Degree Given Dr. Einstein
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Degree Given Dr. Einstein

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a deeply spiritual man….

“The test we must apply to ourselves is good citizenship and service to God and to man. These are the tenets which for more than 5,000 years preserved our heritage. . . .

“So long as we possess men of the calibre of Albert Einstein we may have no fear of prejudice, intolerance or persecution….”

When Dr. Revel placed the hood around Professor Einstein’s shoulders as the insignia of his degree, the large audience burst forth into spontaneous applause and cheers.

“Exiled from your home and the land to which you have brought honor and glory,” said Dr. Revel, “you have made an abiding place for yourself in the hearts of your fellow men and of the generations to come….


“The trustees and faculty of Yeshiva College have delegated to me the deep satisfaction of conferring upon you, master and servant of humanity, the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, and of placing upon your shoulders our academic insignia, a visible symbol of our deep affection and high regards.”

At this point he placed around Professor Einstein’s shoulders the symbolic hood representative of the degree.

In his speech of acceptance, delivered in German, Professor Einstein said in part:

“We all know that the Jewish people has sustained itself through 2,000 years of severe hardship because it has regarded a tradition of love for the spiritual and the moral as its highest possession. Not external success but a deep spiritual perception of life has been considered by it as the most desirable attainment. . . .

“Physical care alone cannot keep the Jewish community healthy, it cannot even sustain its life. For the Jewish community lives and dies by those spiritual conceptions which constitute its very being….”

Immediately following his address it was translated into English and read by Herman Bernstein, contributing editor of the Jewish Daily Bulletin.

Samuel Levy, chairman of the Yeshiva College council, who delivered the introductory address at the exercises, referred to the stigma which Nazi Germany has brought upon itself.

“Shame,” he said, “upon a land that has driven from its borders one who has given it so much prestige. Shame upon a country that has made of Albert Einstein a fugitive.”


In his welcoming address, Dr. Revel lauded Professor Einstein as “the contemporary immortal, first in the realms of knowledge and the spirit and in the affections of his fellow men.”

He referred to the student body as “the type that has given the American college of liberal arts its distinctive place among our educational institutions.”

“Yeshiva College,” he said, “is founded upon the fundamental Jewish ideal of education, learning and culture for their own sake; study not as a task, as a duty, but as a great adventure in the search and discovery of truth and beauty.

“It is furthermore the belief of Yeshiva College that Jewish studies in the most comprehensive sense, are an integral phase of the humanistic discipline, and that the cultural and spiritual resources, traditions and heritage of Judaism, in its tragic and triumphant history, are essential for the full understanding of the unfoldment of mankind and of man’s history and destiny. The Jewish contributions to the life and the thought stream of the ages are seen at Yeshiva College in their continuous significance applicable to life today.”

Dr. Revel urged that “our light-houses of learning and sanctuaries of the spirit lift their emphasis from material conditions and aspects of life and teach us to discern as well the intangible and invisible—often the more real and vital—forces.


“A call is sounded to our youth, mentally alert and spiritually sensitive, to prepare for a life more purposeful, more just; a life spiritually and intellectually more abundant.”

Keep up with Jewish news by reading the Jewish Daily Bulletin, only English-language Jewish daily newspaper.

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