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April 30, 1965 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1965-04-30

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Weizmann Institute Computer Puts Science Side by Ski e With a Legend


l i

REHOVOTH — Science and leg-
end, deriving from 16th Century
Jewish folklore, are combining to-
day at the Weizmann Institute of
Science at Rehovoth, to produce
the most modern computer based
on ultra-high-speed electronics.
The new computer being con-
structed, the fourth in the 20-year
history of the Institute, is expec-
ted to produce a ten-fold improve-
ment in speed over thhe latest
model, already among the world's
fastest. It is a tribute to the late
Theodore Von Karman, physicist
and aeronautics engineer, who pi-
oneered the Jet Age.
Named Golem II, the computer
memorializes Dr. Von Karman's
ancestor, the famed Rabbi Judah
Low of Prague, as does Golem I,
its predecessor. Dr. Von Karman,
who became a fellow of the Weiz-
mann Institute of Science in 1960,
,was deeply impressed with the
then emerging at the Insti-
tute for a self-built computer. He
asked that the computer be called
The Golem in memory of Rabbi
Low. Dr. Von Karman did not live
to see Golem I become fully op-
erative in November 1964.
Golem I, more precise than com-
puters currently available, was de-
signed and constructed by scien-
tists and engineers of the Weiz-
mann Institute at one-third the
cost of others. Two other compu-
ters, much larger and costing six
times as much, are faster.
The new computer is now be-
ing built at Rehovoth with the
help of Norman Zimbel, an en-
gineer from Newton, Mass, who
has taken a year's leave of ab-
sence from the Mitre Corpora-
, tion of Bedford, Mass., to par-
ticipate in the work.
Zimbel stated that he is im-
pressed with the dedication and in-
genuity of the scientific comunity
of Israel as he has seen it in re-
lationship to electronic and com-
puter activity. There are, at pres-
ent, some 20 computers in Israel
and about an equal number on
order of various varieties, pur-
poses and speeds.
The Golem of Prague, from
which the Weizmann Institute
computers derive their name,
was created at a time of great
peril for the Jews by Rabbi Low,
a legendary figure in Jewish
history of the Middle Ages.
According to legend, Rabbi Low
was inspired to build and provide
the animation for The Golem by
a divine voice which allegedly re-
vealed the formula to him in a
dream. With the help of his two
sons-in-law, pious and learned
men, he built the Robot. The Gol-

em executed the commands of
Rabbi Low, performing all kinds
of services for him for the bene-
fit of the Jewish community.
Among the feats attributed to
The Golem was his exposure of
the falsity of the accusation of rit-
ual murder against the Jews and
of those who spread the libel,
leading to their apprehension.
Every Friday, on the eve of Sab-
bath, the life-giving formula was
removed from The Golem, to pre-
vent the accidental profanation
of The Sabbath.
One Friday evening, so goes the
legend, Rabbi Low forgot to with-
draw the life-giving formula from
the Robot, and the Robot ran
amok. Fearful of an impending
Sabbath desecration and possible
menace to the city, the Rabbi pur-
sued the Robot, but caught up with
him only outside the synagogue.
There the Robot fell apart. The re-
mains of The Golem are believed
to be buried among the debris of
the ancient Synagogue of Prague.
Dr. Von Karman, a direct lin-
ear descendant of Rabbi Low,
was born in Budapest, Hungary
in 1881 and became a naturalized
citizen of the United States.
A physicist and aeronautical en-
gineer, he was one of the most
highly decorated men in the scien-
tific world, contributing to the de-
velopment of the Jet Age by re-
search findings on the theory of
elasticity; strength of materials;
hydrodynamics; supersonic sound
tunnels; mathematical methods in
engineering. He served as head of
various aeronautical institutions
in the United States and abroad,

and as consultant to the U.S.
Army, the U.S. Air Force, and

West Germany Gives
Nuclear Accelerator
for Israeli Research

REHOVOTH — A 14,000,000-
electron volt particle Van de
Graaff Tandem accelerator, for the
study of the structure of nucleons
and nuclear reactions, has been
dedicated at the Weizmann Insti-
tute of Science.
The gift of the West German
ministry of scientific research,
through the office of the then-
Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, the
$1,500,000 accelerator is part of the
new $2,300,000 Dannie N. Heine-
man Accelerator Laboratory.
A two-day conference on nuclear
structure and nuclear reactions
followed the dedication ceremonies,
attended by scientists from lead-
ing scientific institutions in West-
ern Europe, the United States and
The Heineman Accelerator Lab-
oratory is named for an American-
born electrical engineer and indus-
trial magnate educated in Ger-
many, a schoolmate and lifelong,
friend of former Chancellor Kon-
rad Adenauer, who served for 50
years as managing director of So-
fina in Brussels, one of the largest
public service engineering and
management companies in the
Deputy Prime Minister Eban
recalled that it was the late Dr.
Heineman, a friend of Dr. Chaim
Weizmann and the Weizmann
institute, who "directed Konrad


Adenauer's mind to Israel as the
natural destination for whatever
desire existed in Germany to
build a new moral future on the
debris of a tragic past."
The Heineman Laboratory will
be available for the use of all
physicists in Israel. At the initia-
tive of the Weizmann Institute of
Science, as was jointly construc-
ted and will be jointly operated
with the Hebrew University.
In addition to the $1,500,000 gift
for the accelerator from the West
German government, gifts total-
ing $800,000 to cover the costs of
the construction and equipment of
the laboratory were contributed by
friends of the Weizmann Institute
of Science, the Hebrew University,
the Heineman family and their
friends in Europe and Canada.

Braille Guide to NY Fair
Published by .Synagogue

OMAHA (J T A) — The first
Braille guide to aid blind persons
visiting —the New York World's
Fair has been published by Beth
El Synagogue here, and will be
available in the Travelers Aid Pa-
vilion at the Fair.
Entitled "Fingertip Trip Through
the Fair," the guide was written
by Al Sperber, of New York, who
has been blind for seven years.
He visited the Fair last year and

made a record of the places the

sightless would enjoy through
hearing, touch, smell or taste. Aid-
ing Sperber in the project was
Dr. Jacob Freid, director of the
Jewish Braille Institute in New

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Communal Rift Nearing
End, Briton Predicts

NEW YORK (JTA)—Intra com-
munal friction and divisiveness
that have hung over the Jewish
community in Great Britain are
coming to an end, Maurice Edel-
man, president of Britain's Anglo-
Jewish Association, told a group
of leaders of its "sister" organiza-
tion, the American Jewish Com-
mittee, at a reception in his honor
"There is now a more enlighten-
ed trend and a general recognition
that particular organizations and
groupings, while maintaining their
distinctiveness, can contribute to
the common good by employing
their particular services to the
best advantage," Edelman stated.
He went on to say that he ex-
pected the trial merger of the
Anglo-Jewish Association and the
Union of Jewish Women to be both
"lasting and advantageous," not
only to the Association, but to
British Jewry. The merger, he
added, is "symptomatic of a new
and happier trend discernible in
British Jewry." The American
Jewish Committee leaders dis-
cussed with Edelman proposed
anti-discrimination legislation in
British places of public accommo-
dation, and also the formulation of
group libel laws.

Friday, April 30, 1965-9


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