Commentary Magazine


Welcome to the Archive

More than a half-century of opinion and ideas. Still timeless.

View : All Months | Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
January, 1955Back to Top
American Policy and Israel
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Mr. Hal Lehrman's article “American Policy and Arab-Israeli Peace” (June 1954) contains much revealing information on the attitudes of the government and army of Israel, as well as on the disunity which, until recent months, has reigned in the Arab League nations.

"Class and Opportunity"
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Mr. S. M. Lipset and Miss Natalie Rogoff express the belief that the data on social mobility which they report in their article, “Class and Opportunity in Europe and the U.S.,” published in your issue of December 1954, are “exciting.” I suspect that such excitement is quite unjustified.

"St. Charles" or "Saint Catarina"?
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Dr. Handlin (“Adventure in Freedom: First Chapter,” September 1954) writes that the new immigrants of September 1654 arrived on the tiny bark “St.

Mrs. McCall Defended
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Doctors Nunberg and Ostow, in their letter “Freudianism and Mrs. McCall” (December 1954), are critical both of your publication and the contributions made to it by Mrs.

Grossinger's: Israel Division (Cont'd)
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Permit me to make two observations in connection with Morris Freedman's articles on Grossinger's (July and August 1954) and on some letters printed in their wake. Firstly, I find it inconsistent with your pursued selective policy, and incompatible with the high standards of COMMENTARY, for a member of your editorial staff, under the pretense of describing the American Jewish way of life, to portray an extremely successful commercial enterprise with a healthy, say truly American, sense for publicity.

Jews and the Community
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Evelyn N. Rossman's “The Community and I” (November 1954) describes some aspects of the small-town relations of Jews and non-Jews not dissimilar to those which exist in the larger metropolitan areas. Both my husband and I came out of conservative homes.

"Therefore Choose Life"-- An Exchange
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I should like to say the following directly to the pseudonymous Mrs. Rossman: Much as I sympathize (in the German sense of mitfühlen) with your plight as you describe it in “The Community and I” (November 1954), I cannot excuse you.

Libertarian Precepts and Subversive Realities
Some Lessons Learned in the School of Experience

by Alan Westin
Now that McCarthy seems to be on the run, it is more necessary than ever that “civil libertarians” evaluate the wisdom of their course to date.

...Only the Very Best Christian Clientele
by Charles Abrams
That irritating nuisance, discrimination in hotels and resorts—rare in England and Europe (even in prewar Germany)—still operates in the United States against “undesirable groups,” i.e., Jews and Negroes.   An old rule of the common law is that an innkeeper may not arbitrarily refuse a traveler shelter.

Free Indo-China Fights Against Time
Vietnam's Winding, Rcoky Road

by Peter Schmid
The west's recent defeat in Indo-China is far from being a closed chapter. In 1956 a plebiscite will be held in Vietnam to determine its final form of government.

What Price McCarthy Now?
Exit Caliban?

by James Rorty
What's Senator McCarthy's future now? Three days before the close of the special session of the Senate called to decide on the Watkins Committee charges of misconduct against him, his followers rallied in Madison Square Garden for a demonstration of popular strength that, many observers believed, would swing the Senatorial vote in his favor, and spark the formation of a coalition that might lay the basis for a third party, with the Senator as its candidate.

New Jewish Community in Formation
A Conservative Center Catering to Present-Day Needs

by Morris Freedman
To the continuing series in these pages on the patterns American Jews are evolving in their community living and religious expression, Israel Knox last month contributed his estimate of the current re-appraisal going on in Reform Judaism, in which a leading motif is that of return, in many aspects, to the practices of traditional Judaism.

Thicker Than Water
A Story

by Sylvia Rothchild
Grandma Klein did not put her paper down until she was ready for supper. She had been reading all afternoon, her glasses low on her nose, the paper an arm's-length away.

From the American Scene: The Day the Bronx Invader Came
by William Poster
William S. Poster describes in this story the re-alignment of tensions which takes place when a new element is introduced into an already complete system; in this case it is the impact of Albert, a boy from the Bronx, upon the closed society of a block in Brownsville.

Cedars of Lebanon: The Zaddik and the People
by Jacob of
The relation between the Zaddikim—the saints—and the people, of less exalted spirituality, is often a source of ethical and religious questioning.

Father to Son
by Saul Gottlieb
I cannot recall precisely what was on my         mind at breakfast, when I turned on you and     shouted, insisting that you act as you should act (rather as I thought you ought to act, you being twelve now and approaching     manhood), when I in rage tore the jar from your hand and ruined your food with the sugary stuff, and you in your young manhood rose, bewildered love and hatred sounding, clashing, wordless in your throat, and ran out into cold of morning without your jacket on. Whatever it was you compensated, when you had gone I recalled my      grandmother, once when I was about your age, enraged because we never said “good     morning” when Danny and I would meet her,     mornings, and I with that stupendous insolence for which I was famous then, told her to go to hell, and she cried, “Respect!” and I sneered, “Respect? What does it mean, Grandma, dear?” Hurt and silent, she hobbled away. Now I have tasted such bitter fruit of seeds so carelessly scattered. O Michael dear, there are demands that cannot be required, cannot be returned, until we both know the meaning of the word. Whatever it was, a lost dream or a failure, you knew it was myself I scolded, for when you soon returned we touched each other as mother and I do after quarrels, each finding the fault in himself. _____________  

On the Horizon: Life Straight in De Eye
by James Baldwin
The movie Carmen Jones, which transfers Bizet's opera to a Southern factory town and gives it an all-Negro cast, has been widely acclaimed not only as a first-rate musical but more especially as evidence that Hollywood has at last admitted Negroes to full citizenship.

The Study of Man: Germany's Post-Nazi Intellectual Climate
by G. Arnold
Reliable reports on the present state of West Germany have been difficult to come by lately, but the recent publication of an important collection of essays under the sponsorship of a leading West German cultural magazine provides G.

Four Books on Nazi War Crimes
by Solomon Bloom
The Great Unsolved Crime Harvest Of Hate: The Nazi Program For The Destruction Of The Jews Of Europe. by Leon Poliakov. Syracuse University Press.

Grand Concourse, by Eliot Wagner
by Isa Kapp
The Bronx without Cliches Grand Concourse. by Eliot Wagner. Bobbs-Merrill. 352 pp. $3.75.   If one judged by the once rambunctious voice of the radical movement, or the dry wrenching tone of a writer like Delmore Schwartz, one would imagine that the children of first-generation immigrants to New York City had, on the whole, taken extreme stands against family, poverty, and Orthodoxy.

American Thought: A Critical Sketch, by Morris R. Cohen
by Henry Parkes
The American Mind American Thought: A Critical Sketch. by Morris R. Cohen. The Free Press. 360 pp. $5.00.   Morris Cohen was working intermittently during the later years of his life on a general history of American thought, but did not complete more than a disjointed series of notes.

Selected Essays, by William Carlos Williams
by Sidney Alexander
Apostle of Impulse Selected Essays. by William Carlos Williams. Random House. 432 pp. $4.50.   “I'll write whatever I damn please, whenever I damn please and as I damn please and it'll be good if the authentic spirit of change is in it.” So William Carlos Williams announced with a whoop at the beginning of his long career and he's kept at it ever since.

Yankee Reformers in the Urban Age, by Arthur Mann
by Granville Hicks
Boston's World-Improvers Yankee Reformers In The Urban Age. by Arthur Mann. The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. 314 pp. $5.00.   In the agitation for social change that sprang up in America between 1830 and 1850, New England was one of the principal centers, the site of some of the best-known Utopian experiments, the home of some of the most respected spokesmen for the movement and also of some of its wildest visionaries.

A Gallery of Jewish Colonial Worthies
Some Loyalists, Some Patriots: II

by Charles Reznikoff
In this three-hundredth year of Jewish life in America, Charles Reznikoff looks back on some of the characters of the Colonial period, when Jews were well on the way to establishing themselves in the wide community, sketching and shading his portraits with sharp, honest strokes.


by



by


February, 1955Back to Top
The Anglo-Saxons
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I have been a more or less constant reader of COMMENTARY for many years. I have often disagreed with many things included therein, but never have I come across a piece of writing that was less deserving of publication in your magazine than “The Break,” by Dan Jacobson (October 1954).

Self-Segregation and Judaism
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Whether your correspondent (Deborah Dorfman, January 1955) is describing her real situation or is writing with tongue in cheek, it seems to me that she does point up a tragic dilemma of many Jewish parents—and admits herself defeated.

The Dolphin House (Cont'd)
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In view of the remarks in the letter of Mr. L. Wagenaar of Jerusalem (January) on the subject of the Dolphin House Hotel and Country Club, I feel obliged to make the following observations.

Pupil and Master
by Our Readers
To the Editor: David Baumgardt's “Maimonides: Religion as Poetic Truth” (November 1954), brought me back to the time of his brilliant teaching at Berlin University when I was his pupil in ancient philosophy.

A Venture in Real Estate
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Charles Reznikoff's “A Gallery of Jewish Colonial Worthies” (December, January) alludes to, but strangely ignores, the major role many of these notables apparently played in one of the most ambitious speculations in land this country has ever witnessed. A bare outline of the venture is set forth in the reporter's statement preceding Chief Justice Marshall's classic opinion in the case of Johnson and Graham's Lessee v.

McCarthyphobia
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Since it began, the cult of McCarthyphobia has been neatly co-terminous with the large group of self-regimented Americans who claim the label of liberal.

Law and Hospitality
by Our Readers
To the Editor: There are several observations I would like to add to Charles Abrams' illuminating article “. . . Only the Very Best Christian Clientele” (January).

Europe's State of Mind
by Our Readers
[We share with our readers this paragraph from a private letter just received from a valued contributor, writing from Europe in explanation of why he was unable at this juncture to write a political article that we had requested.—Ed.] _____________   .

The Communist Terms for Peaceful Co-Existence
Have They Changed?

by G. Hudson
For months now our Western skies have been bright with doves from the East, but some of our warier bird-watchers have from the first wondered whether they were not animated decoys.

Wordsworth and the Rabbis
The Affinity Between His

by Lionel Trilling
To most of his contemporaries, Wordsworth was a great poet of the religious and moral life, but with the modernist devaluation of both religion and morality, whether supernatural or humanist, he became esteemed only as a poet, and later hardly as that.

Aristobulus
by Constantine Cavafy
This is the second poem that we print by Constantine Cavafy. The first, “Alexander Jannai,” appeared in our issue of last August; both were translated by Simon Chasen.   There is weeping in the palace, the king     is weeping; disconsolately King Herod mourns; all the city is lamenting for Aristobulus so unjustly drowned accidentally while playing in the water with his friends. When they will hear of it in other parts, once the news reaches the borders of Syria many will mourn among the Greeks. Poets and sculptors alike will grieve, for they have heard of Aristobulus and what youth stirred their imagination with such beauty as this child? what image of a god did Antioch hold dearer than this son of Israel? She wails, she weeps, the royal princess, his mother, the greatest of the Jewesses. She weeps, Alexandra, and bewails her mis-     fortune but once she is alone how her grief     changes. Then she moans, she rages, she scolds, she     curses.

How to Remedy Our
by Charles Abrams
If the Puerto Rican migration to New York City has taken on the aspects of a “problem,” the responsibility belongs more to mainland Americans than to our American fellow citizens of the Islands.

