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October 07, 1966 - Image 2

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1966-10-07

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Purely Commentary

Labor Problems in the Jewish Community

There is an established rule in Jewish ranks that internal differ-
ences must be solved internally and that differences involving per-
sonalities, their incomes, their status of employment, should be resolved
amicably. Anything that could become a public linen-washing exhibition
is usually avoided. Seldom have affairs related to synagogues, or to
Jewish public institutions, been taken to the courts.
True, there have been exceptions to the rule. The issue related to
the mehitza—to the separation of the women's from the men's sections
in the Mt. Clemens synagogue—went as far as the State Supreme Court.
There have been other occurrences in Jewish communities that led
the litigants to the courts. But these were never with the approval of
the general community the feeling in which always is that a Bet Din
—as explained here last week—should be the means for solving com-
munal difficulties.
Our community nevertheless has become involved in mediation
outside the traditional arbitration of a Bet Din. A synagogue is charged
with unfair labor practices. It is not a pretty picture and there is cause
for serious regret that it should have occurred. There is equally urgent
need for action to avert even more damaging results from such con-
troversies and a demand must go forth to all who may be involved in
the teacher crisis to come to terms as speedily as possible.
It is possible, of course, that there are faults on both sides of the
warring fence in such labor strife. All the more reason why there
should be mediation within the communal structure.
Possibly, the Jewish ranks are affected by similar developments
to those in general civic ranks. As has been said, wie es christelt sich
so judelt sich—Jews usually act like their Christian neighbors. By the
same token, however, the diva d'malkuta diva—the admonition to Jews
that the law of the land is your law—is similarly applicable to Jews if
there are objections to the unionization of Jewish teachers. And let us
not forget that the times and the conditions of the era and the pat-
terns of living also enter into consideration: 0 tempera! 0 mores!
The developments which have dragged our teaching profession and
their schools into the limelight did not occur over-night. A long summer
has intervened and during those months there should have been a meas-
ure of accord. With the difficulties already encountered in assuring good
teaching staffs for our schools, (one principal recently said on that
score: we have already scratched the bottom of the barrel); with the
obstacles in our path in encouraging parents to induce their children
to dedicate themselves to Jewish studies and to cease making Bar
Mitzvah factories of our schools, we don't need additional obstructions.
Responsible leadership must make certain that the crisis in our
midst. involving our schools and our teachers—affecting thereby our
children—should be solved honorably and with justice, without delay!
Let it be said to the credit of the United Hebrew Schools that its
leadership recognized the right of teachers to act as an organized body
and averted a crisis by such recognition. The central educational sys-
tem can and must function smoothly, without hindrance that can
be caused by mediation outside Jewish ranks. The UHS will mediate
within the ranks. That's how it should be!

David Ben Gurion

-



Octogenarian

David Ben-Gurion's 80th birthday is an occasion for celebration by
world Jewry. For Israel, his birthday was a holiday and the celebra-
tions will continue for some time to come. Special medals have been
coined, there will be postage stamps, public gatherings, published
tributes.
But it is an occasion for world Jewry to take into account the
contributions this great man has made to his people, to the cause of
liberty, to the need to liberate an oppressed people, in the field of inter-
national relations.
And it should not be forgotten that Ben-Gurion is a man of cul-
ture, that he has mastered languages (Hebrew, Russian, Yiddish, Ger-
man, Greek), and that he is a philosopher who has been able to meet
the most learned on equal ground.
He has erred in recent years. He has been a bit unjust in judging
the Zionists of America. He could have remained on better terms with
his former labor colleagues in his own movement. But none of these
acts can possibly erase the fact that he was the architect of the State
of Israel. In that role he remains among the immortals in Jewish
history.

Losses to Mankind: Vera Weizmann and Saul Raskin

Noted names now are missing from the ranks of the living in
Jewry. We have suffered numerous serious losses, and the most notable
in recent weeks were those of Vera Weizmann, the first Lady of Israel,
and the eminent artist, Saul Raskin.
The many artistic works, and the art books, of Saul Raskin, now
gracing thousands of homes, stand out as tributes to the memory. of
the great and creative artist.
Mrs. Weizmann was a gracious lady, evidencing genuine nobility, a
leader among Jewish women and a supporting patron of many notable
movements. Like her husband she was a distinguished Zionist, a leader
in WIZO (Women's International Zionist Organization), the head in
Israel of Magen David Adom, the honorary president of Youth Aliya
and above, all a charming hostess.
Blessed be the memory of the two eminent figures in Jewry!

