The Price of Brotherhood
Publication:
The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 23 Feb 1956, p. 219-235


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Eisendrath, Dr. Maurice N., Speaker
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Text
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Speeches
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A discussion of what, if anything, in life is free. The "price of Brotherhood—or Peace—is far steeper than the mere words in our mouths." Our unwillingness and failure to pay the price of brotherhood in our relationships among the nations on the political front, and also in the economic sphere. The rallying cry of Karl Marx. The price we seem willing to pay for the LACK of brotherhood. A few graphic illustrations of the price we presently pay for that which postpones rather than pursues the world-wide brotherhood we cherish. The price we pay for what is regarded as defence and national security. The question as to whether or not we feel more secure. Our domestic balance sheets of business. Our prejudices showing vast deficits, and other consequences. The price of prejudice in Nazi Germany. The socio-economic price. The psychological price. Walls of prejudice and hatred throughout the world. Building bridges. The national Conference of Christians and Jews. Joining hands and paying the price of brotherhood before it is too late.
Date of Original:
23 Feb 1956
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English
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The speeches are free of charge but please note that the Empire Club of Canada retains copyright. Neither the speeches themselves nor any part of their content may be used for any purpose other than personal interest or research without the explicit permission of the Empire Club of Canada.
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Full Text
"THE PRICE OF BROTHERHOOD"
An Address by DR. MAURICE N. EISENDRATH of Holy Blossom Temple
Thursday, February 23rd, 1956.
CHAIRMAN: First Vice President, Mr. Donald H. Jupp.

Gentlemen, please remain standing after Grace is said so that I may ask you to sing the first verse of the National Anthem and afterwards drink a toast to Her Majesty the Queen.

Before we go on the air I would like to introduce to you the distinguished guests at the Head Table who have gathered to honor the Speaker. Will each guest rise briefly when his name is called but no applause please from members until all the guests have been introduced.

MR. JUPP: Distinguished guests and members of the Empire Club of Canada. We are singularly honored today to welcome as our Speaker a man with an international reputation for service, learning and leadershipDr. Maurice Eisendrath. Toronto is proud of the fact that part of that reputation was earned here in the 14 year period from 1929 until 1943 when Rabbi Eisendrath served at Holy Blossom Temple. He was born in Chicago in 1902, received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Cincinnati in 1925, was ordained as Rabbi at the Hebrew Union College in 1926, took up his duties at Virginia Street Temple in Charleston West Virginia and moved to Toronto in 1929. While in Canada he was active in social reform and was instrumental in founding the Canadian Conference of Christians and Jews, serving as Co-Chairman throughout his Canadian ministry.

For many years he served as National Chairman of Public Relations for the United Jewish Community of Canada. Our radio audience today will be particularly interested to know that he established the "Forum of the Air", the first radio program of its kind in Canada. He is the author of a book "The Never-Failing Stream", published in 1939 and numerous monographs and articles on religion.

From Holy Bloossom Temple he was called in 1943 to the office of President of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, with headquarters in New York City and in 1945 the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity was conferred on him by the Hebrew Union College for his outstanding contributions to the rabbinate. In 1952 the Union, an organization founded in 1873 and which today represents 500 congregations in the United States, Canada, Latin America and Hawaii, made him President for Life. In addition he is a member of a formidable number of Boards and Committees of Jewish and non-sectarian organizations. The broad scope of his experience is indicated by the fact that he was one of the official American Jewish representatives to the Peace Conference in Paris after the war and also served as consultant at the San Francisco conference that wrote the charter of the United Nations.

It is clear that the Empire Club could not hear from a more eminent authority during Brotherhood Week. Canadians enjoying vast lands and resources on the North American continent may well echo the fervent words of the poet Katharine Lee Bates:

"America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with Brotherhood From sea to shining sea!"

"The Price of Brotherhood" is the title chosen by Rabbi Eisendrath for his address to us today - Dr. Maurice N. Eisendrath.

DR. EISENDRATH: Although some glib songster from Tin Pan Alley has superficially chanted that "the best things in life are free," a far earlier, profounder, and more realistic commentator upon life and its deeper meaning assured us that only "by the sweat of his brow shall man eat bread;" that all things, in short, must be bought and paid for; or, as the writer of the Book of Ecclesiastes might have said, "For everything on earth there is a price, and there is nothing free under the sun."