Storm Over the Investigating Committees
The Charges Against Them and the Record

by James Rorty
Because the House Committee on Un-American Activities failed to give the notorious American neo-Nazi James A. Madole and the violently anti-Semitic Conde McGinley a chance to be heard before releasing its “Preliminary Report on Neo-Fascist and Hate Groups,” it has been reprobated by liberals in general and by a number of Jewish agencies in particular as unfair and un-American.1 This would seem to mark the reductio ad absurdum of what might be called the “Civil Liberties First” position.

The Fragmented People That Is Germany
Stability, But Through Divisiveness

by Fritz Stern
Fritz Stern, describing his visit this past spring and summer to Berlin where he taught as an exchange professor at the Free University, attempts here an evocation of the climate of culture, human aspiration, and morale in German society today—intangibles more difficult to describe than ideological and political trends, but perhaps as important because in the end they set the scene and establish the boundaries of Germany's evolving postwar national life.   It is difficult to think of Germany dispassionately, and on my way there last spring I found that I still felt intensely what I had tried so hard to overcome.

The Tree
A Story

by Abraham Reisen
It was a long street; at least in the small Jewish town it was considered the longest. It contained forty small houses, excepting the deserted ruin in which no one had been living for ten years.

Encore
by Howard Harrison
When will he come? The Jew keeps us           waiting. On and off the boards since Buchenwald Was blasted open, but now he'll come To play indefinitely, and keep us entertained For years.

Four Rabbis in Search of American Judaism
Commentary on a History of Boston's Temple Israel

by Nathan Glazer
Temple Israel in Boston has enjoyed a succession of notable rabbis in its one hundred years of existence: Solomon Schindler, Charles Fleischer, Harry Levi, Joshua Loth Liebman, and today, Roland B.

Strange Doings at
by Spencer Brown
George Orwell's famous satire on Russian Communism, Animal Farm, has recently been brought to the screen as a full-length animated cartoon.

From the American Scene: The World of Station WEVD
by Ruth Glazer
Turn the dial to 1330 (AM) or 97.9 (FM), and you are in the world of radio station WEVD, where you may hear Yiddish crooners singing “Tsumisht, Tsutumult, un Farkisheft,” rabbis preaching the good Jewish life, dramatic vignettes of Jewish problems, troubles, and joys, and recipes for the serious Jewish housewife.

The Tel at Givat Oz
by Aharon Gisnet
At Givat Oz today, we stood on a high Tel. Where three or four cultures rust in gentle Oblivion. Under a wrapper of fine winter hay, All green and bending to the sickle bar, A quarry of notions, antique bones, a glazed jar Thin and graceful as a one-legged heron In the Hula swamp, await the antiquarian's devotion. I thought, what diverse yields from this stiff clay Skin, so slow to cede to the tender ministration Of stubborn Halutzim: first corn, grudgingly given, Then in the rotation a little wheat; that failed, As green manure was plowed in.

Cedars of Lebanon: The Rothschild of the Painters
by Moritz Oppenheim
One chapter from Moritz Daniel Oppenheim's Erinnerungen, translated by me from the German original, has already appeared in this department, in the October 1954 number.

On the Horizon: Zionist Revival on the Campus?
by Jacob Neusner
With the establishment of Israel as a nation, American Zionism found itself in a new era for which apparently nothing had prepared it—like, as someone has said, a mother whose grown children are suddenly no longer in the house, or the father of the bride.

The Study of Man: Bolshevik Man, His Motivations
by Daniel Bell
In Nathan Leites's monumental volume A Study of Bolshevism (The Free Press, 639 pp., $6.50), an effort is made, through the insights of psychoanalysis, as well as by other more conventional methods, to assess the character and motivations of the Bolshevik—that new man who haunts our age—in such a way as to offer practical guidance for the enormous political and military problems that the free world must face.

For Zion's Sake, A Biography of Judah L. Magnes, by Norman Bentwich
by Judd Teller
Judah L. Magnes For Zion's Sake. A Biography of Judah L. Magnes. By Norman Bentwich. The Jewish Publication Society of America. 329 pp.

To Wake in the Morning, by Hilda Sidney Krech
by Isa Kapp
The Great Mother Psychology To Wake in the Morning. by Hilda Sidney Krech. Macmillan. 342 pp. $3.75.   Though there is a lot of triviality and breathless sparkle in this novel about civilian life during World War II, To Wake in the Morning does at times convey, better than a more artful or apocalyptic book might, the reaction to the war of a largely apolitical American public.

Scapegoat of Revolution, by Judd L. Teller
by Paul Kecskemeti
Racism and Revolution Scapegoat of Revolution. by Judd L. Teller. Scribner's. 352 pp. $4.50.   Until recently, no aspect of Soviet Communism was as little known and criticized as its actual (as against professed) racial and ethnic policies.

Sunset and Evening Star, by Sean O'Casey
by Gerald Weales
A Toast to Life Sunset and Evening Star. by Sean O'Casey. Macmillan. 339 pp. $4.75.   In the last line of Sunset and Evening Star, Sean O'Casey offers a toast to life—rather to Life, for he has been capitalizing that word since he first started to write plays in Dublin more than thirty years ago.

Judaism in Islam, by Abraham I. Katsh
by Gerson Cohen
Mohammed and the Jews Judaism in Islam: Biblical and Talmudic Backgrounds of the Koran and its Commentaries: Suras II and III. by Abraham I.


by



by


March, 1955Back to Top
"Judaism in Islam"
by Our Readers
To the Editor: May I say that I read Rabbi Gerson D. Cohen's review of Professor A. I. Katsh's Judaism in Islam (February 1955) with a great deal of pain.

Early Resort Discrimination
by Our Readers
To the Editor: An example of discrimination at a vacation resort antedating by a generation the one given by Charles Abrams (“.

Liberty and "Due Process"
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “Libertarian Precepts and Subversive Realities” (January 1955), Mr. Alan F. Westin says that he is making a criticism of the “application” of civil liberties principles that he does not question.

Prophecy Not Without Honor
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Paul Willen's keenly analytical and prophetic article “Can Stalin Have a Successor?” (July 1953) has been dramatically confirmed by Malenkov's sudden downfall from apparent power.

The "Animal Farm" Mystery
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Spencer Brown (“Strange Doings at ‘Animal Farm,’” February 1955) has written an excellent account of the reluctance of New York's film critics to associate Animal Farm with the Russian Revolution.

The Hillcrest Center
by Our Readers
To the Editor: As rabbi of the synagogue-center described in the article ambitiously entitled “New Jewish Community in Formation” by Morris Freedman (January 1955), I must state that the article proved to be a great disappointment.

The State of the American Proletariat, 1955
Working Day and Living Time in Gary, Indiana

by Warner Jr.
A large gap has opened up between the Marxian prophecies of the fate of the proletariat under advancing industrial capitalism and the actualities of American working-class life.

Will History Repeat Itself in Germany?
Must the Bonn Republic Go the Way of Weimar?

by F. Allemann
Among the specters that haunt our times, none evokes more fearsome speculation than that of a revived ultra-nationalist Germany that will discard parliamentary forms and bring back militarism and totalitarian terror.

North Africa's Dilemmas for American Jewry
Behind the Present Debate on Community Priorities

by Hal Lehrman
Probably as remarkable as any feature of Jewish history in its various ages and places is the tradition of philanthropy, and nowhere has it flourished as in this country.

The Basis for Our Defense of Formosa
The U.S. Can Invoke Both International Law and Morality

by G. Hudson
G. F. Hudson attempts here to answer some of the most crucial questions now facing the free world. What justifies our defense of Formosa? How seriously do we risk large-scale war by our resistance to Communist power over this issue? How strong is our strategic position in the locality? What kind of settlement of differences can we hope for, and what must be done—and not done—to increase the possibilities of a settlement? Mr.

Death Fugue
by Paul Celan
This poem about life in death and death in life in a concentration camp made a sensation in German literary circles when it first appeared in print.

Behind the Pioneer Role of Jews in Medicine
The Traditional

by L. Wallerstein
The legendary figure of the Jewish doctor goes back many centuries. The late L. Wallerstein has here outlined the long history of a type that still retains some trappings of myth, and suggested the elements in Jewish life and tradition that may have contributed to the eminence of Jews in the science of healing.

Equal in Paris
An Autobiographical Story

by James Baldwin
This is the story of the encounter of a young American with the institutions of French justice._____________ On the 19th of December, in 1949, when I had been living in Paris for a little over a year, I was arrested as a receiver of stolen goods and spent eight days in prison.

Walt Whitman as American Spokesman
Some Hindsights and Foresights

by Richard Chase
Since the publication of Leaves of Grass, Americans have tended to evaluate Walt Whitman in terms of the myth he himself helped to create, either embracing him as the “natural” poet of exuberant democracy, or rejecting him for his confusing contradictions and his inveterate lack of discipline.

Parable
A Story

by Charles Reznikoff
Here we print a story which, he tells us, was originally told him by the brother in the story itself whom he calls “Isaac.” He wishes us to note that the midrash he speaks of is quoted by Judah Goldin in his “The Period of the Talmud”—found in The Jews: Their History, Culture, and Religion (Harper, 1949).   _____________   Once there were three brothers.

A Wedding in Harvest Time
by Nuchim Bomse
It was such a night as this— I looked out through the window and saw: wagons standing before the terrace, father and mother in front, my brother in his white waist-coat, and all the neighbors and guests. Afterward I heard the horses neighing from afar. That night in my trundle bed a dream with dark wing brought them back again: They are riding through woods, lakes,     mills, and old jesters are playing sleepy and weary the song of the bridal canopy. They rush on, rush on, toward the bride in the city, but a jester has loosened a wheel of the wagon. And though they all lie now in the ground (even Meyer Pudding and his horse), I thought of them today. Because it was such a night as this, I looked out through the window and saw: leaves dancing in the wind, and I alone in the house—a child in terror. They have all gone away to the wedding, all night I have waited for them, but they have all deceived me. _____________  

From the American Scene: The Hasidim Come to Williamsburg
by Walter Goodman
The Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, across the East River from Manhattan's Lower East Side, has long been a stronghold of Orthodox Judaism.

Cedars of Lebanon: A Variety of Paupers and Some Fools
by Mendele Seforim
Mendele Mocher Seforim (“Mendele the Bookseller”) is the pseudonym of Shalom Yaacov Abramovitch (1836-1918), who virtually singlehanded created modern Yiddish letters, transforming the despised “jargon” into a vehicle for a forceful, vivid literature.

On the Horizon: Tel Aviv's Purim Mardi Gras
by Toby Shafter
An American tourist following the Mardi Gras round in Europe finally comes to Tel Aviv for its famed celebration of Purim, and gives us the gay and riotous details. _____________   Each city in Israel has its own special holiday.

The Study of Man: Professor Carr's
by Bertram Wolfe
Part of the subtler propaganda for the Red, as it was for the Brown and the Black, totalitarianism, is the “argument from success.” It is made under all sorts of guises, not the least formidable of which is the scholarly.

American in Russia, by Harrison E. Salisbury
by Peter Meyer
New Look, Old Illusions American in Russia. by Harrison E. Salisbury. Harper. 328 pp. $4.00.   Generally speaking it seems apparent to visiting Americans that Georgians lead a comfortable existence.