Saul Raskin's 'Ovinu Malkenu'

Thanks to the enterprising labors of B. Morris Pelavin of Flint,
Saul Saskin's last work, "Ovinu Malkenu—Our Father, Our King" was
published only a week before the great artist had gone to the Great
Beyond. He had been made happy by the efforts of the Flint group
that organized to finance the publication of his book and Jewish homes
now can be additionally enriched by this impressive creation. It will,
undoubtedly, rank among his finest works.
There is much that is superbly great about Saul Raskin's works,
and his 46 illustrations of the traditional Ovinu Malkenu are so awe-
inspiring that they deserve the widest distribution.
Shortly before his death, Mr. Raskin wrote to a group of his
friends:
"This 14th book of mine, `Ovinu Malkenu,' is the fulfillment
of years of dreams, doubts and fears—mostly fears that I may
never reach the power of expression needed for such a work. Not
one of my former books (not even my Kabbalah book) arouse in
me such doubts and fears.
"It is probably because no artist heretofore has devoted to an
entire book the subject of a single prayer, and I postponed the
task for a period of ten years, after which, being aware of possible
handicaps of 'old age'—I could hesitate no longer. I felt that I had

2—Friday, October 7, 1966

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Tributes to Saul Raskin and
Israel's First First Lady
. •
Conflicts Must Be Arbitrated

By Philip

c

iomovitz

to make this book of our greatest prayer of despair, hope and trust.
"After two years of intense work, I finished the book which
is now before you—the book God helped me to make, and, blessed
be His name, He sent me a publisher—the first I ever had, the
first I ever needed.
"I consider the book to be the ultimate in the artistic endeavors
of my life. If I am destined to be remembered by my people it
will be as a result of my books—mainly the result of my latest,
`Ovinu Malkenu.' "
The "publisher" who came to him is, of course, the Flint group
under Pelavin's leadership. They have earned Jewry's blessings for
their kind act.
Those who will acquire the latest Saul Raskin book will find them-
selves blessed in possessing so inspired a treasure.
An exhibition of Raskin's works at Garelick's will serve as a
tribute to this artist's memory. It is a blessed memory.
*
*
*

Is There Hypocrisy in Jewish Living?

There was a symposium in Leeds, England, with boys and girls
of Young Friends of Donisthorpe participating, and the questions raised
included views on intermarriage and whether it is hypocritical to eat
trefa away from home while retaining a kosher home.
Some of the responses, as reported in the London Jewish Chronicle,
were:
It is hypocritical to eat trefa, whether in the home or out, and
yet subscribe to Judaism, although it is difficult to keep kosher
always.
One group felt that a kosher, but not necessarily an Orthodox
home should be kept, while another emphasized that there was
more to being a Jew than eating kosher or trefa food.,
It was denied that it was permissive to eat salads and fruit
out, if meat was excluded. Eating out at a trefa establishment—
right or wrong—was a matter for individual conscience.
On intermarriage, the crux of the problem centered on the
children. The girls held that when the girl married out and
conversion to Judaism followed, one could make the best of a bad
job. It was generally agreed that a Jewish boy marrying out was
guilty of weakening his people and his faith.
While it was felt that increasing assimilation was the main
cause of intermarriage — and it was stressed that Jews could not
be segregated—it was suggested that it was difficult to prevent
the marriage of two people who loved each other, but thought
should be given to the problems facing children of such marriages
and the grief generally caused for parents.
The editor's comment, upon presenting the questions and the
expressed opinion, was that "certainly Leeds Jewish teens are no hypo-
crites."
By raising these questions the youth of Leeds hurled a challenge
at many Jewish groups in many lands.
The question also could be posed with ease why children in
America who attend religious parochial schools reverse their aims by
going to non-Jewish camps for the summer. The question of trefa-out-
and-kosher-in-the-home could be addressed to presidents of synagogues.
Is there hypocrisy? There certainly are deviations that are in no
sense contributory to consistency in Jewish life. There is such an
urgent desire to be congenial, so many Jews who fraternize with non-
Jews—as they should—are so ready to partake of their food and of
their customs, that there is a lack of courage. There still are men in
public life who insist upon adherence to Jewish customs, traditions
and dietary laws. No one disrespected Judge Harry B. Keidan for
insisting upon kashrut even when in most un-Jewish company. This
is true of many professors, jurists, officials high in rank.
It is more a question of consistency than of hypocrisy, because
hypocrisy would be denied so staunchly. The observant Orthodox will
say that rabis should not officiate at events that are followed by
non-kosher meals or at events that desecrate the Sabbath or a holiday.
But there also are Orthodox rabbis who officiate at such events and
thereby negate the protests. Leeds teens raised the issue courageously.

Tunisia Breaks Off Ties With Egypt

LONDON (JTA) -- Tunisia formally broke off diplomatic rela-
tions Monday with Egypt. The two countries have been at odds for
years over questions of Arab world leadership and the Israeli issue.
The announcement followed a meeting of the Tunisian Cabinet in
Tunis. Tunisian's President Habib Bourguiba shocked the Arab
world two years ago and since with repeated public calls for a peace-
ful settlement of the Arab-Israeli dispute, specifically urging the
Arab rulers to agree to negotiate directly with Israel for a peace
agreement.

Simhat Tora Quiz

By RABBI SAMUEL J. FOX

(Copyright, 1966, JTA, Inc.)

