Tin: Southern Israelite
Why the Sharp Cleavage Between
Pulpit and Pew!
Philip David Bookstaher, Ph.D.,
Rabbi, Chev Sholom Temple, Harrisburg, Pa.
The relationship between pew and pulpit has never been, but
i until recent days, a much mooted question. The layman in the past.
; in the organic constituency of the Temple, was a very cultured,
I, highly idealistic and profoundly religious man—yea—as much as
! the Rabbi. His religion was his life; his Rabbi a consultant, his
I Temple—the repository for his unfulfilled yearnings. He emerged
|;| f rom his house of worship with renewed courage, with a larger
,ji vision of life’s values, and with a deep-rooted conviction to make
the teachings he received operative in dailv life. The Rabbi was the
teacher, the layman a co-worker—and—both came together, prayed
Co-operative Radio Judaism
One is safe in saying that every night there are numerous
programs including lectures and appeals being broadcast o\er the
radio, all serving their purpose and reaching an audience beyond
description. Those addresses have aroused us to the realization of
the need for enlarging the Jewish use of radio facilities. Others
have quickly grasped the significance of radio broadcasting and
have readily determined to avail themselves of its countless possi
bilities. Why not our Jewish talents? Have not we Jews much that
can be accomplished by this means?
There is continually much discussion about encouraging a more
perfect understanding between Jew and Gentile. Surely our relig
ious teachers and leaders have not failed to realize the tremendous
advantages in this direction that their intelligent efforts over the
air will further. If the programs are interesting as well as enlight
ening the participants need not despair that their teachings are
reaching but a faithful few who attend services, but a vast audience
is certain to absorb a Jewish message. And of course this audience
will include Gentile as well as Jewish listeners, so that a more
sensible religious attitude may be fostered.
Jewish programs over the radio are not new by any means.
The United Synagogue of America began similar programs about
ten years ago, and has continued them with regularity and interest.
Other Jewish organizations and individual Rabbis have made use
of this means for the transmission of Jewish messages and culture.
In our own community we are very proud to note the splendid pro
grams offered at regular intervals by Rabbi Harry Epstein over
WSR. Rut as yet we have not taken as complete advantage of this
marvel of our age as a definite form of co-operation would assure.
Instead of an occasional service or special address and music, here
and in every city where there are Jews and Jewish leaders, there
should be a regular program every week offered through the com
bined efforts of the Rabbis and lay leaders in that city.
And so we call upon all of the congregations in Atlanta and its
vicinity to appoint representatives to a Jewish radio conference
that shall decide on the means of co-operation to advance “Radio
Mrs. Annie T. Wise
In the death of Mrs. Annie T. Wise, of Atlanta, our Jewis
community has lost, one of its most distinguished members Mr
Wise was one of the most active and capable teachers in the educi
tional life of Atlanta and was responsible for the foundation >
commercial education which was her central interest and whir
later materialized into the present Commercial High School systen
It is with sincere admiration that we pay this tribute to In
memory and join in bereaving the loss of one so worthy and helpfi
in dedicating her entire life to the sen-ice of educating young box
and girls to meet their life’s work.
together, and studied together.
Wherefore this “dialogue” today; this division !—this contrast"
I claim that there are three factors that tend to accentuate a sharp
cleavage, between pew and pulpit:
Firstly: The divorce of Religion from life and business and
Secondly: The lavman stresses too much his financial sunnor f
to the Temnle and little does he emnhasize his moral support.
Thirdly: The layman forgets that the Rabbi was a layman
and still desires to be so—yes, in the real ethico—religious sense
of our ancestors.
T have found many laymen who are really “lay-Rabbis.” What
the layman can do is to increase his moral support of the nulnit
and not to be satisfied with a delegated and proxied Jewish con
sciousness. Ret the lavman help vitalize the pulpit by challenging,
through personal participation, its strengths and its weaknesses.
Rot the layman not tolerate the pulpit but accelerate it with the
fire and zeal of his own active mind and spirit.
The Jewish Calendar
Since all of our Jewish festivals are set according to the Jewish
( alendar. it is important that we familiarize ourselves with its
The Jewish calendar is based on lunar reckonings. The circling
of the moon around the earth constitutes a month. The day follow
ing the evening on which the new moon is first perceived is called
RoxJi Chodesh—New Moon. In ancient Israel this day was consid
ered as important a festival as Sabbath. In the course of time this
day lost much of its significance. It is at present observed in Ortho
dox circles, by special insertions in the services, such as Yadf
\ euavo and Musaf. by the chanting of the Hallel and bv the read-
ln .; of a P°rtmn of the Pentateuch (Numbers 28:11-15), dealing
r>' i ^orifices for this day. No mourning is permissible or
. i nc uay preceding each Rash Chodesh is since the 17th centi
on amed a Small Day of Atonement”—Yom Kippur Katon.
lkS a\ pious people fast and recite supplications.
f , Twe l ve lllnar mon ths constitute a vear. The Jewish names
the months are: Tishre, Cheshwan, Kislev. Tebeth, Shebat, Ad
Tammuz, Ab, EM. The circling of the m<
hour U he e , arth J akes 29 days, 12 hours and 793 thousandths of
Shehnt v ° r ^ er L°. use roun d figures for the five months Tisl
month*? r'fhVl' %\ van ' were arranged with 30 davs and the 1
memth^ hal h 9 t QA Adar ' I]niar ’ Tamm "z and Elul with 29 days. If
month has qn f ays ’ one day Rosh Chodesh is observed, but if
day of the nn! a,:VS two days Rosh Chodesh are celebrated, the 1
daj of the outgoing and the first of the new month.
of an hour arain^cPi 1 * 81 354 days - 8 hours and 876 thousand
onds of the sola? ! 365 , days ’ 5 hours - 996 thousandths and 48 i
lunar°vear h a JJ" (according to the Jewish sages). Thus
hours and 204 thJ 61 !,!? n s °l ar year by about 10 days,
lunar vear onlv it * we sbou ld reckon according to
would fall sometim#^ 01 ^ d about that Passover and Succ
see this peculiar «hi!V ln ' Vlater an d sometimes in summer.
who too have the lnn^^ °/ e festivals among the Mohammed
nave the lunar calendar.—Jewish Brotherhood Monthl\