Monday, 4 November 2013

'voices that demand universalism from others reject it themselves'

Rabbi Nathan A. Perilman (1906 - 1991) became assistant rabbi of Temple Emanu-El in Manhattan, the largest synagogue in the world, in 1932 and was it's head rabbi for 41 years, according to his obituary in the NYT. Perilman was not a Zionist, he was one of the signatories to the "Statement of Principles by Non-Zionist Rabbis" published in August 1942. Almost three years later, during an address at Temple Emanu-El on April 4, 1945, Perilman emphasised to his congregation the "strange twist of reason" that enables Zionists to condemn nationalism amongst non-Jews as evil; demanding the gentiles embrace universalism, whilst simultaneously insisting nationalism is the sole hope of the Jews, and it alone can solve the problems of the Jews.

Assails Those Who Denounce Nationalism Among Others but Seek it Themselves
Warning of the dangers of nationalism on the part of Jews as well as of other peoples of the world, Rabbi Nathan A. Perilman of Congregation Emanu-El and Rev. Dr. Louis L. Mann of Sinai Congregation, Chicago, spoke yesterday at the Centenary Service of Rededication of Temple Emanu-El, Fifth Avenue and Sixty-fifth Street. This was the last in a series of services celebrating the congregations 100th anniversary.
Rabbi Perilman directed his warning specifically to those "ministers of the house of Israel" who, believing in universalism for the rest of mankind, preach nationalism for Israel, and who say that only alone can the Jews achieve their true place in the world.
Pointing out that the ideas long stressed by Jews are now taking root, even in the midst of war, Dr. Perilman said that statesmen are beginning to sound like the prophets of Israel who spoke of a universal God and united mankind.
"Yet, by some strange twist of reason we hear conflicting counsel in the house of Israel itself," he added. The same voices that demand universalism from others reject it themselves. Denouncing nationalism as an evil that has brought insoluble problems upon mankind, they insist that nationalism is the sole hope of Israel, that it alone can solve the problem of the Jews.
"Hating isolationism and tribalism, they plead with the world to guarantee their own tribal rights and their own isolationist aims. Perhaps the greatest harm that issues from this is that people are confused, They do not know why there can be no unity even in matters involving compassion for the suffering. Because of this it is not possible for us to work together for the assistance of those who have been brought out from the Valley of the Shadow."

1 comment:

  1. http://birminghamnationalist2.blogspot.de/2013/08/rabbi-dov-lior-halakha-and-binyamin.html
    Please scroll down a bit to the "Jews don´t mix in" poster.


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