Bookshelf of old copies of J. Previous names of this publication have included Emanu-El and Jewish Bulletin. (Photo/David A.M. Wilensky)
Previous names of this publication have included Emanu-El and The Jewish Bulletin. (Photo/David A.M. Wilensky)

“Enter the Evolution Controversy” (1925), “Jewish Youth Alienation” (1974)

July 17, 1925

From “ ‘Enter the Evolution Controversy,’ Is Advice of S.F. Professor to the Jewish People of the United States”

The Jew, having through all history played a leading part in contribution to the intellectual progress of the world, cannot now keep out of the controversy that is sweeping the country over the theory of evolution.

Such is the opinion voiced here this week by Dr. Stanley L. Rypins, son of a well-known Eastern rabbi, and himself a noted authority on the Bible and an English scholar…

From June 19, 1925

For years Dr. Rypins, who is a professor of English and Social Science in the State Teacher’s College of San Francisco and instructor in English in the University of California Extension Division, has been recognized as a foremost authority in biblical history. He has made an intensive study for years of the Testaments and has spoke from many platforms on all phases of Bible study from literary, historical and religious aspects.

And now, with the controversy over the issue of teaching evolution as its height — an issue that is drawing the attention of the civilized world toward the little town of Dayton, Tennessee — Dr. Rypins comes forward with a positive declaration that in his opinion there is “absolutely no connection between the Bible and evolution.”

“Do not try to harmonize the Bible with evolution,” he warned.

“There is no more justification in trying to harmonize the Bible with evolution than there is in attempting to harmonize Hamlet with the law of gravitation.”

“It is not only fitting and proper for us Jews to take a part in the controversy over evolution, but it is definitely up to us to look into matters relating to evolution.

“Through all periods of history we find the Jew contributing steadily to the intellectual progress of the world.

“You don’t question that this issue over evolution is one of the big intellectual controversies of the day. Then, I ask you, how can the Jew keep out of it?”

And here the interviewer interrupted. “Does Judaism call for an investigation of such subjects as evolution?” he was asked.

“Judaism urges the pursuit of a scientific theory. There’s your answer.”

June 21, 1974

From “Jewish Youth Alienation”

LOS ANGELES — A leading Jewish educator has asserted that Jewish education, like general education, is being wrongly blamed “for every failure in the life of our youth,” including “hippies, drug abuse, diminishing faith, unacceptable lifestyles and especially the complaint that religious schools — with only a few hours each week — do not ‘turn on’ or ‘challenge’ our youth.”

Dr. Samuel Dinin, retiring vice-president and faculties’ chairman of the University of Judaism here, told a university commencement audience that both secular and religious education have been unfairly blamed for many youth alienation tendencies, which more often are due to the “cultural deprivation” in the home and general community.

He said both parents and their children are “victims of our bourgeois, affluent society — the wanting of all the ‘good’ material things, the settling for too little in cultural and intellectual demands, the unwillingness to make sacrifices to meet the needs of the mind and the spirit.”

Dr. Dinin praised Jewish parents for “responding magnificently” on behalf of the poor and of Israel but charges them with not passing on to their own children enough of the own “complex and rich culture” to keep Jewish interest alive beyond the Bar Mitzvah ceremony at age 13.

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