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U.S. Jewish Intellectuals Scored for Views at Jerusalem’s ‘dialogue’

Rabbi Emanuel Rackman, professor of political science at Yeshiva University, today told the 27th annual convention of the Rabbinical Council of America, meeting here, that “the recent dialogue in Israel made it absolutely clear that most Jewish writers and intellectuals are creating a distorted image of the basic value of Orthodox Judaism. They have never acquired a firm and thorough understanding of the vital power and creative dynamism of religious beliefs and historical truths.” The Rabbinical Council of America is the largest Orthodox Rabbinic body and represents 850 rabbis.

“The discussions in Jerusalem revealed that these literary scholars are assuming the mantle of self-appointed spokesmen and leaders for Judaism without justification and reads on due to their divorce from and indifference to Jewish religious community living and the daily problems of religious orientation,” Dr. Rackman said. “Because of the misrepresentation of these Jewish litterateurs, the non-Jewish world is denied an opportunity to appreciate the overwhelming contributions which Orthodox Jews are making in every avenue of modern endeavor such as physics, chemistry, literature, art, culture and music.” Rabbi Rackman added that “Orthodox Judaism has managed to resist the encroachments of such alien philosophers as Marxism and Freudianism and to emerge with a more favorable position in the world of general ideas and moral concepts.”

Avraham Harman, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, told the convention that “religious ideals cannot flourish and develop in a culture which is oppressive to the freedom-loving inclination of men. He said that the Rabbinical Council of America “is creating a powerful foundation on which future communications and contacts between the Jews of the United States and Israel will be strengthened.” The Ambassador further maintained that “Israel is a loyal adherent to the basic western idea of full religious liberty for all faiths and denominations. It is creating those conditions of life which make possible the full flowering of the genius of traditional Judaism.”

The convention opened last night with an address by Rabbi Abraham N. AvRutick lauding the U.S. Supreme Court decisions banning Bible reading and prayers in public schools. At the same time he suggested the enactment of legislation to grant income tax allowance to parents for tuition for their children attending religious schools. He also appealed to President Kennedy to use his good offices to terminate the armaments race in the Middle East.

“The American Government must issue an unequivocal declaration that it will insure the territorial integrity of Israel in the face of any and all aggression,” he said, “Israel is a bulwark against the spread of communism in the entire Middle East, and should be aided in its valiant attempts to set up an economy of general stability and an administration of enduring strength.”

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