Project of IISHJ

Letters – The Symbol of Ah-Dam

Humanistic Judaism, Spring_Summer_Autumn 1976, Vol. IV, Number II

About our logo, the Adam (AH-DAHM) symbol, I quote Rabbi Sherwin T. Wine: 

“The symbol of our religious philosophy is no book, however ancient, for no one book can contain even the smallest part of wisdom. The symbol of the Society for Humanistic Judaism is no personality, however famous, for no single human being can give utterance to even a fraction of the truth. 

”The symbol of our commitment is a concept-a concept expressed in a single Hebrew word. That word is Adam. 

“Adam is a short word, but a big idea. It is the word for humanity. Its three letters encompass the human striving for happiness, the human dignity of self-respect, the human right to autonomy. Its forceful sound embraces the value of self-reliance, the virtue of reason, and the goodness of love. Its Hebrew origin speaks to us of our extended family and of our membership in the Jewish people. 

“Adam is the symbol of our humanistic ideal. The salvation of our world and our society will not come from beyond man, it will come from within man. It will come from no one book, no one sage, no one people. It will come from all people, in all ages, working together. 

“The word Adam appears on the cover of our magazine to remind us of our history, our commitments, and our dreams.  Its three letters, aleph, dahled, mem, are the focal point of our attention and reflection in Humanistic Judaism.” 

                                 Humanistically yours, 

                                Jacqueline Zigman 

                                             Editor, Humanistic Judaism 

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Note on sources: The Jewish Humanist  was the monthly newsletter of The Birmingham Temple. The periodical Humanistic Judaism was the quarterly journal of the Society for Humanistic Judaism. The Center for New Thinking was Wine’s adult learning program beyond Humanistic Judaism. Selections from Wine’s books are appropriately cited.
All texts, photos, audio and video are © by the Literary Estate of Sherwin Wine, whose custodian is the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism – North American Section. All rights reserved.