OCTOBER 8, 1952
NEW YORK, Tuesday—I have a letter in the mail this morning accusing me of writing condescendingly and as though I felt superiority over the people of the South.
I want to say immediately that I have no sense of superiority over anybody, and I cannot conceive of how I could have written in a condescending manner.
We must all say what we think about the issues facing the country. And it is quite evident that anyone expressing his views may be proved wrong. But in expressing one's view one cannot be condescending, for one is putting oneself in the position of having to argue with other people who disagree, and one would do that only with equals, not with people one considered inferior.
* * *
This is the time of year when we are confronted not only with an election but a succession of "weeks" and "days"!
I have a request from the Laymen's National Committee for Bible Week to mention the fact that October 20 through the 26 will be celebrated for the twelfth time as National Bible Week. This committee urges us all "to take this one week out of the fifty-two to make it an occasion for prayer and meditation and a period in which to plant in the hearts of everyone a belief and faith in God and a thankfulness for our American way of life."
Another announcement that will be of interest to many people is sent out by the American Biblical Encyclopedia Society. It tells us that on October 22 there will be published for the first time in English the Torah Shelmah (Complete Torah), which is a definitive and monumental work of the Hebrew Bible dating from the era of Moses—about 1300 B.C.—through the Middle Ages.
This will be the first time that in one encyclopedia a vast treasure house of Jewish culture and learning, containing the written and oral law, has been made available. This publication will contain all known commentaries of rabbinic sages for the past 2,000 years, and also a running commentary by the author on the selected material. This ought to be not only valuable to students of the Bible but valuable to many laymen in better understanding of the teachings of the Jewish religion. It is only as we understand the beliefs and the religious laws by which others live that we will understand some of their spiritual motivations.
I have read with great interest some of the books on the Hindu and Moslem religions that have been given to me in the past few years and they help very much in the understanding of the peoples of the countries where these are the principal religions.