The Worcester Account, by S. N. Behrman
by Isaac Rosenfeld
The Abusable Past The Worcester Account. by S. N. Behrman. Random House. 239 pp. $3.50.   If we let S. N. Behrman get away with a species of murder in The Worcester Account, it is not only because of his reputation or the fact that most of these reminiscences first appeared in the New Yorker, but because of the high sentimental regard in which most of us hold his themes: the small town (Worcester, Mass.), time past (the beginning of the present century), boyhood and adolescence.

The Republican Roosevelt, by John M. Blum
by Edward Saveth
T.R. and Patrician Rule The Republican Roosevelt. by John M. Blum. Harvard University Press. 161 pp. $3.50.   There was more to Theodore Roosevelt than the grimace, toothy grin, and pristine vigor which are his trademark—not unlike the stripes on Uncle Sam's pants.

Festivals of the Jewish Year, by Theodor H. Gaster
by Sylvia Rothchild
Judaism as Historical Process Festivals of the Jewish Year. by Theodor H. Gaster. Sloane. 308 pp. $4.00.   There have been many books published about the observance and history of the Jewish festivals: little books of questions and answers for those who want to learn Torah while standing on one foot, collections of sayings from Scripture, and thick anthologies of stories, songs, services, and children's plays.

Die Verlorene Legion, by Leon Degrelle
by H. Trefousse
The Fascist Boobs Die Verlorene Legion. by Leon Degrelle. Stuttgart, Veritas Verlag. 509 pp.   The appearance of the memoirs (translated into German from a still unpublished French original) of Leon Degrelle, leader of the pre-war fascist Rexist movement in Belgium and commander of the Walloon Legion that fought by the side of the Nazis on the Eastern front, focuses attention on the international nature of Hitlerism.

The Alphabet of Creation, by Ben Shahn
by Leo Steinberg
Twenty-Six Generations Before Genesis The Alphabet of Creation. An Ancient Legend from the Zohar, with Drawings by Ben Shahn. Pantheon. 48 pp. $5.00.   The Alphabet of Creation is a legend from the Zohar, the mystic “Book of Splendor,” written in the 13th century, which, claiming a more ancient authorship, imposed itself on later generations with almost Scriptural authority.


by



by


April, 1955Back to Top
The "Puerto Rican Problem"
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I have read with considerable interest Mr. Charles Abrams's “How to Remedy Our ‘Puerto Rican Problem’” (February 1955) .

The Bolshevik Further Psychoanalyzed
by Our Readers
To the Editor: “Bolshevik Man, His Motivations” (February), Daniel Bell's appreciative yet critical study of Nathan Leites's book on the subject, leads me to offer a few observations.

WEVD Maligned?
by Our Readers
To the Editor: As a charter reader of COMMENTARY, I have not yet missed a single issue of your fine magazine.

National Committee for an Effective Congress
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Without taking issue with anything else in the article “What Price McCarthy Now?” by James Rorty (January 1955), I should like to correct an impression that may have been created by his reference to “the pressure and propaganda batteries” of the National Committee for an Effective Congress.

Social Mobility: America vs. Europe
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I read with great interest the article “Class and Opportunity in Europe and the U.S.” by S. M.

The New Jewish Center
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I found the subtitle to Morris Freedman's article, “New Jewish Community in Formation: A Conservative Center Catering [!] to Present-Day Needs” (January), rather appropriate.

Why We Must Defend Formosa
by G. Hudson
Plain sense (not to speak of elementary conscience) on the Formosa situation is surprisingly hard to come by at a time when confusion, illusion, and sheer panic seem to possess so many, particularly among our “leading opinion-molders.” It is plain sense, and a recognition of the hard and simple realities of fact (and commitment) that G.

The Jewishness of Franz Kafka
Some Sources of His Particular Vision

by Clement Greenberg
Many writers have been influenced by Kafka since he came into vogue, but few seem to have gotten more than a set of mannerisms from him.

Robert Warshow 1917-1955
by Our Readers
Robert Warshow 1917—1955 Robert Warshow, who had been an editor of COMMENTARY since shortly after its inception, died on March 18, at the age of thirty-seven.

The Dossier of Wolf Ladejinsky
The Fair Rewards of Distinguished Civil Service

by James Rorty
When the Department of Agriculture, headed by Utah's Ezra Benson, refused to give security clearance to Wolf Ladejinsky, architect of the Japanese land reform instituted by the American occupation, the spotlight was cast on a number of problems that have long made Americans uneasy.

Two Middle East Conferences in Washington
Competing for Government's Ear on Israel's Fate

by Hal Lehrman
As Hal Lehrman made clear once again in his last month's report on “North Africa's Dilemmas for American Jewry,” the latter has a power over the fate of world Jewry such as no single Jewish community has had in a thousand years.

Unifying Philosophy, Science, and Prophecy
Moses Maimonides: The Man, His Work

by Leo Baeck
Last year was the 750th anniversary of Maimonides' death in 1204, and COMMENTARY published an essay by David Baumgardt in commemoration of the fact.

Fall of Mendes-France's
by Herbert Luethy
The fall of Mendès-France as French Premier, after all the hopes raised by him both in France and abroad, is one more symptom of the Fourth Republic's inability to find a parliamentary regime stable enough even to begin the task of postwar economic reconstruction, much less that of solving her long-standing external problems.

My Father's Life
A Story

by David Klein
In a city in the deep South, where my father lived when a young man, he would sometimes telephone a number which he knew would not be answered.

Lost Heritage
by Charles Gaines
In a previous issue, January 1954, we printed two poems by the young Negro writer Charles Gaines. They were his first published work. _____________   And who are these, here sheltered from the rain, beneath the marquee of the opera house where Siegfried bravely fought upon the stage and slew the beast of evil with his sword? Who are these people standing in the lobby lifting their voices to the passing crowd while neons blaze their products on and off and curses drift by in the Southern wind? And who is this, that walks into the traffic against the lights without a thought of death that comes so swiftly down the avenue amid a chorus of screams this rainy evening? And who are these, that scream these vain alarms these frantic ones, that wave their futile arms these thirsty ones, that rush to see the blood? oblivious of the rain to see the blood! Is this the end for which this man was born to walk by chance to this untimely death (his wife and children thinking he is safe) beneath the wheels that tell us hurry hurry? Or was there something in the now deceased that caused the gear of destiny to turn another notch to universal death and cold oblivion in eternity? But this is drama, drama!

Two More New Psalms
As Translated from the Dead Sea Scrolls

by Our Readers
Since 1947, scholars have been awaiting publication of the texts of the Dead Sea scrolls that were found in the now famous Qumran caves.

From the American Scene: Vermont Pioneer from Flatbush
by S. Hecht
When the second generation breaks out of the close Jewish neighborhoods of the big city into the untamed wilderness, be it only the backwoods of four-hours-away Vermont, one must expect a certain amount of skeptical qualms on the part of its elders who were raised in a culture that perhaps admired the things of nature, but only at a safe distance.

Cedars of Lebanon: The Song at the Red Sea
by Our Readers
Jewish legend has it that the song the Israelites sang after crossing the Red Sea and seeing Pharaoh's host overwhelmed was “the second of the nine songs that in the course of history Israel sang to their God.” The tenth and final song will be the grand paean that Israel shall raise at their final deliverance. We print the Song at the Red Sea below, followed by two Midrashim (quoted from the Soncino translations): one explaining that God required the angels to give first place to His children in singing the song of triumph; and the other showing God as restraining the angels from singing at the escape of the Israelites, for the Egyptians, also His creation, were being drowned, and shall there be rejoicing in heaven at the downfall of any of His children? These two Midrashim wonderfully illustrate the tension in Judaism between the particular Jewish and the universal.

On the Horizon: Novel of the Triply Divided Jew
by Edouard Roditi
Surgent nationalism in French North Africa has been almost entirely Arab, and amid the turmoil one is likely to lose sight of the native Jews in that area, whose position between the contending parties has today become more problematical than ever.

The Study of Man: Communism, Democracy, and the Churches
by Will Herberg
A number of thinkers have been troubled by the lack of clarity and the division of counsel that have marked the struggle against Communism on the part of various religious groups.

The Opposing Self: Nine Essays in Criticism, by Lionel Trilling
by Paul Pickrel
The Voice Beyond Ideology The Opposing Self: Nine Essays in Criticism. by Lionel Trilling. Viking. 232 pp. $3.50.   The vigor of Lionel Trilling's criticism arises from the fact that he has been forced to work out an intellectual position that goes against the grain of his own mind.

100 Stories of Business Success, by the Editors of Fortune
by Morris Freedman
Getting Rich on Notions 100 Stories of Business Success: Case Histories of American Enterprise. by the Editors of Fortune. Simon and Schuster. 174 pp.

Ash on a Young Man's Sleeve, by Dannie Abse
by Pearl Kazin
Jews in Cardiff Ash on a Young Man's Sleeve. by Dannie Abse. Criterion. 200 pp. $3.00.   For all its toughening know-how, and the deracinating power that New York's brash and sophisticated force is supposed to exert on the children of the city's immigrants, sucking them out and away from the language-barriered narrowness of kinship they feel about the heights of the Bronx or the depths of Brooklyn, it has always seemed a little preposterous to us to think that Jews very much like us, speaking roughly the same kind of Yiddish, punctuating their remarks with much the same kind of gestures and intonation, could be living in parts of the world whose Population and Chief Products made up the grinding routine of geography lessons in P.S.

The Secret Roads, by Jon and David Kimche
by George Lichtheim
The Great Exodus as Thriller The Secret Roads. by Jon and David Kimche. Secker and Warburg (London). 220 pp. 15 shillings.   The secret roads opens with a quotation from a modern English playwright and closes with some rather ponderous reflections on the destiny of Israel.

The Laws and Charities of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews' Congregation of London, by Neville Laski
by David Sola
English Jewry's Oldest Congregation The Laws and Charities of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews' Congregation of London. by Neville Laski. The Chesset Press.

Three Books on Germany
by Manfred Wolfson
The Nazi Era Tycoons and Tyrant: German Industry from Hitler to Adenauer. by Louis P. Lochner. Regnery. 304 pp. $5.00. The Wilhelmstrasse: A Study of German Diplomats Under the Nazi Regime. by Paul Seabury. University of California Press.


by



by


May, 1955Back to Top
Torah and Nature
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Lionel Trilling's observations on “Words-worth and the Rabbis” (February) show a sensitive understanding of Wordsworth. The similarity that is suggested between him and the rabbis, however, is more superficial than Mr.

Father-Figures and Maiden Aunts
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In Mr. Henry Elkin's letter in your April issue, it is his contention, as I understand it, that Nathan Leites's book on the character of the Bolshevik is limited by the “inadequacies of (his) Freudian theory,” but that from a “broader, anthropologically sounder psychological viewpoint” many things left unexplained in Mr.

South Vietnam
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Allow me to express my belief that a campaign of misinformation about Indo-China, and of slander against the Prime Minister of South Vietnam, is being conducted in the United States, for which I see new evidence in Mr.

In Defense of Yeshivas
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Mr. Walter Goodman in his otherwise fairly interesting article “The Hasidim Come to Williamsburg” (March 1955) writes as follows: “The English instruction given at these yeshivas (presumably including Torah Vodaath) rarely satisfies the state completely, although the boys invariably manage to pass their regents examinations.

"Why We Must Defend Formosa"
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I was delighted with G. F. Hudson's article “Why We Must Defend Formosa” (April 1955). It is very important that the political aspect of this question should be given more recognition, as most people seem to think only of Formosa's strategic value. There is just one point which Mr.

