of The Jewish Daily Bulletin. I have had a fairly good time conducting The Human Touch; I can only hope that you have had a better time reading it. I hope that you will miss me, but not too deeply, for life must go on and perhaps you will find me bobbing up somewhere else, although I can give you no such assurance at the present time. I say that I am likely to bob up because I am of a buoyant temperament rather than of a sinking one.

Despite minor aggravations and recurrent difficulties, aggravations and difficulties which might have arisen in any shop this side of Heaven, I have had on the whole a pleasant time on The Bulletin and I leave with regret that certain personal associations must be terminated, at least for the time being. I hope that those readers of The Bulletin who have expressed, or felt without expressing, a sense of obligation to me for the pleasure my columns have given them, will continue loyal readers and supporters of The Jewish Daily Bulletin, the fundamental purpose of which is something above and beyond that of making money. I hope that The Jewish Daily Bulletin will prosper, that the men who are now working on it and for it will share in that prosperity. It is a reasonable presumption that with such prosperity The Bulletin will become a more vigorous spokesman of world Jewry and a more vigilant defender of its rights. I did not become a Jew the moment I joined the staff of The Jewish Daily Bulletin and I do not cease to be a Jew the moment I leave The Bulletin. This is a world in which a man must have many loyalties and these are times in which none who is a Jew can renounce his obligations to his people and still remain a man.

Without meaning to sound like Nathan Hale, I have one regret and that is that not every column was as good as it might have been. I cherish the ambition to have a better batting average than Heywood Broun, who is sometimes very good and sometimes very bad, and who sometimes, if not at all times, knows it. I hope that none of my readers has been aware how labored some of my columns have been. In justice to myself I may say that after having written a column that was not up to snuff, I strove to do much better the next time and make amends for my occasional slumps and lapses. I leave The Bulletin, I trust, with the joint assurance from my vigilant readers that all is forgiven and that they too had a good time while the column lasted.

But whether any of you feel a sense of obligation to the columnist, the columnist has a debt to acknowledge to his column. Every columnist should feel that, whether he does or no. For the obligation to conduct a column and to please the common denominator of a paper’s readers takes the man who writes the column out of his few narrow interests and gives him contact with the average pulse. It is the human touch, you see. The obligation to conduct a column helps make a little more supple the style of a writer who at times shows inclinations to speak in the language of the few. A man who conducts a column has to find out what the world outside his door is interested in, without attempting to impose his own interests, which may be worth while, although limited, upon his readers.

I take it as a great compliment to myself that I was the recipient of a confession by a man who had found a woman’s purse and felt compelled to explain the reasons which made him keep it. Whether I have the human touch or not in my writing, I strove to establish contact with human beings and to make myself comprehensible to them.

I surrender this column without malice and without chagrin. Should any other succeed me in the conduct of this column, I hope that he, or she, will do the job without self-interest and without ulterior motive, seeking only to interest the public, to establish, and maintain, contact with it and add to the circulation power of The Jewish Daily Bulletin, which, I hope, will long prosper, a credit to the men who work on it and to the people whose spokesman it will continue vigorously to be. Farewell!

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