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The Reader’s Forum

(The editors reserve the right to excerpt all letters exceeding 250 words in length. All letters must bear the name and address of the writer, although not necessarily for publication.)

To the Editor, Jewish Daily Bulletin:

The “beginning of wisdom” in discussing a practical situation is to consult the facts. Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver evidently failed to do this before writing his article in the Jewish Daily Bulletin on November 18, in which he accused Hebrew schools and bureaus of Jewish education of fostering a secular and linguistic Jewish education. Were he in possession of the facts he would not have delivered the tirade.

The facts are that in the Hebrew schools of this country, the Bible (in Hebrew) is the chief subject of instruction; that prayers are studied daily; that the holidays and customs are taught in every grade and class; that religious worship is conducted regularly on the Sabbath; that Mishnah and Talmud are taught in the high school grades. We submit that these Hebrew sources of Jewish religion and ethics are not to be compared with anaemic materials of instruction used in Rabbi Silver’s “religious” school.

If only Rabbi Silver and his like would take the problem earnestly to heart and put their own house to order. For it is no house of learning at all, although physically well-equipped. The teachers are equally ignorant of Jewish religion and of Jewish nationalism. The actual time devoted to instruction (two hours a week) is an insult to the four-thousand-year-old Jewish heritage. The methods are usually formal and lifeless. The religious worship is a school exercise. The children in these schools certainly are not absorbing “the strong simple faith of their fathers, its color, its warmth and its glowing mystery” of which Rabbi Silver speaks.

Dr. Ben M. Edidin,

Executive Director,

Bureau of Jewish Education.

Nov. 30, 1934,

Buffalo, N. Y.

CRITICAL OF LEWISOHN

To the Editor, Jewish Daily Bulletin:

I think you do Judaism and your own paper a great disservice by allowing Ludwig Lewisohn to make the Jewish Daily Bulletin the “cloaca and officina gentium”—to use his own elegant phraseology— for his little mean thoughts on Communism and the Communists. The petty soul of the petty author (yes, he is a petty author in spite of his momentary vogue) has never risen above the contemplation of his own small self and the concentration on the injuries inflicted on his vanity by some Gentiles. Yet he dares attack Communism, which counts among its adherents some of the best and noblest minds of our age.

The Jew, whatever his criticism of Communism may be, should be just and tolerant and dignified in his criticism. That much at least he owes to a movement from which all racial discrimination is eliminated not only in theory, but in practice.

Judah Levinsky.

New York City

Nov. 26, 1934.

HERZLIAN ZIONISM

To the Editor, Jewish Daily Bulletin:

Allow me to add my voice to those of the scores of admirers of your paper since you started printing the series of articles by Mr. W. Ziff.

His excellent understanding of Herzlian Zionism make me realize with joy that the new Jewish generation in this country has at last opened its eyes and is beginning to understand Zionism as it really is.

Aaron Hanin.

Bronx, N. Y.,

Nov. 30, 1934.

MISS BURG’S LETTER

To the Editor, Jewish Daily Bulletin:

I was greatly interested in the superb letter published in your November 23 issue, written by Miss Florence N. Burg. It is content of this sort which raises the level of a newspaper from a reporting organ to an instrument for good.

Lou B. Rothstein.

Arverne, N. Y.,

Nov. 30, 1934.

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