Mr. Eisenhower's Far East Policy:
The Prescription, as Before

by Harold Lavine
Given current headlines and the charges and counter-charges of “war party” and “appeasement,” no wonder the average citizen has difficulty in knowing what present American policy in the Far East really is.

Toynbee's Judgment of the Jews:
Where the Historian Misread History

by Franz Borkenau
The last installment of A. J. Toynbee's Study of History contains a judgment upon Zionism, and the Jews, that has outraged many non-Zionists as well as Zionists.

Camp Ramah: Where Hebrew Is the Key:
A Full Jewish Education for a Full Jewish Life

by Morris Freedman
Whether or not there is a boom in Jewish education, as some say, certainly there has never been anything like the demand today by parents and children alike for knowledge and participation in the Jewish heritage.

The Course Ahead for European Socialism:
It Still Has a Role to Play

by G. Arnold
Has socialism a future in Western Europe? The Socialist parties, writes G. L. Arnold, seem to have entered a blind alley.

Mahler
by Harvey Gross
The pathos of his century marks his face. A beaky, bitter eagle of a Jew Who orchestrated mountain tops and knew The wailing song of heaven's withdrawn grace. He feared the Mystic Nine, and feared that place Which no man ever filled.

Jewish Culture and the Intellectuals:
The Process of Rediscovery

by Norman Podhoretz
The publication of A Treasury of Yiddish Stories (630 pp., $5.95), edited by Irving Howe and Eliezer Greenberg, says Norman Podhoretz, represents a kind of milestone on the pilgrim's progress of the Jewish intellectual in his growing acceptance both of his Jewishness and of America. _____________   The publication of A Treasury of Yiddish Stories seems to me an event of peculiar significance in American Jewish life.

The Prospect for Israel's Arabs:
Reflections of a Palestine

by Edwin Samuel
As one who knew the old Palestine, Edwin Samuel reports on the present situation of the Arabs in Israel, drawing on his uniquely intimate and many-faceted experience with the Arabs, gained in army service in World War I, then while a Mandate official, and finally as an official of the Israeli government. _____________   It is not easy to answer the question so often asked of Palestinian old-timers: “What do people like yourself feel about the Arabs in Israel today?” The further question usually implied, rather than asked, is: “What about the Arabs no longer here?” During the Mandatory period I lived much among the Arabs.

The Kidnap:
A Story

by Joseph Papaleo
In those improving years after the depression, when Mrs. Bonomo next door prepared meals every day for a family of twenty-two, and when all the families in the Bronx neighborhood ate Sunday dinner outside under their grape arbors, it was well known along Lorin Place that Mr.

Breaking the Arab-Israel Deadlock:
A Britisher Sees Some Possible Levers

by John Marlowe
The chain leaguing the Arab nations against Israel is made up of links of varying strengths and various ingredients. What these are and how this chain might be broken at one or another of several weak links to the general benefit of Arabs, Israel, and the world are here discussed by John Marlowe, veteran political and economic observer in the Middle East. _____________   Israel was, ostensibly, the aggressor in the Gaza incident.

From the American Scene: May Day in Toronto
by Ben Lappin
The May days of the past were vigorous affirmations of the dignity and glory of being workers—for were not workers to inherit a better world? Ben Lappin here contrasts the good old May Days of Toronto (an outlying part of the American Scene) with their present celebration, which turns out to be a combined reunion of the veterans of old wars and memorial service for the soaring (but also largely victorious) aspirations of an earlier day.

Cedars of Lebanon: Why Catastrophes Come
by Solomon Alami
March 15,1391, anti-Jewish riots broke out in Seville. Religious fanaticism, though the Grown tried to check it, swept from Seville through city after city in Castile.

On the Horizon: Sportswriting the Soviet Way
by Andrew MacAndrew
In Russia, where they don't play games about anything, not even games, and where the umpire may actually get killed if he doesn't watch his step, the life of a sportswriter is far from simple.

The Study of Man: Totalitarianism: A Disease of Modernism?
by Robert Langbaum
At a conference of scholars in 1953, under the auspices of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (whose proceedings have been published by Harvard University Press in the volume Totalitarianism, edited by Carl J.

The Code of Maimonides. Book Eleven: The Book of Torts, translated by Hyman Klein
by Michael Wyschogrod
Halachah as the Reason of God and Man The Code of Maimonides. Book Eleven: The Book of Torts. Translated from the Hebrew by Hyman Klein. Volume IX in the Yale Judaica Series.

Politics in America, by D. W. Brogan
by Henry Parkes
Explaining American Politics Politics in America. by D. W. Brogan. Harper. 467 pp. $5.00.   “The purpose of this book,” says the preface, “is simply to make the American political system intelligible.

A Treasury of Irish Folklore, edited by Padraic Colum
by Vivian Mercier
When is a Literature National? A Treasury of Irish Folklore. by Padraic Colum. Crown. 640 pp. $5.00.   I am not going to quarrel with Padraic Colum's definition of folklore, although only two of the nine “Parts” into which his book is divided—“Ways and Traditions” and “Fireside Tales”—fit the usual definitions of the term.

Some Recent Novels
by Chandler Brossard
Fiction and “Literature” The Dark Arena. by Mario Puzo. Random House. 308 pp. $3.50. A Ghost at Noon. by Alberto Moravia. Farrar, Straus & Cudahy. 309 pp.

Modigliani, Chagall, Soutine, Pascin: Aspects of Expressionism, by Paolo D'Ancona
by Alfred Werner
Is there Jewish Art? Modigliani, Chagall, Soutine, Pascin: Aspects of Expressionism. by Paolo D'Ancona. Translated by Lucia Krasnik. Edizione del Milione, Milan. 123 pp., illustrated.

An Essay on Racial Tension, by Philip Mason
by Dennis Wrong
Comparative Race Relations An Essay on Racial Tension. by Philip Mason. Royal Institute of International Affairs. 149 pp. $1.50.   Everett C. Hughes recently complained of the “ethnocentrism” of American students of race relations—not only do they limit their interest to the United States, but they frequently concentrate exclusively on the minority race or ethnic group instead of examining the behavior and attitudes of all the groups in an interracial situation.


by



by


June, 1955Back to Top
The Middle East Institute
by
To the Editor: My attention has been called to the statement in Mr. Hal Lehrman's article “Two Middle East Conferences in Washington” (April 1955) that Mr.

Communism and Religion
by
To the Editor: Some of your readers may find the expression “Jewish-Christian faith” misleading and possibly obnoxious, even in the context in which Mr.

Ex Oriente Lux?
by
To the Editor: There have been many times when I was tempted to subscribe and I do get COMMENTARY in bookshops occasionally.

An Agnostic's Appreciation
by
To the Editor: Please allow an agnostic and democratic socialist to thank you for the excellence of the recent articles on such vital and complex questions as creeping socialism, so called, vs.

How Good is Kafka?
by
To the Editor: In his interesting essay on “The Jewishness of Franz Kafka” for April Mr. Clement Greenberg, having observed that “no moral choices are made in Kafka's fiction,” writes: “To the extent that this fiction succeeds, it refutes the assumption of many of the most serious critics of our day—F.

How New Is the "New" Germany?
by Terence Prittie
As Terence Prittie points out here, the “new Germany” that has arisen since the war, with its center in Bonn, is very much the work of the Allied occupation.

Major Raphael J. Moses of Georgia:
Autobiography of an Unreconstructed Southerner

by
“Raphael J. Moses of Columbus, Georgia,” writes the historian Jacob R. Marcus, “was still living when Isaac Markens, in his book The Hebrews in America (1888), wrote of him: ‘The esteem in which he is held by the great men of Georgia attests his right to the place he occupies as the foremost Hebrew at the bar and in the politics of the Southern States.’ This Georgia orator, politician, and lawyer, born in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1812, and a descendant of the Machados of New York and the Nunezes of Georgia, was a fifth-generation American.

The Attack on Our Libraries:
Defending

by James Rorty
It is not so many months since Mr. Eisenhower felt compelled to advise Americans, “Don't join the book-burners!” In many communities libraries and librarians were under attack by pressure groups for alleged subversion, and the President's warning reflected the wide concern that America's cherished “freedom to read” was being threatened by a spreading vigilantism.

Isaac Babel: Torn Between Violence and Peace
by Lionel Trilling
One of the most original short-story writers of our time was the Odessa Jew, Isaac Babel, who began writing during the Russian Revolution and disappeared fifteen years later during Stalin's Great Purge.

Portrait of a Jew, 50th Year of this Era
by Constantine Cavafy
This is the third poem by Constantine Cavafy (Kavafis) that we have printed in translation by Simon Chasen. _____________   Painter, poet, runner, thrower of the disk, With Endymion's beauty, Ianthes, Antonios' son, from a family to the synagogue close .

Balance Sheet on Bandung:
Is Neutralism the Key to Peace in the Orient

by G. Hudson
As the Bandung Conference developed, it provided substantial grounds for questioning whether neutralism in the Orient any more than in Europe can offer a basis for stabilizing the international situation.

A Journey to Masada:
The Fortress of the Zealots Revisited

by Mark Sufrin
In a remote Dead Sea area, not far from the Qumran caves where the oldest known Biblical scrolls were recently discovered, stands the mountain of Masada, itself an ancient and great memorial of the Jewish people, which has lately become a goal of pilgrimages motivated by archaeological interest and national ardor.

From the American Scene: Schaine of the Mountains
by Jack Luria
Harry Gersh's widely remembered portrait of the kochalein as an institution appeared in these pages four years ago. We return to the scene for this story, in quite a different vein, by the fiction-writer Jack Luria. _____________   Summers blazed hot and endless when I was a boy on the East Side of New York during the early 20's.

Cedars of Lebanon: Jewish Tangier and Avignon: 19th Century
by Jozef Israels
Jozef Israels, the famous Dutch Jewish artist (born in Groningen, 1824; died at The Hague, 1911), was known to his friends for his personal qualities of humility and compassion.

On the Horizon: Bloom and Levine: The Hazards of Modern Painting
by Hilton Kramer
Both Hyman Bloom and Jack Levine won eminence in American art before the age of thirty and, in their early forties now, they have had their reputations certified, so to speak, by a twin retrospective exhibition at the Whitney Museum in New York City this past spring.

The Study of Man: What Western Colonialism Gave to Asia
by Herbert Luethy
The recent Bandung Conference has drawn increased attention to the effort of the newly independent Asian countries to find solutions for their multifarious problems that will not limit their supposed freedom of maneuver in international relations.

A Poem
by Derek Miller
So Streicher Killed Your Father! How Interesting I wonder if, by chance, When passing by a shop in town, I'll meet a rabbi's son from France Who'll sell his beard for half a crown. Perhaps a Jew in all the places Forgets the lips of those who died, Perhaps he'd wink at shriveled faces And flick a half-crown while he sighed. I wonder if, by chance, When meeting goyim in the town, I'll ask Miss Fortescue to dance And she will pout, and flush—and frown. _____________  

Reflections on the Failure of Socialism, by Max Eastman
by Paul Kecskemeti
Over-Simplification on the Right Reflections on the Failure of Socialism. by Max Eastman. Devin-Adair. 127 pp. $2.75. The main thesis of Max Eastman's book is that “socialism” in all its forms is a mortal threat to human freedom, decency, and civilization.