Though this may sound somewhat cynical; and though, admittedly, there are many things, even among the best and most coveted: such as love and friendship, motherhood, and faith that are "without money and without price," in that they are not purchasable in the coin of the realm; still, in all honesty, we have become accustomed, since man's earliest days, to recognize that while "the lily of the field may toil not nor spin," the sons of man are required to labor, even from dawn till dusk, to provide themselves with their daily bread.

To be sure, there were those who ravaged the earth and seized for themselves the possessions of their neighbors. But very early in man's destiny such pillage and plunder were condemned and punished even by death itself. "Thou shalt not steal" rang out the unequivocal prohibition against appropriating by force or by stealth the property of another. Slowly, painfully, man worked out a system of crude and primitive barter whereby so many hours of toil expended on, let us say, a stone axe was equivalent to a certain number of hours spent on the creation of an aesthetically moulded vase. I am not sufficiently acquainted with the price index of those ancient days to know just how accurate my analogy may be, but this much I do know - there never has been a time - except, perhaps, among certain tiny communes such as the Essenes, recently popularized by the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls - when mankind has not invariably based his life and living upon the inexorable proposition that, "for everything there is a price." Except again perhaps on our $64,000 and $100,000 giveaways; except on the whirring slot machines at Las Vegas or on the rise and fall of values on the Stock Exchange, few of us - even the most thrifty merchants among us-expect to get something for nothing. In fact, we are suspicious of anything and everything obtainable "without money and without price."

How strange then - and utterly paradoxical - that, whereas there is not a single business or professional man, such as those who constitute by far the majority of our gathering today, who would for a moment challenge this fundamental axiom of our society that it is fit and proper for our commodities and services to carry their appropriate price-tags; that though we dub as communistic and subversive of our complex and delicately adjusted free enterprise any suggestion that men shall be rewarded without adequate toil, or that we can build our business enterprises without the sweat of our brows or without long hours of labor - how strange, I repeat, that when it comes to the acquisition of such cherished goals as justice and peace and brotherhood, then by some peculiar, fantastic illogic we actually do believe - or, at any rate, we act as though we did implicity and without question believe - that these sublime and coveted objectives can be easily attained "without price," without effort, without sacrifice, without pain, without "blood, sweat and tears." If we do but mouth our protestations of brotherly love; if we do but worship on a single day in the week the Prince of Peace; if we profess in our confessions of faith or mechanically mumble our noble prayers that the "time may not be distant" when "swords will be beaten into ploughshares and spears into pruning hooks," we become smugly satisfied that we have expended our full complement of effort for brotherhood and peace.

But the price of Brotherhood - or Peace - is far steeper than the mere words of our mouths.

Too many of us are brothers by such words of mouth only. We - that is, many of us - go to our respective churches and synagogues and pour forth our praises and our prayers-ostensibly at least-to the "Lord of all creation," "the Father of all mankind," who hath made of one flesh and one blood all the creatures of the earth, in Whose sight there is-and can be-no distinction between "Scythian, Greek, or Jew," to the Lord not merely of the Canadians, the British, the French, or the Americans, but even of the Germans and the Russians and the Chinese Reds as well, and then we behave as though His domain ended at our own respective frontiers.

Not yet are we prepared to subject the concerns and interests of our sovereign states to the well-being of all, to the Will and Way of the Moral Law. And so, although we have laboriously builded a United Nations, we are guided therein more by the law of expediency than by the price we must pay for brotherhood. Thus, when myriads of natives in South Africa, whose skins have been rendered somewhat darker than our own by the Will of God Himself, appealed to the conscience of the world for succor and for salvation from the grim and relentless Apartheid policy of South Africa, not a single so-called democratic nation of the world - except tiny Israel - rallied to their support. Again, with regard to Israel, instead of harkening to the poignant appeal of the newest democracy in the comity of nations for protection against the murderous attacks of her marauding neighbors, instead of fortifying these sons of freedom in the new-old Holy Land, we flirt with and flatter by a flow of explosive arms those scions of fascism and feudalism throughout the Middle East.

