King's Business - 1932-07


T h e

K i n g ’ s B u s i n e s s

July 1932

e JEWISH WORLD . . . B y J. A. V aus

America and the Jews I N order that the trend o f the times in any particular direction may be noted, important facts and statistics bearing on any social, political, economic, racial, or religious problem are kept by statistical de­ partments o f all governments. The “scattered nation” of Israel, having no official government and consequently no official statistical office, are dependent upon information furnished by the statis­ tical departments of other nations, in order to follow the march o f Jewish current events. According to the most recent available statistics, America shelters within her hos­ pitable borders more than 4,500,000 mem­ bers o f the Hebrew race. This means that America now has the largest Jewish popu­ lation o f any country in the world. With a total population o f 122,725,046 for the United States, we find that one person out o f every twenty-eight is a Jew. The liberty of conscience, occupation, and location enjoyed by the Jews in Amer­ ica is responsible for the presence o f this large number of them here. From a spiritual point of view, there ap­ pears to be one outstanding purpose in the providence of God that has gathered this vast company o f our Lord’s brethren within the liberal confines o f our national boundaries ; and that, in the opinion of the writer, is preeminently their evangeliza­ tion. America has made a most profound im­ pression upon Jewish life. The “melting pot” influences o f our country have effected changes o f the greatest magnitude and su­ preme importance to the spiritual welfare o f Israel. Centuries-old barriers o f racial antagonism and religious prejudice-have in large measure been broken down, with the result that Jews in great numbers are abandoning the synagogues and are found today reexamining and reestimating the claims o f Christ and Christianity. All of this is in marked contrast to the results of European intolerance and persecution of Jews, which has had the effect o f uniting them more closely f6r mutual encourage­ ment and protection against a common foe, and o f causing Judaism to prosper in the lands where persecution has been bit­ terest. America’s tolerant attitude, on the con­ trary, has liberalized the Jew, making him more receptive to Christian influence and more indifferent toward Judaism, with, however, a regrettable tendency to become materialistic and less spiritually minded. Judaism is undergoing a period o f de­ cline that threatens the religious disin­ tegration o f the nation. The Jews o f to­ day are spiritually adrift in the religious world. The desertion from the Jewish ranks now going on in a wholesale man­ ner does not o f necessity mean that Jews by the thousands are forsaking Judaism for Christianity, but it does indicate that Jews axe growing more indifferent to Ju­ daism, more tolerant o f Christianity, and

with Christianity. Its services, Sunday- schools, choirs and pipe organs, seating arrangements and sermons—all are pat­ terned after those o f the Christian church. Conservative Reformed Judaism is daily becoming more tolerant o f Christianity; rabbis speak freely o f Christ from their pulpits, some openly advocate the reading of the New Testament by Jews, while Jew­ ish writers of the greatest prominence en­ courage Jews to study the life o f Christ. If is only a step from the synagogue to the church, and hundreds of Jews are abandoning the synagogues and are found in attendance upon the churches. It would appear that the Jewish mind is be­ ing slowly prepared, step by step, for the ultimate reception o f the claims o f Christ to the Messiahship. In this, as in many other occurrences in the Jewish world, we find indication o f the early closing o f the present age and the speedy coming of our Lord. A Jewish Revival ( ? ) clipping from The American Hebrew states that, after seven years of con­ structive work among the Jewish youth of the city o(f New York, the Zerah Avruhom (Seed o f Abraham) is sending three of its representatives to bring the message of the Torah and essential Judaism to the youth of the entire nation. It is said that, in the course o f their work in New York, they have succeeded, by their spirited ap­ peal, in bringing many Jewish young men and women back into the fold of Judaism. These young men are accredited with making “many new converts to Judaism,” and in consequence the New York and Philadelphia Board of Jewish Ministers has -endorsed the work of the Zerah Avru­ hom as an effective movement and one that is destined to do much in bringing about a better understanding of Judaism and the Torah among the Jewish youth of Amer­ ica. Jewish youth in the colleges, brother­ hood organizations, Jewish centers, and even on street corners and in prisons have been approached with a view to a revival of their interest in Judaism. When one considers the poverty and bar­ renness of Judaism, whose hope o f hold­ ing her own people or o f reclaiming her wanderers is largely based on racial rather than religious ties, one wonders how these reclaimed converts to Judaism can be ex­ pected to find spiritual satisfaction in Ju­ daism, when none exists. The spiritual plight o f the Jew is deplorable indeed.

The Jew T he J ew is a well-behaved cit­ izen. His enemies concede he loafer, sot, brawler, rioter, or quarrelsome. His presence is conspicuously rare in the statistics of crime. He has had little to do with mur­ der and violence and is practic­ ally a stranger to the hangman. He is seldom a burden on the charities o f the state and is known to be quiet, peaceable, in­ dustrious, and patriotic. Can fanaticism alone account for the persecution of Jews? Hostility toward the Jew arises from the average Gentile’s in­ ability to compete with the Jew in business. They have contrib­ uted to the world’s great names in science, art, music, finance, and medicine. What is the secret of his immortality ? —M ark T wain .

is not a disturber o f the peace, a

more favorably disposed to listen to the Messianic claims o f Christ. In the final analysis, the Jewish world today offers a more hopeful outlook for evangelization, with a larger prospect of success, than at any time in the history of their dispersion. The presence o f this vast multitude of Jews in our country presents an opportun­ ity and a responsibility which the church o f God cannot ignore without laying her­ self open to the charge of unfaithfulness to her God-given mission to the lost. Is Judaism Facing Churchward? subject of vital interest to the Jewish and Christian public, that o f whether or not Judaism is facing churchward, has lately become widely discussed pro and con in the Jewish press. The occasion for the above debate is found in the recommendation of Rabbi Louis Wolsey o f New York City, that Jewish high school students “ should visit Christian churches and put themselves in a position where they could speak with some degree o f familiarity about the Christian religion.” “ Incidentally,” the Rabbi main­ tains that such practice “might mean a re­ leasing of any peculiar prejudices based upon an ignorance o f their Christian en­ vironment.” “I send my children,” he adds, “to the Christian churches the better to under­ stand their Christian neighbors.” The fear that Reformed Judaism may, at the present time, be facing churchward, as expressed by some Jewish rabbis, is not without foundation. Reformed Judaism has always represented a departure from traditional Judaism and a compromise

In Hebrew They say, little son of mine, That in far-away Palestine, The tots in the gardens play In Hebrew! The birds in the tree tops sing In Hebrew! And even the fuzzy dogs bark, As they romp away for a lark, IN HEBREW 1 —Louis I. N ewman .

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