Commentary Magazine


Abba Hillel Silver

To the Editor:

I have recently come upon David G. Dalin’s review of Abba Hillel Silver by Marc Lee Raphael [Books in Review, January] and I am appalled by the description of Rabbi Silver.

For five years—from 1945 to 1953—I served as Abba Hillel Silver’s secretary. On the basis of this experience, I find the statement that he had “a strong distaste for the pastoral work, and that there were complaints about his congregation and his rabbinic vocation” far from true. Rabbi Silver never neglected his pastoral responsibilities and in the city of Cleveland enjoyed the respect and admiration of many non-Jews, who regularly attended his weekly sermons. For the most part his congregation idolized him. His wife, Virginia, not even mentioned in the review, was a most tactful woman, able to bring her husband down to earth when he occasionally became overbearing. . . . For myself, I never heard a harsh word from him, nor did he ever raise his voice to me. . . .

Even allowing for my personal identification with this most distinguished man, the author’s comments give a most inaccurate picture of Abba Hillel Silver.

Elizabeth Rice Carson
Gainesville, Florida

_____________

 

David G. Dalin writes:

The quotation in my review to which Mrs. Carson objects—that Abba Hillel Silver had “a strong distaste for the pastoral work”—was not my statement but that of the book’s author, Marc Lee Raphael, on page 212.

About the Author




Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.