PITTSBURGH, Pa (Jul. 2)
The 16th annual convention of the Rabbinical Council of America, an Orthodox group, concluded here today with the adoption of a resolution calling upon the major political parties and their respective Presidential candidates, “to make a forthright denunciation of the support of any proven bigots, disavow acts that breed race discord and stick only to the true and relevant issues of the campaign.”
Another resolution lauded the Truman administration “for its evidence of genuine friendship towards the State of Israel” and asked the American Government to continue grants-in-aid and other material and moral support for Israel. Rabbi Theodore L. Adams of Jersey City was unanimously elected president of the Council to succeed Rabbi Samuel Berliant of New York.
The convention was urged “to give serious thought to disposing the identification of “Orthodox” and making permanent substitution with the term “traditional” Judaism. The suggestion came from Rabbi Joseph H. Lookstein, of New York.
“There is nothing orthodox about Orthodox,” Rabbi Lookstein said. “That name and identification were given us back in the 19th Century by Reform Jewish leaders. The name “Orthodox” is associated with fundamentalism and has become associated with a stigma synonymous with ghetto in a rather unsavory meaning. Let us emphasize that basic and traditional Judaism is what we stand for.”
Rabbi Lookstein emphasized that adherents of Orthodox or Traditional Judaism have set up four criteria as a standard. He summarized these as follows: “Judaism is a valid, living, operative law. 2. We believe in the divine quality of Jewish law. 3. The law is dynamic and not fossilized and it is also alive and fluid. 4. There is an authoritative interpretation of Jewish law.”
Rabbi Oscar Z. Fasman, president of Hebrew Theological College of Chicago, predicted a bright future for Orthodoxy in America. “The vitality of Orthodox Judaism in America,” he said, “is giving rich promise for the future and is reflected in the revolution it has achieved in education by phenomenal growth of the day school movement.” He added that Reform Judaism belongs to the past; Conservative Judaism to the present and Orthodox Judaism to the future.
Federal Security Administrator Oscar Ewing, speaking at the convention dinner last night, urged that clergymen be included within the scope of the Social Security program. The convention adopted a resolution endorsing a proposal Mr. Ewing made to Congress last week for 50,000 scholarships for deserving American students.