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Digest of Public Opinion on Jewish Matters

September 20, 1926
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[The purpose of the Digest is informative: Preference is given to papers not generally accessible to our readers. Quotation does not indicate approval.–Editor.]

A modernized interpretation of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is announced by the “American Hebrew.”

In the leading editorial of its Sept. 17 issue, the “American Hebrew writes:

“Among Jews in America there is developing a new conception of and a new attitude toward Yom Kippur. In this new world of new ideas, of independent thinking among youth, of scientific and historical study of the Bible, of decaying theologies and the progressive religious spirit, educated and thoughtful Jews no longer deem themselves “exiled from our land and dispersed from our country.” They no longer weep because they are “unable to offer the prescribed sacrifices in Jerusalem.” They have set this primitive religion far behind them and do not teach it to their children. They no longer pray for the rebuilding of the Temple, that the sacrificial courts may be filled with thousands of rams for sacrifices and with tens of thousands of rivers of oil–religious practices condemned by the great Bible prophets eight centuries before the Christian Era. The Day of Atonement is taking on the newer character of self-searching and spiritual rejuvenation, the Shofar blast at its conclusion being a clarion call to ethical living and humanitarian responsibility.”

WARSAW AND BUENOS AIRES PAPERS CRITICIZE TURKO-JEWISH NOTABLES

The action of the Turko-Jewish notables in renouncing the minority rights of Turkish Jewry, is criticized by two Jewish papers abroad, the “Najer Hajnt” of Warsaw and the “Yiddische Zeitung” of Buenos Aires. Both papers approve of Mr. Louis Marshall’s stand on the question.

Referring to Mr. Marshall’s statement denouncing the act of the Turko-Jewish notables, the “Najer Hajnt” remarks: “This act of the Turko-Jewish leaders is injurious not only to the interests of the Turkish Jews but to Jewry in general. . . for it will reecho detrimentally in other countries where Jewish minorities exist. Whenever Jews will speak of minority rights they will be met with the argument: why do you not act in a spirit of patriotism like that of Turkish Jewry and renounce your claim to minority rights?”

The “Yiddische Zeitung” terms the act on the Turko-Jewish notables “a national betrayal,” declaring: “They have renounced in the name of Turkish Jewry, which they by no means represent, the rights of a national minority which were guaranteed to them by the League, which the Turkish government undertook to fulfill and for which they (the Turkish Jews) did not fight. Others fought for and won the legal recognition of the national minority rights for the Jewish minorities in all the countries of Eastern Europe and vicinity where they live in more or less compact masses–and now, they, the notables, have most generously refused the gift for which they did not fight or suffer.”

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