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Dr. Silver Replies

To the Editor, Jewish Daily Bulletin:

Rabbi Solomon Goldman seems to be angry because I quoted from his essay “God And Israel” to indicate the nationalistic extravaganza to which some of our writers and rabbis had been addicted in the pre-Hitler days. He calls heaven and earth to witness that he has been made the victim of “lashon ha-ra” and that he is being pursued by an implacable enemy. To refute my statement, he quotes other passages from his essay which in no way affect the clear meaning of the passages which I quoted, to wit:

“Even when God is universalized and monotheism energetically preached, the Jew but reluctantly shares his God, his Father, with the rest of humanity. He still remains a kin of Israel…. God, then is absorbed in the nationalism, or more correctly, in the nationality of Israel. He becomes the national ethos…. He is the national God; He is the soul of the nation.”

I suggest to those who are interested in ascertaining whether the above quotations are or are not the very essence and purpose of the Rabbi’s essay, to read the latter in extenso.

To a rabbi uttering the above sentiments, it all seems so harmless and intimate and sweetly patriotic, but when he hears the same sentiments from the mouth, say of the “Gauleiter” of the Berlin Section of the German Christians, Dr. Krause, he becomes either indignant or contemptuous: “National-Socialism must not be judged from a Biblical or Ecclesiastical standpoint; it is the Bible and the church which must be judged from a Nazi standpoint. The Nazi state embodies the totality of God.”

Rabbi Goldman informs us that fourteen months ago, (i.e., after the racial-nationalism of the Nazis had beaten into the dust the Jewish community of Germany and had frightened some of our own super-heated nationalists); he made a speech somewhere and declared that “whatever may have been its (Jewish nationality) tribal limitation in nomadic times, the prophets cleansed and purified it.” That is all very nice and shows that the Rabbi knows how to adjust his preaching to the mood of the hour. But it is hardly relevant to the subject of my editorial.

—Abba Hillel Silver. Cleveland, Sept. 25, 1934.

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