Why is it that those who are
called up to the last reading
of the Tora and the first read-
ing of the Tora on Simhat Tora
are called "bridegrooms" (ha-
tantim)?
The first mention of this custom
comes from the writings of the
students of Rashi in medieval
times (Mahzor Vitri, S iddur
Rashi). Various reasons are ad-
vanced for this practice. One of
the Kabbalists of the sixteenth
century explains that both the
one for whom the last portion is
read and the one for whom the
first portion is read theoretically
adorn the Tora like a bride is
adorned. Thus they are called
bridegrooms. One of the Sephardic
writers claim that on Sunhat
Tora the Jewish people are as
happy with the Tora as a bride-
groom is with his bride. The hap-
piness, of course, is due to the
fact that we finish reading and
also begin the reading anew of
the Tora. Therefore those who
are called up to the Tora for
these significant moments are
called bridegrooms. Others say it
is because those who receive
these honors bid and pay for it.
They are thus considered like
bridegrooms who bring presents
to the bride on her wedding day.
Generally speaking, of course,
the Tora has been referred to
in Talmudic literature as a bride
(Talmud Yerushalini, Ta'anit, Ch.
3). The day of the Revelation of
the Tora at Sinai was considered
like the day of a wedding between
the Tora and Israel. Interesting
is the explanation of one of the
late writers who believes that the
reference to the one who is called
up to the last reading of the Tora
as the bridegroom (Hatan Tora)
is a corruption of a Hebrew ex-
pression which means to finish or
to complete. He claims that the
original expression was "Hasam"
or "Hoten HaTora which means
"the bridegroom of the Tora."
Whatever the background is, the
custom is pretty widespread today..
How did the last day of the
Sukkot festival come to be called
"Simhat Tora"?
This name was apparently not
known until the twelfth century.
It is said to have originated in
Spain. Its ori gi n is not quite clear.
Some claim that the name was
applied because on that day the
people of Israel win a victory over
Satan who tries to criticize them
in front of the Almighty saying
that while they read or study the
Tora they will never conclude it
and if they do they will never
begin to study again. On the day
of Simhat Tora we show both
that we conclude the yearly read-
ing cycle and immediately begin
a new reading cycle. Thus, we
have shown the Almighty that
Satan is wrong and we rejoice
over having won the bout with
the power of evil.

UJA Group Finds 'Democratic Seed' in West Germany

(Direct JTA Teletype Wire
to The Jewish News)

BERLIN—A 20-man United Jew-
ish Appeal delegation, led by De-
troiter Max Fisher, completed
Wednesday an eight-day -study of
conditions in Germany in the first
visit ever made to Germany by
a UJA group.
The mission said that they be-
lieved that a "democratic seed"
had been planted and was grow-
ing in West Germany and that the
well-being of the 30,000 Jews now
resident there would be served.
They also agreed that the West
German government had no inten-
tion of forgetting the Nazi atroc-
ities against European Jewry and
that the German Jewish commu-
nities had a right to live in Ger-
many and should be considered
part of world Jewry.
They also reported that they
found among both the govern-
ment and the German Jewish
communities a great interest and
sympathy for Israel and for prac-
tical work on behalf of Israel.
The mission members offered

those impressions of American
Jewry as they departed for Geneva
to rejoin the other members of
the current UJA mission. They had
met with key officials of the fed-
eral and state governments, and
with mayors of Bonn, Dusseldorf,
Hamburg and other cities. They
visited both East and West Berlin
and the site of the Bergen-Belsen
death camp.
They said some of the officials
told them that feelings of guilt
and shame still prevailed over the
Nazi mass murders and at the same
time they appealed for Jewish un-

derstanding of the efforts which
the government was making to edu-
cate Germans for democracy.
Mission members were shown
school texts in which Nazi atroc-
ities against European Jewry were
described in words and pictures of
the Hitler period and in which spe-
cific reference was made to the
Nazi slaughter of 6,000,000 Jews.
The visit gave German Jews a
great moral uplift which found
expression in greetings by local
Jewish community leaders at af-
fairs tendered to members of the
delegation.

Chile Zionist Federation Raps Russ Anti-Semitism

SANTIAGO, Chile (JTA)—The
Zionist Federation of Chile con-
cluded its 46th national congress
here with the adoption of a resolu-
tion declaring its solidarity with
Jews throughout the world in voic-
ing deep concern for the plight of
Soviet Jewry.
In other resolutions, the federa-
tion called for the intensification
of Jewish education and for the

establishment of more

Jewish

schools.

Miguel Maldaysky, of the Gen-
eral Zionists, was elected presi-
dent of the federation. Others elect
ed included Amelia de Flimann of
Mapai and Dr. Isaac Jzekse,11n, an
independent, `,;ieG presidents; Max
Epstein of Mapai, general secre-
tary; and Isidoro Arensburg, of
the Revisionists, treasurer.

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