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J. D. B. News Letter

June 30, 1929
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That Moses Mendelsohn was wrong in his thought that all that was necessary to make a Jew at home in the world and to keep him to Judaism was a synthesis of Jewish religion and modern culture, was declared by Dr. Felix A. Levy of Chicago in an address at the Thursday evening session of the convention of the Central Conference of American Rabbis at the Hotel Statler here. The occasion of his statement was the bicentennary celebration of Moses Mendelssohn by the Reform rabbis and in the course of his address Rabbi Levy declared that Mendelsohn did not realize that fusion was no solution and that it might be here super-imposition. He added that Reform Judaism itself has not yet made the perfect synthesis but it is recognizing what Mendelsohn failed to appreciate, that a Jewish note must stamp the general culture with its own seal and not that general culture should give to the Jew a western savoir faire.

In a discussion of the relation of the friendship of Mendelsohn and Lessing to the good will movement between Jews and non-Jews, Rabbi Louis J. Kopald of Chicago declared that a declaration of truth is not copyrighted by the Jew nor idealism by the Christian and added that better understanding between Christians and Jews can be best brought about if both groups would unlearn much that is stored in their subconscious minds. Participating in the Mendelsohn-Lessing symposium were also Rabbis Bernard J. Bamberger, Sidney S. Tedesche and Albert G. Minda.

At the Thursday morning session, Dr. Nelson Glueck of the Hebrew Union College faculty at Cincinnati reviewed recent archaeological work in Palestine. Dr. Glueck declared that the Bible is deficient in complete objective historical facts and that it is not a book of history as the term is understood today. He declared that the Bible is essentially a religious document, presenting a specific point of view, and said that he regarded archaeology as the handmaid of history. He said that a reconstruction of Jewish history will soon be possible through the many discoveries being made by archaeologists in the Holy Land. Dr. Glueck reviewed the progress made in Palestine archaeological explorations and said that excavations indicate the religious habits of Jews in the early days, their talents as builders and artists and their expertness in the development of engineering projects. He pointed out that it is impossible to find actual written documents of olden days, but from articles of merchandise that have escaped destruction and from pieces of pottery and other objects, it will be possible to reconstruct a view to Jewish history which will change many present (Continued on Page 4)

Biblical conceptions. He deduced from various findings in the Holy Land that a civilization of culture and social activity of a higher order existed in Palestine and said that one of the most recent discoveries revealed that a flour dye plant existed in a spot near Hebron where a number of household articles and cosmetic pallets for women were found.

Delegates at the Rabbi’s convention were guests Wednesday afternoon at a special exhibition of the works of Leopold Pilichowski, featuring the painting showing the opening of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 1925 by the Earl of Balfour.

Dedication of the new addition to the Central New York Home for the Jewish Aged took place in Syracuse, N. Y. Rabbi Benjamin Friedman of the Society of Concord was the principal speaker, accepting the building in behalf of the Federation of Jewish Charities.

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