Student Sermon 1917

Excerpt from student sermon entitled:” The Flag of the Free” delivered Sunday, June 3, 1917 at Reading Road Temple, Cincinnati, Ohio (just prior to Marcus’ entering the US Army to serve in World War I)

The Jew, I earnestly believe, is more capable than any other American citizen of understanding, yes, fulfilling the true spirit behind this flag because there is a spiritual kinship between the basic ideals of Americanism and Judaism. This land more than any other embodies the ideals of the Jew - the ideals of democracy, liberty, and justice for all - ideals which have ever been at the heart of every believing Israelite.

Because there is this relation between our faith and the ethical fundamentals of our land, the Jew has always had the inner potentiality and power measuring up to the most exacting demands of the nation. In this great crisis which is confronting us today, during these times which require of us the most careful thinking and the most vigorous action we seek for inspiration and future guidance in this flag. We smile and weep with joy and pride as we think of all that it has meant for us and all that it can mean for us and with our hearts and souls aglow with emotion, we turn our faces forward, with the light of determination suffusing them and with the undying conviction that we will realize the ideals of this flag - the ideal of the Jew.

Jacob Rader Marcus Papers, Box 9 File 5