Seizure of Power, by Czeslaw Milosz
by Leslie Fiedler
The Revolt Against the Person The Seizure of Power. by Czeslaw Milosz. Criterion. 245 pp. $3-50. Surely, one of the realest terrors of Communism arises from our inability to imagine it, to find analogies for the particular brands of fear and subservience, devotion and loyalty it breeds.

The Great Fair: Scenes from My Childhood, by Sholom Aleichem
by Pearl Kazin
Back from the Fair The Great Fair: Scenes from My Childhood. by Sholom Aleichem. Translated by Tamara Kahana. Noonday. 306 pp. $3.75. Take up the autobiography of a writer in that rare and, to us, almost unimaginably golden situation which was Sholom Aleichem's—a writer whose very substance and identity were indivisible from his material and his audience, a writer to whom it never occurred to think or talk about his “position as a writer”—and you can be sure of one thing: this will be no Portrait of the Artist as a Young Kasrilovkite.

The History of the Jewish Khazars, by D. M. Dunlop
by Milton Himmelfarb
Judaized Turks The History of the Jewish Khazars. by D. M. Dunlop. Princeton University Press. 292 pp. $5.00.   For the sober historian speculation about what might have been is a frivolous distraction, but for those of us with less responsibility it has its charms.

MacArthur: 1941-1951, by Charles A. Willoughby and John Chamberlain
by Trumbull Higgins
General at Sea MacArthur: 1941-1951. by Charles A. Willoughby and John Chamberlain. McGraw-Hill. 425 pp. $5.75. War is too serious a business to leave to generals.—Clemenceau _____________   General Charles Willoughby, well known to the public as General MacArthur's controversial former intelligence chief, has, with the assistance of John Chamberlain, brought out what is probably the closest thing to an official biography of Douglas MacArthur we shall get.

Social History of the Jews in England, 1850-1950, by V. D. Lipman
by Jacob Neusner
Pedestrian History Social History of the Jews in England, 1850-1950. by V. D. Lipman. Watts (London). 200 pp. 18 shillings.   English Jewry has a number of social traits, which I think we may call virtues, lacking in American Jewish life: communal unity, a kind of organized respect for differing opinion, a high level of Jewish literacy.

Reader Letters June 1955
by Our Readers
How Good Is Kafka? TO THE EDITOR OF COlMMENTARY: In his interesting essay on "The Jewishness of Franz Kafka" for April Mr. Clement Green- berg, having observed that "no moral choices are made in Kafka's fiction," writes: "To the extent that this fiction succeeds, it refutes the assumption of many of the most serious critics of our day-F.

July, 1955Back to Top
The Latest in Weddings
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Recently I was a witness to the “latest” in Jewish weddings, one which took place in the best wedding hall in the Bronx.

Is Mao Independent of Moscow?
by Our Readers
To the Editor: For a generation Franz Borkenau has fought the greatest assault on truth the world has ever witnessed: the Soviet falsification of history, past and present.

Hebrew Camping
by Our Readers
To the Editor: As a parent of four children who have spent four summers at Camp Ramah in the Poconos, I should like to present my reactions to Morris Freedman's recent description of Ramah in Connecticut (“Camp Ramah: Where Hebrew Is the Key,” May 1955).

Congratulations
by Our Readers
To the Editor: May I congratulate COMMENTARY upon its publication of a fine piece of intellectual autobiography? I have seldom been more moved by any account of recent experience than by Mr.

Does the People's Rule Doom Democracy?
Walter Lippman's Diagnosis of Western Decline

by Oscar Handlin
If popular democracy has sometimes been impatient with intelligence, intelligence has often thrown up its hands in exasperation with popular democracy.

Liquidation Sale
by Charles Bell
From the flat fields of the Delta and waves    of woods, We come to a little town with its cotton gin, Beulah or Boyle, the pattern is the same, As weird as familiar.

Unsentimental Journey to Vienna:
A Native Jew's Welcome Home

by Benno Weiser
Now that formal peace has come to Austria and, with it, sovereignty, it becomes more important than ever to understand the country where such a large part of the recent Jewish past lies buried.

The British Elections Herald a New Era:
The Break in Working-Class Solidarity

by Norman Macrae
One of the reasons the Labor party victory in the British election of 1945 was regarded as historic was the fact that this victory was expected to usher in a long-term period of Labor dominance—the working class, with the advance of popular democracy, had at last come into its own and could be expected to remain there.

A Group of Verse
by Charles Reznikoff
I Of course, we must die. How else will the world be rid of the old telephone numbers we cannot forget? The numbers it would be foolish— utterly useless— to call. _____________ II I remember very well when I asked you— as if you were a friend—whether or not I should go somewhere or other, you answered: “It does not matter: you are not at all important.” That was true.

The Libraries in a Time of Tension:
The Legion and Its Demands

by James Rorty
Last month James Rorty narrated the ordeal of the American public library which, during the past few years, has been attacked and harassed by local cultural vigilantes in many communities, and described how community leadership was on the whole successful in safeguarding the freedom to read.

The Liberal Religious Impulse in Israel:
An American Rabbi Spies Out the Land

by Herbert Weiner
The illustrious 19th-century rabbi Israel Salanter once compared religion “to a bird held in the hand. If grasped too tightly it will die—and if held too loosely, it may fly away.” In Israel today there are those who claim that the “bird” has been squeezed to death by the constricting laws of an over-rigid Orthodoxy.

Haiman Philip Spitz: Pioneer Maine Merchant
by
“Like some American Jewish worthies,” writes Jacob R. Marcus, Adolph S. Ochs Professor of American History at Hebrew Union College, “Haiman Philip Spitz came to America via England.

Is There a Middle Way in Culture?
Clifton Fadiman and the Middlebrow

by Richard Chase
The celebrated “Middle Way” of American and British democracy, which most of us agree has worked so well in politics, is not, Richard Chase contends here in his examination of a recently published anthology of Clifton Fadi-man's writings, Party of One (World, 473 pp., $5.00), necessarily the right way in culture and literature.

The Little Candy Store
by David Galler
Someone had made an error in the books. One of the boxes, where a child had     scooped, tilted and fell, and there it was— a space among chocolates, spread with dust! They tried to believe they had ordered too     much. What good was that? There had been days— why, just think back!—when there hadn't     been enough. You knew how quickly choices changed! They tried to forget.

From the American Scene: Colchester's Yankee Jews
by Alexander
The shtetl, or Jewish village set down in the middle of a non-Jewish countryside, is not something we are likely to associate with any place but Eastern Europe.

Cedars of Lebanon: Heinrich Heine to His Eckermann
by Our Readers
The one-hundredth anniversary of Heine's death on February 17,1856, will doubtless give rise to a flood of articles about the poet, including essays dealing with Heine's puzzling and very contradictory relationship to Jewish nationalism and to the Jewish religion.

On the Horizon: Bronx Ararat
by Gerald Weales
The Noah story with its striking dramatic possibilities has challenged playwrights from the Middle Ages to the present. In our own country, it made a notable appearance as an American Negro folk drama, but until Clifford Odets's recent play, The flowering Peach, it was never set in Jewish idiom.

The Study of Man: The Scientific Basis of Our Immigration Policy
by William Petersen
The McCarran-Walter Immigration Act of 1952 was no isolated piece of legislation, but rather one expression of the now dominant attitude of exclusion which has worked a reversal in the American tradition of welcoming the oppressed of the Old World.

Academic Freedom: An Essay in Definition, by Russell Kirk
by Paul Pickrel
Academic Freedom and Pluralism Academic Freedom: An Essay in Definition. by Russell Kirk. Regnery. 210 pp. $3.75.   The central proposition of Russell Kirk's brief but valuable book on academic freedom is that academic freedom is part of the natural law, “and if theorists deny the reality of natural law, logically they must deny the reality of academic freedom.” According to the conception of natural law that Mr.

Ben-Gurion of Israel, by Barnet Litvinoff
by Israel Knox
Israel's “Strong Man” Ben-Gurion of Israel. by Barnet Litvinoff. Praeger. 373 pp. $4.00.   No reader of this biography would have been surprised by Ben Gurion's return to public life as Minister of Defense in Israel's present government.

Sincerely, Willis Wayde, by John P. Marquand
by Morris Freedman
The New-Old Babbitt Sincerely, Willis Wayde. by John P. Marquand. Little, Brown. 511 pp. $3.95.   Marquand has become established as our leading chronicler of contemporary business, whatever reservations one may have about the quality and level of his literary achievement.

Three Books on Asia
by G. Hudson
In Quest of an Asian Policy Crusade in Asia. by Carlos P. Romulo. John Day. 309 pp. $4.00. Wanted: An Asian Policy. by Edwin O.

The Liberal Tradition in America: An Interpretation of American Political Thought Since the Revolution, by Louis Hartz
by Daniel Boorstin
American Liberalism The Liberal Tradition in America: An Interpretation of American Political Thought Since the Revolution. by Louis Hartz. Harcourt, Brace. 329 pp.

Reader Letters July 1955
by Our Readers
Congratulations To THE EDITOR or COMMENTARY: May I congratulate COMMENTARY upon its publication of a fine piece of intellectual auto- biography? I have seldom been more moved by any account of recent experience than by Mr. Podhoretz's memoir of his years at Columbia College ("Jewish Culture and the Intellec- tuals,' May 1955), and his feat is the more remarkable because mental experience is much the hardest variety to convey vividly.

August, 1955Back to Top
Agreement on Maimonides
by Our Readers
To the Editor: It has been said, I think by Mordecai Kaplan, that it is hard to disagree with one's teachers, harder to disagree with one's colleagues, and hardest of all to disagree with one's students.

A Critical Exchange
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I cannot see that Mr. Greenberg has the right to feel aggrieved [see exchange of letters in June issue] because in replying to his challenge (and if he hadn't brought in my name—and in that apparently considered and calculated way—I should have written no comment on his essay), I accepted the answer so obviously proposed by the essay itself [“The Jewishness of Frank Kafka,” April 1955] for the question it faced me with: Why is Mr.

The Triple Melting Pot:
by Will Herberg
If there is a standard, or ideal, American cultural-political type to which all of us are expected to conform (by a process known as “Americanization”), it is also inescapable that the American social scene is one of the utmost diversity.

In My Beginnings
by Arthur Geller
My language must be right To clear shadows long frightening Lives rooted deep in mine. Where is the beginning? Of my father's father there is little I have. I recall a dying old man in bed Laughing with a four-year boy; With I felt no rage or dread. One aunt says he was a kind, gracious man Who never struck a child; Anger showed only in his eyes, While voice and manner were always mild. My mother's father, religious man Sternly raised nine sons and daughters. All rejected his Jewish God But believed feared wonders Might still be done. I see my grandfather on the ship, Brought across the ocean, alone And dreaming, in the grip Of his bitter will that would concede Only ignorance of ways. Children with forgotten desires, frightened     of tears, A son in an evil cause; so he pays The costs of an austere pride. What strength had he So devoted to his God? Eleven years dead, his family trade Habits of meeting, talk, and aid. Both my parents born in Europe But came to the city young, To East Side streets unprepared And crushed by the Babel of tongue. Marriage of my parents made on earth. The rages and indifference of their home Where neither could easily give or take Spoiled their lives and the life to come. My mother's fury and contempt Restrained by shyness, succeeded, Exploded on my father— Dulled, childlike in what he needed —And drove him from the house. My mother loved me and I assumed her     hate. Only now have I ceased cursing; My father ten years dead, it is too late. Childhood of depression and shame. We lived with my mother's sisters, Two, unmarried, impatient at mean work, A jealous house; I soothed my blisters By dreaming brilliant joys. None knew or cared what I wished to caress; Fearful, I failed to mark the nearby streets, But found a city of my own,     though fatherless. These rooted images have curious power. They gather in my memory's dance Unwitting of beginning or end. Their movement brings life and chance. _____________  

Israel's Great Foreign Policy Debate:
The Crisis Mood Continues

by W. Laqueur
Is Israeli public opinion over-preoccupied with her foreign policy? This is the fundamental question that Walter Ze'ev Laqueur tries to answer; the results of the recent Knesset elections take nothing away from the pertinence of his observations. _____________   Unnoticed by an outside world very much preoccupied in other quarters, a foreign policy debate of unusual scope has been under way for some months now in Israel.