And as it is with regard to our unwillingness and failure to pay the price of brotherhood in our relationships among the nations on the political front, so in too many instances, are we likewise unprepared to comply with the inescapable cost of fellowship in the economic sphere. No amount of philanthropy or diplomatic good-will, no Point Four programs or Marshall Plans will speedily enough reduce the disparity between an average per-capita annual wage in the United States - and not much less in this Dominion, I suppose - of $1700 and a bare $27 - not per week or per month but per year, in China; between the social whirl characteristic of a good part of this North American Continent in which millions, yea billions, are squandered with the nonchalance of pennies in an arcade, and the quagmire of destitution and suffering and premature death in which the multitudes of the world still helplessly and hopelessly sink. For it is an unassailable fact, as Trygvie Lie, until recently the Secretary-General of the United Nations, has pointed out, that "most humans on earth are hungry most of the time." As a price must be paid to spare the world the ravages and the destruction threatened by atomic annihilation, so there is a price which each of us is called upon to pay in order that the rising rancour of the impoverished multitudes of the earth shall not tear our social fabric to shreds in bloody revolution.

Despite all the flaws in the Marxian interpretation of history, there is one rallying cry which is capturing the imagination and idealism of the youth of many lands and which challenges - as they have never been challenged before - the sincerity and genuine idealism of our democracies and our faith. And that cry is the word of Karl Marx who contended that "Philosophers have explained the world, but our business is to change it." And it is this lure "to change the world" which is winning the vast numbers of the Communist cause, while our stubborn insistence upon maintaining too much of the status quo is providing fuel for the incendiary fires of the Reds. Back some years ago a Chinese girl, condemned to death for revolutionary activity, said to her sorrowing family, "Do not weep for me. I am dying for a cause. You will go on living - for what?" Our forbears who came to this North American continent in order, as they phrased it, to establish in this New World the ancient commonwealth as Moses had envisaged it, to build a just and equitable society to supplant the rigid caste systems of the Old World they had eagerly left behind-they knew what they were living and dying for: they were determined to rear a society that would provide a new birth of freedom for all. But every time such a ghastly, grisly misdeed as the murder of an Emmet Till, or the sadistic stoning of a Negro college girl, occurs in my own country and goes unpunished, or a splendidly conceived FEPC provision such as you have so happily and justly enacted in this Dominion and Province, goes unenforced, as I understand is the case in a certain municipality not so far distant from us today - we prove ourselves unwilling and unready to pay that price by which alone we can build that brotherhood on earth which it is our common destiny to rear. But, whereas most of us are unwilling to pay this price of brotherhood, it is astounding - and most paradoxical - how steep and staggering a price we seemingly are content to pay for the lack of such brotherhood which we complacently tolerate in this so-called "best of all possible worlds."

I wonder how many of us have actually grasped the reality of the colossal sums we are presently spending because we have not yet sought and found the formula for establishing that kind of brotherhood whereby "each man might sit 'neath his own vine and fig tree, there being none to make him afraid." The figures for your own land, which I do not have available, must be similarly impressive. As for the United States, we appropriated last year thirtyfour billion dollars for defense. Does anyone among us really know what that means? Well, for one thing, it means four million dollars spent every hour - day and night - for armaments which will lead us eventually to our destruction - or, if we are spared that catastrophe, then at least to their own obsolescence.

Let me give you just a few graphic illustrations of the price we presently pay for that which postpones rather than pursues the world-wide brotherhood we cherish.

For every 30 million dollars which one navy destroyer costs, we could construct 60 desperately-needed schools at a half million dollars apiece.

Every 200 million dollars required for a single new aircraft carrier, which will be antiquated in but a few years, or blown to splinters by a single bomb, is equal to 8 times the annual cost of the entire Technical Assistance program of the U.N., which, if but supported with similar sums, might make war and revolution appear to the vast multitudes of earth both superfluous and obsolete, might make an anachronism of Marx's taunting appeal. "You have nothing to lose but your chains."

Every $7,000 required merely to fuel, service, and put in the air for 7 hours a single bomber would provide a four-year college education for the average boy or girl.

Such are the price-tags on just a few of our satanic instruments of death in terms of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all. In such human equations the grand total of thirty-four billion dollars is even more staggeringly unbelievable. Those $34 billions - and a comparative figure in Canada would no doubt be similarly revealing - would purchase:

for a total of $. billion
330,000 new $15,000. homes 5
500 new $2,000,000 hospitals 1
12,000 fully-equipped and supervised $500,000 playgrounds 1
2,000 new $500,000 schools 1
1,000,000 salary increases of $1,000 each for teachers 1
1,200,000 new teachers at a salary of $5,000-1 billion 1
$2,000,000,000 for land reclamation,reforestation, and flood-prevention 2

For technical assistance to the undeveloped peoples to put them on their feet and become self-supporting and free 10

All this, and there would still be $12 billion left for reducing the heavy burden of taxation and increasing purchasing power.

