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Preached in City Pulpits

April 9, 1934
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Discussing the recent film, “The House of Rothschild,” Rabbi Louis I. Newman, speaking at the Congregation Rodeph Sholom, 7 West Eighty-third, asserted that the prophets and rabbis more truly represent the Jewish people than do the bankers and financiers.

“However well-intentioned certain plays and books may be,” Rabbi Newman continued, “they present a picture of the Jew seen through Gentile eyes, and unconsciously the hoary myths regarding the Jewish people are perpetuated. “The House of Rothschild’ has many commendable features, but it serves chiefly to solidify the Gentile belief that Jews are money-lenders, resting their trust on the power of gold. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein, Jacob Epstein, Louis Brandeis, Stephen Wise and Chaim Nachman Bialik are more representative of the Jewish people than the bankers, manufacturers, department store owners and others who are thought of as typical Jews by the non-Jewish world. The Rothschild family, as well as other banking families, who happen to be Jews, deserve much commendation, but it is a mistake for Gentile audiences to consider them the archetype for other Jews.”


The hope of the Jewish masses lies in their own will and courage rather than in the financiers represented in the “House of Rothschild,” declared James Waterman Wise, editor of Opinion, at the Free Synagogue Carnegie Hall, yesterday morning.

“Despite such occasional gestures as the Rothschilds’ insistence on emancipation for their ghetto brothers as the price of financial support to the allied governments against Napoleon,” Mr. Wise said, “the overwhelming mass of evidence proves that the poverty-stricken Jewish masses of yesterday, as of today, could hope for little beyond an occasional dole from those who, like the Roth-schilds, had amassed great wealth. For the Jewish people, which is constantly being driven deeper into the chasm of economic despair, to put its trust in banking princes is absurd as for the Gentile masses to confuse the money power and the monied interests with the handful of Jews who happen to play an insignificant part therein.

“What comfort, for example, can the 600,000 Jews of Germany take from the fact that while they are racially spurned, economically despoiled, and humanly degraded by Nazism, a handful of Jewish bankers and industrialists have gone unhurt? So long as an economic system endures under which it is well for the House of Roth-schild, so long will it be ill for the House of Israel. The real enemies of German Jewry are those inter-racial capitalist interests which have made Hitlerism and all its works not only possible but inevitable. The real hope of the Jewish masses–as of the masses of all races and nations–lies not in the House of Rothschild or of Morgan, or Warburg or of Rockefeller, but in their own will and courage to emancipate themselves.”


Stating that “The House of Rothschild” is “almost a plea against Hitler without mentioning his name.” Rabbi Sidney S. Tedesche, at the Union Temple, Brooklyn, compared the plight of the German Jews today with that of the European Jews during the Napoleonic era.

He expressed his belief that no Rothschild will arise today to liberate Jews of today. “It is not the Rothschilds with their millions who will be the salvation of the Jews,” Rabbi Tedesche declared, “but the people themselves who by their example and by their manner of living will tend to shame the world so that they will no longer use the Jew as a convenient scapegoat for the world’s ills. Man will yet learn to walk the world with dignity.”


Americans must act today to defeat the movement toward Fascism in this country, warned Rabbi Joseph Zeitlin at the Temple Ansche Chesed, West End avenue and 100th street.

“There is a clever adage, ‘If youth but would and age but could,’ which vividly characterizes human nature,” he said. “People are always guilty of the evil of postponement. We are inclined to glorify the past and the future but we are ever forgetting the present. Procrastination has permitted the germ of evil to grow to tremendous proportions. Many malicious movements here and in foreign countries might have been averted, had we but eradicated their nefarious effects in their inception. We as Americans dare not allow the Silver Shirts or any such bigoted groups to exist. We must not delay in eliminating them completely. Now is the time to act if we would avoid the stains that besmirch the honor of certain ‘civilized nations’ in Europe.”


Speaking on the subject, “Sight and Vision,” Rabbi Israel Goldstein declared before Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, Eighty – eighth street west of Broadway:

“Most people go through life with closed eyes, possessing eyesight that lacks inner vision, which is the ability to see more than meets the visible eye.

“We need spiritual vision in order to see the beauty of goodness and truth, to discern between right and wrong, to catch a glimpse of the eternal verities, to discover the reality of the invisible forces of life, and to perceive the Great Invisible–God.

“We need social vision to appreciate our duties toward our fellowmen, looking upon life not as a narrow selfish experience, but as an opportunity to share with others the precious boon of fellowship. We need social vision to sympathize with the sufferings of others. We need social vision to recognize the injustices of our society and to strive to cure them.”


Demand public alertness to the alien influences “which are seeking to undermine our fundamental. American institutions,” Rabbi William F. Rosenblum of Temple Israel, 210 West Ninety-first street, said “that the recent revelation that battalions are drilling in nineteen cities under foreign banners and in uniforms of foreign troops should not be treated lightly.”

“There is no place,” he declared, “on American soil for a banner that displays a crooked emblem of division between man and man, in place of the stars and bars of our flag which stand for the light of truth, the blood of brotherhood and the virtues of purity and peace. As long as the reported campaigns of anti-Catholic and anti-Jewish persecutions were confined to foreign soil,” he continued, “there was some warrant for the diffidence of our government in protesting against the follies and the frenzies of the ‘Aryan’ fanatics Now that troops of young Americans are being dressed in brown shirts and made to parade o## American highways singing the national song of an alien government as their theme song, the American people must be alert and the American government mus## act.”

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