The Dilemmas of Western Aid to Free Asia:
Some Unsolved Problems of Modernization

by G. Arnold
Free Asia's problems are more complicated, and demand less simple solutions, than most right-minded people in this country and Western Europe seem to think.

Were the Sephardim Hidalgos?
History Disputes Their Claim to Aristocracy

by Cecil Roth
The competitive rivalry between Ashkenazi and Sephardi, while more ancient than that between Litvak and Galitzianer, is of the same character: an attempt among Jews to establish an internal aristocracy.

Our Revolution In Income Distribution:
by Robert Lekachman
Have we achieved an “economic revolution” in income distribution in the United States? Many of our foremost economists believe we have.

The Fifth Book of the Maccabees
by Charles Reznikoff
Charles Reznikoff, in a mood to add to the Apocryphal Four Books of the Maccabees, here presents us with his own “fifth book.” He bases his prose-poem narrative on accounts given by Josephus, in his The Jewish War and Antiquities of the Jews.   _____________   I Gaza of the Philistines was still a great city: the Arabs of the wilderness traded there for pottery and knives; and caravans from Egypt stopped in Gaza because of its many wells of fresh water and the gardens on every side.

The Liberal Religious Impulse in Israel: II:
Interviews with Ben Gurion and Some Others

by Herbert Weiner
In our last issue, Herbert Weiner, rabbi of Temple Israel in South Orange, New Jersey, discussed rank and file sentiment in Israel toward liberal Judaism, and toward religion generally.

From the American Scene: Joe's Moan
by William Poster
In this portrait of a neighborhood hatter, William S. Poster adapts the traditional dramatic monologue, with all its possibilities for ironic revelation, to an examination of the character and life of the small businessman. _____________   What's a man? I'll tell you!

Cedars of Lebanon: The Temple and the Service
by Our Readers
In this season of Tisha B'Av, the solemn period of mourning commemorating the destruction of the First and Second Temples, we present three selections from The Fathers According to Rabbi Nathan ('Abot de-Rabbi Natan).

On the Horizon: Dr. Flesch's Cure for Reading Troubles
by Spencer Brown
Modern, or “progressive,” elementary school education has come under serious and skeptical scrutiny in recent years, perhaps most vociferously on the ground that children are no longer taught properly how to read and write.

The Study of Man: Civil Liberties and the American People
by Nathan Glazer
Are sociologists, with their current predilection for opinion-polling techniques, in danger of mistaking what people think for what is ? With this question in mind, Nathan Glazer examines Samuel A.

Organic Thinking: a Study in Rabbinic Thought, by Max Kadushin; and The Rabbinic Mind, by Max Kadushin
by David Baumgardt
The Rabbinic Mind Organic Thinking; A Study in Rabbinic Thought. by Max Kadushin. The Jewish Theological Seminary of America. 367 pp. $3.00. The Rabbinic Mind. by Max Kadushin. The Jewish Theological Seminary of America.

Three Books on Soviet Russia
by George Lieber
Soviet Life Nine Soviet Portraits. by Raymond A. Bauer. Technology Press of M.I.T. and John Wiley. 190 pp. $3.95. Vorkuta. by Joseph Scholmer. Holt. 302 pp.

Four Modern Poets
by Robert Flint
The Health of Modern Poetry The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens. Knopf. 534 pp. $7.50. The Shield of Achilles. by W. H. Auden. Random House.

Chance or Destiny: Turning Points in American History, by Oscar Handlin
by Henry Parkes
Man's Responsibility Chance or Destiny: Turning Points in American History. by Oscar Handlin. Atlantic-Little, Brown. 220 pp. $3.75.   Every imaginative historian must occasionally ask himself how far the destiny of nations has been determined by the intrusion of events which belong to some non-historical causal sequence and therefore appear in a historical frame of reference as accidental.

A Jewish Iconography, by Alfred Rubens
by Alfred Werner
Jewish Life in Prints A Jewish Iconography. by Alfred Rubens. The Jewish Museum (London). 160 pp. 75 illustrations. $14.80.   It is a great pity that we have so little pictorial documentation of Jewish life in the Middle Ages.

Reader Letters August 1955
by Our Readers
A Critical Exchange To THE EDITOR of COMMENTARY: I cannot see that Mr. Greenberg has the right to feel aggrieved [see exchange of letters in June issue] because in replying to his chal- lenge (and if he hadn't brought in my name- and in that apparently considered and calcu- lated way-I should have written no comment on his essay), I accepted the answer so obvi- ously proposed by the essay itself ["The Jew- ishness of Frank Kafka," April 1955] for the question it faced me with: Why is Mr.

September, 1955Back to Top
Austrian Retribution to the Jews
by Our Readers
To the Editor: The regrettably ambiguous position of the Austrian Socialists in matters of retribution to the Jews (Benno Weiser, “Unsentimental Journey to Vienna,” July 1955) must not be extended to include moral responsibility for Hitler's rise in Austria in 1938.

Heine as "Baal T'shuvah"
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Mr. Alfred Werner's quotation of Heine's Jewish “confession” to his “Eckermann” Meissner (“Heinrich Heine to His Eckermann,” July) shows just one aspect of the poet's attitude towards Judaism.

Mao and Stalin
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Mr. William Herrick, in your July issue, queried my interpretation of the relations between Mao and Stalin, on the ground that Stalin personally invested Mao with the leadership of Chinese Communism at the Sixth World Congress of the Comintern in 1928.

A New German Jewish Community
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In Terence Prittie's penetrating article “How New Is the ‘New’ Germany?” (June) he also reviews the “Jewish Problem” which continues to haunt the Germans.

Negotiating an End to the Cold War:
The Hazards

by G. Hudson
On every side in the free world, we see the evidences of a well-nigh overriding desire to have the cold war dissolved once and for all.

The Birthday of the World:
Rosh Hashanah's Meanings

by Ernst Simon
Ernst Simon elucidates for us here the meanings of Rosh Hashanah. An earlier commentary of his, on the book of Jonah with special reference to Yom Kippur, appeared in our September 1953 number. _____________   The calendar, with its rhythmic division of the year, its beginning and its end, its workdays, rest days and holidays, provides a characteristic expression of the spirit of different religions, cultures, and peoples.

Inscription on the Flyleaf of a Bible
by Dannie Abse
I give you this Bible and more to take. Love is the work the hands of man can       make. So read what this, our fabled history teaches and where, the fire-work, Imagination reaches to dignify and sanctify. So on the interior circuits do not miss the vivid allegories you'll find in this. The Pentateuch, Kings, Prophets—all will     yield signposts to guide you through the darkened     field, truths of piety and poetry. Like Moses, avoid the gold and choose the     coal and see the pattern in the whole. With the abandoned always side and the loud and lonely crowd deride who vilify and simplify. Find valuable Job's elegance of distress, David's winging gifts to praise.

New Mexico's Fading Color Line:
Albuquerque Shows the Way

by Albert Rosenfeld
This is the tale of a resounding triumph over racial discrimination that will set an example, one hopes, for similar campaigns elsewhere. _____________   Early last June I was having lunch in one of the better restaurants on Albuquerque's Central Avenue with three University of New Mexico students, all of them colored.

The Consultative Conference in London:
Landmark in International Jewish Relations

by A Observer
One of the most important events in the world of international Jewish affairs took place in London this past June: the Consultative Conference of Jewish Organizations.

Free the Canaries from Their Cages!
A Story

by Arthur Granit
Things were not only bad on our street, they were terrible. And not only were they terrible, they were worse than terrible.

The Dark Age of Medieval Jewry:
Persecution, Expulsion, the End of the Paris Synagogue

by Allan Temko
It was in the high Middle Ages, at the time of the First Crusade, that Christian Europe launched upon an anti-Semitic course which ultimately drove most of the Jews of the West eastward into the confines of the Russo-Polish Pale.

America's New Religiousness:
a Way of Belonging or the Way of God?

by Will Herberg
One of the most striking developments on the mid-20th-century American social scene is that of religion—perhaps never before, writes Will Herberg, has religion enjoyed such influence and esteem.

The Fate of Otto Freundlich:
Painter Maudit

by Edouard Roditi
What with Pascin, Modigliani, Simeon Solomon, and even Soutine, the Jewish artist as an artist maudit has been an all too familiar figure in modern times.

From the American Scene: Comedian in a Business Suit
by Morris Freedman
In the forefront of the new comedians that have come up with television, the comedians in business suits, stands Sam Levenson, whom Morris Freedman describes as the cosmic consciousness of the American Jewish middle class. _____________   Television, the new American living-room pastime, has developed a new type of comedian, or perhaps merely revived an old one: the man who just talks.

Cedars of Lebanon: The Binding of Isaac
by Our Readers
The story of the akedah, the binding of Isaac, is the portion from the Bible which is read during the Yom Kippur morning service.

On the Horizon: Marty and His Friends and Neighbors
by Gerald Weales
The success of the movie “Marty” has drawn attention to a new luminary in the field of popular drama, Paddy Chayefsky, TV playwright and movie scenarist.

The Study of Man: Social Mobility Again-and Elites
by Herbert Luethy
In this critique of the “very American” science of sociology, the Swiss historian and political analyst, Herbert Luethy, raises the question of the pertinence of the discipline's statistical methods and laws to the problems presented by European society.

Conservative Judaism: An American Religious Movement, by Marshall Sklare
by Nathan Glazer
A Middle Way Conservative Judaism: an American Religious Movement. by Marshall Sklare. The Free Press. 298 pp. $4.50.   Conservative Judaism is a work of the highest distinction, both as a study of American Jewish life and as a contribution to contemporary American sociology.

The Ecstasy of Owen Muir, by Ring Lardner Jr.
by Granville Hicks
A Fossil The Ecstasy of Owen Muir. by Ring Lardner, Jr. Cameron & Kahn. 302 pp. $3.00.   Mr. Lardner's novel was published in England before it was published in America, by a reputable firm, and, if the quotes on the jacket can be trusted, it was well reviewed in the Manchester Guardian, the London Times, and other sober and discriminating journals.

Israel's Emerging Constitution, 1948-1951, by Emanuel Rackman
by Judd Teller
Democracy in Israel Israel's Emerging Constitution, 1948-1951. by Emanuel Rackman. Columbia University Press. 196 pp. $3.00.   Virtually the only writing in English critical of Israel has been produced by anti-Zionists, Zionist writers for the most part studiously refraining from public criticism (Maurice Samuel is the most notable exception).