This is the price we are paying for what we regard as defense and national security. But are we actually less anxiety-ridden than before we build our Maginot line of atomic hydrogen bombs? Is it not possible to find another way-risky no doubt-but who ever said that the price of brotherhood did not involve risk from the day the cave-man first laid down his club and decided to submit his conflicts to juridical procedures? Is it not possible to find a way to some manner of universal disarmament, of effective inspection and control, that will leave in the hands of nations only such weapons as may still be necessary for maintaining international order so that the incomprehensibly immense sums now being poured into defense might indeed revolutionize the world and provide the price of brotherhood?

Now while you might readliy retort that this costly and imminently catastrophic race is not of our own making; that Barkis is willin'; that the democracies are more than prepared to abandon it the moment the Soviet will come to terms, what about the similarly staggering sums we are squandering as a consequence of our unbrotherly behavior on the domestic scene?

Have you-good sound business and professional men that you undoubtedly are - paused to ponder how much it really does cost us to begrudge the price of brotherhood right here at home?

It is on our domestic balance sheets of business that our prejudices are showing vast deficits. It was no "do-gooder" minister or "good-willing" rabbi, but the highly respected statistician and pollster, Mr. Elmo Roper, who recently pointed out, in a searching and scientifically documented pamphlet, that the United States is wasting thirty billion dollars a year in manpower, morale, and productivity; that ten dollars out of every seventy-five dollar paycheck are washed down the drain in the phony luxury of indulging prejudice. Again, I do not know what the comparable figures may be for Canada, but I do know that wherever a firm exists that does not hire on merit and on merit alone; that wherever a ceiling is placed upon the kind of position a man or a woman can attain because God's sun may have shaded his skin a bit more darkly than our own; or because he is descended from the people who gave birth to him whom some call-if I may use the same phrase with a different connotation - "God's own - and only Son;" or because he may have come from some different land of origin; wherever there is such discrimination and lack of brotherhood, not only, as Mr. Roper puts it, "is that firm guilty of injustice" - and of this we shall have more to say later-but of "woeful extravagance as well."

What Mr. Roper has in mind has to do largely with the decreased efficiency and productivity that result when victims of discrimination worry more about acts of prejudice than about the job to be done. What he has in mind is the shortsightedness of searching frantically for foreign markets - with all its dangers of potential war - and neglecting the additional 12 billion purchasing power of fifteen million Negroes in the United States alone if all, instead of just some, were employed at their highest skills.

He recalls, likewise, how long our victory was delayed in World Wars I and II, and how many lives were uselessly lost, because our industrial output was reduced by discrimination. What he has in mind, further, is the filching from our democratic world of so much of the potentialities of minority groups who could move into high-paying vocations where there are manpower shortages - medicine, chemistry, engineering, and the like - if merit and merit alone were our criterion. Who knows how much sooner a Salk vaccine might have been discovered! Who knows how many of your own children and those of your dear ones and friends might have been spared the ravages of the grim scourge of infantile paralysis if ten, twenty, fifty years ago certain medical schools had not said "Not wanted" to some brilliant young student who just might have preceded Salk by a full half century had he not been refused admission because he was a Jew, a Negro, an alien! Who knows today what secrets of increased productivity of the soil, what new plastics and synthetics, might have been created by some Jew or Negro or Catholic or Foreigner to bring increased food and clothing and shelter to the ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill housed of the world - ever the seed-bed of revolution and war - if we were not tragically willing still to pay this high price of unbrotherly behavior.

It was in Nazi Germany that the price of prejudice found its ultimate reductio ad absurdon - its reduction to absurdity - and to horror and barbarism as well. Those whom the gods would destroy they first make mad - and prejudiced too. They drive them crazy through their paranoid fear of the stranger within their gates. Surely we ought to have learned from the bestial butchers of Berlin that bigotry does not pay; that to banish from one's borders or to burn in gas ovens and asphyxiation chambers millions of the children of God because of their so-called race and alleged alien descent is to rob one's own land, one's own generation, and posterity itself, of some of the highest skills and most blessed gifts which God has bestowed on men regardless of race, creed, or national origin. And yet, while we shudder and recoil in horror from such brutality and sadism; while admittedly we have made comparative giant strides toward brotherhood in many areas, nevertheless "by gentleman's agreement" we still exclude vast multitudes from the full and equal opportunity which genuine brotherhood would demand. We still may be dooming to agonizing years of pain and premature death from cancer our own loved ones because we do not accept exclusively on merit, all men as men "for a' that." We still may lose the cold war - or the hot - because of indispensible skills which in a college in Alabama or a village in Ontario we spurn. As a well-known editorial writer correctly phrased it: "The demonstrations against a Negro girl in Alabama are a gift to the Kremlin of a ceremonial sword which may one day split the West into fragments. We have handed the Communist conspiracy a weapon to divide the world."

And so we continue to pay and pay and pay, not only, as I have already indicated, in decreased efficiency and productivity in our respective businesses and industries, not only in the crippling of potential scientific advance, not only in advertising - as no amount of Marshall Aid or Point Four benefactions can dispel - our failure to spell out our democratic preachment in tangible brotherly affection for all - but there is an additional price still that we pay within our own communities.

Have you any idea of what you as a taxpayer are paying for your tenements and slums largely caused by greed and/or discriminatory practices in housing and industry? In one study, made recently in Cleveland, Ohio, it was found that municipal taxes on real-estate in one such slum area totalled $225,000, whereas public and private social services including relief, health services, handling juvenile offenders, incessant fire-fighting amid tinder-box tenements - all of which are always higher in such blighted areas - came to $1,360,000 - a ratio, a loss, of six to one.

Nor is the psychological price less costly. The Committee on the Hygiene of Housing in the U.S.A. has pointed out that more damage is done to children by a sense of chronic inferiority due to the consciousness of living in sub-standard dwellings, attending sub-standard schools, being restricted to sub-standard jobs, than by all the defective plumbing which tenements may contain.

Communists are not born - at least on this side of the Iron Curtain; they are bred, bred in hate and a lust for vengeance against the bigotry and greed that belie the brotherhood of man. Here also, prejudice does not pay.

Such is the price we pay for the lack of brotherhood. It is, as Eric Johnston, former President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, dubbed it, "a fool's economy indeed!" Is it not time that wise - and even economy-minded-leaders of our states and cities, of our provinces and communities, of our industries and trades, came to the inescapable conclusion that even as we hear constantly iterated over the Radio and TV that "crime does not pay," so is the failure of fellowship likewise a costly, a prohibitive extravagance.

But you know as well as I that, as a rabbi, as a religious teacher, as the descendent of a people that has never counted the costs in mere monetary terms, that has faced exile and persecution, the torture chamber and the wrack, the inquisition and crusades, just because it would not purchase fellowship, would not buy good-will, at just any cost but preferred to pursue God's will at any price-you know as well as I that I would not rest my case on mere dollars and cents nor would I insult you by appealing exclusively to whatever mercenary instincts you may possess. You too are moved by principles and ideals such as once prompted lowly fisherman, shepherds, and artisans to follow a lowly Galilean carpenter and lay down their lives for a friend. You, too, have fathered sons who have laid their lives upon the altar of their dreams.

I have attempted to prove - and I believe I have - that bigotry does not pay-even in the crassest material terms - but I must add, before I conclude, that, even if this were not the case, you and I - insofar as we are Christians and Jews-are under orders to love our neighbors as ourselves - whether it pays or not. That it does pay - is all to the good. Although so-called hard-headed, realistic business men, with their feet solidly on the ground - "and all that", - may designate some of us as starry-eyed and oh-so-impractical visionaries and idealists, the ideal and the practical are really one. Nothing in this world can really be practcial - on a long term basis - unless it is likewise ideal. The truths we learned in our religious schools or at our mother's knees are not only morally right but expedient as well.

So why not, my friends, pay the price of brotherhood not only because it is uneconomical and dangerously explosive in this revolutionary age to persist in our unbrotherly behavior, but because we have been mandated by prophet and seer, by Jesus and the rabbis of the past so to do. Why not end every vestige of segregation, not merely because the Supreme Court of the United States or your own FEP and FAP legislation declares it illegal, but because long centuries ago, the Ten Commandments of the Jew, and the Sermon on the Mount sacred to the Christian, proclaimed it immoral!