Part of Our Time, by Murray Kempton
by Leslie Fiedler
The Search for the 30's Part of Our Time. by Murray Kempton. Simon and Schuster. 334 pp. $4.00.   I have found this an oddly moving book, though it is sentimental, philistine, and a little ingenuous.

The Strange Career of Jim Crow, by C. Vann Woodward
by Henry Graff
Liberalism Aborted The Strange Career of Jim Crow. by C. Vann Woodward. Oxford. 155 pp. $2.50.   In The Strange Career of Jim Crow (consisting of the James W.

Reader Letters September 1955
by Our Readers
A New German Jewish Community? To THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: In Terence Prittie's penetrating article "How New Is the ANew' Germany?" (June) he also reviews the "Jewish Problem" which continues to haunt the Germans.

October, 1955Back to Top
Liberal Judaism in Israel
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I have just returned from another trip to Israel, and it seems to me that Rabbi Weiner (and you) went through a lot of trouble to determine that there is no basis for even the title of his two articles, “The Liberal Religious Impulse in Israel.” It just ain't.

How to Read
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In Spencer Brown's article “Dr. Flesch's Cure for Reading Troubles” (August), one argument given to prove that nothing is seriously wrong with our educational product in the elementary schools (as far as ability to read is concerned) is that “the indications from educational research and testing are that we are now doing as good a job on reading as we did thirty years ago.

The Sephardim Vindicated
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I think Dr. Cecil Roth is a little unkind to his Sephardi brethren in his article in your August issue.

Changing Alignments in the Middle East:
How Basic Is the Israeli-Arab Conflict?

by George Lichtheim
From North Africa to Iran and Pakistan, the Islamic world is stirring with political unrest often linked with the East-West struggle, but essentially independent of the issues made familiar by the terms “cold war” and “co-existence.” Insofar as Israel forms part of the Middle East, her political fortunes are bound up with those of the area.

Our Broken Promise to the Refugees:
Unsmiling Goddess of Liberty

by James Rorty
The McCarran-Walter Act having proved notoriously unjust and inadequate in coping with the problem of refugees from behind the Iron Curtain, the Refugee Relief Act of 1953 was passed as an emergency palliative—with the results here described by James Rorty.

The Jewish Mission to the Nations:
Should Modern Judaism Try to Win Souls?

by Jakob Petuchowski
Although the expectation of universal adherence to the God of Israel still figures in Jewish liturgy, it is an ultimate rather than a practical hope.

Re-Viewing the Russian Movies:
The Person vs. Politics

by Robert Warshow
This is the last essay Robert Warshow wrote, published exactly as he left it. At the time of his death he was still working on it, and it was left unfinished.

The Secret Profession:
A Story

by Ruth Stone
The thin man of indeterminate age who was inquiring his way near the campus carried a large notebook and several thick volumes.

Art Worth Celebrating:
Two Tercentenary Shows of Jewish Painting and Sculpture

by William Schack
The old question, whether or not there is such a thing as Jewish art, receives a new answer here. _____________   For half a century Jewish artists have played an important, even a pioneer, role in American art, yet the question whether there is anything specifically Jewish in their work has not been thoroughly explored.

America's Two Zionist Traditions:
Brandeis and Weizmann

by Judd Teller
That Zionism has a tradition of its own in this country, with roots sunk deeper in the past than many a tradition that, on the face of it, appears more “native,” will come as a surprise to most readers. _____________   Feeling the strong pressure of Israel to fulfill their Zionist duty and provide immigrants to Israel in substantial numbers, American Zionists have again come down with a case of aliyah fever.

The Rabbi of Minsk:
Lonely Survivor of a Great Jewish Past

by Andrew Meisels
This portrait of the last rabbi and the last synagogue of the once great Russian Jewish center of Minsk was written by one of the group of editors of American college magazines that toured the USSR as guests of the government in September and October of 1954. _____________   The Rabbi of Minsk is a small, stout man with a round, almost jolly face.

Yom Kippur
by Howard Harrison
Night and day, and somberly I dress In dark attire and consciously confess According to the printed words, for sins Suddenly remembered, all the ins And outs, tricks, deals, and necessary lies Regretted now, but then quite right and     wise. The benches in the shul are new.

From the American Scene: Garment Center Success
by David Boroff
David Boroff's vignette of a dress manufacturer indicates that the New York garment district is not quite that pure concentration of grandiose ambition which it is popularly supposed to be. _____________   Alex Marcus is a short, thick-shouldered man in his late forties with an air of jauntiness suggested by his springy step and his sharp garment-center suits.

Cedars of Lebanon: Yom Kippur in Elberfeld
by Else Lasker-Schueler
Else Lasker-Schueler, one of the most original figures in modern German literature, has been called “a Hebrew poetess in the German tongue.” She once said: “They wanted to translate my poems into Hebrew, but they are already Hebrew poems.” She was born in Elberfeld, Germany, into a noted family of rabbis, scholars, and community leaders, the Schuelers, but early on became an eccentric and a bohemian, calling herself, out of her passion for things Oriental, “Princess Tino of Baghdad” and “Prince Yussuf of Thebes.” She died in Palestine early in 1945, at the age of sixty-eight.

On the Horizon: Exhibiting the Family of Man
by Hilton Kramer
Is there a new kind of “politics” in the air? This report would indicate there is—and there is not. _____________   On February 22, 1955, six thousand people spent the damp, gray afternoon of Washington's Birthday looking at a photography exhibition in the Museum of Modern Art.

The Study of Man: Nazism on the Assembly Line
by Solomon Bloom
A modern prejudice holds that two scholars—if organized in a “project”—are always better than one, truth being an antagonist inclined to yield itself to mass assault rather than in individual combat.

East to the Suburbs
by Spencer Brown
A Rattlesnake in a slim desert, the train Coming east from coal country, under hills Of gray culm and raw clay past waterfalls Acid-polluted, approaches the clean throne Of tall finance, whose wooded park within The arc of the restrictive covenant Trim brokers tend whom flowering wives content, While hearty doctors groom and clip the lawn. Here though the wide house has a narrow door, The well-Cape-Codded architect foretold Another need unmentioned save in jest: Niche in curved stair for swinging the dark chest, Coffin-door into gardens green and gold. The narrowest house must have the widest door. _____________  

The End of Innocence: Essays on Culture and Politics, by Leslie Fiedler
by Paul Pickrel
The Pleasures of Maturity The End of Innocence: Essays on Culture and Politics. by Leslie Fiedler. Beacon Press. 210 pp. $3.50 (paper, $1.25).   The subject of Leslie Fiedler's fine first volume of essays is the necessity of self-confrontation.

The Spirit of Jewish Law, by George Horowitz
by Emanuel Rackman
The Integrity of Torah The Spirit of Jewish Law. by George Horowitz. Central Book Company. 812 pp. $12.50.   Interest in Jewish law continues to mount.

France Against Herself, by Herbert Luethy
by G. Arnold
Postwar France France Against Herself. by Herbert Luethy. Praeger. 475 pp. $6.50.   When so able a writer as Herbert Luethy deals at length with so important a topic as France's position in the modern world, the resulting work has to be taken seriously.

Always in Vogue, by Edna Woolman Chase and Ilka Chase
by Isa Kapp
Gracious Money-Making Always in Vogue. by Edna Woolman Chase and Ilka Chase. Doubleday. 381 pp. $3.00.   If you are only casting a covetous eye at the Scotch tweeds, Paris cloches, and proud bearings that parade through an issue of Vogue magazine, you may believe that you have entered a woman's world of privilege and taste, where the feminine graces ride high as ladies step crisp and cheerful into suburban days, slim and intimate into city nights.

Sovereign Reason, by Ernest Nagel
by Lewis Feuer
A Theory of Meaning Sovereign Reason. by Ernest Nagel. Free Press. 315 pp. $5.00.   Philosophy begins when human beings feel the necessity for stating the grounds for their basic life-decisions.

Reader Letters October 1955
by Our Readers
The Sephardim Vindicated TO THE EDITOR OP COMMENTARY: I think Dr. Cecil Roth is a little unkind to his Sephardi brethren in his article in your August issue.

November, 1955Back to Top
Hasidism's Appeal in Israel
by Our Readers
To the Editor: May I take the liberty of commenting on one point in Rabbi Herbert Weiner's article, “The Liberal Religious Impulse in Israel,” published in your issue of August.

The "How to Read" Controversy
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I have just read, with interest and much appreciation, Spencer Brown's article on “Dr. Flesch's Cure for Reading Troubles” in the August issue of COMMENTARY.

Hebrew's True Pronunciation
by Our Readers
To the Editor: As an avid reader of Dr. Cecil Roth's writings I have noted with special interest his article “Were the Sephardim Hidalgos?” in your August issue.

Social Mobility
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Mr. Luethy's self-styled European view of social mobility (“Social Mobility Again—and Elites,” September) seemed as well expressed as it was speciously reasoned.

Secularism's Victory Claimed
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his article on “America's New Religiousness” (September 1955) Will Herberg argues that “religion is taken very seriously in present-day America in a way that would have amazed and chagrined those who were so very sure not very long ago that the ancient superstition was bound to disappear very shortly in the face of the steady advance of science and reason.” This is an overstatement of the position of even the most optimistic “village atheist,” who well knew how slowly “science and reason” reached the mind of man.

Ideology and "The People"
by Our Readers
To the Editor: It seems to me that Mr. Oscar Handlin's article “Does the People's Rule Doom Democracy?” (July 1955) does not deal fairly with Mr.

Morocco's Jews Between Islam and France:
How Good Are Nationalist Pledges of Equal Rights?

by Hal Lehrman
The plight of the Jewries of North Africa, and particularly of Morocco's at this moment of nationalist turmoil, continues to engross the anxious attention of Jews everywhere.

Jew and Gentile in the New South:
Segregation at Sundown

by Harry Golden
No one knows better than Harry L. Golden what it is like to be a Jew and live as one in the South, where the Jewish participation in American history is of longer date, and was perhaps of greater intimacy until lately, than elsewhere in the country. _____________   There is very little real anti-Semitism in the South.

Bonn Joins the Co-Existence Game:
Again: Whither Germany?

by Herbert Luethy
Herbert Luethy here takes a rather different view from that of most commentators of the results of Konrad Adenauer's recent trip to Moscow and of the present state of the “German problem.” _____________   The state of frightened pensiveness into which the political thinkers of the West were thrown by Adenauer's trip to Moscow, early in September, does not lack its ludicrous side.

Selling the President to the People:
The Direct Democracy of Public Relations

by Daniel Boorstin
President Eisenhower's illness has once again reminded us of the arduous responsibilities that invest his office. Here Daniel J. Boorstin shows that public relations have grown over the last decades to be one of the chief, and least dispensable, of these. _____________   We are slow to notice some of the most important events in recent history simply because they are among the last to be treated in formal historical literature.

The Others:
A Story of North Africa

by Alfred Memmi
We present here a different—yet not so different—aspect of Jewish life in North Africa than that reported on elsewhere in this same issue by Hal Lehrman.

Soviet Expansion into the Middle East:
Needed: A Post-Geneva Containment Strategy

by George Lichtheim
With Egypt's suddenly announced decision to buy arms from Czechoslovakia and the USSR, the Kremlin has succeeded in extending its influence directly into the Middle East—this coming after Soviet successes in the Balkans and the Mediterranean area.