Then shall we discover that the price of brotherhood is not nearly so costly or so illusory as the price we have been headlessly paying for the lack thereof. Then will we begin to tear down our expensive fences which have for too long divided us and build far less costly bridges which shall ultimately unite us.

Fences and bridges - what interesting, what contrasting concepts and words! In this day when the subject of semantics has become so popular even for parlor discussion (Quote here the story of "coming too near, going too far")-perhaps we might spend just a moment or two in conclusion in searching out the significance of these two pregnant words! Bridges and fences. Fences, or walls, do indeed serve an important purpose in life. They have their irrefutable value. They give us shelter, security, and privacy - in a world which otherwise would indeed be "too much with us." They carve for us out of unbounded space too vast for us to master, a smaller area which we can subdue to our needs. Imagine a world, particularly our own, with its streaming, screeching brakes, its whirling, whirring wheels, its strident sirens, its thronging throughways, its tireless telephones, its blaring, blatant radio and TV-without some walls occasionally at least to 'fence us in, "to bring us momentary solitude, to enable us, if only for a brief second or two, to hear the gentle voices of children, the tender whispers of love, the still small voice of God Himself. Yes, walls enclose us in a manageable world; they give us a sense of at-homeness which is good for our souls; they define, beyond peradventure of doubt, what is ours and what is another's. Or, as Robert Frost phrased it, "Good fences make good neighbors."

But there are other walls - which are not similarly beneficial. Prejudice and group hatreds are forbidding and foreboding walls which men build around themselves not merely to fence themselves in but to fence others out. Fences of social snobbery and alleged racial superiority! Our generation unhappily has witnessed the erection of far too many of these walls of separation between man and his brotherman. Whenever and wherever there have been want and hunger, discontent and unrest, racial and religious bigots have swarmed out of their holes to sow the dragon-seeds of division, discord, and dissension. Sometimes even good and respectable people build such walls about themselves and their presumably select sets: walls of social exclusiveness and economic caste behind which they smugly and snugly hug to their bosoms the delusion that they are somehow better than the common run of humanity. How pathetic, how poignant is their short-lived pretense! For we know that, in the sight of God, there are no Brahmins and no pariahs or untouchables-only children of dust, who, in their brief careers on earth, may find a measure of happiness by helping one another in goodness and sharing. From the four corners of the earth God took the dust wherewith to create man so that none could boast that his ancestors were better than another's, wrote the rabbis of old. "Of one blood hath He created all peoples of the earth," said - the Jew of Nazareth.

And there are other walls today: iron and bamboo and silken curtains behind which nations crouch, and dub as traitor anyone who would suggest the raising even by an inch or two of these divisive barriers. But eventually the most towering and seemingly impregnable walls must fall, for the "Lord God hath a day upon every lofty tower and fortified wall." He hath decreed that men should build not walls to divide them but bridges to draw them together, each man to his brother.

Across the dark chasms of life, your faith and mine bid us to rear bridges: bridges of compassion, great-mindedness, magnanimity, and love. Perhaps the noblest bridge is that which the Hebrew writer of the Book of Leviticus, and Jesus some centuries later, paraphrased in the words, "Thou shalt love they neighbor as thyself." The United Nations is another such bridge seeking in our own time to carry out that ancient mandate. We must guard it vigilantly so that it does not collapse as all previous more rickety bridges leading to world peace have fallen. We must guard it especially today when it is so viciously and violently, and vehemently, attacked by self-centered saboteurs who would scuttle this last best hope of man for peace in our time. "To bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance." These words, uttered by him whose birthday we in the United States observed just yesterday - these words, too, are a bridge - a bridge far more enduring than the swords and spears with which Washington achieved his military victory. It was the triumph of the spirit which healed the hurt even of revolution and bound up the wounds and made us the inheritors of three thousand miles of unguarded frontier without a sentry, without a fort. The bridges over the Niagara River and the St. Lawrence, which do not divide but which do in truth draw your land and mine ever nearer to each other in brotherly solicitued and common aspiration-these are wondrous examples of just such exalted bridges as God has hidden us ceaselessly to build. This Empire Club-with its membership open to all and which has numbered among its Presidents men of various creed and classes-is another such noble bridge. The National Conference of Christians and Jews, under whose aegis this Brotherhood Week observance is being held, provides likewise such a bridge.