Congress's Right to Investigate:
Two Books Examined

by Paul Hays
It is now possible to deal in a calmer atmosphere with the problem of safeguarding our civil liberties while talking the necessary protective measures against Communist infiltration of public life.

Jewish First Names Through the Ages
Juanita to Yente: Shaindel to Sandra

by Benzion Kaganoff
Benzion C. Kaganoff, who here chronicles the changing fortunes of Jewish names through the ages, is rabbi of the Congregation Anshe Sholom in Chicago.

From the American Scene: The Uptown Social Club
by Theodore Frankel
Every Friday the New York Post carries at least fifty advertisements inviting single people under and over twenty-eight years of age to public dances held in hotels and Jewish centers all over town.

Cedars of Lebanon: Argument for the Immortal Soul
by Our Readers
The following selection is taken from a Hebrew manuscript first published by the Italian Jewish scholar Isaac S. Reggio, at Gorizia, in 1852 in his book Behinath ha-Kabbalah.

On the Horizon: Anne Frank on Broadway
by Algene Ballif
The current Broadway dramatization of Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl recalls the fact that COMMENTARY was the first to bring the Diary to English-speaking readers, publishing extensive excerpts from it in the issues of May and June 1952. _____________   Those of us who have read and loved Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl might well be interested in the production currently enjoying success at the Cort Theater in an adaptation by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett called simply The Diary of Anne Frank.

Zealots of Yearning
by David Rokeah
Praises to those who can wait. For theirs is the future. They who stand facing the mountain and    do not draw back Will mount to its summit. For the river that winds its way to the sea    has a hope Of releasing its longings amid the breakers    of ocean. Thus does the tree hope that sends a branch    up into the sky For the palm of the sun to touch it when    the given day comes. Therefore we love the morning star as the    assurance of dawn. The nightingale's love song as the longings    of motherhood. The plashing of springs as the pulsing of    realized dream. Streams carving the beds of rivers to come Without growing weary. All who make their covenant of longing and    hope within existence, For they are the zealots of the yearning. Therefore envigor the burden of the future Just as the waves envigor the rocks of the    shore. And like to the white-hot iron the smith-    shapes to his will, Fashion and shape the dreams of trust. Desolation will not vanish out of    the Negev Ere it vanishes out of the hearts. _____________  

The Study of Man: More Light from Judean Caves
by H. Ginsberg
The finding of the ancient Hebrew scrolls near the Dead Sea is revealing itself as one of the greatest events in Biblical archeology since we have had such a field of study.

American Jewish Year Book, 1955
by David Bernstein
The American Jew at Mid-Century American Jewish Year Book, 1955. Published by American Jewish Committee and Jewish Publication Society of America. 682 pp.

The Nazarene Gospel Restored, by Robert Graves and Joshua Podro
by Gerson Cohen
Iconoclastic Gospel The Nazarene Gospel Restored. by Robert Graves and Joshua Podro. Doubleday. 982 pp. $10.00.   Robert Graves's foray into the obscure origins of Christianity may be a masterpiece of imagination and ingenious learning as applied to time-worn stories and traditions, but it is not likely to find favor with a wide public.

Susan B. Anthony: Her Personal History and Her Era, by Katherine Anthony
by Arthur Mann
“Every Woman for Herself. . . .” Susan B. Anthony: Her Personal History and Her Era. by Katherine Anthony. Doubleday. 521 pp. $6.00.   In the history of the non-conforming American, women have occasionally outnumbered men.

The Responsa Literature, by Solomon B. Freehof
by Nahum Glatzer
Mechanization and the Law The Responsa Literature. by Solomon B. Freehof. Jewish Publication Society of America. 304 pp. $3.50.   The Community of Israel, guiding and regulating its existence by the Torah, has been throughout its history dedicated to the study of the Law.

The Dignity of Man, by Russell W. Davenport
by Gerald Weales
Middle Way as Metaphysics The Dignity of Man. by Russell W. Davenport. Harper. 338 pp. $4.00.   When Russell W. Davenport died last year, he left unfinished the book that has now been published under the title The Dignity of Man.

The Late Risers, by Bernard Wolfe
by Isaac Rosenfeld
Broadway “Meshuggene” The Late Risers. by Bernard Wolfe. Random House. 303 pp. $3.50.   The Late Risers is all about Broadway—show girls, call girls, con men, publicity agents, actors, actresses, marijuana salesmen and consumers, columnists, their ghosts, and other meshuggene.

Reader Letters November 1955
by Our Readers
Ideology and "The People" To THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: It seems to me that Mr. Oscar Handlin's article "Does the People's Rule Doom Democ- racy?" (July 1955) does not deal fairly with Mr.

December, 1955Back to Top
"Ideology"
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I can't help wincing a little at the following sentence in Russell Kirk's letter in your November issue: “Mr.

Political Salesmanship
by Our Readers
To the Editor: It seems to me that Professor Boorstin's suggestive outline on public relations aspects of the Presidency (“Selling the President to the People,” November) missed something that may be at the heart of the whole problem.

American Jewish Artists
by Our Readers
To the Editor: William Schack's article on “Art Worth Celebrating,” which appeared in your October issue, was both perceptive and stimulating. I was executive director of the national Tercentenary committee which sponsored the Contemporary Fine Arts Exhibit about which Mr.

The Jewish Revival in America: I:
A Sociologist's Report

by Nathan Glazer
This is the first of two essays on American Jewry's present religious revival, based on a series of lectures delivered by the author this past spring at the University of Chicago under the auspices of the Walgreen Foundation. _____________   The most striking development of the last fifteen years in American Jewish life has been the “Jewish revival.” One hesitates to call it a “revival of Judaism,” for if one were to apply the touchstones of Judaism as a religion to the practices and beliefs of American Jews, we should find little to justify any talk about a revival of religion.

The Kastner Case:
Aftermath of the Catastrophe

by W. Laqueur
The Kastner case had all Israel aroused some months back, but relatively few people in this country are acquainted with the facts or the anguishing issues it brought to the fore _____________   By August 1944 the Third Reich was defeated and most everybody knew it—even Hitler, Himmler, and the Supreme Command of the Wehrmacht.

Taking Stock after Geneva: What Is the Iron Curtain For?
by G. Hudson
The two articles here published may do something to brace minds disappointed in the results of the Genevan conference of foreign ministers.

Taking Stock after Geneva: Reducing International Tension
by Paul Kecskemeti
The two articles here published may do something to brace minds disappointed in the results of the Genevan conference of foreign ministers.

My Father, and His Father:
Rabbi in Scotland

by David Daiches
Salis was the first name of David Daiches's father, about whom he writes here so eloquently. _____________   I always found it next to impossible to imagine my father as a child.

The Angel Levine:
A Story

by Bernard Malamud
It is several years since we have printed a short story by Bernard Malamud; his last previous one was “The Loan,” in our July 1952 number.

Which Has Speed
by Eli Siegel
What mornings to the west Move as kitchens move, With little Timothies about And growing little girls. How many dresses are possible for each little girl? How many kinds of weather are to be for dear little Ann? How many kitchen-situations for that sweet, dear, all in yellow now,     Jane? O, Timothy, suns are waiting for you. Autos are, sun on them, and changes of mind in autos, sun on them,     sun changing them all around the lot. Timothy, Timothy, the world is not all 8:10 in a bright western morning. Jane, Jane, the world is not all bright yellow dresses having in them     cute, bright, sharply-talking Jane. Nor is it sun, nor is it earth, nor is it just men in politics taking out their     watches from silly, dark vests. Nor is it just silly dark vests sometimes escaped from two or three suns. It may be anything but it isn't daring Ed only. It may be that but it isn't hand-claspings by four people low in the     steerage. Nor is it a wave that fails to meet another. Nor is it a choice made with body feeling listless. Anything's the world's but anything's not this world, nor this world     alone, at least one way. Put fat watches over dark cloth in dark cloth—you will be doing the     universe's bidding, something how earthlikely allowable, but you're     doing no more. Contemplate small things dying in the west, but there's more and more. However dull or sultrily red or shining the sun is, you've got other things     to see and use your fingers on and put between many-paged books     full of darkly-clothed evilly disposed ecclesiastical people. Which is all well and timely and which has speed. _____________  

Cost of the Security Programs:
The Record

by Maurice Goldbloom
The national security program today is without doubt the principal source of supply for what might be called the Chamber of Bureaucratic Horrors.

Synagogue Art Today: I:
Something of a Renaissance

by William Schack
The much discussed postwar religious revival in the American Jewish community has been accompanied by a spate of synagogue and community center building unique, for several reasons, in the history of the Diaspora.

From the American Scene: The Dressmaker
by Toby Shafter
Our readers will recall Toby Shafter's amusing description of the Maine community she was born in, in our issue of January 1949.

Cedars of Lebanon: Three Letters from Bialystok
by Mordecai Tenenbaum
Mordecai Tenenbaum (known in the underground as Tamaroff) was one of the heroes of the Jewish resistance in the ghettos during World War II.

On the Horizon: Reflections on a Talk by Toynbee
by H. Schmidt
A. J. Toynbee's remarks, in his monumental Study of History, about Jewry past and present, Diaspora and Zionist, continue to trouble the minds of thinking Jews both here and abroad.

The Study of Man: European Traditions and American Sociology
by S. Lipset
We believe that the exchange published below on sociology, its national schools, and their methods as applied to the subject of social mobility will be of interest to the layman as well as the specialist.

Conservatism in America, by Clinton Rossiter
by Edward Saveth
Kinds of Conservatism Conservatism in America. by Clinton Rossiter. Knopf. 327 pp. $4.00.   Toward the close of FDR's administration, many liberals, reflecting the atmosphere of “a season of inaction and consolidation,” seemed more interested in conserving than altering the political and economic status quo.

Histoire de l'Antisemitisme. Vol. I. Du Christ aux Juifs de Court, by L'eon Poliakov
by James Parkes
Ambitious Project Histoire De L'Antisemitisme. Vol. I. Du Christ Aux Juifs de Cour. by Leon Poliakov. Calmann-Lévy (Paris). 342 pp. 775 francs.   The publication of this volume marks the realization of the first stage of an ambitious project, a three-volume history of anti-Semitism.

The Deer Park, by Norman Mailer
by Richard Chase
Novelist Going Places The Deer Park. by Norman Mailer. Putnam. 375 pp. $4.00.   Norman Mailer's impressive war novel The Naked and the Dead left one wondering whether this author could write on anything but the largest scale.

German Democracy at Work, edited by James K. Pollock
by G. Arnold
The West German Democracy German Democracy at Work. A selective study by James K. Pollock, Henry L. Bretton, Frank Grace, Daniel S.

John Maynard Keynes: Economist and Policy Maker, by Seymour Harris
by Ben Seligman
Hopeful Tinkerer John Maynard Keynes: Economist and Policy Maker. by Seymour Harris. Scribner (20th Century Library). 234 pp. $3.00.   Twenty years ago or so, New Deal economists and political scientists grasped at John Maynard Keynes's ideas as precisely the kind of rationalizations needed to justify what it was they were doing.

Reader Letters December 1955
by Our Readers
American Jewish Artists TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: William Schack's article on "Art Worth Celebrating," which appeared in your October issue, was both perceptive and stimulating. I was executive director of the national Tercentenary committee which sponsored the Contemporary Fine Arts Exhibit about which Mr.