The decision (November 1955) of your Supreme Court of Canada recently rendered in a case involving the Jehovah Witnesses erects still another such bridge which many men in many lands might profitably emulate. Among the nine justices who brought in this momentous judgment were three Roman Catholics, six Protestants. The opinion written by Justice Robert Taschereau makes Canadian history - writes a noble page in all history. "In our country," he wrote, "there is no state religion. All religions are on an equal footing, and Roman Catholics as well as Protestants, Jews and other adherents to various religious denominations, enjoy the most complete liberty of thought. The conscience of each is a personal matter and the concern of nobody else. It would be distressing to think that a majority might impose its religious views upon a minority, and it would also be a shocking error to believe that one serves his country or his religion by denying in one province or minority the same rights which one rightly claims for oneself in another province." What an exalted bridge of understanding is this and all those others which remove every "No passage" barrier!

Many many peoples and many faiths, many creeds and many colours, find their way across such bridges to discover at the other end their brethren, made in the image and likeness of the Divine. May they hear the beating of another's heart and behold the offer of another's helping hand! May they join heart to heart and hand to hand in the manner suggested by a story I have been fond of telling and retelling these many years - both in the United States and during my earlier ministry in this Dominionever since I first came across it some years ago while I was yet the rabbi at Holy Blossom Temple here in Toronto. It is said to be a true story and originated, so I am told, in your own Canadian wheat-field of the West.

It tells of a mother and a father and their little child who set out one day to visit a neighbouring village. In order to reach their destination it was necessary for them to traverse some fields grown high with the fall crop of wheat. To keep their child from straying off and becoming lost in this veritable wilderness of waving wheat, each parent took one of the child's hand and went their way together. After proceeding for some time in silence, the mother suddenly realized that the child was not with them. Evidently it had wandered away while they were walking along in their preoccupations. In great consternation the mother cried out: "Father, where is our child?" The child was nowhere to be seen. They returned quickly to their little village, called out all their neighbours and friends to join them in the search. All that day, all that night, all the following day and the following night, they searched.

But the child could not be found. On the morning of the third day, as they were standing about dejectedly, one man hit upon a brilliant idea. He said to his neighbours and friends: "Come, let us join hand-to-hand, forming a human comb-and we will stretch ourselves across the entire width of this field and we shall tread across its full length and thus we shall cover every inch of ground. Surely, in this wise we shall find the missing child. They seized avidly upon his suggestion. They hurriedly joined hand to hand, forming this human comb, and they began their silent and solemn and sombre march down the field. Suddenly someone stumbled over an inert form, lifted it, and placed it in the arms of the anxious mother. She gazed down into the pallid features of her own child's face and she beheld that it was dead. And all that that grief-stricken mother could do was to cry out of the depth of her desolation and despair: "My God! Why did we not join hands sooner!"

"My God!" is my cry, is the cry of our whole anguished, agonizing generation. "My God!" is the cry of myriads of our mothers' sons and daughters, too, marked for atomic annihilation. "My God!" is the cry of the bruised and battered and beaten multitudes of earth. "My God!" is the cry of the millions of maimed and mutilated, the downtrodden and oppressed, destined for destitution, destruction, and premature death. "Why do we not join hands," nation with nation, race with race, creed with creed, man with his brother-man!" Why do we not "join hands" - and pay the price of brotherhood - before it is too late!

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The Price of Brotherhood


A discussion of what, if anything, in life is free. The "price of Brotherhood—or Peace—is far steeper than the mere words in our mouths." Our unwillingness and failure to pay the price of brotherhood in our relationships among the nations on the political front, and also in the economic sphere. The rallying cry of Karl Marx. The price we seem willing to pay for the LACK of brotherhood. A few graphic illustrations of the price we presently pay for that which postpones rather than pursues the world-wide brotherhood we cherish. The price we pay for what is regarded as defence and national security. The question as to whether or not we feel more secure. Our domestic balance sheets of business. Our prejudices showing vast deficits, and other consequences. The price of prejudice in Nazi Germany. The socio-economic price. The psychological price. Walls of prejudice and hatred throughout the world. Building bridges. The national Conference of Christians and Jews. Joining hands and paying the price of brotherhood before it is too late.